Georgia (10-11) at Tennessee (11-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678) -- Knoxville, Tennessee. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Georgia 8-5, Tennessee 9-2. Away Record: Georgia 2-4, Tennessee 0-6. Neutral Record: Georgia 0-2, Tennessee 2-1. Conference Record: Georgia 4-4, Tennessee 3-5. Series Record: Tennessee leads, 93-53.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Bulldogs will try to climb their way back to .500 on the season, as they pull into Knoxville for a SEC clash with the Tennessee Volunteers.
Georgia has been incredibly streaky on its way to a 10-11 record, as it has pieced together two winning streaks of at least three games, as well as a pair of equally-long skids. The Bulldogs have been on the upswing in recent weeks with three consecutive triumphs to pull even in conference play at 4-4, most recently claiming a road matchup at South Carolina on Saturday, 67-56.
Tennessee has been slightly better than Georgia overall on the campaign (11-9), but it has struggled through much of its SEC slate (3-5). The Vols dropped a 73-60 decision at Arkansas on Saturday, but the good news is that now they return home where they have won nine of 11 games this season.
Tennessee leads the all-time series with Georgia by a 93-53 margin, which includes a 55-14 record in Knoxville.
The Bulldogs controlled their recent contest by shooting a lofty 58.1 percent from the field while holding South Carolina to a mere 35.8 percent. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the catalyst in the victory with 19 points and seven rebounds, and paired with his double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds) in the win against Auburn on Jan. 30, he claimed the SEC Player of the Week. Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines were both impressive off the bench with 11 points each, while Mann dished out six assists as well. Georgia's scoring offense has often left much to be desired, ranking 13th in the SEC with just 59.6 ppg, but it yields just 61.4 ppg on defense and holds opponents to less than 40 percent field goal shooting. Caldwell-Pope is the league's second-best scorer at 17.5 ppg, and he does plenty of damage elsewhere with 6.6 rpg, 2.3 spg, and 51 3- pointers. The supporting cast around him isn't strong however, with Nemanja Djurisic (7.5 ppg) the next best option.
The Vols went into one of the most hostile buildings in the nation over the weekend and fell behind Arkansas by double-digits at the half, and could never recover. They shot a respectable 43.8 percent from the floor, but only two of their field goals came from 3-point range, and they lost the turnover battle by a hefty 20-8 margin. Jarnell Stokes posted his third straight double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Kenny Hall shot 6-of-7 from the field for 14 points, and Josh Richardson added 11 points in the setback. On the season, Tennessee allows just 62.1 ppg to its opponents, but barely supports that solid defensive effort by netting a modest 63.9 ppg at the other end. Jordan McRae is typically the top threat to score with 13.9 ppg, but he has failed to put up more than seven points in either of the last two games after pouring in 20 or more in five of the previous seven. Stokes mans the paint with 11.9 ppg and 8.4 rpg. Trae Golden (10.0 ppg, 3.9 apg) is questionable for this matchup with a hamstring injury.
In terms of momentum, Georgia clearly has the edge, and it has proven recently that it can win tough road games in conference. That said, Tennessee's impressive play at home gives it the advantage.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee 67, Georgia 63
02/06 10:36:56 ET