LSU at Georgia: Only 3 regular season games remain, beginning with a visit from LSU to Athens on Saturday, February 25, 2017.
UGA is 16-12 on the season (7-8 in the SEC) after its win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa this week. The season is getting down to the nitty gritty. UGA is running a special promotion. The first 1000 people in the stands will receive a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope bobblehead. It is also alumni day, where many of the alumni (players, coaches and managers) from previous years will be honored at halftime. Always good to see those from our past who have contributed so much to the history of UGA basketball. Georgia will also honor both former head coach Hugh Durham, who was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame last November (along with UGA great Dominique Wilkins), and Jimmy Pitts, who will be Georgia’s Legend at the upcoming SEC Tournament.
LSU comes to Athens with a record of 9-14 (1-14 in the SEC) in what could be Coach Johnny Jones’s swan song with the Tigers. LSU has not won a conference game since defeating Missouri on the road 88-77 on January 4, 2017; thus, they are riding an 11 game losing streak coming into Stegeman and are desperate for a win. Antonio Blakeney, LSU’s best player, leads the Tigers at 17.8 ppg, while Duop Reath and Brandon Sampson score 12.7 ppg and 11.1 ppg, respectively. The game looks to be a duel between Blakeney and JJ Frazier, who has averaged 27.5 ppg over the Dawgs last four games. The team that slows the other’s big gun down the most will likely prevail. It is difficult to imagine a scenario involving Jones returning to Baton Rouge next season.
Is his postgame TV interview after the road win in Tuscaloosa, Fox said, “We have great character on this team, and it showed today. Obviously, we had a very difficult loss at home versus Kentucky, and lost Yante, but we got together and decided that there will be a solution. We figured out a couple of new wrinkles and maybe a new rotation to try and patch it together, and they bought in and competed their tails off tonight. We beat a good Alabama team, and it’s a great win for our kids.” The Dawgs will again mostly likely be without Yante Maten and must continue to find a way to win without their best big man.
Frazier, who is now top 10 in UGA history for career points, assists and steals, could pass both Terry Fair and Shandon Anderson on the all-time scoring list with a big game against LSU. One interesting fact – Frazier and Litterial Green, Georgia’s all-time scoring leader, are the only two Bulldogs to score 35 points three times for UGA – pretty good for a guy who many assumed was a recruiting afterthought.