The Citadel at Georgia
When and Where: Tuesday, Nov. 12, Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Ga., 7 p.m. EST.
Anthony Edwards looked to be every bit the star freshman in his collegiate debut for Georgia, which will try to follow up on that victory Tuesday night when it hosts The Citadel.
The Citadel looks to tighten up defensivelyThe good news for The Citadel is its offense was crisp in its season-opener versus North Carolina-Asheville on Friday night. Duccar Baucom's team hit 9 of 15 from 3-point range and shot 52.9 percent overall.
The problem was its defense, which was absolutely horrid as NC-Asheville connected at a 56.9 percent clip shooting and drilled 11 of 23 from beyond the arc in rolling to a 19-point halftime lead and 91-76 victory. The Citadel yielded 57 first-half points as cohesion with five newcomers was lacking at times.
“Our freshmen have come in here since the summer and put in just as much work as anybody else,” Hayden Brown told the Charleston Post and Courier after scoring 15 points. “They’ve been implemented into our offense as quickly as anybody I’ve seen in my time here, and they’ve done a really good job.”
One of those newcomers, freshman guard Fletcher Abee, scored a team-high 17 points and went 5 of 6 from beyond the arc. Tyson Batiste, making his Citadel debut after transferring from Central Connecticut State, contributed 11 points and six assists.
Taking to the road against a high-major opponent has not ended well for The Citadel, which has lost its last 44 such games dating back to the 1996-97 season. That includes an 0-10 mark against Southeastern Conference rivals, with all of the losses coming to South Carolina and Tennessee.
Georgia could have star freshman duo in Edwards and WheelerEdwards, a five-star recruit and 6-foot-5 shooting guard, is considered the linchpin of Tom Crean's recruiting class as he begins his second season in Georgia. He opted to stay within the state, making the move from Atlanta to Athens, as Crean beat out Kentucky and Florida State for his services in hopes of turning around a Bulldogs program that has made one NCAA Tournament in the last eight years.
The early returns were promising last Tuesday night when Georgia opened its season with a 91-72 victory over Western Carolina. Edwards stuffed the boxscore, hitting 4 of 7 from 3-point range and hitting 7 of 16 shots overall while totaling 24 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three assists in 28 minutes before fouling out.
“I think (Edwards’ 3s) were big, they were pretty good context and we had to remind him that we don’t need to settle now, we’re in double bonus and he made that left-handed drive off the right wing,” Crean told the Athens Banner-Herald. “Those were in rhythm, good balanced 3s and he did a good job. He was very aggressively looking for it. That’s what we want from him. We don’t want him to settle. When the ball is moving in the flow of the offense like that and it’s getting swung and he’s ready to shoot, that’s what he’s got to be.”
Georgia got an unexpected boost from fellow freshman Sahvir Wheeler, who contributed 19 points off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting. The 5-10 freshman scored 14 of his points after halftime and also had three assists and three rebounds.
Holdover and senior guard Tyree Crump was also in double figures with 15 points and hit three 3-pointers. Georgia may have been a bit too aggressive at times, finishing with 26 fouls as reserve Christian Brown also fouled out.
Georgia has won 14 of its last 15 non-conference home games since the start of the 2017-18 season, with the lone loss a 76-74 defeat to then-No. 20 Arizona State on Dec. 15. The Bulldogs have also won 23 of their last 25 at home against Southern Conference teams.
The Citadel is:
- 5-14-1 ATS in its last 20 games.
- 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games following an ATS loss.
- 2-5 ATS in its last seven games following a double-digit loss at home.
- 6-2 ATS in its last eight home games as a favorite.
- 4-1 ATS in its last five home games as a favorite of 13 or more points.
- 4-0 ATS in its last four home games vs. sub-.400 teams.