Mon, 25 Jan 2021

Georgia looks for balanced attack against North Georgia

Field Level Media
02 Dec 2020, 07:55 GMT+10

Tom Crean checks in with 31 years experience but the Georgia head coach is still trying to measure up to his peers when it comes to schedule-making.

Crean chuckled and said he never thought he would see the day when college basketball coaches -- namely Notre Dame's Mike Brey -- were openly soliciting for games during the cancel-scramble that is the start of the 2020-21 season.

Georgia hopes to get back on the court Wednesday in Athens against Columbus State, a make-up game for the season opener when the Cougars had multiple positive COVID-19 tests.

"This is obviously a situation unlike any other I've had to deal with," Crean said in a statement last week.

The Bulldogs are adjusting to life without Anthony Edwards, who was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the top pick in NBA draft. Edwards averaged 19.1 points per game last year, and the Bulldogs will look to replicate his production as a team, which happened in a season-opening, 85-75 win over Florida AM on Sunday.

Andrew Garcia scored a game-high 22 points, while Tye Fagan (career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds) and Sahvir Wheeler (12 points, 12 assists) had their first career double-doubles.

Crean said Tuesday he sees potential for the quick start to propel Fagan to a big junior season. Fagan's movement away from the ball to get himself open and court awareness are two of the less-discussed traits Crean said have been vital in his development.

The Bulldogs, who were picked to finish 13th in the media's Southeastern Conference preseason ranking, finished 16-16 last season. Georgia also is replacing Rayshaun Hammonds (12.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg), who signed a free-agent contract with the Indiana Pacers after going undrafted.

With Georgia leading Florida AM, 49-47, with 15:24 remaining, Fagan, who made 9 of 10 field-goal attempts en route to his first double-double, scored eight straight points to give the Bulldogs' a 10-point lead with 13:41 left. Georgia pushed its lead to as many as 16 after the Rattlers pulled to within 67-60 with 6:38 remaining.

Georgia made 30 of 62 (48.4 percent) of its field-goal attempts and allowed the Rattlers to shoot 52.5 percent (31 of 59) from the field, which would have been higher had Florida AM shot better 15.4 percent (2 of 13) from beyond the arc.

North Georgia, which plays in the Division II Peach Belt Conference, is coming off a 79-48 exhibition loss at Mercer, a Division I program. Darnell Snyers and Zach Brown each scored 12 points for the Nighthawks, who also got 10 points from Eric Jones.

--Field Level Media

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