The Georgia Bulldogs (1-0) will be playing host to the Bowling Green Falcons (1-0) on Sunday night in Stegeman Coliseum. This game may not draw much attention nationally (or locally), but it does feature a battle of two unbeaten teams.
The Falcons hail from the Mid-American Conference (MAC), where they finished 8-8 (14-8 overall) a year ago. Heading into the 2011-2012 campaign, Bowling Green was pegged to finish dead-last in the Eastern half of the conference. They do start a veteran lineup however, featuring two juniors and two seniors, one of whom is senior forward Scott Thomas, who averaged 11.2 ppg and 6.7 rpg last season. In the Falcons win over Howard on Friday night, Thomas carried BG with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Bulldogs should obviously win this game against the Falcons, but it would be reassuring to see them efficiently dominate a lesser opponent (see UGA’s win over Auburn yesterday as a reference). In the Dawgs‘ victory over Wofford on Friday, Georgia let the Terriers hang around for nearly 35 minutes before putting the game away.
Coach Mark Fox must get more production at the forward position from sophomore Marcus Thornton. Against Wofford, Thornton finished the game with only 2 points (on 1 of 6 shooting from the floor) and 3 rebounds, and generally looked out-matched against the Terriers’ bigs. If Thornton cannot produce against teams like Wofford and Bowling Green, Fox may need to look elsewhere for inside scoring.
Freshman Nemanja Djurisic gave Coach Fox 12 quality minutes off the bench, contributing 8 points, 4 rebounds, a steal and an assist. At this point, I would consider Djurisic the biggest threat to Marcus Thornton’s playing time.
Georgia needs to use the next two games against Bowling Green and South Dakota State (the Jackrabbits) as opportunities to improve and fine tune, because in 9 days they fly to Kansas City to take on the #21 Cal Bears.