The Georgia Bulldogs (2-0) continue their march through this rugged stretch of early out-of-conference games as they play host to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (1-1) from the Summit League tonight at Stegeman Coliseum.
Now, I am secure enough in my basketball-hood to admit that until yesterday, I had no idea that the Jackrabbits existed.
But they do exist, and Rivals.com likes them to finish fourth in the Summit this season.
This team is a small bunch of Jackrabbits that likes to play with a four-guard lineup a majority of the time. South Dakota State (at the risk of sounding cliche) literally lives and dies from beyond the arc, where they are tossing up 24 shots per game. Last season, the Jackrabbits knocked down over 40% of their three-point attempts; this year, its been a slightly different story thus far with SDSU only connecting on 31% of their three balls. If they happen to get hot tonight in Stegeman, however, the Dawgs could be in for a long night.
Tonight’s game provides Georgia’s big men with an excellent opportunity to do some damage inside. In the win over Bowling Green last Sunday, the Dawgs were manhandled on the boards, getting out-rebounded by a tally of 42-28. The Bulldogs should be able to win the battle on the boards tonight against a much smaller Jackrabbit squad.
Coach Mark Fox has yet to get a double-figure scoring performance from one of his forwards through the first two games of this season – Marcus Thornton came the closest on Sunday when he scored 9 points against the BG Falcons. Considering Georgia’s tremendous size advantage in the paint, I’m sure Coach Fox is expecting his team to do most of its scoring on the inside in this contest.
After tonight’s game the Bulldogs’ schedule takes a complete 180 next week, with the Dawgs set to take on #21 Cal, either Missouri or Notre Dame (depending on the outcome) and then a trip to #25 Xavier on Friday. Georgia should enjoy this last little bit of home-cooking before they hit the road to take on some rather stout competion.