The last time the University of Georgia‘s Men’s basketball team won three-straight regular season SEC games was nearly five years ago.
On Wednesday night in Columbia, Coach Mark Fox’s Dawgs will have an opportunity to reach that milestone.
If the Bulldogs (12-12; 3-7) are still resting on their laurels from their recent wins over Arkansas and Mississippi State though, all the momentum that UGA has built up in the last week could be flushed down the toilet. Remember, as bad as South Carolina (9-15; 1-9) has been this season, they did knock off Alabama at home back in January for their lone conference win – a feat that Georgia could not accomplish in Athens.
Furthermore, should this UGA really be sleeping against anyone?
Last season, South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington was possibly the best freshman in the conference not wearing a Kentucky jersey. In his rookie campaign, Ellington carried the Gamecocks, scoring 12.8 points and dishing out over 3 assists per game.
However, if their was one team that Bruce fared particularly poorly against last year it was Georgia; the reason – Gerald Robinson, Jr. Ellington may suffer from nightmarish flashbacks upon first glance at Robinson, who limited him to just 9 total points on 4 of 24 shooting from the floor in both the Cocks’ losses to UGA.
Should GR2 continue to frustrate Ellington on Wednesday, Coach Horn’s Carolina team could be in for a long night. Ellington has been having a decent sophomore season since returning to the team from football, netting 11.4 points as well as 3.6 assists in SEC contests.
The only other Carolina player scoring in double-digits in conference games this year is senior forward Malik Cooke, who is leading the Cocks’ frontcourt with 10.8 points per contest.
Ellington and Cooke are the scoring leaders on a team that, like Georgia, has struggled to put the ball in the basket in league games this year. The Gamecocks are right below UGA in total points at 59.6 per game, and they are only connecting on 38.4% of their field goal attempts (two spots ahead of Georgia, who is last in the SEC at 37.6%).
This game should present the Dawgs’ bigs with another chance to win a rebounding battle as the Cocks are hauling in a league-low 29.7 boards per contest.
Georgia has started to right the ship on this season, beginning the second half of the SEC schedule with a pair of victories. The Dawgs’ two leading scorers – Gerald Robinson and Kentavious-Caldwell Pope – have been on fire as of late, averaging 20 and 19 points each over the last two games, respectively.
Another conference win on Wednesday would set UGA up with a monster Sunday showdown in Athens against Vanderbilt, a team Georgia played very competitively on the road earlier this year. There is no doubting that the Dawgs are on the cusp of putting together an impressive little run after what transpired last week. I mean, Georgia must be hot if the AJC’s local bandwagoner/hot-air blower Mark Bradley felt compelled to mention them for the SECOND time this season (24 games in).
Even though South Carolina has lost five-straight games – four of those losses coming on the road – they will no doubt be excited about returning home with a chance to notch their second conference victory.
Can Coach Fox’s team continue to keep this train rolling?