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Georgia Basketball

Wheeler's third straight double-double guides Georgia to 98-65 victory

December 4, 2020

ATHENS- No, Georgia is not one of the top basketball programs in the country, but this team is exciting to watch offensively.

Stegeman Coliseum is not packed out this year to watch Anthony Edwards, and a lot of that has to do with seating capacity limits that the COVID-19 virus caused. Regardless of Edwards being gone, the Georgia Bulldogs are a fun team to watch, especially on the offensive end.

Georgia (3-0) left the arena with a 98-65 victory over Jacksonville Dolphins (3-1) Friday night. 

Most of these non-conference games are softballs for Georgia before they get into the SEC schedule. Looking at the box score and seeing that Georgia is only winning these games by 10 or 20 draws a little bit of concern. Georgia is a “Power Five” school and is expected to beat up on teams like Florida A&M and North Georgia.

The final scores being closer than fans expect or want can be attributed to defense. Georgia lacks size defensively, and that is not a secret. The Bulldogs are not a great defensive team, and that is highly unlikely to change before Dec. 30 when they have to take on Mississippi State. 

The offense was a lot better against Jacksonville, and that is ultimately what led to the score. 

Sahvir Wheeler and Toumani Camara led the way for the Bulldogs once again once again with 21 and 19 points, respectively. Wheeler also totaled 10 assists, giving him a double-double off of points and assists in each of the first three games for the Georgia Bulldogs. 

Wheeler is much improved from last year. His production has greatly improved and he is getting his teammates involved.

“I just made a point to get better,” Wheeler said. “I’m trying to make a point to make the right play.”

A lot of Wheeler’s game relies on his speed and ball-handling to get to the rim to either score or kick the ball out. 

“I’ve played with a lot of fast point guards. I don’t think I’ve played with someone who can move that fast dribbling the ball,” senior Justin Kier said. 

Wheeler is turning into a star for the Bulldogs.

Camara once again showed how active he was in the paint. He had a handful of impressive dunks, including a windmill off of a fastbreak in the first half. That dunk got the very limited crowd as loud as it could possibly be. 

These two players are shaping to be the leaders and most productive players for the Bulldogs this season. 

“If we’re going to have any success at all, we’re going to have a lot of guys scoring,” head coach Tom Crean said after Wednesday’s game against North Georgia.

That is exactly what happened tonight, especially in the first half. Several players got involved as Georgia went on a 17-4 run that lasted about eight minutes in the first half. Georgia led 46-36 at halftime. 

Georgia had six players in double figures. Guys like Christian Brown and Kier were much more involved. Kier came off of a one-game suspensive to total 11 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. 

The offense was more explosive in the second half, outscoring Jacksonville 52-29.

Georgia played a little bit cleaner tonight. Their 16 turnovers are an improvement from last game’s 22. Again, this is a team that is trying to mesh a lot of new faces together in a pandemic. The rhythm will likely take time to develop. 

“We want to be a high possession team but low turnover team, and I know that when you play this fast, you’re going to have a lot of turnovers,” Crean said. 

This team plays fast, and having a point guard like Wheeler at the helm makes that a little easier and a lot of fun to watch. 

“He (Wheeler) is just scratching the surface,” Crean said.

If that is the case, the next couple of years of Georgia basketball are going to be a lot of fun.  

Georgia continues their home non-conference stretch on Tuesday as the Montana Grizzlies will make the 2,000-mile journey to face off against the Bulldogs.

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