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Tennessee vs. Georgia Preview: Can the Vols slow down Anthony Edwards?

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Big challenge tonight on the road.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When Tennessee rolls into Athens tonight, they won’t face a typical Georgia Bulldogs team. Tom Crean’s team sits at 10-5, and for the first time in a long time, Georgia has some legitimate offensive firepower.

The attack is led by former top five overall recruit Anthony Edwards. He hasn’t disappointed so far this season, pouring in over 18 points per game for Crean. The 6-5, 225 pound freshman and likely future NBA star has revamped the entire program this season, bringing the Bulldogs to the bubble of the NCAA Tournament field as we start SEC play.

Tonight’s game is massive for both sides, each needing this win on their resume for the NCAA Tournament committee. Georgia has taken a hit in the last week, falling to both Auburn and Kentucky.

Georgia key wins

at Memphis, SMU

Georgia key losses

at Auburn, Kentucky, at Arizona State, Michigan State, Dayton

Players to watch

SG Anthony Edwards: 18.8 ppg, 4.8 reb, 3.7 ast (32 percent from three-point)

F Rayshaun Hammonds: (6-9, 235) 13.6 ppg, 8.7 reb

PG Sahvir Wheeler: 8.4 ppg, 5 ast

Key Stats

  • Georgia ranks 39th in D1 in points scored per game with 78.7. However, they rank near the bottom of D1 in points allowed with 73.9.
  • The Bulldogs are statistically one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, averaging 40 per game.
  • KenPom has Georgia as the 78th ranked team in the country. Tennessee checks in at 52nd.

Tennessee notes

  • For the first time all season, Tennessee will have the services of their 7-1 big man Uros Plavsic. A transfer from Arizona State, Plavsic and Tennessee have been battling with the NCAA about his immediate eligibility after redshirting last season. Finally — literally halfway into the season — Plavsic has been ruled eligible.

It’s the second mid-season addition for Tennessee, although this one is much different than the Santiago Vescovi situation. Plavsic has been practicing and travelling with the team, so he isn’t exactly starting from ground zero. He should be ready to roll against the Bulldogs, but it will still be interesting to see how many minutes he gets right off the bat.

  • This will also be the first game since Rick Barnes publicly voiced frustration on senior guard Jordan Bowden. His 1-17 shooting against South Carolina doomed the Tennessee offense again and the Volunteers were lucky to sneak by with a win. Will Bowden’s minutes drop? Barnes hinted at that possibility on Saturday.

Tennessee and Georgia will tip-off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.