Men’s Basketball Preview: South Carolina vs. Georgia

South Carolina versus Georgia
Date: Saturday 28 January
Time: 6:00 p.m
Channel: SECN
Where: Stegeman Coliseum – Athens, GA

The Gamecocks are looking to end their four-game losing streak in the SEC when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens. The Bulldogs had a surprisingly improved season, holding a 13-7 record while ranked 94th in KenPom’s latest advanced metric ratings.

The Bulldogs are led by Terry Roberts, who leads the team in points per game and has an impressive 15.6 points per game. Roberts is also an impressive defender, stealing a game with 1.7 shots and playing good paint defense for his size. Kario Oquendo also scores in double digits, averaging 13 points per game.

This game will be one of the easiest for South Carolina on the remainder of the schedule. That being said, the Gamecocks need to take advantage of this. Aside from LSU, the Bulldogs are the lowest-ranked team on KenPom that the Gamecocks left on the roster. With the game taking place in Athens, however, South Carolina is at a serious disadvantage, especially as the team is already significantly worse away from home.

GG Jackson must continue his recent outstanding game. We finally see what we all expected from the highest scoring recruit in the history of the program. His 30-point game against Auburn was the first 30-point game by a South Carolina freshman since Bruce Ellington in 2010. This was far from a career night for Jackson, and he continued the great play in the game against Florida, where he scored 20 points and 10 rebounds. That was what was expected of Jackson all along, and I believe Gamecock fans should continue to be amazed by Jackson’s performance.

South Carolina’s guard game has to be good to have a chance of winning tonight. Meechie Johnson Jr. has scored in single digits in his last two games while shooting terribly from the field and it showed clearly. Johnson is a key offensive player for the Gamecocks and needs to step up to help South Carolina secure the win over the Bulldogs. With Chico Carter, you never know if you’re going to hit 20 percent or 70 percent shot performance. I think I speak for all Gamecock fans when I say that we definitely prefer the latter.

Josh Gray showed what he could as he got the minutes against Florida by posting season-bests in points (11) and rebounds (13). However, Gray leaves a lot to be desired on the defensive. As the only 7-footer on the team, Gray plays an important role in paint defense. More often than not, Gray doesn’t take the opportunity and often gets into serious trouble, resulting in him spending most of the game on the bench. Grey, staying out of foul trouble and dominant on the boards, will be crucial for the Gamecocks tonight.

KenPom gives the Gamecocks a 14% chance of leaving Athens with a win with a score prediction of South Carolina 60, Georgia 72

My prediction: South Carolina 55, Georgia 65


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