Bliss and Gaines key to road win
Sundiata Gaines
Sundiata Gaines
Publisher
Posted Jan 12, 2005


ATHENS – Tonight’s game between Ole Miss and Georgia is likely the Bulldogs’ best chance to get a road win in conference play. The Rebels, like Georgia, are 0-2 and have lost to both Mississippi State and Arkansas.

In the Dawgs’ last contest, a 20-point beating at the hands of South Carolina, they got hot early but wilted after the Cocks went on a 41-11 run midway through the first half. Georgia will have to put the loss, and that stretch of hot Gamecock shooting, our of their minds if they are to recover against the Rebels.

Unlike the rest of the SEC, Georgia can actually match up in terms of size with Ole Miss. The Rebels’ tallest player that gets quality minutes is a 6-7 Tommie Eddie, and he is still recovering from an injury that made him sit out Ole Miss’ game with Arkansas.

Levi Stukes, who is fourth in the SEC in scoring, must be given the ball by his teammates. Stukes can not effectively score off the dribble so Sundiata Gaines’ ability to drive the ball and pass it will be critical this game (as it will be the remainder of the season).

Georgia is doing a poor job of passing the ball – they are ranked last in the SEC and an astoundingly bad 289th in the NCAA in assists with only 11.1 per contest. That means of Georgia’s 67.8 points per game, some where around two-thirds comes from one Bulldog creating points by himself.

Georgia’s offense skill simply is not good enough to do that and win.

Meanwhile Georgia’s 14 turnovers a game are far too many to be competitive considering the lack of firepower on the team.

Georgia must keep the game close against the Rebels by getting Dave Bliss involved early and making certain he does not get into foul trouble. If Bliss can dump in 15 points against small Rebel front court (he’s recorded only nine total points in SEC) and Gaines can drive the ball regularly there is no reason to think the Dawgs can’t pull one out in Oxford – but the odds are against them.

PREDICTION

Georgia 61
Ole Miss 70


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