Georgia vs. Southern: Basketball Preview

ATHENS - Josh Kendall takes a look at Georgia's game with Southern.

Georgia (0-0) vs. Southern (0-0)

Time/place: 7:30 p.m./Stegeman Coliseum

Broadcast: 940-AM

About Southern: The Jaguars finished 19-13 last year and won the Southwestern Athletic Conference with a 15-3 league record. … They lost to Duke 70-54 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. … Only two starters return from that team, though. The top returner is swing man Deforres Riley-Smith, a 6-foot-6 senior who averaged 10.9 points per game last year. He is preseason second-team All-SWAC.

About Georgia: The Bulldogs have plenty of questions to answer in today's season-opener. The biggest is: When will touted JUCO transfer Takais Brown return from an indefinite suspension due to academic issues? Don't look for it to be tonight. … Brown's absence will be a test for junior center Dave Bliss and his gimpy back. Bliss played in pain throughout last season, and Georgia's coaches hope this year is at least slightly better. ... Georgia beat West Georgia 96-52 in its only exhibition game of the season.

Scouting report: This should be a win for Georgia, but not necessarily an easy one. The Jaguars are well-coached – Rob Spivery led them to the conference title in his first season last year – and they'll have enough athletes to run the floor with the Bulldogs. What Southern doesn't have is the kind of post game that gives could give Georgia fits with Brown out of the lineup. Georgia should pull away in the second half behind a strong scoring effort from sophomore guard Mike Mercer.

Next: Georgia vs. Western Kentucky, Tuesday, Stegeman Coliseum, 7 p.m.; Southern at Wisconsin, Nov. 19

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