The Alabama Basketball team enters tonight's matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs with a golden opportunity to remain at the top of the SEC. On Tuesday, the Tennessee Volunteers lost to the South Carolina Gamecocks. This gives the Alabama Basketball team a half-game lead on the South Carolina Gamecocks and at least a full-game lead on everyone else in the conference.
Going into Athens and knocking off the 14-6 Georgia Bulldogs will be no easy task for Nate Oats' squad. While the Bulldogs' record in the conference doesn't reflect it, the Bulldogs are one of the tougher teams in the conference. Nate Oats addressed his squad's struggles in Athens since his arrival saying the following:
"We've got a tough road game, we've not played particularly well at Georgia since I've been here, I don't know what it is."- Nate Oats
While the Bulldogs don't have one of the nation's top offenses scoring just 77.3 points per game their defense allows just 73.2 points per game. The Bulldogs are led offensively by Jabri Abdur-Rahim who's scoring 13.4 points per game. Abdur-Rahim is a terrific three-point shooter as well, shooting 40% from deep. The Bulldogs are led by their guard play with Abdur-Rahim, Noah Thomasson, RJ Melendez, and Silas Demary Jr all scoring ten or more points per game.
The Alabama Basketball team will need solid defensive play out of their guards to defeat the Bulldogs. This Georgia Bulldogs team plays tough at home as well playing tight games against Tennessee and Kentucky while in their home arena.
Alabama Basketball: Chip on Mark Sears shoulder
The bad news for the Georgia Bulldogs is that Mark Sears will now be playing with extra motivation. Mark Sears was left off of the finalist lists for the Wooden Award, the Cousy Award, and the Jerry West Award despite playing like one of the best players in the country. The added motivation may lead to a nightmare night for the Georgia guards defensively while it may even lead to Sears playing harder on the defensive end. This year's Alabama Basketball team has had a chip on its shoulder all season and the motivation continues to build.
Note: Stats via ESPN