January 12, 2011

Previewing Georgia at Vanderbilt

What: Georgia Bulldogs (12-2, 1-0) Vanderbilt Commodores (11-3, 0-1)

Where: Memorial Gymnasium (14,316), Nashville, Tenn.

When: 8:02 p.m. CST, Wednesday

TV: SEC Network

Radio: Nashville: 97.1 FM

Rankings: VU is unranked, Georgia is No. 24 in the AP Poll

Warren Nolan RPI: Vanderbilt 18, Georgia 47

The line: Vanderbilt by 9

Sagarin prediction: Vanderbilt by 14

Pomeroy prediction: Vanderbilt 72, Georgia 61 (VU has an 88 percent chance of victory)

Series record: Vanderbilt leads 83-48, winning the last two of three meetings last season

PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.PPGRPG Pos.PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.PPGRPG
Brad Tinsley6-3210Jr.9.64.4 PG Dustin Ware5-11182Jr.7.2 2.6
John Jenkins6-4215So.18.52.8 SG Gerald Robinson6-1180Jr.12.9 2.3
Jeffery Taylor6-7225Jr.14.54.9 SF Travis Leslie6-4205Jr.13.97.6
Lance Goulbourne6-8230Jr.8.67.2 PF Trey Thompkins6-10245Jr.18.17.1
Festus Ezeli6-11255Jr.12.66.5 C Jeremy Price6-8270Sr.8.55.0


It's funny how a few minutes of bad basketball can change a team's outlook.

Vanderbilt was cruising towards a big win in its road opener just four days ago against South Carolina, but faltered down the stretch as nobody could score, and the Gamecocks took VU into overtime and upset the then-ranked Commodores by eight points on Saturday. As a result, VU has its backs against the wall, needing to beat a now-ranked Georgia team to avoid an 0-2 start before heading to Knoxville for an ESPN Game Day broadcast against Tennessee on Saturday.

Georgia has momentum headed in the opposite direction, having won nine games in a row with the big victory coming against Southeastern Conference Eastern Division rival Kentucky on Saturday in Athens.

But now, roles are reversed, as the Commodores return home, where they've gone 69-8 since the start of the 2006-07 season, and the Bulldogs hit the road, where they failed to win in SEC play last season.

The biggest concern for VU, other than a tough Georgia squad, is health. Starting forward Andre Walker is still out with a badly-sprained ankle, and center Festus Ezeli has had lingering knee issues which seemed to render him a shell of his 2010-11 self. Ezeli scored just seven points and pulled four rebounds-just over half his average-in fouling out in 21 minutes of action on Saturday.

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