MEN'S BASKETBALL: Humphrey's Arrest Adds To G

FAYETTEVILLE — Georgia's tumultuous season added another frustrating chapter Thursday morning, when second-leading scorer Billy Humphrey was arrested a few hours after the 67-59 loss to Vanderbilt.

The 20-year-old was charged with underage consumption of alcohol after being stopped by police for failing to obey a traffic control device. It was the second time Humphrey has been arrested in the past three months.

Humphrey was suspended for three games Thursday. He will not be available when the Bulldogs play at Florida on Saturday and also will miss home games against South Carolina and Tennessee.

"We all have standards about being a good student and being a good person," coach Dennis Felton said when asked if he thought the Bulldogs had discipline problems. "If you read the newspaper every day or click on every day, you'll see that players find their way into trouble from all corners of the country. It's just a reality of college athletics period.

"I'm extremely disappointed any time one of our players fails to live up to being a reliable part of our team and our family."

In November, Humphrey was arrested on a felony weapons charge when police found a knife in his dorm room. He was suspended indefinitely, but reinstated after being accepted into a pretrial diversion program.

Humphrey is averaging 13.1 points, which is second to point guard Sundiata Gaines (13.2). He is part of a team that has struggled largely because of off-the-court problems that have gutted the roster.

Felton dismissed Takais Brown and Mike Mercer, two of the team's leading returning scorers, for violating team rules in November. Center Rashaad Singleton quit because of a lack of playing time in December.

"This season has been terribly difficult for us," Felton said. "Our two leading scorers and two most talented players couldn't do what they needed to do. We lost a lot of talent and got a whole lot younger in a hurry.

"That's made this year difficult for us. I'm disappointed with where we're at right now."

Tough Road

Vanderbilt (19-4, 4-4) will finish the SEC's most difficult nine-game stretch when it plays at South Carolina on Saturday.

Six of its first nine league games have been on the road. The Commodores lost the first four before beating Georgia on Wednesday.

"Certainly I had some concerns about our schedule with six of our first nine on the road," coach Kevin Stallings said. "We finish that up on Saturday and suffice it to say we'll probably be glad to have that part over with."

There is good news. Vanderbilt begins a four-game home stand next week and plays five of its final seven conference games at home.

Nothing Free For ‘Bama

Alabama's problems have been frustrating for coach Mark Gottfried.

The Crimson Tide (13-10, 2-6) is shooting an SEC-worst 59.4 percent from the free-throw line and has struggled even more in conference games (57.1 percent). The free-throw woes played a role in the 73-66 loss at Mississippi State on Wednesday. Alabama was 9-of-17 from the line.

"I went back and looked at last year's numbers and just about every player shot a better percentage a year ago," Gottfried said. "There may be a mental part of that right now that we have to overcome."

Alabama is on pace to set the school's single-season record for worst free-throw percentage. The 1973-74 team made 60.1 percent.

Pearl Named Maccabi Coach

Tennessee's Bruce Pearl has been selected as the head coach for the Maccabi USA's Open Men's basketball team, which will compete at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July 2009.

"It's something I've wanted to do since I got into coaching," Pearl said. "The whole concept of wearing the red, white and blue in international competition is awesome. And then to be able to coach in Israel, in the Jewish homeland, to combine those two things, it's just an amazing opportunity."

Rugged Road

Vanderbilt will play its sixth SEC road game when it faces South Carolina on Saturday. The Commodores have played six of their nine SEC games on the road, a stretch that concerned coach Kevin Stallings when the season began. Here is a look at how SEC teams have fared on the road:

Team Record Road Games Remaining

Alabama 0-3 Kent., S.C., Auburn, Ole Miss, LSU

Arkansas 2-1 Tenn., MSU, Kent., Ala., Ole Miss

Auburn 1-3 Ole Miss, Tenn., MSU, Arkansas

Florida 2-3 Vandy, Georgia, Kentucky

Georgia 0-3 Fla., Kent., Vandy, LSU, Auburn

Kentucky 2-2 Vandy, LSU, Tenn., S.C.

LSU 1-3 Fla., Arkansas, S.C., MSU

Mississippi St. 2-1 Auburn, Ole Miss, S.C., Fla., Vandy

Ole Miss 0-3 Arkansas, Ala., LSU, Kent., Georgia

S. Carolina 2-2 Georgia, Fla., Auburn, Tenn.

Tennessee 3-1 LSU, Georgia, Vandy, Fla.

Vanderbilt 1-4 S.C., Arkansas, Alabama

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