Despite a 9-10 record overall and a last place standing in the SEC Eastern division, Georgia is held in high esteem by Arkansas coach John Pelphrey.
It's clear the Razorback coach understands every game is going to be tough for his team to win, regardless of the Hogs' recent success in wins over Mississippi State and then-No. 18 Ole Miss.
"Georgia, to put it in broad strokes, is playing as well as anyone in our league," Pelphrey said. "They execute and have competed with everyone. They have beaten Tennessee, who is very good, and competed with Kentucky to the final seconds. I'm very, very impressed with their team.
"I don't feel like it's a crazy statement to say they are playing as well as a top 25 team. Don't let that record fool you."
Georgia's last three losses have come by a combined eight points, including a 78-77 loss to South Carolina on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Arkansas (10-11, 3-3) is looking for its first back-to-back conference road wins since 2006 when the Hogs beat Auburn and Georgia in succession.
Sunday's win over Ole Miss snapped a 15-game road losing streak in league play.
"We certainly would love nothing more than to continue making progress and win another basketball game," Pelphrey said, "whether it's at home or on the road."
Pelphrey was complimentary of big men Mike Washington and Marshawn Powell, who combined for 41 points and 17 rebounds at Ole Miss. Powell was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday.
"I think they did a good job against Ole Miss," Pelphrey said. "The funny thing about life is they're going to be asked to do it again. We're proud about last night but today is a new day."
Pelphrey said he is still looking for more production from his bench. Arkansas' starters combined to score 72 of the team's 80 points against Ole Miss, but Pelphrey said that's not the production he's worried about.
"They've got to understand that I'm not looking for them to score," Pelphrey said. "That's the third or fourth thing on their agenda.
"They need to come in and defend, rebound and be energetic. Then if there's a transition opportunity, score it. If it's an end of the clock situation, score it...but the very last thing we need from those guys is scoring."
Pelphrey was asked about the free throw improvement of Courtney Fortson and Washington. The two are shooting 78 percent from the line in SEC play. Washington went 10 of 12 from the line against Ole Miss. Arkansas as a team went 23 of 27 against the Rebels.
"I think both are more experienced players," Pelphrey said. "I'd love to sit here and tell you I rubbed some magic oil on them or did something different to better their shot, but that's not the case. I do think they've paid a little more attention to working on it, even if it isn't a long period of time. I think the maturity level of focusing and understanding how important the free throws are is better this year than in the past."
Georgia on their minds
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