Auburn, which is tied with Alabama at 4-10 in league play, is still trying to earn the No. 3 seed from the SEC West with two regular season games remaining. LSU and Ole Miss are currently tied for third at 5-9 in SEC play.
Georgia comes into the game with the worst record in the conference at 3-11 in SEC play. The Bulldogs, who are 12-15 overall, join LSU and South Carolina as the only conference teams with an losing overall record.
Although Georgia is struggling with a five-game losing streak, Auburn coach Jeff Lebo says the Bulldogs will be a tough matchup for the Tigers with a big and physical front line that includes 6-10, 255 senior Dave Bliss, 6-10, 250 sophomore Albert Jackson and 6-7, 220 junior Terrance Woobury.
"They are one of the most physical teams in our league," Lebo says of the Bulldogs. "They are physical at every position. They have size, strength and weight."
"When a shot goes up, they are very physical on box-outs and rebounds," Lebo points out. "They have lost some close games. Scoring the ball has been an issue, but they have been close in a lot of games."
One of the smaller Bulldogs is a player who has shown he has the biggest bite. Sundiata Gaines, a 6-1 senior guard from Jamaica, N.Y., leads his team in scoring with 14.7 points per game. He is also the top rebounder at 6.4 per contest and the number one assist man with 4.3 per contest.
Gaines has sunk his teeth into the Tigers in the past. In his last game against Auburn, the guard scored 21 points with nine assists and nine rebounds. Lebo is impressed.
"They have a great point guard in Gaines, who is having a great senior season and is strong," the Auburn coach says. "He has size and can get into the paint. He is one of the best rebounding point guards that you will find in the country."
Both teams have lost key players to injuries. One of the key Bulldogs is back in action. Billy Humphrey, a 6-2 junior guard, is averaging 12.8 points per game. He is the only other player who scores in double figures. Jeremy Price, a 6-8, 270 freshman substitute, is number three in scoring at 8.8 points while averaging 4.6 rebounds.
"Both teams are relying on one or two guys to do the majority of the work," Lebo says. "Gaines is a guy that we have to control. If he comes and gets 25 points, we will have a hard time. Scoring the ball for them has been their biggest issue."
Auburn will probably continue its trend of changing defenses throughout the game. It has worked to some degree to cover the team's lack of size. With the Bulldogs only shooting 32.4 percent from three-point range, Lebo can probably take some chances with providing inside defensive help on the Georgia big men.
"He (Prowell) has had a real consistent senior year for us," Lebo says. "He has been very dependable and reliable. I know each one of those guys are not finishing up playing the position they thought they would play here. Quan has made the adjustment of going from small forward and playing some center for us. He has handled that well. It can get frustrating at times for him and for a kid when that happens to them.
"I have a lot of respect for Frank Tolbert," Lebo says. "He is one I didn't recruit, but chose to stay here at Auburn. His transformation in his first year was unbelievable.
"He weighed around 230 pounds when he came in and couldn't touch the rim," Lebo recalls. "He couldn't make it through 10 minutes of a workout when he came in. Not even close. From that to what you see now from his energy level to his athleticism, I think he is one of the top athletes in this league."
The Tigers will also honor senior walk-on Adam Luquire, a 6-7, 230 pound forward from Indian Springs, Ala., who transferred to AU from Berry College prior to the 2006-2007 season. He has played in six games for the Tigers and has scored two points.