Kendall's Take: Dawgs take on Bama

ATHENS - Josh Kendall breaks down Georgia's basketball game with Alabama.


Georgia vs. Alabama
Time/place: Today, 7:30 p.m., Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Ga.
Broadcast: No television
Records: Georgia is 12-8, 2-5 SEC; Alabama is 11-7, 4-2 SEC

About Alabama: Alabama is down to seven scholarship players after a season-ending knee injury to leading scorer Chuck Davis, the early NBA entry of Kennedy Winston last year and four player transfers two years ago. Reserve Justin Jonus, a sophomore guard, made matters worse last week by quitting the team, leaving Coach Mark Gottfried to add student manager Willie Watson to the team as a practice player. "We're not very good," Gottfried said. Atlanta product Jermareo Davidson, a 6-foot-10 junior center, has taken up some of the slack for Alabama. He is third in scoring in SEC games with an 18.8-point average and second in rebounding in league games with 9.2 per game.

About Georgia: Coach Dennis Felton hasn't given up on his team earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, he said Tuesday. "I think 18 wins is the breaking point," he said. "As long as we still have the opportunity to win 18 games, then I think the dream is still alive." He clarified that statement to say Georgia must win 18 games before the start of the conference tournament, which means the Bulldogs would have to win six of their final nine regular-season games. "Obviously, we are in a lot better shape right now than we were last year at this time and against a tougher schedule," Felton said. "First of all, we're a team that is taken much more seriously coming into games than we were last year."

Scouting report: The Bulldogs owe Alabama a kick while they're down. Last year, Georgia limped into Tuscaloosa in the midst of its worst season in 30 years. On top of that, the Bulldogs were stranded in Atlanta on their way to that game, which had to be postponed for a day due to icy weather. When Georgia did arrive, Alabama whipped the Bulldogs 75-47. If the Bulldogs can break even on the inside against Davidson and get more consistent play out of their guards, they could reverse that score.

Up next: Georgia at Vanderbilt, Saturday, 5 p.m.; Alabama vs. LSU, Saturday, 12 p.m.


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