Basketball Preview: Georgia vs. Gardner-Webb

ATHENS - Josh Kendall takes a look at Georgia's game with Gardner-Webb.

Georgia (5-1) vs. Gardner-Webb (1-5)

Time/Place: 7 p.m./Stegeman Coliseum

Broadcast: CSS television, 940-AM

About Gardner Webb: The Runnin' Bulldogs are coached by Rick Scruggs, an Atlanta native who graduated from Georgia in 1979. He is in his 13th season at the North Carolina school. Scruggs did not play basketball at Georgia. … Another Georgian, sophomore Ricky McPhee of Lilburn, leads Gardner-Webb with 13 points per game. Freshmen Wesley Mincey (Atlanta) and Jesse Wheeler (Duluth) also will be playing their home state school. … Gardner-Webb's only victory this season came against a Division III team, Ferrum (Va.). … The Runnin' Bulldogs last came to Athens in 2004, when they lost 67-62.

About Georgia: Sophomore guard Mike Mercer was named the SEC's player of the week Monday. Mercer led the Bulldogs with 18 points in Saturday's 87-86 win over Wake Forest. "It shows that all the hard work I put in during the offseason is finally paying off," said Mercer, who averages a team-best 18 points per game. "Hopefully, there will be a bunch more of them during the season." … The Bulldogs are averaging 90.8 points per game at home.

Scouting report: Georgia is coming off its biggest win in recent memory and will have an 11-day break after playing Gardner-Webb tonight, but Mercer isn't worried about a letdown, he said. "We've been drilling that in our heads ever since last season," he said. "I think we had a tendency to overlook teams (last year), and they bit us in the butt. This year, we're going to take every game one game at a time, and hopefully we'll be around in March." Georgia will get a chance tonight to continue its impressive rebounding trend. The Bulldogs have outrebounded every opponent except Western Kentucky, and none of Gardner-Webb's regulars is taller than 6-foot-5. A third straight 100-plus point effort at home seems likely.

Up next: Georgia vs. Gonzaga, Dec. 16, 5 p.m., Duluth, ESPN2; Gardner-Webb vs. Western Carolina, Saturday, 7 p.m., Boiling Springs, N.C.

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