Basketball Preview: Georgia vs. Vanderbilt

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

Georgia (13-7, 5-3 SEC), No. 24 Vanderbilt (15-7, 5-3 SEC)

Time/place: 7 p.m./Nashville, Tenn.

Broadcast: Fox SportsSouth, 940-AM

About Vanderbilt: The Commodores have won five of their first eight SEC games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. … On Wednesday, Vanderbilt had a five-game winning streak against ranked teams stopped by Florida, which came back from an 11-point halftime deficit in Gainesville, Fla. … Senior Derrick Byars has led the Commodores in scoring in six of the last seven games and leads for the season with 16 points per game. Byars had 23 points in these teams' first meeting, an 85-73 Georgia win in Athens. … The Commodores have had some bad losses this year, namely to Furman and Appalachian State, but they've rebounded with some big wins, like beating Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and LSU when all those teams were ranked.

About Georgia: The Bulldogs have a RPI ranking of No. 43, seven spots ahead of Vanderbilt. Georgia's schedule thus far is considered the 13th-toughest in the nation. … Georgia is the nation's top 25 in scoring margin (plus-11.2, 22nd), 3-point percentage (39.3, 15th), rebounding margin (plus-6.8, 12th), blocks per game (5.1, 25th) and steals per game (9.4). … On the flip side, the Bulldogs are 248th in the nation in free throw percentage (65.5). … Senior guard Levi Stukes needs six more 3-pointers to become Georgia's all-time leader with 232.

Scouting report: Vanderbilt serves almost like a do-over for the Bulldogs. The Commodores and Tennessee have similar offensive strengths in that they do most of their damage on the perimeter and are ineffective inside. On Wednesday against the Volunteers, the Bulldogs were shredded by that style. "For the most part, they keep four guards on the floor who can really shoot the three," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said. "They're doing a good job of pushing up the floor and getting good looks at the three in transition. They're scoring a lot of points, and it's going to be difficult to go in there and slow them down." The Bulldogs have allowed five of their last six opponents to shoot better than 40 percent from behind the 3-point line. If that trend continues, they'll likely fall to 1-4 on the road in the SEC this year.

Up next: Georgia vs. Florida (7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Athens, Ga.); Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee (12 p.m., Feb. 10, Knoxville, Tenn.)


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