Stukes eyes 3-point record

ATHENS – Georgia's basketball team could make history tonight in Stegeman Coliseum.

The Bulldogs have never beaten a team ranked No. 1, which Florida is entering today's 7:30 p.m. matchup. Breaking that streak will be a tough task for Georgia (13-8, 5-4 SEC), which has lost two straight.

It's much more likely that the only milestone tonight will be of a more personal nature. Senior guard Levi Stukes needs three more 3-pointers to become the Bulldogs' all-time leader.

Stukes, who became the school's career leader in 3-point attempts two weeks ago, has made 229 treys in his career. Three more, a mark he has reached or passed in nine games this year, and he'll pass D.A. Layne, who played from 1998-2001.

Stukes claimed last week not to know he was nearing the record.

"How close?" he asked a reporter.

It certainly hasn't been brought up in team meetings.

"We just never talk about individual achievements around here, certainly before they happen, and we barely talk about them after they happen," head coach Dennis Felton said. "We take the appropriate moments to recognize achievements with game balls and things like that, but if somebody makes player of the week or something, we don't talk about it."

Stukes, who has started 100 of 104 games in his career, joined Georgia's 1,000-point club earlier this year. He's currently 20th on the all-time scoring list with 1,237 career points.

"It's always nice to come into college and be able to do what I've done as far as all the accolades," said Stukes, who is third on the team in scoring with 12.1 points per game. "It would be tremendous for me and my family to be able to look back after I graduate and say I did this and that when I was in college."

Stukes' 44.9 percent 3-point shooting is the best of his career and is good enough to rank fifth in the SEC and 15th in the nation. The lofty percentage is a result of improved footwork and balance, Felton said.

"Another thing is that as our team has improved and improved its ability to do things as a team, it has enhanced his game and allowed him to have better quality looks and even more looks," Felton said. "Now that our personnel is catching up, we're playing high-possession games rather than the low-possession games we played the first two years."

And who knows, if Stukes, a career 40.5 percent 3-point shooter, can get enough good looks today, maybe he can help his team to an even bigger accomplishment. Georgia is 0-9 all-time against top-ranked teams. Its last chance came in 1997, when the Bulldogs fell 82-80 to North Carolina in overtime in Athens.

"There'd be no better time for us to prove ourselves," said junior point guard Sundiata Gaines, who has averaged 15.2 points, 6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in the last four games.


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