Tough Non-Conference Slate for Dawgs

ATHENS – Of all the early tests for new Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox, assembling an acceptable non-conference schedule was among the most grueling.

The task is finally finished, and the Bulldogs released their full schedule for the 2009-10 season Thursday, starting with a home date against New Orleans on Nov. 17.

"We're excited for the new season to get started and for the challenge that our schedule will present to this team," Fox said in a statement released by the school. "It's a schedule that should not only help our own power rating, but the league's rating as well, especially toward the end of the season. Our focus, of course, will be on one game at a time, but as a whole, this schedule will be as tough as any team's in the country."

Making matters worse, most of Georgia's toughest non-conference games will come on the road. The Bulldogs will travel to Virginia Tech, UAB and Missouri and will play a neutral-court game in New York against St. John's. Georgia also plays a neutral-court game against Illinois at the Gwinnett Center on Dec. 19.

The home dates for Georgia include Pepperdine, Florida Atlantic and rival Georgia Tech on Jan. 5 to close out non-conference play.

Georgia opens SEC play Jan. 9 at Kentucky, where the Wildcats expectations are high under new head coach John Calipari.

The Bulldogs' first SEC home date comes Jan. 13 against Mississippi.

HOUTS ON WOODEN LIST: Georgia senior point guard Ashley Houts was named to the preseason watch list for the Women's Wooden Award given to the nation's top women's player.

Houts was a second-team All-SEC selection in each of the past two seasons, and she led the Bulldogs in scoring (12 points per game), assists (4.7 per game), steals (2.2 per game) and free-throw percentage (.779) last year while averaging 37.7 minutes per game, a school record.


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