What To Expect: Georgia

After their impressive 99-45 win against Sam Houston State on Thursday night, the No. 1 Hoosiers will be back in action Monday night at 5:30 p.m. against Georgia at the Barclays Center in New York. The game is the first of a doubleheader in the Legends Classic. The Bulldogs are 1-2, having lost back-to-back games against Youngstown State and Southern Miss. 

The game will be televised on ESPNU and, as always, it will be broadcast on the IU Radio Network.

Indiana’s trip to New York for the Legends Classic will undoubtedly offer some new challenges the Hoosiers have not yet seen during the young non-conference season. First, it will give them their first test away from the friendly confines of Assembly Hall. While it’s not a true road game, the Hoosier freshmen should benefit from having to play in an unfamiliar setting.

As for the actual on-court challenges, the Hoosiers likely won’t face much resistance until Tuesday’s game against either UCLA or Georgetown. Georgia is from a power conference and that should not be discounted, but the Bulldogs have struggled mightily early this season and don’t really have the firepower to stay with a team like Indiana.

Georgia’s offensive production has been especially troubling through three games. The Bulldogs are shooting just 37 percent from the field as a team, and only two different players have scored in double figures in any game. In their 68-56 loss to Youngstown State, the Bulldogs shot 32 percent (17-of-53) from the field.

“We’ve gotten off to a little slower start than we anticipated, but we still have a relatively young team with nine freshmen and sophomores,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said on Friday. “We’ve not been as complete as we want to be. We’ve had some bright moments in lots of places and certainly have some mistakes that need corrected.”

Most of the offensive production the Bulldogs have gotten has come from sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The 6-foot-5 former McDonalds All-American is averaging 20.3 points and 6.0 rebounds through three games, including a 27-point performance against Youngstown State. Caldwell-Pope scored 20 or more points on four occasions last season.

“He can score the ball in a variety of ways,” said Indiana associate head coach Tim Buckley. “He’s an explosive athlete, but he’s also a basketball player. If you’re not there on the catch when he’s coming off screens or off the pick and roll, he can rise up and hit that shot. And then he also gets out in transition and does a really good job of attacking the rim.”

Fox admitted Caldwell-Pope has been his team’s most consistent player thus far, but he lamented the fact that his young guard hasn’t been very efficient. Caldwell-Pope is just 18-of-51 (35 percent) from the field through three games and has already attempted 30 3-pointers (9-of-30).

What it comes down to

It may take a few minutes for Indiana to get comfortable in the new environment, but they should roll against the Bulldogs. With an offense that thrives off rebounding missed shots and running in transition, the Hoosiers should excel against a Georgia team that misses in bunches.

Quote to note

“This team is so complete offensively. They just have so many different guys who can score the ball. [Cody] Zeller is a great player in the middle, but [Christian] Watford is a great post partner for him who can stretch the defense with the 3-point shot. They’ve got a boatload of perimeter players that are playing extremely well. I think what stands out is they have so many different places where they can score and they’re not just an offense. Their defense is very effective as well. So this is as complete of a team as there might be in the country right now.” – Fox on Indiana

  • Luke72

    This will be a good leadership Test! Cody needs to demand the ball and the Seniors need to lead. If they get a large lead I think Crean will pull most of the starters. Tomorrrow’s game will be their first big test! Time to show the country that being #1 is not all hype! Go Hoosiers!

  • Luke72

    This will be a good leadership Test! Cody needs to demand the ball and the Seniors need to lead. If they get a large lead I think Crean will pull most of the starters. Tomorrrow’s game will be their first big test! Time to show the country that being #1 is not all hype! Go Hoosiers!

  • SCHoosier

    This will be the first of several match-up problems for the Hoosiers. Not familiar with GA’s other four starters but Pope is 6-5 and listed as a guard. Assuming VO would take Pope (as their leading scorer)..gotta wonder who Yogi and Jordy will end up with.

  • JerryCT

    At almost the same size as Muhammad, Pope will give us a look at how we might defend him if we play UCLA. Looking forward to seeing the new arena and the hoosiers in person

  • JerryCT

    At almost the same size as Muhammad, Pope will give us a look at how we might defend him if we play UCLA. Looking forward to seeing the new arena and the hoosiers in person

  • SCHoosier

    Yes..except UCLA will also start Anderson (McD all-star freshman 6-9 at shooting guard) Drew at point 6-2 and the Wear twins underneath..both 6-10. Rusty or not u have to think they will start Shabazzz.so first guy off the bench should be Abrams at 6-5 guard. Anderson and Shabazz can play the two or 3…so our matchups there are tough..IF the Bruins can handle G-town which I’m not sure is a given.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.wojcik Eric Wojcik

    Glad you said it. Missed shots = defensive rebounds = fast break opportunities. This truly is not a good game for Georgia at this point in time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.wojcik Eric Wojcik

    Glad you said it. Missed shots = defensive rebounds = fast break opportunities. This truly is not a good game for Georgia at this point in time.

  • HoosierPat

    Sheehey needs to stay out of foul trouble and Hollowell will need to play well on both ends of the court.

  • marcusgresham

    It is a team that barely beat UC-Irvine, too, so it’s not like that height makes them invincible.

  • marcusgresham

    It is a team that barely beat UC-Irvine, too, so it’s not like that height makes them invincible.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    If Georgia was in any way formidable, I’d call this a trap game as everyone looks forward to Tuesday. But I can’t say that, because with the way Georgia is playing I think our guys could come out completely unfocused and still pull it out.

  • http://twitter.com/srhise srhise

    People don’t count out GTOWN against UCLA

  • http://twitter.com/srhise srhise

    People don’t count out GTOWN against UCLA

  • IUMIKE1

    This is a first test for several things but the thing I’m most looking forward to is how we defend not only the perimeter against higher quality athletes but the perimeter against higher quality athletes that are considerably bigger than Yogi & Jordy. If we draw UCLA in the second game, and even if we win, it should give us a pretty good idea of whether having Yogi & Jordy on the court at the same time is going to a bigger problem or less of a problem defensively when both of the opponent’s guards are considerably bigger than either one of them.

  • b_side

    However, it is a team that was missing a potential Top 3 pick in Shabazz Muhammad.

  • b_side

    However, it is a team that was missing a potential Top 3 pick in Shabazz Muhammad.

  • esapata

    Seriously. They consistently upset the likes of UConn and Louisville. They’re athletic and typically play with a chip on their shoulder. UCLA has underperformed in recent years, and may not be prepared for the more physical brand of ball that G’town will bring. Don’t count out Georgetown.

  • MisterSlippery

    As bad as Georgia looks so far this season, they might not even beat Purdoo, who I would rate as the absolute crummiest school in the history of the world – along with Kensucky.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I think the short guards defensive liability theory with Jordy and Yogi is a little overstated. What are the bigger teams going to do? Clear all their big men out of the lane and post up their guards? Seriously, Jordy’s lack of quickness is a bigger liability following shooters than his size. Big guards can presumably shoot over shorter guards, but Yogi’s quickness makes clean feed catch and shoot scenarios hard to come by. I still think we will take the offensive trade off on most nights.

  • deebo

    What radio station is it on?

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