The Georgia Bulldogs hope to finally get their season started on Sunday against Florida A&M.
The Bulldogs had Wednesday’s scheduled opener against Columbus State canceled because of positive COVID-19 tests within the Cougars’ program. They had earlier been scheduled to play Gardner-Webb on Sunday, but that school canceled after a positive COVID-19 test on Monday.
Georgia was able to quickly negotiate a game with Florida A&M. It will be the fourth meeting between the two schools, with Georgia winning the three previous matchups. The most recent contest was an 82-73 win in 2012.
Georgia, 16-16 last season, must try to replace All-SEC player Anthony Edwards, who was chosen by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Edwards averaged 19.1 points in his one-and-done freshman season in Athens.
“I love our team, but I have no idea what to expect,” Bulldogs coach Tom Crean said. “We’ll make adjustments and take it as it comes.”
The two most experienced players returning are 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard Sahvir Wheeler and 6-8 sophomore forward Toumani Camara. Wheeler averaged 9.0 points and broke Litterial Green’s freshman record for assists with 139. Camara, a native of Belgium, averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds and scored in double digits in seven of the last 16 games.
Georgia’s roster includes three graduate transfers.
P.J. Horne, a Georgia native who played at Virginia Tech, is expected to have a big role. The 6-foot-6 power forward averaged 7.6 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Hokies a year ago. Other grad transfers are shooting guards Justin Kier, who averaged 9.6 points at George Mason despite missing much of the season with a stress fracture, and Andrew Garcia, who averaged 13.3 points at Stony Brook and was named Sixth Man of the Year in the America East Conference.
Florida A&M was picked to finish third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Southern Division. The Rattlers have eight players returning from last year’s team that went 12-15. This is FAMU’s final season in the MEAC; the Rattlers move to the Southwestern Athletic Conference in July 2021. Florida A&M lost a 65-56 decision to Florida Gulf Coast in its season opener on Wednesday.
“We return a solid core of veteran leadership and experience,” said coach Robert McCullum, who is beginning his fourth season.
M.J. Randolph was chosen for the All-MEAC preseason team. The 6-4 junior guard led the Rattlers with 13.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season. He was the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2018. Randolph scored eight points in the season opener.
Against Florida Gulf Coast, Florida A&M got 15 points from veteran Kamron Reaves and 13 points and eight rebounds from Johnny Brown in his debut with the Rattlers.
–Field Level Media