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Georgia at #2 Auburn Game Preview and Open Thread

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Thank you Georgia for KD Johnson!

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday January 19th, 2022

Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers

Auburn Arena

Time: 8:00PM CT

Network: ESPNU, Auburn Radio Network

Thank you.

Thank you Bruce Pearl for making Auburn Basketball so much fun to watch and follow.

Thank you certain AP voters for giving Auburn some extra motivation this week.

And lastly, Thank You Georgia for KD Johnson.

Tonight, KD Johnson gets his first chance to face off against his former team as SECOND ranked Auburn (16-1, 5-0) hosts Georgia (5-12, 0-4) at Auburn Arena. And I can’t even begin to imagine how fired up Johnson has to be for this one. Last season with the Dawgs, Johnson averaged 13.5 PPG over 16 contests but he has brought his scoring ability, his defense and his unmatched energy and aggression to the Plains this season and has certainly made his mark on this year’s Auburn team.

When Auburn trailed by 14 early on Saturday night in Oxford, there was no panic from this team and in a half where Ole Miss played essentially the perfect half, KD Johnson sparked a final minute run to help cut the 14 point deficit down to 6 despite the great half from the Rebels. Johnson’s defense and free throws helped catapult Auburn right back into the game and the Tigers were able to hold Ole Miss to 27 2nd half points on their way to their second road win of the week.

Walker Kessler bounced back from 2 games that were marred by foul trouble and had a terrific performance, shooting 9-11 from the field, scoring a season high 20 points, 10 rebounds, 7 blocks and 4 steals. Wendell Green had 12 of his 14 points in the second half as well.

This week, Auburn gets to spend the week at home and must not overlook this Georgia team before Saturday’s monster showdown with Kentucky. To say Georgia has struggled this season would be an understatement. After 9 players, including Johnson, entered the transfer portal after last season, it’s a much different looking Georgia team for Tom Crean this season.

Get to Know Georgia

Georgia comes into tonight’s game on a 6-game losing streak. So far this season, Georgia has averaged 70.8 PPG while giving up 75.1 PPG. They shoot 31.8% from 3 overall as well.

Leading the way for Georgia is sophomore guard Kario Oquendo (#3). Oquendo is averaging 13.4 PPG and 4.2 RPG. He is shooting 22.2% from 3 this season.

In the middle is grad transfer forward Bralen Bridges (#23), who returned to his home state after finishing his undergraduate career at Illinois-Chicago. Bridges is averaging 12.1 PPG along with 6 RPG.

Next is grad transfer guard Aaron Cook (#10) who started his career at Southern Illinois and then played last year at Gonzaga, before using his sixth year of eligibility at Georgia. Cook was a role player on last year’s National Runners Up but this year is averaging 10.3 PPG and leads the team in assists, steals and turnovers. Cook is shooting 28.8% from 3 this season.

Senior Noah Baumann (#20) is Georgia’s best 3-point shooter as 75% of his shot attempts this year have come from 3. Baumann is averaging 8.6 PPG and is a 44% 3-point shooter.

Other players you’ll see in the rotation include sophomore forward Jabri Abdur-Rahim (#1), a Virginia transfer averaging 7.5 PPG, junior Jaxon Etter (#11) averaging 5.8 PPG and freshmen guard Christian Wright (#5) averaging 5.5 PPG.

Prediction

Auburn comes into tonight’s game a heavy favorite and has Kentucky looming next on the schedule. That said, this is the game that KD Johnson has had circled on his calendar since he transferred to Auburn during the offseason and the Jungle will be as fired up as he will to welcome this team home for the first time in 10 days. Auburn should take care of business in this one and the 22 point spread seems about reasonable for the final result.

Auburn 86 Georgia 63