After a long offseason, college basketball is finally back. As for the Georgia Bulldogs, there is a high level of excitement surrounding the men’s basketball program as new head coach Tom Crean looks to take Georgia’s program in a new direction. The Dawgs’ 2018-2019 season officially begins on November 9th at 8:30 p.m. (ET) against Savannah State in Athens.
After missing the NCAA Tournament again last season, Georgia decided to fire Mark Fox and make a big splash hire by going after Tom Crean. Crean is known most for his time as the head coach at Indiana and Marquette. At Indiana, his teams were frequent visitors to the NCAA Tournament. At Marquette, he coached NBA legend Dwyane Wade and had one of his teams make an appearance in the Final Four.
After being let go at Indiana, Crean took a year off from coaching and was featured as an on-air college basketball TV personality. When Georgia fired Mark Fox, Crean was one of the first people on the program’s list to replace him. Since being hired, Crean has showed an intense commitment to increase campus, fan, and administrative support of the program while making frequent public appearances around the Athens area to publicize his team.
As for the players on Georgia’s team, fans should definitely be excited about the talent on this roster. Despite being picked to finish next to last in the conference by the media for the upcoming season, I expect the Dawgs will finish several spots ahead of that and have a few major upset wins this year.
Georgia’s roster is full of talent. The two most important players for Georgia this season (in my opinion) are Nicolas Claxton and Teshaun Hightower. If these two players show their play has improved over last year, Georgia can be the SEC’s surprise team this season.
Claxton stands at nearly seven feet tall and has an immensely diverse skill set for somebody his size. He can play good post defense, he runs the floor well, and his shot arsenal includes a deadly inside-outside game. Hightower is Georgia’s point guard, and he is the most athletic person on the team. At 6 foot, 5 inches, his length and athleticism make him an extremely capable two-way player. Expect these two players to take leadership roles on the team and serve as major catalysts for how Georgia performs this season.
We may not learn much about this team against Savannah State but fans are excited nonetheless to get the Tom Crean era underway in Athens. Maybe Crean is the guy who can finally elevate Georgia Basketball to being a legitimate SEC contender in the future.
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