ATHENS, Ga. (School Release) - The Mercer men's basketball team is set for a midday showdown with Georgia on Tuesday, traveling to Stegeman Coliseum for an 11:30 a.m. tip off. When they take the hardwood, the Bears will eye their third-straight win and fourth victory in the last five games.
Tuesday's game can be heard live on The Peach, 96.5 FM with play-by-play coverage provided by "The Voice of the Bears", Rick Cameron. Live video of the game can be web streamed through Georgia's official athletic website, for a fee, by clicking the "Video" link above.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Georgia looks to snap a three-game losing streak on Tuesday after falling in overtime to Iona, 81-78 on December 15. The Bulldogs are 2-7 overall, with their last win coming against East Tennessee State by a 54-38 margin on November 23. Both of Georgia's wins have come at Stegeman Coliseum against Atlantic Sun competition. The Bulldogs also beat Jacksonville 68-62 in their season opener on November 9.
Georgia is led offensively by second-year guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who paces the team at 17.4 points per game. Caldwell-Pope is a volume shooter, hoisting an average of 14.5 shots per game while converting 38.2% of those attempts. He is also one of the nation's best on-ball defenders, ranking 21st among Division I players with an average of 2.6 steals per game.
The Bulldogs return four starters from last year's team that finished 15-17 (5-11 SEC) and were picked to finish eighth among Southeastern Conference competition in the league's preseason media poll. Caldwell-Pope collected first team Preseason All-SEC honors in the same release.
Head coach Bob Hoffman aims for his second-straight win over a "Power-six" conference school after leading the Bears to a win at Florida State earlier this year. It wouldn't be the first time he's accomplished that feat. In his first season at Mercer, he guided the team to consecutive BCS conference wins over Auburn and Alabama.
Mercer has recorded assists on 62.4% of its baskets this season, ranking 31st in the country in the category. Northwestern leads the nation in assisted basket percentage at 73.8%.
As a team, Mercer hit 11 three-pointers against Chattanooga in comparison with 10 two-pointers. The last time Mercer made more three's than two's was on November 17, 2010 in a 57-52 loss to William & Mary. In that game, Mercer hit 11 threes and had eight two-point field goals.
Mercer's 54.1 points per game allowed ranks 8th in the nation. The Bears are forcing an average of 16.1 turnovers per game, tied for 53rd best among Division I teams.
Junior guard Langston Hall reached a pair of career milestones in Mercer's win over Chattanooga on Sunday. Hall tallied his 750th career point and 300th career assist.