Sat, 02 Dec 2023

Georgia showing improvement ahead of Florida AM clash

Field Level Media
02 Dec 2022, 10:55 GMT+10

Terry Roberts is making a bid to become his league's Newcomer of the Year for a second straight season.

The Bradley transfer has made an immediate impact at Georgia, which could eclipse last season's win total Friday night if it beats Florida AM in Athens, Ga.

Roberts, who was the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year last season, is averaging a team-high 14.0 points, 4.1 assists and 2.0 steals for the Bulldogs (6-2). His 16 points, six rebounds and five assists in a 73-54 home win over Hampton are representative of the impact Roberts has nightly.

"It's hard to stop him on a pick-and-roll," teammate Braelen Bridges said. "They've got to basically bring two people on him. That gets me open. I'm appreciative of a dominant guard like that."

Roberts isn't the only Georgia guard putting up solid numbers. Longwood transfer Justin Hill was averaging 14.3 ppg in his previous three games before going scoreless Wednesday night, but still chipped in six assists against zero turnovers.

Bridges made the most of his first start Wednesday night, totaling a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double. That put first-year coach Mike White at 249 wins for his career.

Win No. 250 figures to occur in this one, barring a huge step up in the level of play from the Rattlers (1-5). They absorbed a 102-62 pounding Wednesday night at Florida, falling behind 50-31 at halftime and allowing White's previous school to can 41 of 66 attempts from the field.

First-shot defense has been a big problem for Florida AM so far. It's allowed opponents to convert 49 percent from the field, including 37 percent from the arc. The Rattlers have permitted 80.8 points per game, which ranks 354th of 363 Division I teams.

The offense isn't clicking, either. Not only is Florida AM tallying 55.8 ppg, second-fewest in Division I, it's made only 36.3 percent from the field and coughing the ball up more than 19 times per game.

Byron Smith, who scored 20 at Florida, is the team's only double-figure scorer at 10.3 ppg.

Before the Florida game, Florida AM needed overtime to beat Division II Albany State 70-65 in its home opener.

"I thought the athleticism really showed," coach Robert McCullum said after the Rattlers grabbed 52 rebounds in that game. "Rebounding is something we talked about from Day 1 in terms of, we think that needs to be a strength. But quite frankly this is the first game where we've actually showed that ability to what we can be."

--Field Level Media

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