Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pepperdine vs. Georgia

Will the Wave crash Georgia's party?

Coach Mark Fox and the Dawgs will have to show up ready to play this evening. Pepperdine is only 4 and 10 on the year, including a loss to California Baptist. But the Wave should not be overlooked. They have some players that could cause Georgia's young squad some problems.

The key match-up for the game will be Howard Thompkins against Mychel Thompson. Thompson, son of Mychal Thompson, who played 12 years in the NBA, is a legitimate player in his own right. The younger Thompson scored 25 points for Pepperdine in their most recent outing, a win over Utah.

Thompson is not as big as Thompkins, so the advantage in the post should be Georgia's. However, Thompson may seek to draw Thompkins to the outside and shoot the three-pointer or drive to the rim and get Thompkins in foul trouble. Thompson is not a great shooter, averaging just 37 percent from the field, so if the Dawgs keep Thompson from getting easy baskets early in the contest, Georgia should have the upper hand.

Pepperdine has an advantage over Georgia on the perimeter, or so it would seem on paper. Keion Bell is a 20-point per game scorer. Bell has big-time athleticism, and he should be a challenging match-up for Ricky McPhee.

Lorne Jackson and Dustin Ware will likely go at it from the point guard position. Jackson is a 6' 2", 205 lb playmaker. Travis Leslie will be paired against Dane Suttle, in all likelihood. Suttle is a 45 percent shooter from behind the arc, and was named L.A. player of the year during his junior year in high school.

Should be a good game. Again, if Georgia pounds the ball on the inside, the Dawgs should win this game handily, by say, a 12 to 15 point margin.

My prediction: UGA 77, Wave 64. The game is at 7:00 p.m.

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