#21 Colorado vs. Georgia Preview

Follow the conversation at http://movoli.com/event/7333/21-colorado-vs-georgia/12-28-2013

To say I was disappointed in the Buffaloes following their recent loss to Oklahoma State would be an understatement. Apart from Colorado’s star players—Spencer Dinwiddie, Josh Scott, and Askia Booker—the team was unable to generate any offense. A fact exemplified by Xavier Johnson air balling an open three with time winding down. However, one strong positive to take is that despite the struggles of their young team CU only lost by five. Reader Steve Cain pointed out to me that “The game could have developed into the young Buffs wilting under the Cowboys defensive pressure, but they were able to continue to come back with resolve.” Alas, the pieces to my heart have been reassembled and it’s time to look ahead to the Buff’s next game against Georgia (6-4).

The Bulldogs have played 10 games thus far with seven coming at home and three being played at a neutral site—we will just refer to these three as road games though. At home Georgia is 6-1with the lone loss coming to a solid Georgia Tech team, meaning that they are winless when playing away from the Stegeman Coliseum.

Now I don’t claim any personal affiliation to the Georgia Bulldogs, and I would be a liar if I said I have watched even a minute of their basketball team, but a couple of red flags surround their 6-4 record. First, the combined record of the opponents they were victorious against is 29-44 with Gardner-Webb being the lone .500 team. Furthermore, their one quality opponent at home defeated them. Second, the combined record of their foes in the three away losses is a meager 17-16. This sounds okay except for the fact that one of those losses is to an 8-3 Nebraska team, meaning the other two losses—Davidson and Temple—are considered bad losses.

Colorado, on the other hand is 10-2 with their two losses both taking place on neutral sites and to ranked opponents. The Buff’s are a perfect 8-0 at home and there is no reason why they should lose this game. Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 19.5 ppg and 5.3 apg in the last four games, while Josh Scott is averaging 13 ppg and 9 rpg in the same amount of time. The Buffaloes two most valuable players have been competing at a high level recently and there play should continue against a weaker Bulldogs team. If Askia Booker can get going like he did against Oklahoma State then this game may turn into a laugher quickly. Also, look for Wesley Gordon and Xavier Johnson to rebound from an abysmal 5 points on 2-9 shooting combined in the previous game.

Another aspect working in favor of the Buff’s is that Tad Boyle’s team is 24-10 following a defeat showing that he makes his team refocus after failure. Colorado will be looking to vent their frustrations from last week’s loss to Oklahoma State on the Bulldogs and I just don’t see Georgia holding up in a hostile Coors Event Center environment.

Key Matchup: Spencer Dinwiddie vs. Charles Mann

This will perhaps be the most interesting matchup to watch all game. Charles Mann has played at a high level all season—even in defeat—and is averaging 13.4 ppg and 3.1 apg throughout the year. He also averages 1.3 steals per game and is proving to be a nice all around player. Mann will need to bring his A-game if Georgia expects to have a chance, and he will have to do it against one of the premier defensive guards in the country. What will make this matchup particularly interesting is that neither guard can rely on their height to be an advantage as both are around 6’5”-6’6”. I expect Dinwiddie will appear to be the better of the two, but these two measure up nicely and should provide the excitement in this game.

Prediction: Colorado 75 vs. Georgia 60

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