If you didn’t recognize many of the faces on the Georgia basketball court tonight, there was no need to adjust your TV set. This is a brand new team.
Five players made their debuts for the Bulldogs tonight, as Georgia opened up its season with a 62-49 home victory over Wofford.
Freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all scorers with 15 in his first college game. The former McDonald’s All-American shot 5-12.
“It was a good opening game for us,” Coach Mark Fox said after the game. “We knew we would be forced to play at both ends of the floor for 40 minutes. All these guys have so much to learn and so much to experience.”
Senior guards Dustin Ware and Gerald Robinson added 14 and 11 points, respectively.
With their top three big men from last season gone, the Bulldogs had three forwards playing in their first game. Though they struggled to make an impact early on, Georgia’s post players combined to score 15 points, all of them in the second half.
“The big guys will be just fine once we start jelling and get more games under our belt. They just have to keep their confidence,” Ware said.
The Bulldogs never trailed after Caldwell-Pope’s breakaway dunk put them ahead 15-13 with 7:58 left in the first half, but they were also unable to put Wofford away until the closing minutes.
“This is my third time playing Wofford in my four years here,” Ware said. “I knew they were a good team, experienced in the backcourt just like we are. They’ve always made it tough every year.”
Georgia ended the game on just 34% shooting but took advantage of 13 Wofford turnovers, which were turned into 14 points for the Bulldogs.
Brad Loesing led Wofford with 13 points, while Drew Crowell added 12.
Nemanja Djurisic, the 6′8″ freshman from Montenegro, scored 8 second-half points for Georgia. Sophomore forward Donte’ Williams had a game-high 13 rebounds.
Georgia will be back in action this Sunday against Bowling Green.