Georgia basketball team faces monumental task in Brooklyn

semerson@macon.comNovember 18, 2012 

ATHENS -- The thinking for Georgia when it agreed to play in the Legends Classic was that it would be good exposure for the men’s basketball program. Being lumped in with Indiana, UCLA and Georgetown couldn’t help but be flattering.

But as the four-team tournament begins Monday, Georgia is a reeling team that may prefer no one notices these next two games.

Georgia is coming off consecutive home losses, to Youngstown State and Southern Miss. Those were opening-round games of the Legends Classic, but Georgia advanced because it and the other three designated teams automatically qualified for the semifinals.

So Georgia will open against No. 1 Indiana on Monday night and then will face either Georgetown or No. 13 UCLA on Tuesday night.

Those three teams are all unbeaten so far. Georgetown might be unranked, but it was picked in the preseason to finish sixth in the 15-team Big East, perhaps the nation’s deepest and best conference.

Georgia head coach Mark Fox tried to put up a brave front minutes after Thursday night’s overtime loss to Southern Miss.

“We have a lot of opportunity in front of us,” he said, before adding, “We haven’t played well out of the gate.”

This will be the 14th time Georgia has played the nation’s No. 1 team, and it has never won one of those. It happened twice last year, against Kentucky.

The games will be played at the Barclay’s Center, the new basketball arena in Brooklyn. The last time Georgia played in New York was a loss at St. John’s, as part of the 2009 SEC-Big East Challenge.

Indiana has won the previous three games against Georgia, the most recent in 1976.

Should Georgia face UCLA on Tuesday, it would mean a matchup with Tony Parker, the freshman forward from the Atlanta area who chose the Bruins over the Bulldogs. Parker is averaging 12 minutes, 6.7 points and 2.7 rebounds so far for UCLA.

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