ATHENS -- Normally a turnaround of less than 48 hours between games is a bad thing for a college basketball team. In this case, however, the Georgia basketball team thinks it might be the best thing.
The Bulldogs will play Saturday night, having just re-energized themselves with a home win over LSU on Thursday. Rather than be tired, players think having only one day off will make it easier to have a positive carryover effect.
“We turn around and play Saturday, so that’ll be good for us to come and rebound and flush this one and get on to the next one,” junior forward Marcus Thornton said after Thursday night’s 91-78 win over LSU, in which the Bulldogs never trailed.
That win snapped a three-game losing streak. Now Georgia (11-10, 5-4 SEC) faces Texas A&M, which just snapped a five-game losing streak by routing Mississippi State to sit at 13-9, 4-5. That was Wednesday.
Georgia was on the losing end of an example of a short turnaround not hurting a team. Last week Auburn beat arch-rival Alabama on Jan. 30, and on Feb. 1 it outplayed and beat Georgia. That was a case of Auburn carrying over its momentum, and Georgia is banking on the same effect.
The Bulldogs remain in a precarious state, confidence-wise, as head coach Mark Fox has been quick to admit. That problem has manifested itself mostly on the court, with players hesitant at times to take control on the offensive end. The closest thing the Bulldogs have this year to a go-to scorer is point guard Charles Mann, who basically lives off drives to the basket.
But against LSU, Georgia looked like a well-oiled offensive team, moving the ball around with patience and precision. Except for free-throw shooting -- Georgia missed 14 shots -- it was one of the team’s most complete performances of these season.
The problem for Georgia is it was just one game. It looked just as good a couple of weeks ago in dismantling South Carolina, then followed that up with three poor performances.
“We just have to be more consistent,” Thornton said. “We’ve done a good job, I think we’ve improved, and we just have to continue to do that day by day.”
As an example of what his team needs, Fox pointed to sophomore Cameron Forte, who had a better performance against LSU after some recent struggles.
“If we can get everybody to keep making progress like that, then we’re gonna get better,” Fox said.
Georgia, entering Saturday in a tie for fourth place in the conference, is trying to undo the damage of last week, when it lost two very winnable games. The win over LSU was a good first step.
“We don’t have long to enjoy it,” Fox said. “But certainly I’m proud of our team.”