Georgia basketball fans might have been worried going into last night's game against Colorado. With All-SEC forward Trey Thompkins still sidelined with a high-ankle sprain, Georgia needed a comeback in the waning minutes to beat Mississippi Valley State on opening night at the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum.
Things weren't going to get any easier with the Buffaloes coming to Athens.
Early in the game the Bulldogs looked like the SEC Championship contender many believe them to be, taking a commanding 18-4 lead with just four minutes and thirty-nine seconds gone in the first half. The Dawgs seemed comfortable despite the absence of Thompkins.
However, Colorado exposed Georgia's lack of depth, tying the game at 33 apiece going into halftime.
Head coach Mark Fox's Bulldogs pulled away in the final minutes, winning the contest 83-74 to advance Georgia's record to 2-0.
Georgia might have been without one superstar, but a couple of other players took the spotlight in the victory.
Travis Leslie, as expected, had a solid game thanks to his balance in the scoring and rebounding departments. Leslie shot 7-14 from the field, showing off his improved jump shot, as well as hauling in eight rebounds.
Senior forward Jeremy Price is also taking his emphasized role by storm. Price scored 17 points on 7-9 shooting and going 3-3 from the free-throw line.
But, the biggest story of the night might be the electricity and fast pace Gerald Robinson brings to the team's offense. Robinson, a Tennessee State transfer who sat out last year, led all scoring for the Dawgs with 21 points. His slashing and speedy athleticism give Georgia's offense another dangerous weapon.
Fans are definitely confident that Georgia can be an extremely competitive team when Thompkins returns, considering a lineup with All-SEC players in Thompkins and Leslie, a former Freshman-All-SEC player in Jeremy Price, and Robinson and the vastly improved Dustin Ware in the back-court.
No word is out yet on exactly when Trey Thompkins will come back from injury, so Georgia will need to battle a tough stretch without him.
The Dawgs travel to play Saint Louis on Saturday, priming them for the Old Spice Classic game versus Notre Dame on Nov. 25. Georgia then plays a home game versus Alabama-Birmingham and the annual rivalry game against Georgia Tech, in Atlanta, on Dec. 7.
The rest of their non-conference schedule, following the Yellow Jackets, doesn't pose much of a threat, and Georgia should have Thompkins back by then.
However, Georgia will need to rally around their current starting five to win nationally televised games in the coming weeks. Chris Barnes and Marcus Thornton must step up and become more productive if Georgia wants to compete.
Right now Georgia is a few votes away from the top 25. It's no excuses time. If Georgia loses they will quickly fall away from the rankings.
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