Georgia men’s basketball prepares to face UAB in the Sunshine Slam final

The Georgia men’s basketball team took care of business Monday, dominating Saint Joseph’s in the first half and nabbing just enough crucial shots in the second half en route to a 66-53 win. Although the win was worth it for the Bulldogs, they will be rewarded with a quick turnaround to face arguably their toughest non-conference opponent this season.

Georgia (4-1) is back on the floor at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday in Daytona Beach, Fla. to face off against UAB (3-1) to wrap up the Sunshine Slam. The Bulldogs-Blazers matchup offers a reunion of sorts for the Georgia head coach mike whitewho served as assistant to UAB Andy Kennedy for five seasons at Ole Miss.

White told reporters after the Saint Joseph game that he didn’t spend much time preparing for the Blazers given the opening game against the Hawks, but that he knows Kennedy’s talent.

β€œHe obviously had a lot of success at Ole Miss and at UAB. Of course he rebuilt the thing. I know on paper that their backcourt is fantastic. I’m sure he’s still making a lot of defensive changes and taking a quick peek just before the lead,” White said. “You are of a certain size. You have some transfers. You have some experience from a really good year. This will be one of the better teams we play in non-conference. We have to play really well and we can’t just play at 20 [minutes]. We’ve got to put together a really solid 40 to have any chance of beating these guys.”

If UAB’s opening match at the Sunshine Slam is any indication, Georgia will certainly need to step on the gas to keep up.

After a hard-fought first half, UAB built a 17-point lead over USF with just under 11 minutes to go, keeping the Bulls at bay for the remainder of an 80-65 win for the Blazers. UAB guard Jordan Walker led the team with 15 points — 12 of which came from the senior’s 3-point shooting — and the Blazers grabbed 40 rebounds. UAB had 9 steals in the win and also had 29 points from the bench, 14 of which came from the front Javanese Davis. The Mississippi State transfer was 3-of-8 from the field, hit 8 of his 9 free throw attempts and threw 8 rebounds in the win.

Davis is one of five transfers Kennedy added this offseason, the others being guards Tyler Bertram, Ledarrius Brewer and Eric Gains along with forward Ty Brewer, the younger brother of Ledarrius.

What complicates the UAB matchup for Georgia is the quick turnaround, especially given how much multiple Bulldogs played Monday. Four Players β€” Mardrez McBride, Jusaun Holt, Kario Oquendo and TerryRoberts – played 23 minutes or more against Saint Joseph’s, and White said he wished Georgia could have spread the minutes better since the Bulldogs started the game so strongly.

White acknowledged having to play so soon after Monday’s win will be a test, but the Bulldogs first-year head coach pointed out the Blazers didn’t get much rest either.

“It’s the same business for the other teams that play [Tuesday] also. I mean UAB gets two more hours of rest than we do? I don’t think it’s going to be a big factor,” White said. “It’s a tournament format and it won’t be the only time this year. We need to get some rest, we need to drink, some guys need to deal with it [associate athletic trainer Lance Schuemann] and some bumps and bruises are healing and we need to put it down and try to get some sleep.