The Bulldogs (15-16, 5-13 SEC) enter the SEC Tournament in Nashville Wednesday as the league’s No. 13 seed and will face 12th see Ole Miss (15-16, 6-12). The winner get the Florida Gators (19-12, 11-7) in the second round.
The Rebels defeated Georgia 70-60 on Jan. 25 in Athens in one of the most surprising and disappointing home losses of the season. The Bulldogs had a horrific afternoon shooting (30.9%) with Crump and Rayshaun Hammonds each going 1-for-8 from the field and Anthony Edwards going 3-for-12. Jordan Harris led the Bulldogs with 15 points in 20 minutes of play.
The Rebels are led by senior guard Breein Tyree, a first-team, All-SEC player and the league’s second-leading scorer at 19.7 ppg. He had a game-high 20 points in the win over Georgia. Ole Miss’ big men Khadim Sy and K.J. Buffen of Gainesville, Ga., also got the best of the Bulldogs that day, with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The Rebels had played well toward the end of the year before losing to Mississippi State by 25 in Starkville this past Saturday.
“We took a step back in our rivalry game,” coach Kermit Davis said. “We got beat in every category, so we’ve got to get rid of that one before we play a good Georgia team. They’re so competitive and continues to play very hard.”
Georgia enters the tournament with a bit of a shaken psyche. After winning three of four — which included an overtime road loss at South Carolina — the Bulldogs were dismantled in final-week losses to Florida and LSU.
“Well, we’ve got to regroup,” Crean said. “Our inconsistency throughout the year has really shown up. There’s been time we played pretty well, and then we didn’t have a very good year. Some of that is youth and inexperience. … We’ve just got to continue to grow.”