Bulldogs likely without Tyree Crump for SEC Tournament

Georgia basketball player Tyree Crump (4) during a game against Ole Miss at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Sat., Jan. 25, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Credit: Anthony Walsh

caption arrowCaption
Georgia basketball player Tyree Crump (4) during a game against Ole Miss at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Sat., Jan. 25, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Credit: Anthony Walsh

Credit: Anthony Walsh

Georgia will likely be without senior Tyree Crump for its SEC Tournament appearance this week, coach Tom Crean said Monday.

The 6-foot-1 guard was unable to travel to Baton Rouge for the Bulldogs' regular-season finale against LSU Saturday after being diagnosed with mononucleosis last week. Officially, his status for Wednesday's night's first-round matchup against Ole Miss (7 p.m., SEC Network) is doubtful.

“He played through it on Wednesday because we didn’t know what it was,” Crean said on the SEC coaches’ teleconference Monday. “On Thursday he got tested and it showed he had mono and we haven’t had him since then, unfortunately. … I doubt very much we’ll have him this week.”

While Crump hasn’t been a starter for the second half of the season, he has continued to be an integral part of the rotation as an off-the-bench, long-range shooter, but especially as a driving force in the Bulldogs’ locker room. Crump hit a 30-foot game-winner on the road against Vanderbilt and scored all 14 points of his points in the second half of Georgia’s Feb. 29 win over Arkansas. He’s the team’s fourth-leading scorer at 6.9 points per game.

“We felt (his absence) the other day; we felt it offensively and we really felt it without his emotional energy,” Crean said of Georgia’s 94-64 loss to third-seeded LSU. “He’s got such emotional energy he brings to the team and there’s a spirit and a confidence to him and that was our first time going through a game without him. I thought about that during the game, that we were really missing that. Even if he’s missing shots, teams have to defend those shots, and he brings such emotional energy to our guys and we missed that.”

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.”

About the Author

Editors' Picks