Georgia can definitely use the help. Edwards has lived up to his lofty reputation and currently leads all Division I freshmen in scoring (19.8 ppg) and steals (2.2 pg). The Bulldogs are averaging 83.1 points per game, which ranks 12th nationally.
It’s in all other aspects of the game Georgia needs help. Areas like rebounding, shooting efficiency and defensive field-goal percentage need to be vastly improved. It doesn’t help that the Bulldogs remain short-handed without 6-foot-9 sophomore Amanze Ngumezi, who remains on indefinite suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.
If nothing else, Harris’ energy and athletic ability should help. That’s really all Crean is asking for.
“He’s one of our better athletes, tremendous burst, first-step explosion,” Crean said. “He's been there. Being able to get on the glass, becoming better at moving without the ball, being ready to shoot the ball. What we don’t need is live-ball turnovers. What we don’t need is trying to make plays that aren’t there. … Hit singles, not home runs.”
All of Georgia’s shortcomings were exposed the last time out, Saturday at Arizona State. The Bulldogs got a career-high 15 points from sophomore Tye Fagan, but only 13 overall and four in the second half from Edwards, who has been battling an ankle sprain, in the way to a 79-59 loss.
“We know we didn’t play our best game,” said first-year graduate transfer Donnell Gresham, who has absorbed most of Harris’ minutes to date. “So we are looking at SMU and trying to see what they do best. They switch on defense and do a lot of cutting out of the corners. We have to be locked in on their keys and try to contain them.”
Harris’ return should help.