Georgia men’s basketball will spend about $800,000 this year to get non-conference opponents on the schedule.
UGA released eight game contracts this week in response to an open-records request by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for details regarding its 2019-20 schedule. Those documents reveal the athletic association will pay an average of $90,333 per game to bring six opponents to Stegeman Coliseum in November and December.
One of those opponents is Delaware State, which will get $92,000 to come to Athens as part of UGA’s deal to play in the Maui Invitational this fall. The Bulldogs, under second-year coach Tom Crean, will play Delaware State in Athens on Nov. 15 as part of that tournament. Georgia will then travel to Hawaii for the rest of the tournament.
In Hawaii, they will open against Dayton, and the winner will face off the winner of Michigan State and Virginia Tech. BYU, Chaminade, Kansas and UCLA are also participating in Maui on Nov. 25-27.
Georgia also is paying an additional $255,000 to Global Sports Management for SMU to come to Athens on Dec. 20. The reason for the high price tag is the deal will include the opportunity to participate in the Global Sports Invitational Tournament next year in Dallas. The return game to SMU next year is part of a multi-team exempt (MTE) tournament that will bring the Bulldogs three more non-conference games. Those opponents are yet to be determined.
MTE arrangements are becoming more common in college basketball scheduling as power-conference teams seek to bring quality non-conference opponents onto their schedules while also playing the maximum number of regular-season games allowed by NCAA rules. Georgia is set to play 31 games this season.
SMU, which has averaged an RPI of 74.3 over the past three seasons, will represent at least a Tier II opponent when it comes to Athens this year. Arkansas and Indiana met last year and will this year as part of the “Hardwood Showcase.”
“We're excited about the matchup with SMU,” Crean said when the deal was first announced in May. “This not only adds a quality opponent to our home schedule for this season, it also gives us a chance to play in Dallas next season, where the University of Georgia has an extremely large and loyal alumni base.”
The Bulldogs were 11-21 (2-16 SEC) in their first season under Crean, who previously coached at Indiana and Marquette. They have replaced 10 letter-winners and three starters – including NBA draft pick Nic Claxton – with a top-5 recruiting class led by the nation’s No. 2-ranked player, Anthony “Antman” Edwards of Atlanta.
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