ATHENS -- For Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean, career victory No. 401 over Jacksonville had a decidedly different tone than did career win No. 400 over Memphis last week. Both games left Crean emotional, but for entirely different reasons.

Indications are that the Bulldogs, in the course of their 69-58 win Tuesday night, may have lost senior Jailyn Ingram for the season with a knee injury.

The 6-foot-7 wing, who transferred to Georgia this season from Florida Atlantic, collapsed on the baseline after driving to the basketball with about 14 minutes remaining in the game. The non-contact injury left Ingram laying on the court, where he was attended to by trainer Lance Schuemann and comforted by Crean.

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Ingram will undergo an MRI exam Wednesday morning. But, in Crean’s words, “it doesn’t look good.” The coach broke down while talking to reporters in the postgame news conference.

“We’re just going to pray for him,” said Crean, unable to hold back his emotions. “If you so choose, please do it, all right? Pray that he’s OK. If not, God’s will be done.”

At the very least, Ingram is going to be out a while. If it’s an ACL tear as it appears, it will be the second season-ending injury the Bulldogs have incurred this season. Georgia lost senior forward P.J. Horne, the only returning starter from last season’s team, to an ACL tear in preseason camp.

Ingram was the Bulldogs’ most experienced player otherwise. He was a starter at Florida Atlantic before answering a call to come home to Madison, which is about 30 minutes south of Athens. Ingram’s mother, Allison Peoples, was at Stegeman Coliseum for the game and met with Crean shortly before his postgame briefing.

In his short time with the team, Ingram emerged as a leader on and off the court. At the time he went down with the injury, Ingram was leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points. Through nine games, he was Georgia’s leading rebounder (six per game) and third-leading scorer (10.7 points per game). He’s also second in minutes played (27.2) and assists (2.1).

“He’s an incredible young man,” Crean said. “We don’t do what we’ve done to this point without him and he was getting better every day. Now other people will have to step up.”

Forward Braelen Bridges ended up with 14 points Tuesday night and Jabri Abdur-Rahim added 10.

Junior Jaxon Etter also had to fight back tears when asked about ingram before Crean came to the podium.

“This dude is one of the most respected human beings I’ve ever met, ever been around,” said Etter, a junior guard from Woodstock. “He’s a guy who just walked in showing what the right thing to do is, a guy you look up to. So everybody responded when he went down, and it didn’t look good. Those non-contact injuries never do.”

Said Abdur-Rahim: “That was really tough. when you see a non-contact injury like that, you can’t help but think the worse. We try to stay positive, but something like that happens to somebody I consider a close friend, one of my brothers, it’s hard. But I thought we did a good job of responding.”

The Bulldogs were dealing with adversity already. The past two weeks, several players had been battling the flu, including starting point guard Aaron Cook. The senior transfer from Gonzaga returned to play 37 minutes and finished with nine points and five assists.

caption arrowCaption
Georgia basketball player Aaron Cook (10) during a game against Jacksonville at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles / UGA Athletic Department)

Credit: Mackenzie Miles

Georgia basketball player Aaron Cook (10) during a game against Jacksonville at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles / UGA Athletic Department)

Credit: Mackenzie Miles

caption arrowCaption
Georgia basketball player Aaron Cook (10) during a game against Jacksonville at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles / UGA Athletic Department)

Credit: Mackenzie Miles

Credit: Mackenzie Miles

If there is a positive side, it’s that it was the Bulldogs’ second win in a row following last week’s upset of No. 18 Memphis, and Georgia will have an 11-day break before its next game. This is final exam week at UGA. The Bulldogs won’t play again until Dec. 18, when George Mason becomes the fourth visitor on an eight-game homestand that will carry the team through the New Year.

After that comes the SEC slate, which promises to be especially treacherous this year because of the overall strength of the league. More than likely, the Bulldogs will be taking it on without Ingram.

“We’ll deal with it,” Crean said. “It’s happened in my career. Players are resilient, sometimes more resilient that their coaches. So we’ll get through it, but unfortunately I’m not at that place to talk about tomorrow or the future or things like that.”

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