Notre Dame picked up for TV as Georgia basketball opens practice

ATHENS – Mike White’s family connections will make for a meaningful December game for him and Georgia basketball.

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The Bulldogs will play Notre Dame on Dec. 18 at State Farm Arena. The game, scheduled earlier this year, has been picked up for a national broadcast on ESPN2, with a tipoff time is 5:30 p.m. White was hired from the University of Florida in March to replace coach Tom Crean.

White’s father, Kevin White, was the athletic director at Notre Dame from 2000-08. His brother, Danny, who is now AD at Tennessee, played basketball for the Fighting Irish during the 2001-02 season.

“The opponent pulls at some heartstrings with me because all I wanted to be growing up was a Notre Dame football player,” said White, who ended up playing basketball as a guard at Ole Miss. “My father had a great run as the athletic director at Notre Dame, and I know he considers (coach) Mike Brey one of the best hires he ever made. On top of that, my brother Danny loved playing for coach Brey at Notre Dame.”

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Organized by Atlanta’s VII Group, “Hoopsgiving” will feature five games over eight days in December. On Dec. 10, Auburn faces Memphis, Clemson plays Loyola-Chicago, Wake Forest plays LSU and Tulane plays Buffalo. Georgia-Notre Dame is the only contest Dec. 18.

Tickets go on sale Oct. 25.

The Bulldogs will open practice for the coming season Monday. White arrives in Athens after averaging more than 22 wins per season in 11 years as the head coach at Louisiana Tech (2012-15) and Florida (2015-22). Those teams earned postseason bids in each of the past nine possible seasons, and Florida was a consensus pick for the 2020 NCAA Tournament before it was canceled.

Georgia’s roster features five returning letter-winners who accounted for more than 60% of the Bulldogs’ scoring last season. They also add nine newcomers with six transfers and three freshmen.

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Returnees include Kario Oquendo and Braelen Bridges, who were two of the SEC’s most productive players last season. Oquendo is the top returning scoring in league play after averaging 18.3 points per game in SEC action. Bridges led the SEC and ranked No. 7 nationally in field-goal percentage, connecting on 63.4% of his shots from the floor.

Georgia’s six transfers include five players whose previous teams reached the NCAA Tournament during the 2021 or 2022 seasons. Terry Roberts, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, was the 2022 Missouri Valley Conference newcomer of the year at Bradley.

The Bulldogs open the season Nov. 7 against Western Carolina. Four days later, they’ll venture to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on Wake Forest. Georgia will then host Miami (Ohio) and Bucknell on Nov. 14 and Nov. 18, respectively. The matchup with Bucknell is part of the Sunshine Slam, a multi-team event. Georgia will face St. Joseph’s on Nov. 21 in Daytona Beach, Fla., as part of that tournament and then play either South Florida or Alabama-Birmingham on Nov. 22.

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The Bulldogs will then host a three-game home stretch that features games against East Tennessee State on Nov. 27. Hampton on Nov. 30 and Florida A&M on Dec. 2. Georgia will play at Georgia Tech on Dec. 6 before breaking for final exams.

The SEC slate begins at home against Auburn and Mississippi State on Jan. 4 and Jan. 11, respectively.

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