MBB: Bulldogs’ Non-Conference Schedule Finalized
From UGA Sports Communications
ATHENS, Ga. —- The Georgia Bulldogs will host 10 matchups at Stegeman Coliseum during their 13-game non-conference schedule for the 2021-22 season, announced by head coach Tom Crean on Wednesday.
Headlining the home ledger are dates with arch-rival Georgia Tech; Memphis, the 2021 NIT Champions; and the return of three former Georgia Basketball representatives as coaches.
“Each season, our priority is to build a schedule that will prepare us for conference play,” Crean said. “I believe we have done just that. We’ve had an excellent summer building chemistry and camaraderie among our returnees and newcomers. This schedule will challenge us and also allow us to grow before we begin SEC play in January.”
Georgia will christen its season on Tuesday, Nov. 9, when the Bulldogs host Florida International. Following a road trip to Cincinnati, the Bulldogs will return to Athens to face S.C. State and Georgia Tech on Nov. 16 and Nov. 19, respectively. Georgia boasts a five-time winning streak in the series with Tech, which equals the third-longest stretch against the Yellow Jackets in the series that dates back to 1906.
The Bulldogs will trek to the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., for the Legends Classic on Nov. 22-23. The tournament field also features Virginia, Northwestern and Providence.
Georgia will wrap up non-conference play with a string of seven games between Nov. 28-Dec. 29.
That span opens against Wofford and head coach Jay McAuley, a four-year Georgia letter winner from 2002-06 and team co-captain as a senior who is in his third season as the Terriers’ head coach.
Memphis will travel to Athens on Dec. 1 in a rematch of the Bulldogs’ historic victory over the No. 9-ranked Tigers two seasons ago. That represented Georgia’s second-ever road win over a ranked opponent and the Bulldogs’ first since 1977.
Prior to the holiday break, Georgia will welcome Jacksonville on Dec. 7, George Mason on Dec. 18, Western Carolina on Dec. 20 and East Tennessee State on Dec. 22. The George Mason staff includes Dennis Felton, who was Georgia’s head coach from 2003-09 and led the Bulldogs to the SEC Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament bid in 2008, as well as NIT appearances in 2004 and 2007. ETSU’s head coach Desmond Oliver, was a member of Felton’s staff for five seasons from 2004-09.
Georgia wraps up non-conference play by entertaining Garder-Webb on Dec. 29. The Runnin’ Bulldogs were scheduled to be Georgia’s second opponent last season before the contest was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Georgia has emerged as one of the SEC's premier offenses under Crean. Last season, the Bulldogs averaged 77.5 points, their second-highest offensive output in the 2000s and the most since the 2002-03 season. Georgia has scored 90 or more points 15 times during Crean's first three seasons (90 games) at UGA. Prior to his arrival, the Bulldogs reached the 90-point plateau 15 times in 11-plus seasons (a span of 387 games dating back to 2006).
The Bulldogs also have been a hot ticket during Crean’s tenure. Georgia broke its all-time total attendance record in each of his first two seasons. The Bulldogs’ averaged 9,651 fans per game in 2019-20, the second highest in school history, before limited seating was mandated at Stegeman Coliseum last winter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.