It seems like almost every Georgia football fan I talk to tells me that they like a different school for college basketball. Whether it is Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, or Kansas, don't be one of those people this year.
For the folks who have been sticking with the team through thick and thin, this season will be a reward. And for those who have little to no idea about Georgia basketball, you might want to hop on the bandwagon before the train leaves the station.
Generally speaking, basketball season has only been something to hold fans over until football season comes around. That shouldn't be the case this year.
This year's team will have the right mixture of leadership and raw talent to make for an interesting season. And by interesting, I mean make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia will get the regular season started up on November 5th. The non-conference basketball schedule was released on Tuesday by UGA Basketball social media.
Those non-conference games are highlighted by trips to Memphis and a rematch versus Arizona State.
On top of that, Georgia will face off in one of college basketball's most prestigious tournaments, The Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs' first game is set against Dayton. They'll also be competing against, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Kansas, BYU, UCLA, and Chaminade.
After the team lost Nicolas Claxton to the NBA, had six players graduate, and saw three players transfers, the Georgia Bulldogs have gone through a complete makeover for the 2019-2020 season. Only six members from last year's team return to the team in 2019. But, that does not mean this team lacks talent or leadership.
The Georgia Bulldogs return senior backcourt duo, Jordan Harris and Tyree Crump, who should help the Dawgs reduce the number of turnovers compared to last season. Crump showed signs of being nearly unstoppable from deep last season, especially in his 6-for-8 from three-point showing against Texas.
We also saw Jordan Harris emerge as the primary guard towards the end of the season. In the team's last 14 games, Harris scored in double-digits in ten. On top of that, Harris scored a season-high, 26 points in the final game.
Georgia will also see a return from sophomore, Tye Fagan, who a versatile combo guard.
On top of that, Georgia landed a graduate transfer point guard in Donnell Gresham Jr. Gresham becomes another good ball handler for the Bulldogs, who brings a lot of experience. Gresham is the only player on the roster with NCAA Tournament experience, which can help this Georgia team a lot. He won a conference championship with Northeastern last year, earning them the right to play Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
If that wasn't enough for you Georgia is also bringing in three freshmen guards in Sahvir Wheeler, Jaykwon Walton, and Anthony Edwards.
Sahvir Wheeler ranked as the #7 point guard in 2019 per 247sports.
Jaykwon Walton was a Top-100 guy prior to enrolling on the 247 rankings.
If you haven't heard, Anthony Edwards comes in as the #1 overall player in 2019 on the Top247 rankings by 247sports. Edwards is also projected to be the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by a number of analysts. With all due respect to Dominique Wilkins, Edwards could just be the greatest basketball player to ever come through the program.
The frontcourt is highlighted by junior, Rayshaun Hammonds. Hammonds averaged over 12 PPG last year for Georgia and showed his elite speed for a big. In addition, Georgia brings back big-man, Amanze Ngumezi, who was a former 4-star from the Savannah area. Ngumezi didn't see a lot of action as a freshman, but his baseline jumper and post scoring ability may be enough to give him a starting spot.
In addition to those two, Georgia added three more forwards in the 2019 recruiting class.
Christian Brown was the second-highest rated recruit, coming in as the 67th ranked player in the country. Brown will primarily play the "3" spot for Georgia.
Down low, Georgia added former 4-star Toumani Camara, and former Ole Miss signee, Rodney Howard. Camara's game is similar to Rayshaun Hammonds' in which he is speedy for his size, and can get to the basket in transition.
Rodney Howard comes from the same high school as former Georgia Bulldog, Nicolas Claxton. Howard is a lengthy big man that can block shots and rebound, much like Claxton did at Georgia. He should get a lot of minutes off the bench this season.
The Georgia Bulldogs are in line for a great season in 2019-2020. While they may not be a national championship contender, yet, this team still has the potential to be one of the most successful basketball teams in school history.
You might want to jump on the bandwagon before it's too late.