Georgia will wrap up the 2011 regular season with a visit to Alabama to take on the Western Division champion Crimson Tide. A win would give the Bulldogs their best divisional finish in eight seasons as well as ten wins in the conference. The Tide have already clinched the SEC's Western Division with an 11-4 conference mark entering Saturday.
Even with a win on Saturday, Georgia's standing in the SEC East will remain unsettled pending the outcome of the Kentucky-Tennessee game on Sunday. With a win, the Bulldogs can finish no lower than fourth and as high as second in the division. Lose, and Georgia can finish no higher than fourth depending on the outcome of the other games. So there is clearly still a lot riding on this game in terms of seeding for next week's SEC Tournament in Atlanta.
Georgia enters Saturday's game riding a two game winning streak but could be without their best player in Trey Thompkins who has a toe nail injury. Seth Emerson reports that Thompkins will be a game time decision.
Head coach Mark Fox said Thompkins has been cleared to play, but his status wouldn't be decided until game time. But Thompkins didn't sound too optimistic.
The Bulldogs will also be without the services of freshman forward Marcus Thornton who is out with an injured elbow and has not been cleared to play. If Thompkins can't play, then more pressure will fall on Georgia junior Travis Leslie to help lead the Bulldogs.
Alabama is led by two talented young forwards in junior JayMychal Green (15.9 pts) and sophomore Tony Mitchell (15.6 pts). Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant like Georgia's Mark Fox, is in his second year with the program and has completed a fast turnaround. Alabama was 17-15 in Grant's first season before capturing the Western Division regular season championship this season.
Alabama leads the all-time series between the two schools by a 88-47 count. The Tide has a commanding 48-12 record against Georgia in Tuscaloosa. The Bulldogs won last year's match-up 76-70 in Athens.