Tonight the Cats will be coming in hot against the Dawgs after a much needed win against Florida on Saturday. The Bulldogs are currently 13-8 overall and 6-4 in league play, putting them fifth in the SEC.
The Bulldogs have a decent front court with their most valuable asset, Yante Maten. So before tip later on tonight past my bedtime, here are the five things you need to know about Georgia’s up and coming front court star:
On a defensive team, he’s the star
Georgia is without a doubt a defensive team. On average the Bulldogs hold their opponents to just 37.5% from field-goal range, good enough for sixth in the nation. Maten is just one part of that, but he’s a very large part, leading the team in rebounds (7.9) and blocks (2) per game. They must stop him from going up and over to get those blocks and rebounds.
He played well against UK last year
When Georgia and Kentucky met for the first time last year in Rupp, Maten was one rebound away from posting a double-double. Maten came off the bench to score 13 points and grab nine rebounds. Obviously the atmosphere of Rupp didn’t bother him last year and probably won’t bother him this year with more experience under his belt.
A couple of Big 10 teams recruited him in high school
Before his senior year, Maten was just a three-star recruit getting looks from Colorado and Utah, but after a blow-out senior season, schools like Michigan State and Indiana came calling. However, Maten chose Georgia, where he felt God was calling him, and after waiting his turn last year, it’s definitely paying off for him this year.
He apparently dunked on Karl Towns last year
I don’t remember this but, ya know, good for him.
Isaac Humphries could be a potential matchup
Yesterday, John Robic met with media and discussed why Isaac Humphries playing time had been limited until recently. According to Robic, part of the reason that he hasn’t been playing much is because they haven’t met a team with a lot of size in the post. That’s a different story tonight. In order to win, they’re going to need guys like Humphries to be able to shut down Georgia inside.