Saturday’s matchup between Ole Miss and Georgia will feature two teams looking for a turnaround after a slow start in the SEC, but, most notably, it will showcase two of the most prolific scorers in the conference.
The showdown between the Bulldogs and the Rebels could be a footrace between two of the SEC’s top-three scorers in Anthony Edwards and Breein Tyree. The two are currently tied at 18.9 points per game, accounting for the lion’s share of the offensive production for their respective teams.
The stat lines and averages are nearly identical for the two, but the methods that result are different, and that’s apparent just from looking at them.
In one corner, we have Edwards. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, the freshman looks like a bonafide one-and-done prospect through 18 games.
Edwards is liable to take the ball up the court and pull from the top of the perimeter or use his size to set a screen before getting to the rim or popping out for a 19-foot jumper.
You won’t see Tyree setting any screens at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, but the only senior on the Ole Miss team uses his fours years of experience to get to his spots on the perimeter and work in the midrange to pile up points every night.
The Bulldogs are 1-4 in the league and are not a bad team by any stretch, but they do rely heavily on Edward’s production, which, as Rebel fans know, is not always a good recipe.
Prior to the season, Georgia beat Memphis by three before being defeated by Kentucky and Auburn. The Bulldogs’ only conference win was against Tennessee when Edwards scored 26 points with six rebounds and three assists.
The Bulldogs have lost by at least 10 points in every SEC game where Edwards did not score more than 20 points. They most recently suffered an embarrassing 91-59 loss where Edwards scored 19, and Georgia fell to Kentucky 89-79 when he scored 16.
While relying on Edwards might not be a formula for winning games, there is a legitimate point to be made: why have an NBA lottery talent if you’re not going to use him?
This is where the problem lies for Ole Miss. While Tyree is not the draft prospect that Edwards is, the Rebels have had to lean on his offense as if he were. Edwards has attempted 81 more shots than the next Bulldog, and Tyree has 87 more times than anyone else playing for Ole Miss.
This brand of basketball is not sustainable for success over a full season, but it could make for an entertaining back-and-forth game on Saturday afternoon.
We’ll see both players gliding around the court, trading shots to muster any type of offense, and both of their leading scorers should be fun to watch play while both teams are struggling.