Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wright Has 'Dogs Thinking NCAAs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wright Has 'Dogs Thinking NCAAs

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, The Times-Union

GAINESVILLE -- Georgia point guard Rashad Wright has turned up his offense this season, but it has been his defense that has helped the Bulldogs become contenders for an NCAA Tournament berth.

Georgia has won three games in a row -- beating Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee -- and Wright has shut down the opposing point guard in each game. Kentucky's Cliff Hawkins, Florida's Anthony Roberson and Tennessee's C.J. Watson went a combined 6-of-31 shooting from the field. They scored a combined 23 points (16 by Hawkins) and committed 11 turnovers.

"Coach has really been getting on me about picking up [the point] guard at halfcourt and trying to get them out of their offense," Wright said after Saturday's 71-60 victory over Tennessee.

Georgia coach Dennis Felton is more defense-oriented than previous coach Jim Harrick, and he has been constantly drilling his players about improving that part of their game.

"We wanted to be more disruptive defensively than we were [earlier this season] and it all starts with Rashad," Felton said after the Tennessee game. "It seems like he's gotten some momentum on defense the last few games."

On offense, Wright scored 22 points against the Vols, his second-highest total this season and the sixth time this season he has scored at least 20.

"I don't think there's a better point guard in the country than Rashad Wright," forward Jonas Hayes told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He's always been a good defensive player. It's just getting stressed this year."

RUN OFF THE ROAD

Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas have failed to win a conference road game this season, but nobody has been worse away from home than the Vols.

Tennessee has lost its seven SEC road games by an average of 22 points. That includes a 38-point loss to Florida and a 32-point loss to Kentucky. Arkansas has lost its seven road games by an average of 13.7 points, and Ole Miss has lost its six road games by an average of 16. …

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