Kenny Gaines awaiting clearance to practice

semerson@macon.comJanuary 27, 2014 

Georgia Florida Basketball

Georgia guard Kenny Gaines (12) and the Bulldogs are 2-1 in the SEC entering their game Saturday against Arkansas.


ATHENS, Ga. - It's sounding like Georgia should get Kenny Gaines, its leading average scorer in SEC play, for its next game, Wednesday against Vanderbilt.

Gaines missed Saturday's loss at Kentucky after bruising his high late in last week's win over South Carolina. Freshman Juwan Parker, who is Gaines' top backup at shooting guard, also missed the game with a hamstring injury.

"They're just kind of trying to treat them as much as we can," head coach Mark Fox said on Monday morning. "They were in our building a couple times (Sunday) getting treatment, in the hopes they can meet the thresholds required to be able to practice."

The two shooting guards were getting treatment on Monday morning as well, and Fox was hoping to get them cleared.

Gaines was leading Georgia with 13.2 points per game through its first five games. The sophomore is perhaps the team's best outside shooter, and is developing into a consistent scoring threat.

"He is an extremely talented player," Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said. "Another guy for them who plays with great energy, plays within himself. His talent level is sky-high. I mean he's athletic, he can shoot, he can get to the rim, he can defend. He's a big-time player to me. I know (Ccharles) Mann gets a lot of the coverage, and should, and gets a lot of the attention, and should. But Gaines is an outstanding player. ... He's an extremely talented player, and if you take an extremely talented player off any starting five in our league, it's gonna impact their team in some way for sure."

Gaines and Parker weren't the only injuries the Bulldogs are dealing with, according to Fox: Freshman point guard J.J. Frazier required an MRI and X-ray on his wrist, which he hurt during the Kentucky game. But Frazier is expected to play, according to Fox.

Senior forward Donte' Williams banged his head during the second half. But it appears he avoided major injury.

"That's something that we think was just a bump in the game and he'll be able to get through," Fox said.

Georgia (10-8 overall) currently is alone in fourth place in the 14-team SEC, the Bulldogs being the only team with a 4-2 record. Florida (6-0) is in first place, while Kentucky and Ole Miss are each 5-1.

Vanderbilt has the same overall record as Georgia, but is 2-4 in SEC play.

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