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January 29, 2013

‘Georgia Made’ Chris Denson, mates itching to stop the skid when Auburn visits Georgia

Photo by Todd Van Emst

AUBURN, Ala. — Going off to Auburn two and a half years ago, Chris Denson wanted to remind himself where he’s from.

So, adding to the impressive collage of tattoos across his upper body, Denson had ‘Georgia Made’ imprinted on his right bicep going into his freshman year of college.

A Columbus native and Shaw alum, Denson, along with four of his teammates in the rotation, hope to help the Tigers tug some state pride away from host Georgia tonight in a 7 p.m. tipoff at Stegeman Coliseum, televised by CSS.

Denson got some looks from the Bulldogs, but when Georgia picked another slashing, scoring guard, an offer never came.

“It would be good to go in there, get some buckets and get that W,” Denson said.

Center Rob Chubb (Peachtree City) and shooting guards Noel Johnson (Fayetteville) and Jordan Price (Decatur) are Georgia Made as well. So is freshman guard Shaq Johnson, who helped Milton High School in Alpharetta win four state championship games with teammate Charles Mann, who’s a freshman guard off the Bulldogs’ bench.

“I actually haven’t talked to him since Christmas. It’ll be good to see him,” Shaq Johnson said. “It’s exciting to go back. When I was in high school, Georgia wasn’t really recruiting me. I’m just going to play it like any other game.”

The traditional football rivals have scuffled on the hardwood, with identical 8-11 overall marks, including 2-4 in the SEC.

Georgia did upset Texas A&M 59-52 on the road Saturday, helped by 22 points from Greenville product Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — whose 17.3 scoring average more than doubles any other Bulldog.

“I think Kentavious is trying to emerge as a leader,” Georgia coach Mark Fox told the Macon Telegraph. “He’s s a relatively quiet kid, but he’s really trying to grow in that role.”

The last time Auburn went to Athens was on Feb. 5, 2011, an 81-72 overtime loss. Denson, then a freshman, scored 10 points in 29 minutes — and then produced a career-best 21 in the season-ending loss to Georgia at the SEC Tournament.

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