VALDOSTA –– For the second time in three years, the Valdosta State men's basketball team will be heading to Athens, Georgia, for an exhibition game against the Georgia Bulldogs. VSU and UGA are set for the exhibition game at Stegeman Coliseum on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.

The admission for the game will be free as VSU battled UGA last on Nov. 2, 2017. Last season, the Blazers travelled to Tallahassee, Fla., for the second time playing an exhibition game against Florida State. This marks the fourth-straight year VSU has opened with an exhibition game against either Georgia or Florida State.

The game also will be available via SEC Network Plus, the HD quality streaming service of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

The Blazers return three starters from last as VSU qualified for its third-straight trip to the NCAA postseason and won its third-straight Gulf South Conference regular season crown. VSU finished 24-7 and 16-4 in Gulf South Conference play. VSU has nine new faces for 2019-2020 under the direction of 15th-year head coach Mike Helfer .

Seniors Clay Guillozet, Bryce Smith and Darrell Jones all scored in double figures last season for the Blazers. Guillozet averaged 13.1 points per game, while Smith averaged 10.2 ppg and Jones was at 10.1 ppg. Guillozet finished second on the team in scoring and led the team in rebounding at 6.8 rebounds per game, while Smith led the team with 27 blocks and Jones averaged 5.2 rebounds per game for second on the team.

Georgia is coming off an 11-21 overall record and a 2-16 mark in the SEC last season, but the Bulldogs welcome one of the nation's top five recruiting classes and is under the direction of second-year head coach Tom Crean. The Bulldogs' 2019-2020 edition features five of the top-100 prospects in the Class of 2019. The Bulldogs also return five letter-winners.

Following the exhibition game at Georgia, VSU returns home to prepare for the 2019-20 season as the Blazers open Nov. 8-9 with the Gulf South Conference/Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Crossover at The Complex. VSU is scheduled to open the season with Fort Valley State on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. tip with Albany State on Nov. 9.

Check back with vstateblazers.com for information on VSU men's basketball all season long and information on all of VSU's 12 intercollegiate athletic teams. Fans can purchase tickets for the 2019-2020 season by calling 229-333-SEAT or visiting the Athletic Ticket Office in the P.E. Complex during business hours.

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