The 12th-ranked Musketeers get their first look at the freshman star Friday night when they host the Bulldogs.
Lyons is averaging 20.3 points and Holloway 16.5 for Xavier (3-0), seeking a second straight 4-0 start.
Georgia (4-1) uses a three-guard lineup that includes senior Dustin Ware and junior Vincent Williams, but there’s no question that Caldwell-Pope has emerged as the biggest threat with his team-best 13.2 scoring average.
“You’re going to look at guys on the perimeter as very experienced, with the exception of Caldwell-Pope, who’s a McDonald’s All-American,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “Usually when you’re that talented, experience doesn’t matter as much.”
Lyons and Holloway combined for 32 points in last season’s 65-57 win at Georgia. With Caldwell-Pope replacing the departed Travis Leslie in the lineup, the Musketeers figure this rematch will be more difficult.
“I was watching them play on ESPN and he (Caldwell-Pope) could really shoot the ball very well, like a little better than Travis Leslie,” Lyons said. “So that’s something we have to adjust to, him shooting quick shots in transition.”
The Bulldogs are playing the third contest of a seven-game non-conference stretch that is among the most difficult of any team in the country, with matchups against major-conference foes Colorado, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and USC still to come.
“We needed to leave here with a split,” coach Mark Fox said. “This was a resume game against a Big East team, and those games matter.”
Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 16 points, and also used his 6-foot-4 frame to limit Irish star Tim Abromaitis to six points and 1-of-12 shooting from the field.
“That’s what I have to do, start with my defense, get that going,” Caldwell-Pope said. “I’m a good defender, so Coach puts me on a good player, I’m going to try to shut them down.”
The Musketeers have the more experienced frontcourt, and employ a more conventional lineup with 7-footer Kenny Frease at center. Their size has been a factor in limiting opponents to 35.1 percent shooting.
Georgia started sophomores 6-9 Donte Williams and 6-7 Marcus Thornton at forward the first four games, with 7-footer John Florveus getting the nod Tuesday. Florveus could remain in the lineup to counter Xavier’s size.
“In the frontcourt, they are a little young,” Mack said. “But they’re tough, they run the same system that coach Fox has run for years. A very formidable opponent, and one that I think as the season goes on will continue to get better. I got a lot of respect for those guys.”
Xavier is well rested, having not played since a 66-60 win over local rival Miami of Ohio last Friday.
“I’m anxious to see how much progress we’ve made from the last game,” Mack said.