ATHENS, Ga. -- Jarvis Hayes swears he and his identical twin brother, Jonas, have switched places just one time.
"It was in eighth grade," Jarvis Hayes said, laughing at the memory. "We had the same teacher, the same class, but different hours. So we pulled the old switcheroo for that class."
Did the teacher notice?
"Nope," he said.
Georgia's twins probably couldn't pull it off these days, at least not on the court. Sure, they still look so much alike their father, James, can't tell them apart, and both sport smartly trimmed goatees. And they're both listed at 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds.
But their games are as different as their hairstyles.
Jarvis, with a clean shaven head, is instant offense, a flashy scorer who never saw a shot he didn't like. His brother has a more ordinary haircut and plays in the paint, where he's mostly relied upon for rebounds and defense.
Both have played roles in the surprising Bulldogs' (16-5) rise to the top of the Southeastern Conference's East Division and back into the top 25.
They have a half-game lead over Florida and Kentucky despite losing their past two games.
"We're satisfied with where we are, but we're not content by any means," said Jarvis, the team's second-leading scorer at 17.1 points a game.
The Hayeses, from Atlanta, transferred to Georgia after one season at Western Carolina, where Jarvis was named Southern Conference Rookie of the Year and Jonas averaged a modest 8 points. But when the coaching staff was fired, they wanted to go to a school closer to home.
Not two different schools. These brothers were a package deal.
"We always knew we would be going to the same school," Jonas said.
With his impressive start at Western Carolina, Jarvis didn't have any trouble finding schools interested in him. Jonas was another story.
"A lot of people didn't think Jonas could play at this level," Jarvis said.
So Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Auburn, among others, passed on the brothers. But Georgia coach Jim Harrick, coming off a 10-20 inaugural season, needed players and gladly took them.
"We knew Jarvis was a special player, and we thought Jonas could give us some depth inside," Harrick said matter-of-factly.
Harrick's opinion toward Jonas began to change slightly last season, which the Hayeses had to sit out after transferring. Even though the Bulldogs were good enough to make the NCAA tournament and finish 9-7 in the SEC, the first team didn't always win scrimmages.
"Ninety-five percent of the time in practice last year, the second team beat the first team," Harrick said. "And I knew why - because of Jarvis and Jonas Hayes."
It didn't take long for Jarvis to show his skill this year. In the Bulldogs' exhibition victory over EA Sports, he scored 40 points, hitting 9 of 10 from beyond the 3-point line. Later, when conference play began, he had 30 points against Kentucky, leading Georgia to just its second victory ever at Rupp Arena.
But Jarvis has struggled from the outside in his past five games, going 6-for-25 as his 3-point shooting percentage has fallen to 21 percent.
His brother was hampered by a dislocated finger early on, but has played his best recently. When starting center Steve Thomas was suspended Jan. 16 while the school investigated an alleged campus rape, the undersized Jonas stepped in and averaged 12.7 points in the next three games, two of them Georgia victories.
He also had 14 rebounds against Alabama.
"I knew what kind of player he was," Jarvis said of his brother. "I knew it was just a matter of time before he got his opportunity."
But how do two players the same size, with the same background, develop such different games?
"When were in middle school, we both played the wing and were pretty much unstoppable," Jarvis said. "Jonas broke his wrist in ninth grade, and since he couldn't play, he put on a little weight.
"So when he came in 10th grade, he was a little heavier, so they put him inside. He's been there ever since."
Not that Jonas enjoys where he plays.
"Moving back outside crosses my mind sometimes," he said. "It seems so much easier."