Monday, March 16, 2009

Swansey to Transfer

Well, there's my answer. I mentioned earlier that there was bound to be some turnover in UGA's hoops roster, and change has already begun.

Zac Swansey began the year as the starting point guard. I thought that Dustin Ware might be a better fit for the team, since I wasn't sure Swansey was fast enough to break other team's defenders off the dribble. I didn't consider him the kind of disruptive point guard that Coach Felton needed in his defensive system.

Swansey's scored a lot of points in high school, but from what I could tell from my admittedly limited viewing opportunities, an inordinate number of Swansey's points seemed to come from "snow-birding," or leaking out early on the fast break to convert lay-ups on the other end.

I hoped for the best when Swansey came to UGA, and Swansey performed quite well, I thought, as a back-up to Sundiata Gaines. However, Zac's contributions went south during his sophomore year when he had to man the point guard position as a starter.

Somehow Swansey's free-throw shooting skills abandoned him. Then his mid-range game went sideways-- literally. Swansey began to float laterally when he shot his jumper, and his field goal percentage accordingly fell.

In the meantime, Dustin Ware started off the year in a slump. Did not shoot well at all, and turned the ball over way too much.

Georgia's basketball fortunes slid, as teams employed a press and UGA gave the ball away over and over. Not to say that all of Georgia's faults were caused by the point guards. There was plenty of blame to go around.

At any rate, eventually Dustin Ware started to play better, and he replaced Swansey in the starting line-up. The year ended with a first round exit in the SEC Tournament, and guys have begun to examine their future with the team.

Swansey wants his shot to play basketball and to start, or at least play a good number of minutes. He does not want to be part of a rebuilding effort, and the turmoil associated with a new coach trying to put his stamp on the program is sure to be difficult for the team.

I will long remember Swansey's jumper to beat Kentucky, one of my favorite memories from Georgia's SEC Tournament championship run. I wish Zac well in the future.

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