Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Practice Update

Coach Mark Fox put members of the media through the paces recently. Reporters got the chance to work on basketball fundamentals and get an "up-close and personal" look at what practice is like.

Good move by Mark Fox. We'd all like to have more coverage of the basketball team, and now that local reporters have experienced the fun of basketball, perhaps they will be more likely to write about the team during the year.

For the time-being, it was good to get the ABH update on how the players are doing.

Jeremy Price reports that he will be playing with his back to the basket more. Hopefully he realizes that the emphasis on playing in the post will increase his productivity. He has a lot to work with. Good hands. Big frame. Good rebounder with enough moves around the basket to be effective.

I disagreed with Coach Felton's idea that Price should play away from the hoop, because from what I could tell, it seemed that the mechanics on Jeremy's shot were off. Hard to say just what it is, but to me, he kind of pushes the ball at the rim. If he has worked on his release during the off-season, he could make a big step forward this year. In the meantime, let's emphasize what Price does well.

Dustin Ware is learning the offense. Under Felton's system, Sundiata Gaines not only had to defend well, he also had to create most of the offense off of the pick and roll and by breaking his man down off the dribble.

With the triangle scheme, on the other hand, the thought is that the offense is already created. The players read the multiple options and move according to prescribed patterns.

Ware won't have the same pressure to do everything as Gaines had. He's also got better players around him than Gaines had. At the same time, teams know that Ware is the only returning point guard on the squad, and he will be pressured almost constantly by good defenders. If Dustin does not play well, Georgia won't have the chance to get into its offense.

Howard Thompkins talks about the experience of working with Team USA over the summer. The international play and the time spent with coaches who emphasize defense should really help Thompkins this year.

My top recommendation for Thompkins is to keep hitting the weights. He is a legitimate 6' 9", and he could do so much more, offensively and defensively, if he fills out his frame.

Georgia will have the chance to surprise some teams this year, because no one else is running the same offense in the SEC. We've got some athletes, and most of the pundits and opposing coaches expect for Georgia to be bad. Perfect set-up for teams to look past the Dawgs and end up losing.

There are no patsies in the SEC East. Here's hoping that the Dawgs get the offense down, improve on their individual skills, and give the team a chance to win this year.


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