Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ebuka Anyaorah Laments Injuries

Man, it's tough to play basketball, enjoy the game, and go down hard with an injury.

Ebuka Anyaorah never experienced the thrill of victory in a Georgia uniform. But he has known the agony of the feet.

Anyaorah hurt his leg early in the season, and went through a lot of painful rehabilitation before recently being able to join the team for practice sessions. The Gwinnett Daily Post gives an update on how Anyaorah is doing.


Howard Thompkins Likes Garnett

Not a bad guy to model your game after. Garnett has a longer frame than Thompkins, and has more physicality to his play. But I can see some positives in Thompkins' aspirations to "be like KG."

Now for Thompkins to make that next step, he is going to have to work hard on strength and training. Garnett is tough to guard because he can shoot the jumper and take it inside and dunk the basketball. So Thompkins will have to get enough lift to bring the ball through the rim with authority.

I don't want Thompkins to be unsportsmanlike, but he will have to get used to some of the pushing and shoving that goes on in the SEC. He's got to take some and give some on occasion, too. Maybe even give a Garnett scowl every now and then.


Great Video

Someone on the Rivals site posted the very heart-warming story of Jason McElwain, a high school student with autism.

Jason loved the game of basketball, but wasn't able to make the JV squad. So, he became the varsity team's manager.

What happened next was magical enough for the movies.

J. Mac

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Levi Stukes Scores 31

Trouville won a game in overtime against Tabare. Stukes scored 31 points for the victor.

Although the final score was 95 to 86, a comfortable 9-point margin, Trouville was all but done for at the end of regulation. With just nine-tenths of a second left in the game, Trouville was called for a foul, and Tabare's Adrian Laborda went to the line to shoot two.

Amazingly, Laborda missed both free throw shots. Trouville was able to close the game with 19 points in just the final 5 minute overtime period and Stukes and his team escaped with the victory.

No Derrick Favors? Let's get Casey Mitchell

Casey Mitchell is a player at the same junior college that former UGA player, Jeremy Jacob attends.

Casey is the leading scorer at Chipola Junior College, which is the #1 juco team in the country. After originally committing to UAB, Mitchell changed his mind, and from all I understand, has not made a commitment yet.

Perhaps he would consider coming to Georgia. Is he a fit for Felton? Maybe. Will Felton be around next year? Maybe.

Let's pick Mitchell up anyway. Georgia needs a scorer, and Mitchell is a dead-eye shooter. He outscored Meeks in the North-South All-Star game his senior year.

If Anyaorah can play next year, Georgia might be in decent shape at the shooting guard position, and Demario Mayfield is coming in as a 2009 commit. But we're losing Terrance Woodbury and Corey Butler, our two seniors, and I'm ready for up-tempo offense. I want lots of options for scorers, so let's get deep at the guard position.

Second Annual Kevin Brophy Memorial Tournament

The second annual Kevin Brophy Memorial Tournament was played in Savannah last month.

Kevin Brophy was an exchange student who walked on to the UGA basketball team. He was killed in a car accident on Thursday, July 20, 2006.

The University of Georgia set up a Kevin Brophy Memorial Scholarship, and the Kevin Brophy Memorial Tournament is played every year in Savannah, where Kevin Brophy went to high school.

Lessons in Futility

Both Georgia and Georgia Tech are sporting 9 and 9 records. Both teams are winless in their conferences.

Georgia Tech's lesson was that when you are a bad team, you'd better recruit well. Tech got just one recruit last year, as I recall. The upside of it was that they were able to stockpile scholarships and emerge with the crowning jewel of 2009.

Georgia had a pretty decent signing class for 2008. Ware and Leslie and Thompkins have all played pretty well so far. Not great, but they show potential. Zlovaric and Anyaorah haven't had much of a chance to prove their athletic prowess.

In any case, Georgia did fairly well in 2008, but they were limited in scholarships for 2009, and therefore, they passed on some guys that in other years they would have hotly pursued.

In any case, college basketball in the state of Georgia is pretty bad right now. I don't know what Georgia will take away from this season. I hope the lesson is that when a team is tired and unmotivated and losing, you give them a break to refocus.

And when the next conference game rolled around that next weekend, Georgia played with purpose and poise and ability and emerged with the victory. It was a new season and Georgia started on another, longer, magic run.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Have Given Up. You Have, Too.

Well, folks, I didn't think we could play any worse than we did against Vanderbilt. But lo and behold, we are doing just that.

Got home from church and checked the score. Ughh. Not even going to turn the t.v. on.

As of right now, Georgia is shooting less than 30% from the floor, less than 10% from behind the arc, and right at 30% from the line. Kentucky is good, but they're not so good that they can defend us from the free throw line.

I entitled the recap from the Vandy game, "We Stink." I was going to call today's game against Kentucky, "We Stink, Part Deux," but my feeling today is not so much disgust, but rather, resignation.

At least at Vanderbilt, you could blame poor performance on Vandy's oddly designed gym. We shot right at 40% there and 0% from the line. We attempted free throws just twice, so that is some explanation for the foul line statistic. But when we scored 40 points total for the entire game, it's hard to come up with a conclusion, other than just saying, we are a bad basketball team.

Well, against Kentucky, the stats are even worse. As I write, we're stuck at 36 points, with just a couple of minutes to go.

No excuses can be made.

Georgia is 0 and 3 in the SEC, in firm possession of last place. We have lost 5 or 6 games in a row. We are 9 and 9 on the year with just one quality win, the 1-point victory at home at Virginia Tech. In my opinion, maybe we shouldn't even count the Virginia Tech game as a true quality win, since in my opinion, Albert Jackson walked before he put in Georgia's last basket.

Georgia is so bad, in fact, that I wouldn't be surprised if we finished the year with no SEC wins.

Anything can happen, but the practical reality is that there will be no miracle run this year. No SEC Tournament championship. And as much as I hate to say it, no saving Felton's job.

I like Felton's efforts. He works hard at his job. Goes at recruiting in the right way. No cheating. No summer coaching jobs or questionable payments to relatives of recruits. I like Felton's focus on academics, on toughness and on doing the right thing. I even appreciate his efforts to get the Lettermen together. I really, really wanted him to be successful.

But the facts remain that we missed out on Derrick Favors, perhaps the best recruit from Georgia in 10 years. UGA has a less than stellar signing class for fall 2009, and we are going down fast in this season's performance.

There's no joy in saying this, but as athletic director, Damon Evans doesn't have much choice. The influential fans and donors will demand it, and we will be starting over with Georgia basketball, perhaps sooner, rather than later.

Georgia Plays Kentucky

Kentucky should win easily. They have Patrick Patterson and we don't.

For Georgia to have a chance, we need to limit Patterson's touches and body up on Perry Stevenson. Stevenson can make the little 15-footer, but I don't remember him putting the ball on the floor with much effectiveness.

We also need to make Meeks play defense. If he gets his legs underneath him and shoots in rhythm, he could have a big day. Doubt he'll put up +50, but he's a legitimate scorer. The interesting thing about Meeks is that if you watch him run, you can tell he's still feeling the effects of his leg injury. Had he been healthy the whole time for Kentucky, he would have been one of the great scoring guards for the team.

On offense, Georgia needs to get Woodbury and Thompkins going early. Hopefully, Dustin Ware can hit some big shots, and we can bag our free throws down the stretch. Wouldn't say we have the best chance of winning, but it's better than last year.

I'll be in church, but Go Dawgs!