Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brandon Boykin Time

Let's face it.

Boykin is a stud. Fast with insane hops. He is very accustomed to shutting down the other team's point guard, and handling the ball against tight defense. His combination of speed and ability to finish makes him an almost ideal press-buster.

Teams will continue to press Georgia until we get someone to help us advance the ball. Dustin Ware and Ricky McPhee are doing okay, but we need someone who is confident with the ball and can take it all the way to the hoop off of set plays or when we beat the press.

Boykin is Travis Leslie in cleats. He could get us 8 to 10 points off the bench.

Coach Richt, we could use him, so you and Coach Fox get together for the good of the entire athletic program at UGA and let's get Boykin in his sneaks at the first opportunity.

Red and Black Recap

I agree with Coach Fox. We were right there and could have won the game. Too many mistakes on in-bounds plays. The unforced turnover at the end when Ricky McPhee was trying to set up for a three, and Dustin Ware expected him to attack the basket, was critical.


Julian Royal and Dai-Jon Parker

Would be great to somehow pick up a commitment from these two for the 2011 class.

I like Coach David Boyd's description of Dai-Jon Parker as a guy who really works on his defense.

I view Julian Royal as a player like Howard Thompkins. Not the biggest guy on the court, but a highly skilled player who consistently gives you good scoring nights.

Milton High

Travis Leslie Dunks on DeMarcus Cousins

YouTube Clip.

"How do you do?"

UK Wins. Georgia Put Up Good Fight

Anytime you have 26 turnovers, you're not going to win.

They shot 33 foul shots to our 15. We could have gotten a few more calls, but that's likely to be the case at their place.

We need something more from our bigs. I think the trio of Jackson, Barnes and Price scored 4 buckets.

We have to have better ball control from our guards. McPhee has to handle it. As our 2-guard, he can't just be a catch and shoot person. He has to help break the press, dribble the ball against pressure, and initiate the offense.

Other than Leslie, no one is taking the ball to the hole. We need at least one other guy who will attack the basket. I'd like to see Dustin Ware build his body up enough to be able to drive, jump into a defender's chest, absorb contact and finish. Devan Downey is great at it, even though he's no bigger than Ware.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the result. We earned respect against the #3 team in the country up at their place. If McPhee hits a few more shots, we might have won that one. Travis Leslie showed out. Great game.

We're within Three

Late in the game. 65 to 62. Under four minutes. We have the ball. Can we steal this one?

McPhee has missed a few three-pointers. Any one of them could have been clutch. We had the key throw-away when McPhee got behind them. That was huge. But the key to the entire game was the referee calling the lane violation on the missed one-and-one. When have you ever seen a call like that in an important game?

UGA Up One at Half

Score: 35 to 34. Our kind of game.

They're 0 of 9 from behind the arc.

Cut off the turnovers and they will get nervous, tight, pressure-filled.

Let's close it out.

Dawgs up Three

Game is slow-paced. Just how we want it. Their big guys are starting to get some fouls called on them. Thompkins is going to the line and knocking them down.

The zone has them a little tentative on their shots. As I posted a couple of days ago, we need to make their guards prove to us that they can shoot. Play the drive and make them shoot over the top.

Thompkins is cleaning the glass. If we stop giving them lay-ups, we will win.

Georgia vs. UK

Travis Leslie is some kind of athlete. What a monster slam.

Too many turnovers, though. We need ball-handlers in the worst way.

As for now, we're doing okay. Cut down the turnovers and we'd be even in this game.

Tech Wins!

What a title for one of my posts! But the point is that Georgia's win over Tech now looks huge. Don't know what our RPI will be after today, but we should have a nice boost.

Duke vs. Georgia Tech: Great Game

Tech just took the lead.

Somebody please check my sanity. For RPI purposes, I'm actually hoping that Tech beats #5 Duke.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gaines Likely to Get Major Minutes vs. Memphis

Seems like both of the other point guards for the Utah Jazz are the "walking wounded" right now. With Williams and Brewer being game-time decisions on whether they play at all, it sounds like the third point guard, Sundiata Gaines, will get a bunch, if not all of the playing time in the Utah game tonight against Memphis.


Would love to see Yada erupt for a huge scoring night.

Cady Lalanne Ready to Help the Dawgs

If Lalanne has bulked up and improved on his defense, he would be a nice complement to the Dawgs' arsenal. He is a big, athletic, and scores the ball well enough to help out.

Good article from the Red and Black.

Tyler Smith Dismissed

Not a total surprise.

I said earlier this week that I doubted that any of the players would see the court again this year. And this is Smith's last year. Remember that some thought that he would opt to forego his final year of eligibility and head to the pro's, but he came back to Knoxville. He may get picked up by an NBA team, despite his legal issues. We'll see.

It will take the police a good while to get to the bottom of their investigation. In the meantime, now that Smith is no longer with the team, there may be a push to let the other three guys continue playing while things get resolved.

I think their indefinite suspension will be just that. We're already in the second week of January, conference play begins this weekend, and the pace of the season, matched against the pace of the investigation process, is not in favor of the remaining three players suiting up for Bruce Pearl again this year.

Maybe one or two of the guys will transfer.

Tyler Smith

David Greene Joins FCA Board

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Gwinnett has a new board member, David Greene.

Greene noted in the attached article that the "The FCA has only scratched the surface with its ministry and the positive impact it can have on Gwinnett communities. FCA values mirror my passion, and that's why I'm excited to have a chance to make a difference in the county where I grew up."

David Greene

Christian Green still considering the Dawgs

Doubt he'll end up at Georgia, but we can always hope. As A.J. Green has taught us, having a great wide receiver makes a ton of difference.


Dennis Felton and Mike Mercer, Together Again

Well, sort of.

Dennis Felton has been working as a color commentator for ESPN. He'll be part of ESPN360's crew for the Rutgers vs. South Florida game, to be played on Saturday, January 16.

I'm sure it will be awkward for Felton to handle a game in which Mike Mercer is playing, but I'm sure he wishes Mercer well. And as a professional, I don't think he will display any bias, even though he might like to see Mercer do well and lead South Florida to victory.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ricky McPhee's Hard Work Produces Results

The article below appeared in the Gwinnett Daily Post three weeks ago.

Even though it's somewhat dated, I wanted to have it on the Blog, so I'm posting it now. The story helps explain why McPhee is contributing as much as he is this year.


Billy Humphrey Gets Praise from Coach

Sounds like Humphrey has taken very seriously the opportunity he was given to continue his basketball career at New Orleans.

He has the solid support of his coach, and maybe, just maybe, Humphrey can make it to the next level.

Travis Leslie Makes Top Ten Plays on SportsCenter


Guy reminds me of me, back before the injury.


Sundiata Gaines Call-Up Video

Once again, congrats to Gaines.

Loved the video of him actually getting the news.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

UGA vs. Kentucky: Could Winner Take All?

Not to put too much pressure on the Dawgs, but this Saturday's game at Rupp could be huge.

At the beginning of the season, everyone was picking the Dawgs to end up last in the SEC East. Georgia was understandably seen as being much weaker than the 5 other teams in the division.

But not even the best prognosticators could have foreseen the variety of on-court and off-court issues that have affected the opposition. As the SEC kicks off the first conference games this weekend, I think the pundits would agree that Georgia's prospects are much brighter, based on the following:

1. Volunteer Orange Sing Memphis Blues

UT is still figuring out what to do about the problems that have ensnared a few of their key players. Just a few hours after the team played Memphis, a car with Tyler Smith, Cameron Tatum, Melvin Goins, and Brian Williams, was pulled over. The smell of marijuana and the presence of two revolvers under the seat meant trouble for the group.

Law enforcement is still working its way through the investigation, but in the meantime, the four players involved have been suspended indefinitely. Even if Coach Pearl were tempted to give his guys a slap on the wrist, he can hardly do so, now that the police and UT's athletic director are closely involved. Given the bad press that UT's football players have generated, I expect that the four hoops players will not see the court this year.

Make no mistake about it, the 6 scholarship players that Pearl still has at his disposal can all play. And he has some walk-ons to help him fill out his bench. But Pearl's margin for error is now extremely thin. He certainly cannot afford much in the way of injuries, foul trouble, or off shooting nights from the members of his squad. And his style of play will definitely be affected. Can UT commit to run a full-court press all game long, all season long? I don't think so. Without the press, UT struggles to put points on the board.

2. Downey, Dominique and Dismissal in Columbia

As good as South Carolina looked last year, the Gamecocks could end up as lunch this season for the other teams in the SEC. Devan Downey seems to be in a bit of a slump. He's still averaging 18 points per game, but he is shooting right at 40 percent from the floor, and has just as many turnovers as assists.

Dominique Archie, an inside player who had been averaging 14 points per game, was injured last month and has had to have season-ending surgery. Now, just this week, Coach Horn has dismissed Mike Holmes from the team. As the attached article states, Holmes was averaging 11 points and 5 boards per game. South Carolina will still be a team to be reckoned with, but their record as they enter conference play is a rather pedestrian 9 and 5, and without Archie and Holmes, other SEC teams should be able to wear them down in the post.

3. Vandy Plays Beneath Potential

Vanderbilt will be good, and they have defeated Missouri and Depaul in Nashville. However, Vandy will always have a pretty decent record at home, based on the unusual sight lines in their gym.

The Commodores have an up and coming team, but they have lost already this season to Western Kentucky and to Illinois, a team that Georgia beat.

4. Can Florida's Guards Shoot?

Florida is still out there. They hit a lucky three-quarter court shot to beat N.C. State and go to 11 and 3 on the year. However, they have looked less than impressive. UF is last in the league in 3-point shooting, and 10th in the league in field goal percentage.

5. Georgia has the Mojo

Has anyone else noticed? We haven't won every game, and our record is about where it was last year. But, knock on wood, we haven't had a single key injury, suspension, or legal issue this season.

Ebuka Anyaorah was out all last year to allow him to recover from surgery on his shins. His legs are holding up, and he even has some explosiveness going to the rim.

Albert Jackson's broken hand healed up just in time to start the season. Chris Barnes seems to have suffered no ill effects from his wrist surgery last year. Jeremy Price recovered well from the ankle surgery he had before last year. Howard Thompkins, who had a stress fracture in his foot and a sprained knee just before last year's season started, has recovered completely and due to his playing time with FIBA over the summer and his ability to participate in fall workouts, he's in the best shape of his life.

Everyone else in the division seems to be breaking down, just when our players are finally all healthy at the same time.

Could it be that the perennial "UGA basketball snake-bite" has finally latched onto someone else?

6. UK

So that leaves Kentucky. UK is undefeated. They're as good or better as everyone expected.

Are they be primed for an upset? John Wall has had some cramping problems. Perhaps the Dawgs will GATA (Get After That Asp), and Calipari's squad will feel the fangs of defeat on Saturday.

How could it happen?

I would use the same strategy against them that we used against Tech. Pack the lane and make their guards prove they can shoot from outside.

Unlike the Georgia Tech game, the Dawgs will have to rebound like crazy and limit their second shots. If McPhee and Ware get hot from the outside, and our big men play their post guys even, UGA might escape with the W.

Not to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but win against UK and the Dawgs might then have the momentum to go on a streak against the other teams in the SEC East.

I know all of this sounds unlikely, but we just beat the #17 team in the country, and I'm greedy. We have the mojo. Let's take it one game at a time, leave it all out on the court on Saturday, and see what happens.

I'm ready for more basketball. Go Dawgs! Shock the world and win at Kentucky!

Jarvis Hayes Returns to Action

Jarvis Hayes has made it back onto the court for the New Jersey Nets. He had a long recovery (32 games) due to a hamstring that was torn in two places.

In the game against Milwaukee, Jarvis scored 7 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 14 minutes. He shot 3 of 5 from the floor.

The Nets still lost the game, 98 to 76, but it sounds like Jarvis will be able to help them get just a little bit better as the season wears on. Hopefully, not too much, though, since the Nets play the Hawks tonight.

Georgia beats Tech: A few articles

Let's enjoy this one for a while, folks.

AP Story.

Box Score from Rivals.

ABH story.

ESPN Highlights

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sundiata Gaines Called Up

The Utah Jazz announced that they are signing Sundiata Gaines. The Jazz have some injuries at the point guard position, so Gaines will likely have his chance to play and play soon.

Congrats, Yada!

Just Like Football, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap

Dawgs beat Tech. Kudos to Coach Fox.

I thought Dustin Ware and Howard Thompkins had incredible games. Ricky McPhee knocked down clutch shots. Huge win for the Dawgs.

Everybody stepped up and played their roles. Jeremy Price had nice minutes and a couple of key rebounds. Travis Leslie gave us steals, blocked shots and a few highlights.

Great game.

Dawgs "not Man Enough"

As you can tell by my title, I am hoping that the Dawgs come out and surprise everyone by whipping Tech tonight in Athens. Just like the football team took care of business not too long ago, I want UGA's basketball squad to upset the #20 ranked Tech team.

On paper, however, Georgia would not seem to have much of a chance. They have Derrick Favors, Gani Lawal, and Peacock as their big men. Tech has a size advantage on the perimeter, since Udofia and Shumpert go 6' 2" and 6' 5", respectively. My head says that Tech will win by 15 to 20 points. My heart says Georgia by 3.

Can we do it? I say, play zone all night until their guards prove they can hit a jumper. Udofia, Rice, Shumpert and Bell are all shooting 41 percent or worse from the floor.

Let's lace 'em up and play ball. Game time is 7:00 p.m.

Damien Wilkins a Key Contributor for Timberwolves

Nice write-up by the Wolves organization.


Charles Grant Out for the Remainder of Season

Grant suffered a torn triceps injury during the Saints' game Sunday against Charlotte.

I'm sure it's a disappointment for him, after working so hard to help New Orleans achieve their turn-around season. Based on what happened with Grant's previous surgery, it sounds like he should be back on the field in plenty of time to start the season next year.

Grant Injured

Post #1,000: Thanks to All

I haven't written anything in the last couple of days. Sure, I was disappointed by the Dawgs' showing in Missouri-- especially so, after my last post, "10 Reasons" (why the Dawgs would beat Missouri).

But the bigger issue was that, counting my draft posts, my next post would be # 1,000. I had no clue what to write, how I should mark the occasion.

It occurred to me to just say thanks.

Thanks to all of you who follow the Blog. My appreciation for sharing my hobby, a Christ-centered, free, information-oriented, searchable web site on UGA sports. A special thanks goes to those of you who leave a comment. I enjoy the interaction.

Here's to a great 2010. Go Dawgs!