Friday, November 30, 2012

Time for a Victory

The Dawgs are playing South Florida tonight. Can the hoops squad go into an unfriendly environment and emerge with a W?


So far this year USF is averaging less than 4,000 in attendance per home game. Students are likely to be in the midst of preparing for exams, so perhaps their home court advantage will be muted by empty seats ('bout like the Steg' has been lately).

Although USF and UGA have not faced each other before in hoops, South Florida has somewhat of a recent connection to UGA basketball. Back in 2009, USF and coach Stan Heath took a chance and gave Mike Mercer a basketball scholarship after he was dismissed by UGA coach Dennis Felton. While at South Florida, Mercer recovered from two torn ACL's, but it seemed that his other challenges stayed around a bit longer.

At any rate, USF was 22 and 14 last year and is 4 and 2 so far this year, while Georgia had a losing record last year and comes into the game at 2 and 4 this season. USF's big men shoot the ball well from deep, but they can also take it to the rim and finish. Their leading scorer, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, a 6' 9" senior, shoots 50 percent from the floor and over 40 percent from behind the arc.

Despite how things look on paper, in my way of thinking, the two teams are about evenly matched. I refuse to believe that UGA is as bad in basketball as their recent play suggests. Kenny Gaines will sooner or later hit his first bucket and emerge as a big scorer. Donte Williams got a slow start after his suspension, but has started to play better of late. We're not a good three-point shooting team, so I keep waiting for Fox to rein in the guys that keep firing away from long range, and give more time to the guys who can take it to the basket, like Gaines and Brandon Morris. Maybe the ETSU game was an indication that he is doing exactly that.

In any case, if Georgia is to turn around its season, now would be a great time to start. Dawgs 67, USF 64.

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