Saturday, August 9, 2008

Albert Jackson and Score International Update

Albert Jackson is in the Dominican Republic this weekend, playing with a team from Score International (see Besides Jackson, players from Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are on the 9-player squad.

The Score International group will begin the day with ministry activities, including delivering food to the poor and visiting orphanages. During the evening, Jackson and Score International will compete on the court. Opposing them will be many talented players from the Dominican Republic, including Al Horford and Francisco Garcia.

For the sake of reference, Al Horford was a starter with Florida's two national championship teams and runner-up for the 2008 NBA Rookie of the Year. He scored 10 points with 10 rebounds per game this past year. Francisco Garcia is a current NBA player with the Sacramento Kings. He averaged 12 points and 3 rebounds in the 2007/2008 season. Garcia starred at Louisville for Coach Rick Pitino's team, and led the team to the 2005 Final Four.

Horford and Garcia will be playing on the Dominican Republic's Blue Team (the Dominican team is divided into a blue team and a white team). Joining them and competing for the blue squad will be none other than former UGA recruit and Milledgeville native, Larry Turner, who has applied for citizenship.

Needless to say, the competition in the post will be intense. Al Horford is a rising star in the NBA and Larry Turner is a big physical player at 6' 11", 260 pounds. The basketball playing time and the life experience for Albert Jackson will be unforgettable.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dennis Felton to Appear with President Jimmy Carter

at benefit dinner.

President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Carter will host the "Steak and Stake" fundraiser for the Sumter County Boys and Girls Clubs in the Americus, Georgia area. Coach Felton will be the evening's speaker.

The dinner will be held on September 18.

Demario Mayfield Shines at Reebok All-America Camp

Nice write-up on Mayfield. Scroll down some to see the report from how he performed.


Great grades, great hops, can shoot. Great pick-up for the Dawgs.

Shawn Kemp, Jr., Update

Well, it sounds like the prospect of Shawn Kemp, Jr., going to Washington is not quite a done deal. Apparently, Washington has not offered a scholarship yet. Even if Washington head coach, Lorenzo Romar, does offer a scholarship, Kemp is not sure that playing in Seattle would be the best thing for him.

And it looks like UGA has not offered a scholarship, either, though I thought we had.

I think that Kemp has as much upside as any of our post prospects, with the exception, of course, of Derrick Favors. We have two scholarships to give.

It sounds to me like Kemp, Jr., will eventually end up in Washington. But Kemp did mention UGA as being in the picture.

What does everybody else think? If you were Felton, what would you do?

Walter Hill Update

Has a broken hand, according to the AJC. I think it said he'd be out 3 to 6 weeks.

They must be hitting out there. The football team just started working out with pads, and now people are injured already. I think Mike Moore, another receiver, is also down.

What this means for Hill and basketball? Probably nothing. Of course, the injury could push him out of the rotation even further, which could mean that he might, as a competitor, think again about playing hoops.

Such a longshot, it's hardly worth mentioning. But it is ironic that the day or two after my post about whether Hill should play basketball, he suffers a football-related injury. Deep.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jumaine Jones Signs with Team in Italy

Jumaine Jones recently signed a 1-year contract with Armani Jeans Milano. The team has an option to extend the deal for another 1-year period.

Milano is the second Italian team for which Jones has played. Jones played last year for Eldo Basket Napoli, where he averaged 18 pts and 9 boards per game, and was the 4th leading scorer in the Italian League.

Jumaine Jones was born in Cocoa, Florida, a suburb of Orlando, on February 10, 1979. When Jones was 13, he reportedly witnessed a man get shot and killed. Discontent with the crime-ridden neighborhood in which he lived, Jones asked his mother if he could live in Camilla, Georgia, with a beloved aunt, Rebecca Clayton.

Camilla proved to be an excellent location for Jones. Since his aunt cared for 4 other nephews besides Jones, there was always plenty of competition for friendly basketball games. In fact, Rebecca Clayton's home featured 4 outdoor basketball goals, the rims of which became bent and misshapen as Jones developed his leaping ability and signature dunking style.

Tabbed the "Thrilla from Camilla," Jumaine Jones averaged 27 points and 17 rebounds per game for Coach McDuffie and Mitchell-Baker High School. Jones was named Second Team Parade All-American after his senior year.

Jones committed to UGA Coach Tubby Smith for the 1997 season, but Smith soon after left for the University of Kentucky. Georgia's new coach, Ron Jirsa, who was a Tubby Smith assistant and had helped to initially recruit Jones, flew down to Camilla to meet personally with Jones and re-recruit him to Athens.

Jones honored his commitment to UGA and soon began to put up big numbers for Georgia, averaging 15 pts and 9 boards per game. Jones was named SEC Freshman of the Year. Jones also played for the Goodwill Games in 1998. Jones followed his first season by averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds his sophomore year. He was the first sophomore since UGA's Vern Fleming to lead the SEC in scoring.

Although Jones did well, UGA's basketball team was seen to underperform during Ron Jirsa's tenure. Jirsa was let go, and Jim Harrick announced as the new Bulldogs coach.

Perhaps tired of the coaching changes, Jones declared for the draft. Depite Harrick's efforts to convince Jones to stay, he closed the door on returning to UGA when he hired an agent, Jimmy Sexton, to represent his interests.

Unfortunately, draft night was not kind to Jones. Expected by some to be a lottery pick, Jones ended up falling all the way to the 27th pick, just two spots shy of slipping into the second round, in which contracts are not guaranteed. Jones was the last player left in the Green Room, the location for the expected top picks to sit until their names are called and they are congratulated by the NBA's commissioner.

After two and a half hours had passed, Jones was selected by the Atlanta Hawks. He was almost immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76er's. Philadelphia signed Jones to a 3-year contract.

Despite the disappointment over the draft process and how his time in the League started off, Jumaine had a relatively long and successful NBA career. He stayed in the League for 8 years, playing for Philly, L.A., Phoenix, Cleveland, Boston, L.A., and Charlotte. Jones averaged 7 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist for his career.

Jones signed with his first international team back in October of 2007, and it looks likely that with his new deal, he will continue to play in the Italian League for at least two more years.

Congratulations, Jumaine.

Aminu to Plead Guilty

According to the AJC, Al-Farouq Aminu will plead guilty to three charges related to the incident in which a woman was shot with a BB gun.

I'll spare everyone the Aminu stats. Suffice it to say that he will do very well at Wake Forest. He is a big man that can handle the ball, is very long, and has a good enough shot to play on the wing.

If he keeps his nose clean, he should be okay. He has no margin for error, however. He needs to go to school, practice, hit the books, and go to sleep.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Shawn Kemp, Jr., to Washington?

Did the Reign Man convince his son to sign with Lorenzo Romar?

Since Jr. is still in high school, he can't be an "incoming freshman" at Washington for fall of 2008. Maybe Shawn Kemp, Sr. or the author of the article, got the dates a little off, but the destination right.

Having Shawn Kemp, Jr., come out to Washington makes sense. I think that even if the elder heads over to play in Italy, his base of activity is still Seattle. He would want his son to be close by.

We can probably expect an announcement pretty soon that Shawn Kemp, Jr., is off the board.

Special Moments

Moments like these that make me proud to have been a student-athlete and associated with the game of college basketball. Also makes me happy to be able to blog, so that I can share the link below with others.

The Pamela Malcolm story:

Pamela Malcolm was one of the top players in Connecticut and a Street and Smith's All-American. Just about a month after her decision to play basketball at Bryant University in Rhode Island, she was severely injured in an almost fatal car accident.

Bryant honored her scholarship, and Malcolm showed up at school in a wheelchair. She went to every practice and every game, and while other players were involved in running drills or competing against Bryant's opponents, Malcolm was taken away separately to do the much more rigorous work of rehabilitating her body.

In 2006, Malcolm was honored during Bryant University's senior night. Although she had never before been able to wear the Bryant University uniform, Pamela Malcolm dressed out for senior night and limped out onto the court to thunderous applause. She was positioned underneath her team's basket, and leaning on one crutch, softly banked in her team's first basket of the game, which was also the first and only shot of her career.

The video is 16 minutes long, but well worth watching. I hope you enjoy the story. I sure did.

Better Served Playing Hoops?

I still wonder about Walter Hill.

After initially committing to UGA for basketball, Hill was offered, and he accepted, a football scholarship from Mark Richt and Georgia's football program.

I'm not casting any blame, because there are always circumstances that are not apparent to everyone. It was still nonetheless somewhat disconcerting to learn that the football team, with all of their scholarships, had apparently gone around the basketball team to recruit one of the hoops squad's few permissible commits. Many competing basketball teams at other schools won't actively recruit a basketball player once he commits to Georgia. How, then, did one UGA sports program "cannibalize" another UGA team? As I understand, Dennis Felton was caught offguard by the football team's continued recruitment of Hill. Where was the breakdown? What happened to the communication?

Anyway, Hill is the kind of athlete that makes coaches want to compete for his services. He was named all-state during his football career at East Hall High School. He played wherever his team needed him most-- lining up behind center his junior year, and then swithching to receiver for his senior season.

As talented as Hill was in football, he was arguably even better on the hardwoods. He was named the AAA Basketball Player of the Year by the Georgia Sportswriters Association. He went for 40 points against a Columbia High School team that featured Division 1 talents, Jeremy Price, Lance Storrs, and Travis Leslie. Hill led his team to the state championship.

Since deciding to come to UGA for football, Hill finds himself pretty far back on the depth chart. After red-shirting last year, he begins 2008 fall practice as the 5th at his position, behind Kenneth Harris, Kris Durham, Tavarres King, and Demiko Goodman. Harris and Goodman are both seniors, so there is the possibility that Hill will have plenty of playing time, starting next year. But that's not a given. Georgia will surely recruit at least 3 more receivers to come in next fall.

Of course, Hill could end up moving up the depth chart this year based on his talent and hard work. Other players could be suspended. Or he could get lots of playing time this year because Georgia will use that many receivers in Mark Richt's attack. He could fill a role as a situation player, getting put into the game to run fade routes into the end zone, or to match up with teams who have short cornerbacks. It's hard to predict.

My guess is, though, that things will work out about as they appear now. Hill will get some playing time this year, but the majority of the minutes will go to the seniors, because they are seniors, or to the guys ahead of Hill because they are more natural receivers.

Seeing the way things are lining up and anticipating only limited playing time for Hill on the gridiron, it all makes me think of what could have been. I am sure that Hill would be starting at the shooting guard for Georgia, had he initially enrolled to play basketball. And he could still possibly play both sports-- football until the end of the season and depending upon his past playing time or projected future spot on the depth chart, join the basketball team as a walk-on some time in January. I doubt that he would opt to play basketball at all, but if he did, he has the ability to provide a boost to the hoops squad during the team's difficult SEC slate.

We'll see. And this will probably be my last post on the subject. Hill is a grown man. Makes his own decisions. Doesn't need me to second-guess them.

But with Billy Humphrey gone, UGA hoops sure could use some help this year. I think of Hill's basketball talent, look at the football depth chart, and I just wonder.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Georgia Releases 2008/2009 Men's Basketball Schedule

Looks pretty tough to me.

Besides the always difficult slate of SEC games, Georgia is playing a good number of out of conference foes that did well last year, including the following teams:

Georgia Tech:

Although Tech won't have a very deep bench this year, their starting five can play with anybody. M. Miller, L. Clinch, G. Lawal, Z. Peacock, and I. Shumpert all have game. The home team normally wins in the Georgia-Georgia Tech basketball rivalry, and this year's game is in Atlanta.


Went 10 and 6 in the conference. Missouri beat a Kansas State team that featured Billy Walker and Michael Beasley, and also upended a tough Texas squad.

Western Kentucky:

Sweet 16 team. They went 29 and 7 on the year and 16 and 2 in the conference. Champs of the Sunbelt Conference. Western Kentucky lost their head coach to South Carolina and their leading scorer, Courtney Lee, to graduation, but they still have a number of good pieces. Coach Felton once considered Steffphon Pettigrew for a scholarship offer. Although we didn't offer, Pettigrew showed that he can compete. He was named the Sunbelt Conference Newcomer of the Year.

Virginia Tech:

Another 20-game winner. They went 21 and 14 for the year, narrowly losing by 2 points to UNC, blitzing UAB and doing a good job in the ACC.

Besides the teams above, Georgia is sure to face some stiff competition in the Preseason NIT. And we start off the SEC schedule with a game against Tennessee.

I like the fact that we're already on tap for 8 t.v. appearances, and I'm glad to see Georgia play a more challenging schedule. I just hope we can still find a way to succeed. I'd like to win 20 games this year.

Travis Leslie is Impressive

This guy will help.

The Hoops Report has a nice video of Leslie.

The video contains several above the rim plays, blocked shots, one and two-handed slams. Leslie has big ups.

Leslie is a deer running up and down the court. He has a great post-up game for a small forward, and he works hard on the offensive and defensive boards.

The part that surprised me was to see him use his left hand. He also shows some crafty shots off the glass.

I'm thinking that Leslie is a big-time sleeper. Not that he was an unknown, but that he wasn't ranked nearly high enough. For example, Rivals had Leslie slotted as the 117th best player in the country. In comparison, Tony Woods was ranked #20.

As I posted previously, when Leslie and Columbia High played Tony Woods and the Rome High School Wolves, Leslie had a huge game. He went for 30 pts, while Woods managed only 14. I know that Woods is a big man and ranking-wise probably benefitted from the thought that he has higher pro potential, but the head-to-head game suggests that there shouldn't be such a large disparity in their relative positions on the Rivals 150. We'll see how both players develop this year.

Justin Young alluded once to the fact that Leslie needed to work on his perimeter skills. notes perimeter shooting as an area in which Leslie needs to improve.

I remember that Coach Felton had Mike Mercer practice shooting the ball with just one hand. Right under the basket, then moving out a couple of steps, a couple of steps more, and so forth until Mercer was behind the three-point line. Maybe that same drill might be useful for Leslie.

If Leslie demonstrates the ability to consistently score the basketball out to 15- 17 feet, he will be tough to keep out of the starting five.

Here's Hoping She Has Plenty to Cheer About This Year!

Howard Thompkin's mother says that she is very vocal in her support for her son's team.


It will be great to have the son and the mother as contributors to UGA's hoops program this year.

Score International

I heard somewhere that Albert Jackson went on a missions trip this summer. It may have been with Score International.

Here's the link to Score International, a ministry founded by a former college basketball coach.

And below is the article from the time that Mike Mercer and Rashaad Singleton spent in the Dominican Republic a couple of years ago.

Fantastic Career

Great article on Jeff Malone.

UK to face Tough Schedule

I posted below that UK could surprise if Jodie Meeks gets healthy and the freshmen come in ready to perform.

Then again, they might be in over their heads with the schedule they just announced.

Are they deep enough to weather the storm of off-season conditioning, academic issues, and injuries? They'd better be if they expect to win against North Carolina and Louisville. Indiana should be a victory, but the other games will be very tough.

Gamecocks to Play in Europe

Darrin Horn and the South Carolina Gamecocks basketball squad will travel to Europe and compete against international teams.

The Gamecocks do not have any incoming freshmen recruits this year, so the trip should be a team-building exercise, a chance for Horn to see his players compete, and a chance for the players to get to know Horn better.

Will South Carolina be good this year? It could happen, but I'm certainly not anticipating it. New coach, not much height in the post. Tough SEC competition. But they will be scrappy, and Downey can flat out score the basketball.

Horn should begin to move the program forward this year, and Georgia better be ready.

Grading Billy Gillespie

If UK wins, their fan base will not care about any of the other stuff. Nonetheless, I thought the attached analysis was interesting.

UK could be really good this year, or they could be really mediocre. If Jodie Meeks ever gets healthy, they could surprise some people. Patrick Patterson is a stud. Don't know much about their incoming recruits and whether they ever qualified to get into school. But Gillespie has assembled some parts and he is working hard on the recruiting front.

Larry Turner Playing for the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants

I don't like the team name, but that's beside the point.

Larry Turner plays for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, an NBA Development League team that was formed in November, 2007. Jeremy Richardson, who later was signed by the Atlanta Hawks, played for Fort Wayne when he was in the D-League. The Mad Ants are affiliated with the NBA's Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons squads.

Turner did fairly well for the Mad Ants. He averaged 8 pts and 7 boards per contest.

Larry Turner never played for UGA, although he almost did. A 6' 10" center, he was considered a key recruit in Coach Jim Harrick's anticipated class of 2002. Turner attended Baldwin High in Milledgeville, Georgia, averaging 12 pts, 10 rebounds and 6 assists his senior year.

However, due to purported irregularities in the test-taking process, Larry Turner was not admitted to the University. He ended up going to Oklahoma, where he averaged just 3 pts and 2 rebounds per game. Turner later transferred to Tennessee State, and averaged right at 6 pts and 6 rebounds per contest.

Turner was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers in August of 2007, and thereafter played in the D-League. Turner was named on July 17, 2008, to the Ambassador team, the group of D-League allstars that sometimes competes against international teams.

Louis Williams signs 5-year deal with the Sixers

Kid is going to earn $25 million. Amazing.

Good for him, though. Wish he could have played for Georgia at least one year. The NBA's requirement that guys be at least one year removed from high school before entering the League was passed the year after it would have applied to Louis Williams.

And had he attended Georgia, perhaps Mike Mercer would have kept his head on straight. Who knows? Too much speculation.

I'm glad it worked out for Williams and for Georgia.

Oliver Purnell Announces Cancer Benefit

Oliver Purnell, basketball coach for the Clemson Tigers, will host a benefit celebration to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

I have often remarked at how similar is Clemson's basketball program to Georgia's. Purnell was brought in right about the time that Felton was hired.

Purnell and Felton are good friends, and both of them appear to run the same offense. Clemson has had better talent, but hopefully that disparity has started to be diminished.

Both programs emphasize defense first. And Clemson made it to the ACC Tournament Finals last year and then to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years. Of course, Georgia won the SEC Tournament and played in the NCAA Tournament.

This is more of a stretch, but I can see Chris Barnes becoming a Trevor Booker-type player in the next year or so.

Purnell got a few 3-stars coming in as recruits, including Tanner Smith and Andre Young from the Atlanta and Albany areas, respectively. Those two remind me of Drazen Zlovaric and Dustin Ware, incoming Georgia recruits.

I hope that the Oliver and Vicky Purnell fundraiser turns out well.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Best Intentions

often go awry.

This incident is a reminder that fans contacting recruits or their families is almost always a bad idea.

A few Dawgs are on the list of the 66

pairs of brothers who both played in the NBA. The article below is entitled "Hermanos y Leyendas," which means "Brothers and Legends" in English.

Even if we slept through our high school Spanish classes and cannot read the article, everybody can see the names at the bottom of the article where the former Dawgs are listed.

The Brothers Gasol, who look remarkably alike, will be the 66th pair. It's ironic that Marc Gasol will apparently be signing with the Memphis Grizzlies. Weren't they the team that got robbed when they traded away his older brother, Pau, to the Los Angeles Lakers? Since Marc was the MVP of the Spanish League, he might help the Grizzlies to recover.

If you make a mistake, I guess life sometimes gives you another chance, or at least something that looks like it.

My Profile

For reasons of space and other considerations, I have decided to put my profile on the Blog as a Post, rather than on the side where the basketball information is placed.

DaugMan Profile:

I'm a former UGA Hoops player. I still enjoy following the team, and I keep the Blog as a hobby and as an outlet for my love of writing. Some UGA message board readers may remember me from when I used to post fairly often on Georgia's Rivals site.

I hope to keep things positive and spur increased interest in Georgia's program. Go Dawgs!

Comments or Contacting Me

If you have any comments on the Blog, or would like to contact me (I'd appreciate knowing your feedback), you can leave comments on this site, or even better, reach me at

Hope to hear from you.

Jason Morris is an Elite Performer

Georgia was on him early, but it sure is crowded around this guy.

New England Recruiting Report has the best profile of Morris that I have seen. Their profile and video are free.

As evidenced by the video, Morris has nice form on his jumpshot. And he is a high-riser. The guy jumped 6' 3" as a freshman track athlete back in 2006. Here's the link:

He won't graduate until 2010, so he has a couple years to work on getting his vertical up to where it matches mine... Ha!

Georgia has a chance to sign Jason Morris for the 2010 class. Morris is originally from Augusta, I think, and I believe that he attended camp at UGA.

Looks like we'll only have one scholarship to give. But if Jason Morris is the signee, I would consider that to be good work for the recruiting staff.

Chipola glad to get Jacob

I admit it. I'm annoyed by the attached article.

Chipola is a good junior college. They have a great basketball program, and I'm happy, in that sense, that Jeremy Jacob put together a transition that works for him.

But I'm annoyed because Chipola will actually get to see what Jacob can do for their program, and the Dawgs never got the chance. But for the stress fracture, I'm convinced that Jacob would have played a bunch last year and stayed with the Dawgs for this year and beyond.

Will he be a superstar at Chipola? Jury's still out. Chipola's coach, Greg Heiar, is convinced.

Anyway, once a Dawg, always a Dawg, in my opinion. That is, unless you play against us.

I'll give updates as I can about how Jeremy Jacob is doing.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

D.A. Layne Organizes Basketball Game

Derek Anthony Layne was a 6-foot point guard/scoring guard for UGA. Joining the team in 1998, Layne was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team.

Layne declared for the draft after his sophomore year, but did not hire an agent. He returned for his junior year, after which he declared again, and hired an agent, thereby foregoing his senior season.

Layne averaged 16 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists over his 3-year career. He was the all-time school leader in 3-pointers made, and ranked 9th in career scoring.

Although Layne was not drafted by the NBA, he had a relatively long career playing overseas. As I recall, Layne last played in Colombia, South America.

He returned to the States a few years ago and is now looking to form a sports agency.

Layne recently began thinking about having a reunion game to bring together former players at Marietta's Wheeler High School. Layne communicated with some of the players and they were enthusiastic about the idea. The game was held Friday, August 1, 2008. Professional athletes Shareef Abdul Rahim, Jemareo Davidson and J.J. Hickson participated.

Since I'm not sure how long the AJC article will be available, here's a similar article from the Marietta Daily Journal.

And here is the article that details how the game turned out.

Good event. Good job, D.A.

Nice Picture

Okay, Corey Butler. Time to step up to the plate.

Butler did a great job last year, especially during the SEC Tournament run. Now the issue is, can he be the starter at the two-guard position for Georgia?

He can definitely defend the position. He is an energizer out there. But Georgia will need points next year. And that's the problem. Right now, Butler is shooting just 40% from the floor. He will have to boost that substantially to have a shot at giving Georgia what it needs.

Butler scored a ton of points in high school, so maybe at least part of the issue is having the confidence that he can play at the Division I level. That is somewhat suggested by the article below.

As other guys have left, they seemed to open the way for Corey Butler to get more minutes. Now he is one of just two seniors. He'll have all the opportunity in the world to play this year. I think he has more scoring in him.

Show the leadership and the offensive game, Corey.

Where Are They Now? Kendrick Johnson

Kendrick Johnson, of Morton, Texas, has been playing at South Plains College. He averaged 4 points and 4 rebounds in the 2007/2008 year, which saw SPC win the national championship for the NJCAA.

Considered at one time to be a top ten player nationally during his high school career, Johnson's was later hampered by chronic ankle problems. Johnson signed with UGA, but due to his injuries, played only one season. He averaged 2 points per contest.

Johnson will play at Abilene Christian University for the 2008/2009 season.

The Lion King

Since I mentioned Demario Mayfield's academic achievements, I decided to follow up by posting the link below.


The article gives some insight into Mayfield's personality and includes some quotes from Mayfield's coach.

Demario averaged 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists as a sophomore.

Not Good

The fight that took place outside a bar in Athens was not good. Hate to see athletes get in trouble.

I guess that's one way to get some clarification on the depth chart. Donovan Baldwin, Marcus Dowtin, Jeff Henson and Michael Lemon have been or will likely be suspended from playing with the football team. Does not look good at all for Lemon ever playing again, and the same could be said for Jeff Henson and Donovan Baldwin.

No basketball players involved, as far as we know.

Demario Mayfield gets it done in Classroom

He was recently named to the Franklin County High Merit List.

Scholar Athlete

Note: Scroll down about halfway in the link to find Demario's name.

Congratulations, Demario!