Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is Georgia in the Box?

Wonder if Jordan Williams has caught our attention? Would be nice if one of the letters in his box is from UGA.

I know we're not targeting as many sleepers as in prior years. I would assume that this year we have appropriately expended most of our energy tring to haul in the highly ranked home-grown products, right here in the state.

However, notwithstanding our changed recruiting situation, the fact remains that we still occasionally offer a scholarship to a couple of out of state guys who at least for the moment have been overlooked by other programs (like Thomas Robinson). And I hope that Williams somehow was spotted by UGA staff.

Jordan Williams seems to have all the tools, and if he competed well against Favors, and anchored a team that has the record of the New England Playaz, that's enough for me. We need to check this guy out now and contact him. You never know. He might like to leave the cold climes of Connecticut and come down south for his college career.

Harrington on Favors

Harrington says that Derrick Favors is legitimately ranked as the top player in the country for 2009. I agree.

Not that my opinion counts, mind you, but I'll offer it anyway. Fundamentally strong big men only come around once so often. There may be guys at the 1 and 2 position who score a lot of points and have good handles. But if I'm building a team, I start with the big guys, the guys who will rebound, defend, block shots, and score in the paint.

Harrington compares Favors' athleticism to Dwight Howard, who played not that long ago for the same AAU squad as Favors. That comparison is somewhat unfair, because Howard is older and has worked very hard to get stronger.

However, I will say this. Favors will be right there with Howard in athleticism if he keeps progressing. And Favors might be the better pro prospect. He reminds me a lot of Tim Duncan. Very good fundamentals. But Favors is probably quicker and jumps higher than Duncan, so there's no telling how good he can be.

Felton speaks at United Way

Coach Dennis Felton was the featured speaker at a local fundraiser for the United Way in Walton County. He apparently fired up the volunteers and other supporters.

Community events like the one that took place last night are instrumental in creating the kind of good will that the basketball program needs. And Felton has a story to tell right along in here, with the team pulling off an Atlanta Braves-style "worst to first" run to the SEC Tournament Championship.

So it's a good fit. The Dawgs and the United Way. Small game of basketball helping out with the bigger game of life. Hopefully Coach Felton's participation will help the Walton County group reach its goal.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Derrick Favors still weighing his options,

so says the AJC.

I thought that he had trimmed his list down to Georgia, Georgia Tech and N.C. State. But he is still considering other schools, including Kansas, Kentucky, Florida and Memphis.

Much too long a list for my druthers, but it is good that UGA is still in the mix. I understand that his coach, Michael Reddick, is a very sincere person and wants what is best for Favors.

Maybe it will all work out and UGA will have extremely good news in November.

It would be great, Mr. Favors, for you to stay home and play for your home state's flagship insitution, the University of Georgia! Go Dawgs!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shawn Kemp to wait on Committing?

This might turn out like Ebuka Anyaorah's situation. By waiting until the end of his basketball year, Kemp might get a ton more offers.

It could also work out to UGA's favor. If Kemp really is unsure about going out to Seattle, he might want to stay home. In the meantime, Georgia could get more clarity on the number of big men we will have on the roster.

As I've noted in the past, Kemp has incredible upside. He will get more aggressive as he learns to play the game and as his body fills out some. See Roy Hibbert.

Links to help with the New Poll

Not the best links, but these might assist if you want to review before voting.

1. Dave Bliss and Fred Flintstone-style bankshot

2. Zac Swansey's Spinning Three-Pointer

3. Steve Newman's "Holy Schmokes" Three-Pointer to beat Arkansas

4. UGA vs. LSU and Glen "Big Baby" Davis.

Damon Evans wants to win

I was surprised by Evans and his focus on basketball. He really wants to win.

The support from the top is critical for Georgia to make the next move toward a successful basketball program. Now the coaching staff has to translate Evans' good will, commitment, and high expectations, into energy. Coaches Felton, Jones, and Herrmann must do the tough work during the off-season, molding a team that is still very young, having just one senior and one junior, and making them a cohesive playing unit.

The good news is that although the team is not long on experience, it is growing in ability. Just compare the squad that Felton had in his second year to the team that he has now. Felton has some good pieces to work with. We're getting better, and just in time, too, because everyone else in the SEC is upgrading their talent. There will be no easy learning curve for UGA's 5 freshmen and 4 sophomores.

Evans has shown that he is willing to commit the dollars to basketball. We have upgraded facilities, and there is more coming. Maybe not a new arena, but enough of an investment that Coach Felton, possible recruits and the fan base will see that our athletics director is very serious.

Florida has done it. UT has done it. Georgia has improved in talent and facilties. We won the SEC Tournament. But the question remains: Can UGA be very, very successful at both football and basketball?

Evans wants to win. I can't wait to see how the team responds.

Southern Classic Roundball Invitational

is set for this weekend.

Might sound a little bit like a UGA basketball reunion. Damien Wilkins, Shandon and Willie Anderson, Adrian Jones and others are reportedly participating. Former UGA coach, Jim Harrick, is supposed to be there, ostensibly as coach of a team from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Games will be played at Life University.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Role for Thompkins?

I was trying to think of what the role for Thompkins would be for his freshman year...

As indicated in the link below, Thompkins can score the basketball.


I assume that at least for 2008/2009, the start will go to the more experienced players. That means that Thompkins will come off the bench early, playing big minutes, depending upon whether we place him at the three or four position, and whether Jeremy Price and Terrance Woodbury play defense and manage to stay out of foul trouble.

Another question: When was the last time that UGA had a scorer at power forward? I guess, Takais Brown, but that comparison really doesn't fit. Brown was a one-year wonder, a Juco, and more of a bruiser than a scorer.

Shon Coleman was a leaper, a guy who almost averaged a double-double during his two-year UGA career. Coleman notched 12 points and 8 boards a game back in 2000 and 2001. Chris Daniels was a do-everything type of guy. He got 11 or 12 points a game and 8 rebounds over three years (2002 to 2004). But as good as Coleman and Daniels were, they were more players than scorers.

So what will Thompkins' role be? Who is he like?

If Thompkins boosts his leaping ability, builds his body, and adjusts to the physical SEC play, he may become the anchor for a great run for UGA. He might end up as Georgia's most dominant power forward ever. It really could happen. And he would accordingly be in a class all by himself, perhaps even becoming the first-round pick that at least one opposing coach said he would be.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jumaine Jones inducted

into the Mitchell County Sports Hall of Fame.

Mitchell County Hall

Guess we'd better not count the Gamecocks out

They will play hard for first-year coach Darrin Horn.

Although they don't have any new recruits coming in for 2008, they still have basically the same pieces that led them to 6 SEC wins last year. They beat Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Georgia, LSU, and Arkansas. That's only one victory over an SEC East team, but they went into Tennessee and played them very close, losing by only 2 points.

Add to their strong guard play the emergence of Mike Holmes, and the Gamecocks could be tough.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Score International wins over the Washington Jammers

After getting beaten by the Dominican Blue Team on Friday, Score International rebounded Saturday with a win over the Washington Jammers, a team from the U.S. The final score was 67 to 65.

Score International moved on to the next round and played the Dominican White Team on Sunday. Larry Turner notched 12 points to help lead the locals to victory, 73 to 68.