Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alex Anderson signs to play in Tel Aviv

Alex Anderson, daughter of UGA's own Willie Anderson, and niece of Georgia's Shandon Anderson, has signed to play basketball in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Alex Anderson played in the Atlanta area for Redan High School, where she lettered for 4 years in basketball, 3 years in volleyball, and 2 years as the high jumper on the school's track team. Anderson averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds per game in her senior year for a Redan team that went 24 and 4 on the year.

Anderson signed to play her college ball with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Although Anderson started her freshman year with an average of just 5 points per game, by the time of her junior year, Anderson became an offensive star.

Anderson averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds and 52% shooting from the floor during her junior year. She was named Southern Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year, and was the MVP of the Southern Conference Tournament.

Anderson's scoring average dipped slightly in her senior year, 2008, but she still averaged 17 points a game and almost 10 rebounds. Anderson was again named the Conference's Player of the Year and Tournament MVP.

On May 28, 2008, Anderson was selected to be the Southern Conference's Female Athlete of the year.

Congratulations, Alex!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2009

The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, located in Macon, Georgia, has reduced its list of potential inductees to the Hall for 2009. The list stands now at 35 names.

Former Georgia Men's Basketball Coach, Hugh Durham, is part of the list of 35, as is current Women's Basketball Coach, Andy Landers. Alec Kessler, former UGA basketball player, is also a potential nominee.

A Box of Sneakers

I remember all the pairs of sneakers that I had in high school and college. I didn't have nearly as many as some, but the fact that I had any when some children have none...

Thanks to Samaritan's Feet, Coach Ron Hunter of IUPUI, and ESPN for helping me to be more grateful today.


Rucker Park Highlights

Attached link from ESPN has video from the game.

All these kids can play. Fun to watch.

If I find more, I'll post another link.

Dennis Felton to Appear at UGA's Tate Center

Georgia's Dennis Felton will be in the middle of UGA's campus today, August 29.

Coach Felton will be appearing at 2:00 p.m. at the Tate Center to sign autographs and take pictures. This will be an opportunity for students and fans to meet Coach Felton and ask questions about Georgia basketball.

The last event for Coach Felton at the Tate Center was in April of this year when he lost his 'stache to fulfill a promise. He earlier vowed that he would shave it off if UGA won the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament.

I'd like to see Georgia ramp up performance on the court and do a lot more with marketing and promotions. The event today is hopefully a sign of more good things to come.

Thursday, August 28, 2008 releases their rankings for the

class of 2009.

Derrick Favors is #3, Xavier Henry #2, and John Wall #1.

The folks at not only put John Wall at the top of their list, they go further to suggest that Wall might be the top pick in the NBA Draft in 2010. That's saying something for a prospect that still has a good bit of work to do on his jumpshot. I guess the other things Wall has, the speed, handles and jumping ability, make the case for him. He certainly looks impressive on the photo shot they have of him.

Don't know where Wall will end up in college. I assume Baylor, since they have hired someone that Wall knows to work in their basketball program. If I remember correctly, the recent hire is Wall's former trainer. We'll see. It would be ironic if Wall ends up going somewhere else. I would hate to be a coach at Baylor who has hired a guy, and then not have the recruit to follow.

At any rate, if Georgia couldn't get both, I vote for's #3 guy. Give me the home-grown big man.

Props also to Noel Johnson and Trae Golden for ranking high in the 2009 and 2010 lists, respectively.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Breaking Through

When Dennis Felton initially recruited Terrance Woodbury to Athens, Woodbury had a mix of high flight athleticism and developing skill as a perimeter player. However, injuries to his back and knee during his freshman year pretty much grounded Woodbury for the first season, and in my opinion, took away a good bit of his leaping ability for the next couple of years.

However, Woodbury stuck with it. He gradually recovered from injury, picked it up on the defensive end, and powered through a couple of shooting slumps along the way.

Things seemed to all come together during Georgia's run to the SEC Tournament Championship. Woodbury's play sparked the team to victory, and along with Sundiata Gaines, Woodbury was named to the 2008 SEC All-Tournament Team.

Can Woodbury carry over his performance from earlier this year into the beginning of the 2008/2009 basketball season? It would be huge if he can combine his head-fake and drive move, the mid-range jumpshot, and accuracy from behind the new three-point distance. As the only scholarship senior on the roster, Woodbury's scoring, defense and leadership will be sorely needed this year.

He's definitely a hard worker. Perhaps as his Dad and Coach Felton hope, Terrance Woodbury can have a break-through senior season.


Anyone remember the 400 meter race from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in which a runner injured his hamstring about halfway around the course?

Derek Redmond grabbed the back of his left leg, fell to the ground and sat down. Unable to run, he looked back at the distance that he had completed, then closed his eyes and rolled over on his back. Olympics personnel approached to place Derek Redmond on a stretcher and carry him off to receive medical treatment.

Redmond shrugged off their attention, courageously gathered himself, rose to his feet, and started hopping toward the finish line.

A murmur swept through the crowd as the next scene unfolded. Derek Redmond's father was in the stands. Seeing his son hurt, Jim Redmond reacted. Pushing aside spectators and even staff from the Olympics, Mr. Redmond ran down to the track and caught up with his son.

The father walked along beside his son for several meters, and after whispering words of encouragement, he got his son to stop. He told his son, "You don't have to do this." Derek Redmond replied, "Yes, I do!"

Jim Redmond responded, "Then we'll do it together." He placed Derek's arms around his shoulders, and the two hobbled off toward the finish line.

The murmur from the crowd turned into a roar. Somehow the audience knew that what they were witnessing would be the defining moment of that Olympics and etched in their memories forever.

As the Redmonds neared the end of the race, the son could only hold on, limp, and weep into his father's shoulder. The crowd of 65,000 stood and roared in applause and encouragement.

Together, father and son finished the course.

The Sure Thing

Grassroots Ballin' put out another video of Derrick Favors at the Boost Elite game at Rucker Park.

It shows Favors going up for rebounds, effortlessly flushing the ball through the hoop.

In my opinion, that's the beauty of Favors' game. He rebounds, blocks shots, and is strong around the basket. Great hands.

As his Rucker Park nickname described, Favors is "The Sure Thing."

Derrick Favors Interview

Nice Job here by the website, Northstar Basketball.

Northstar talks with Favors on his game, the opportunity to play in the recent event at Rucker Park, and recruiting.

Favors notes that he is still considering his options. I guess the good news is that Georgia is still in the running, and made it on Favors' short list for visits.

Whichever school gets him, Favors will contribute right away. Hope it's Georgia. Would love to see him suit up in the Red and Black and represent his home state.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mad Hops

Travis Leslie jumps and dunks kind of like me, back before the injury (cough, cough).

It was good to see that the AJC video of the area slam dunk contest was still available. Over 16,000 people cast votes in the AJC's best high school dunker competition. Leslie won by 500 votes over Derrick Favors.

Leslie has mad hops, a level of athleticism that UGA has not had in a long while. Maybe Mike Mercer. Maybe.

But I'm looking forward to seeing what happens this year. Chris Barnes, Ebuka Anyaorah, Travis Leslie, Albert Jackson, Jeremy Price, Howard Thompkins. All these guys can get up and finish above the rim. There should be plenty of dunks to satisfy UGA's hoops fans. Hopefully, all of Felton's players are working hard on strength and conditioning so that they can run faster and rise higher.

If you haven't seen the video of Leslie, I hope you like it. Besides Leslie, who goes first, other Atlanta area athletes are featured, including UGA recruit, Derrick Favors.

Come to think of it, if Georgia gets Favors, then three of the slam dunk competitors (Leslie, Favors and Brandon Boykin) will be in Athens next year. Be sure to watch the videos of Favors and Boykin. Boykin is very impressive at 5' 10". Although he has enough challenges in his life, playing cornerback for Richt, I hope Boykins walks on to the basketball team after football is all wrapped up. Not much chance he will, but the guy can play, and we might need some extra depth at point guard.

Enjoy the video.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Final Results of the "Favorite Felton-Era Buzzer Beater" Poll

Well, the deadline for participating in the poll ran out. I had extended it already once, since this was just the second poll I've done, and I figured that it would be good to let the word get out about the Blog. But after a couple of days had passed and voting slowed down to barely a trickle, I thought it was time to allow the buzzer to sound on the poll itself.

I took the poll down today, but I wanted to record the results and make a few comments of my own.

Poll Results

There were 28 votes altogether, and Zac Swansey's shot to beat Kentucky took top place with 12 votes (42%).

There was a tie for second, between Steve Newman's long distance shot to beat Arkansas at Arkansas, and the three from Levi Stukes against LSU in the "Do it for Broph" game. Each got 6 votes (21%).

Levi Stukes's shot to beat South Carolina got 3 votes (10%).

And coming in last place, but very significant nonetheless, was the Bliss bankshot to win the first game of the SEC Tournament, Georgia over Ole Miss (3%).


We have had some moments of a lot of joy, haven't we? It was a great run, from the times of not having enough players to even practice, to building up little by little. Sure, we had our share of setbacks along the way. Just when we were on the cusp, it seemed like something else would happen to throw a wrench in things and dampen our spirits. Our highest profile recruit went to the pro's. We've had injuries to key players, sudden decisions to transfer, academic suspensions, law enforcement issues, and dismissals. We've known the tragedy of losing a student athlete, and the pride of honoring his memory.

"Snake-bit," some might call Georgia's program. And try as we might, it was hard to disagree. The cards did seem to be stacked against us, as if fate itself resisted Georgia in our efforts to build a successful basketball program.

But ah, the buzzer beaters. The buzzer beaters were "atta-boys" to give us hope along the way. Although it's true that there are some things that cannot be changed, the buzzer beaters were noisy reminders of another truth: Fate cannot trump our individual and collective efforts, the hard work of a team. Not in basketball. And not in life.

Each time the improbable happened, each time that Georgia stuck around long enough to win at the final horn, we started to change our opinion. Slowly at first, perhaps. But after a few giddy hugs and high fives, a quiet confidence emerged. We sensed that Georgia could do it. We can cobble together a team of gritty competitors. We can win. We can make our mark in the SEC. And in the most unlikely of ways, in the most unusual of times, when not just Fate, but Mother Nature, opposing teams and SEC Officials' decisions seemed to team up against us, Georgia went on a remarkable run to claim the SEC Tournament Championship.

So voting for one buzzer beater, when all were important, was difficult for me. In the end, the Zac Swansey 3-pointer got my vote. UGA so rarely beats UK that I had to acknowledge it. Bunch of 3-stars beating a team of 5-stars, especially after Gaines had fouled out? Unlikely as a tightly defended last second 360 degree three-pointer. Great moment seeing Swansey walk off the court with his fist raised. That, and the photograph of those three Kentucky fans who registered their shock with wide eyes and covered mouths.

The Bliss buzzer beater was an incredible moment- the court-length drive by Corey Butler, the beautiful bounce pass, and the "get it up quick as you can barely over the rim" bankshot by Dave Bliss. The aftermath was my favorite Jeremy Jacob memory. Even though he was still on medical redshirt, Jacob had enough hops in his stress fracture-repaired legs to leap up on the back of Dave Bliss for an impromptu piggy-back ride. Dave Bliss' shot started Georgia's run to last year's championship in the SEC Tournament.

The Steve Newman jumper was special, if for no other reason because of Scott Howard's "holy schmokes" call that accompanied it. It also cemented Newman's place in UGA's basketball special moments.

And the Kevin Brophy-related shots by Levi Stukes. The first, to beat South Carolina, with Brophy and Stukes at the bottom of a pile of Dawgs players, celebrating the moment. The second, without Brophy on the floor, but everywhere in the memories of the team and of the fans. How special was it for UGA to "Do it for Broph" over LSU with Kevin Brophy's family in the audience?

We've had tragedy, joy, disappointments, hope-restoring buzzer beaters, even a tornado and a true "two-a-day."

And we have an SEC Tournament Championship.

Snake-bit? Nah. We're tenacious. We're competitors. We're overcomers. We're champions.

Go Dawgs!