Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Elmore Spencer's Story

Sports Illustrated did a story years ago about Elmore Spencer.

Spencer was born in Atlanta, went to Booker T. Washington High School, and found a talent for basketball. At 6' 11" and 315 pounds, he led his high school team to the state championship. Unfortunately, before Spencer completed high school, he lost his mother, and was subsequently treated for depression.

Spencer was recruited to the University of Georgia, and was poised to team with Alec Kessler to give Georgia a very big and very talented front line. However, due in part to the medications he was taking, Spencer reportedly fell behind in his classes. Coach Durham wanted him to sit out for half the year. The school's administration insisted that Spencer sit out the entire season.

There's no telling how good Georgia could have become if Spencer had played all four years in Athens. From what I understand, by the time Spencer's medication was all straightened out, he was on his way, departing from the University of Georgia and heading to junior college.

SI tells the story and follows Spencer up to the point at which he was ready to go to the NBA.


Away from the Blog for a few days.

Will be posting again soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Georgia Opponent, South Carolina Upstate,

holds Midnight Madness.

Since the November 14 match against South Carolina Upstate is the first official game of the year (for Georgia and for USC-U), it stands to reason that their Midnight Madness is designed at least in part to get them fired up to play us. And from the accounts of the slam dunk contest, they have some serious athletes.

Whether we have a Midnight Madness or some other public kick-off event for the team, we'd better get ready, mentally, emotionally and physically, for a long and very competitive season.

Upstarts at Upstate

Improvements to UGA Website

I have to give credit where credit is due. I mentioned last week that UGA's basketball roster was up on the school's official website, However, the roster was incomplete and had some disappointing omissions.

Since that time, several changes have been made on the site and it is better. I may have missed it before, but I was pleased to see that the site has video of the team practicing. The video is short and it leaves you wanting more, but basketball season will be here soon, and we can see the real thing.

In the meantime, every improvement, such as the more complete roster information, should be noted and applauded.

Chris Daniels with New Team

Chris Daniels signed back in July, 2008, with the Polish League team, PGE Turow. He came over from Zotwicka, another team in the Polish League, for whom he played for the last two seasons.

Daniels averaged almost a double-double last season, notching 14 points, 9 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. He's off to another good start this year.

Daniels has played internationally since leaving Georgia. Not only has he played for Turow and Zotwicka of the Polish League, mentioned above, but also for the Shougang Beijing Ducks of China, AB Contern of Luxembourg, and Landstede Zwolle of the Netherlands.

Daniels was an elite performer during his career at Georgia (years 2000 to 2004). He started 94 times, scored over 1,000 points, and grabbed 763 rebounds.

Should Georgia Have Midnight Madness?

Okay. I wrote last Tuesday on how Tevester Anderson was having a "Midnight Madness" practice at Jackson State, and I asked the question why the idea never caught on at Georgia.

In the meantime, various posters have opined on message boards whether Georgia should have one, and why they don't do so now. I don't have enough information to say definitively one way or the other, but the following article makes a couple of points very well:

1) A number of programs are doing it.

2) It can be a lot of fun.

I guess it can get old, too, if you don't have new ideas, but that's why you have sports marketing people.


Georgia will have an open practice on November 3, according to one program supporter. We have something to celebrate with the SEC Tournament Championship, and the students probably would enjoy a free, fun event, with no alcohol.

Madness has my vote.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Louis Williams Playing Well in Pre-Season

In a recent game against the NBA Champion Boston Celtics, Louis Williams led his team, the Philadelphia 76er's to victory.

Williams came off the bench and promptly scored 27 points on 7 of 12 shooting from the field, and 12 of 13 from the free throw line. That's the production that I was looking forward to when the Dawgs garnered the commitment from Williams.

Williams is fast going to either side and he will challenge big men with his leaping ability. The end result is normally a dunk or a foul, and Williams is a pretty good free throw shooter. The fact that he doesn't fit the typical pass-first point guard proto-type was and is irrelevant. The guy can play.

I had hoped that the Atlanta Hawks would have signed him. I think the Hawks are in pretty good shape with Mike Bibby and Acie Law, but I think Williams is a singular talent.

And just think, he would have been a senior this year.

Similarities in Clemson and UGA

I posted last year on one of the message boards about the similarities between Clemson and UGA basketball.

At the time, Clemson was having much more success than Georgia, but I considered UGA to be about a year, maybe two, behind where Clemson was. Since Georgia went on its SEC Tournament Championship run, the case for the comparison was improved.

Here's a good article on what Clemson is expecting to do this year:


Common Elements

1. Players Recruited

Clemson brought in for 2008 the following players: Andre Young, Tanner Smith, and Caitlin Baiciu.

The first two are players from Georgia, who were recruited by Georgia, and whom Georgia would have signed, except for the fact that Georgia chose Dustin Ware and Drazen Zlovaric first. Caitlin Baiciu is a foreign exchange student, who is a 7'2" player with good skills who will need some seasoning. Sounds a lot like 2009 Georgia commit, Daniel Miller.

2. Achievements Last Year

Clemson went to the finals of their conference's tournament. Georgia went to the finals of the SEC tournament and won it.

Clemson went to the NCAA's for the first time in 10 years. Georgia went to the NCAA's for the first time in numerous years.

3. Style of Play

Clemson will defend first. So will UGA. Without Sundiata Gaines, Georgia will likely not be as good defensively as they were last year. Coach Felton may need to try some traps, or rely on the 1-3-1 zone scheme a bit more, but his approach and the approach of Coach Purnell will remain consistent.

Speaking of UAB,

one source has reported that Georgia is interested in Casey Mitchell, a verbal commit to UAB for 2009.

I really don't see Georgia getting seriously involved here. Georgia does need a shooter, and Casey Mitchell can do that. He is a pre-season JUCO all-american down at Chipola Junior College in Florida. However, I don't think Coach Felton is convinced that JUCO players will help Georgia's program much.

Besides the JUCO issue, Georgia is limited in scholarships. Mitchell would be a 2009 signee, and having only one scholarship for 2009, Georgia will keep that open until April of 2009, when Derrick Favors is projected to make a decision on where he goes to college.

Tennessee and Arkansas are also said to be interested in Mitchell. I think he honors his verbal and ends up at UAB.

UAB has depleted roster

Only 8 scholarship players will be eligible to start the season. They have a couple of guys who are sitting out the required year after transferring in, and a couple of guys are academically ineligible for the fall, if memory serves me, and these should be ready to go for the winter.

Former UGA player, Channing Toney, will play the entire year this year, after playing a partial season in 2007/2008. He should have plenty of playing time, though some of it will likely come at the 3 position. We'll see how this year goes for him.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Roster up on Official Website


Thanks for the information. A lot of good stuff there.


Please update the information on Terrance Woodbury. He is a key player. Why is there no information on his performance from last year?

There is nothing on Drazen Zlovaric. There must be some reason. Even if he wasn't around for picture day, there should be some information on him for the roster.

A little more editing would be nice.

Video on UGA Basketball

A couple of good pre-season videos are on the Net. The Athens Banner Herald has one with clips of Dennis Felton, Zac Swansey, Howard Thompkins and Corey Butler.


Rivals has video as well.

Corey Butler has to be my favorite in terms of ability to field questions. He looks and sounds like a seasoned pro. If he doesn't go to medical school, maybe he should seriously investigate a career as a broadcaster.

It's good to have some quality pre-season information out there. We'll see how the team rounds into shape.