Saturday, November 22, 2008

300th Post

For my 300th post, I wanted to thank everyone who reads the Blog.

Special thanks to those who leave comments. I really appreciate it.



Dell Curry and Stephen Curry

Great, great interview on Sports South. Did anybody else catch it?

I'm definitely in Stephen Curry's corner. Hope he has a fantastic season.

Don't Sleep on Vandy

I watched a little bit of the Vandy game the other night. I think they played Illinois.

Anyway, Vandy really impressed me. They lost the game, but they will win their fair share this year.

Some recruiters missed on Festus Ezeli. Reminds me a little bit of Al Horford. He is starting at center for Vanderbilt, which moves Olgilvy to the big forward position.

Besides the big men, Vanderbilt has a number of shooters. And they looked good despite the fact that one of Vandy's top players is out sick. If he gets back on his feet, Vanderbilt will be able to bring in waves of players. Look out SEC East.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Utah Beats Ole Miss: SEC looking Bad

The SEC is not doing as well as I expected. The West was going to be weak, I figured. However, I was not anticipating that Alabama and Auburn would be defeated by Mercer.

I definitely did not like UGA losing to Loyola. But when you combine that loss with Kentucky's loss at home to VMI, it shows that the SEC East and West have started the year out slowly, and both parts of the conference must be rated, "underperforming."

Now, Utah beat Ole Miss. I don't know if that's an upset or not, since I don't follow Utah basketball. I didn't even know they played basketball out there.

I was interested in Georgia's recruitment of Zach Graham a couple of years ago. But he went 0 for 6 against Utah, so I guess I'm not that good an evaluator of talent.

If the guys from the other conferences keep beating the SEC squads, then we may get just a couple of few teams into the NCAA Tournament.

Let's play Travis Leslie More

Travis Leslie played just 16 minutes last night. In that time, he had 4 points on 2 for 2 shooting. He was fantastic on the boards, too, getting 6 rebounds, 2 of which were on the offensive end.

Leslie also had 2 blocked shots. These were hustle plays, that were critical to Georgia going on its 13 to 0 run in the second half.

Coach Felton said in the post-game show that Leslie is not as familiar as he would like with the defensive philosophy, and is "playing on instinct out there."

Yet and still, the guy had incredible production in just 16 minutes. If this is instinct, I'll take it.

Since Terrance had an off night (5 for 14, 0 for 3 from long distance, 0 for 1 from the free throw line, with 3 turnovers), and Leslie hasn't missed from the field, I'd sit Woodbury for a while and ride the hot hand. After getting a blow, bring Woodbury back out and slide Leslie up to the 2-guard, or even down to the 4-position. Anything. I, for one, would love to see him play more.

Georgia vs. Santa Clara: Keeping up with the Johnsons

Georgia will be playing Santa Clara on Monday night.

If Dawg fans remember, Santa Clara is the team on which Kendrick Johnson's brother plays. Calvin Johnson is a 6' 2" senior who averages 5 points and two rebounds per game.

I'm sure that Johnson will want to come out and play very well against the Dawgs.

Georgia Beats Presbyterian

Final score: 55 to 47.

I did it last time, so I'll repeat it maybe one last time, using the good, bad and ugly analysis method.


Travis Leslie was 2 for 2. Troy Brewer hit a 3 right away. The Dawgs took it to the inside. Chris Barnes went 3 for 4. Zac Swansey was the player of the game, imo, shooting 6 for 10 from the floor and getting 6 rebounds.

Georgia played well without Albert Jackson and without Howard Thompkins. Georgia got behind and turned it around on a 13 to 0 run. Georgia played full court press.


I consider the "bad" to be things that I'd like to see happen differently.

So, I think Travis Leslie deserves more playing time. He was 2 of 2 from the field and got 6 rebounds in very limited minutes. He was the spark off the bench that the Dawgs needed.


Foul shooting. Atrocious. We shot 2 for 11. Our point guards have to shoot well from the free throw line, particularly at the end of games, and they're not doing it.

Terrance Woodbury did not shoot well-- 5 for 14. He needs to score the basketball and shoot a high percentage.

We were losing in the second half to Presbyterian. Not good.

Bottom Line:

A win is a win. Georgia is 3 and 1 on the season. Two more games coming next week. We need to get both of these, and ease Thompkins back into the mix.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's Posts


1. Unexpected Draft Selection in NBA D-League

2. Ezra Williams played last night for the Austin Toros

3. Sundiata Gaines Adjusting

4. Daniel Miller signing article

Check the Blog Archive (on the left) for the stories.

Unusual Selection for D-League

Frederick Levar Gibson was selected in the NBA D-League draft, held Friday, November 7. Gibson was drafted by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds in the 10th round.

Gibson's decision to play basketball might be somewhat unexpected to those Dawgs who remember Gibson's play on the football field. During his collegiate career, Gibson excelled as a receiver, garnering an impressive 161 receptions, almost 3,000 yards, and 20 touchdowns. He was selected in the 2005 NFL draft, as pick #131 by the Minnesota Vikings.

Gibson, who considered himself, "Randy Moss, without the attitude," spent time on the practice squad of several NFL teams, however, he never made it onto the field during an official NFL game.

To those who know him best, Gibson's decision to pursue basketball might not be that much of a surprise at all. Gibson grew up in Waycross playing basketball. He averaged 21 points a game as a senior. Being a 6' 4" speedster, he was a hotter commodity as a receiver than at shooting guard, so he signed a football scholarship with UGA.

Notwithstanding Gibson's role on the football team, Georgia Coach Jim Harrick still had his eye on Gibson for the basketball squad. In 2001/2002, Gibson in fact joined the basketball team after the football season, and scored a career-high 13 points against University of Florida. He averaged 5 points and a rebound for the basketball Dawgs, and shot 45% from the floor.

Now that Gibson is with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, he is now back to his comfort zone. He stated it this way prior to the NFL draft: he liked basketball, but played football because it was his job.

Since he was not able to showcase his talents on the football field, Gibson has apparently returned to his first love.

The Albuquerque Thunderbirds has a pre-season game tomorrow night. I'll check the results and post a recap if Gibson gets to play.

Good luck, Freddie!

Ezra Williams

starts the pre-season schedule for the NBA D-League's Austin Toros.

Williams came in off the bench for the Toros and scored 5 points on 2 of 4 shooting. Ezra also garnered 2 rebounds.

The Toros lost the game to the Rio Grande Vipers, by a score of 77 to 70.

Gaines Adjusting

Sundiata Gaines recently had a down game against Milan.

Playing against a physical defense, Gaines must have been reminded of his final college contest, against Xavier. He didn't get many calls going to the basket, and Gaines finished the outing against Milan shooting just 1 for 9.

The coach for Pallacanestro Cantu, Luca Dalmonte, attributed Gaines' performance to youth, adding that his playmaker was born in 1986, and will have ups and downs as he adjusts to international life.

Daniel Miller gets Write-up in Walton Tribune

Miller has been playing well to start the new season.

The Walton Tribune followed Miller's signing and the subsequent comments by Coach Felton.

Felton is putting his stamp on the program. He is bringing in high-character, high-academic guys who will put the team first.

From a purely basketball standpoint, I think Felton is getting a guy who can help. Some have compared Miller to Rashaad Singleton. I think the better comparison might be Dave Bliss.

Overlooked somewhat by other schools, Bliss came on board, hit the weights, and was instrumental in Georgia's return to respectable basketbll and the Dawgs' SEC Tournament Championship run. But for the chronic problems with his back, Bliss would have contributed much, much more.

The major difference between Miller and both Singleton and Bliss is on the offensive end. Singleton really struggled unless it was a dunk. Bliss developed a decent shot from the foul-line in. Miller, on the other hand, has better fundamentals at the same point in his career. He might not be the athlete that Bliss was, but if Miller builds up his body and toughens up, he could anchor the middle for Georgia and perform well for the future.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The One that Got Away

sometimes comes back.

True in fishing, at times, and true every now and then in basketball recruiting, as in the case of Porsha Phillips.

I don't post much on the Lady Dawgs, but I thought this article was good enough to share.


Hanging with Demario Mayfield

This one is old, folks.

Nonetheless, I wanted to make sure that the Chronicles includes some of the available background information on Demario Mayfield.

I thought the Athens Banner Herald did a good job with the interview.

Georgia's going to get a good player.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dawgs Win!!!

Actually, it's more relief, than excitement...

But I'll take it.

Proud of Corey Butler. Great game for him. Shot 4 of 5 from three-point land. He was the key to Georgia's come-back.

Travis Leslie didn't score well. He still is the x-factor. He rebounded and had a blocked shot or two.

Bravo! Big ups for the point guards. They missed the last two 1 and 1's, but on balance, they played well.

Jeremy Price played better. We need something from down low. Nothing much from Albert Jackson today.

Believe it or not, I expect our big men to play better in SEC play, where they will be going up against other big players, as opposed to the tall three-position guys that the smaller schools have.

Kudos to the guys for not giving up after the team got down by 11.

Georgia is 2 and 1 on the year. If we can win a few games and keep our confidence up while Howard Thompkins is healing, and our point guards gain experience, we might find a way to have a good year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Loyola of Chicago Whips the Dawgs: Recommendations for the Future

Embarassing loss. It's early in the season, but it's still awful to lose to Loyola by more than 20 points.

I thought that Georgia might lose this game. In fact, I had expected it, since UGA has two young point guards, the team had to travel after playing Friday night, it is much colder in West Lafayette, and the game got started at 9:30 EST.

However, I hadn't anticipated the total beat-down.

Here are my recommendations for righting the ship:

1) Start Travis Leslie. He went 10 for 14 from the floor, scored 23 points in 26 minutes.

2) Don't take Leslie out unless absolutely necessary.

3) Get Thompkins ready as soon as possible. Don't risk injury for the guy, but if he can shoot, let him pick up his conditioning by playing.

4) We're really hurting at point guard. In my opinion, drastic measures are called for.

We need to get this guy out on the court. Even if he is not available immediately, let's start the discussions now so that when he is available to the team, his transition is seamless. He is, in my opinion, the best point guard on campus-- sort of a shorter version of Travis Leslie.

Ware and Swansey might perform very well over time, but if they play like they did tonight, we need a third option.

5) Run better offensive sets. I said after Friday's game that our offensive execution was "ugly." I thought that it was true then, and although it was impossible to tell definitively from the radio, it probably hurt us again when we played Loyola. Price and Jackson were not getting the ball in the position on the floor in which they could do anything with the ball. Maybe things will improve with better players, but..,

We cannot swing the ball from side to side and expect to have success. The Lakers learned that lesson with Shaquille O'Neal. As dominant as he was, if all he did was just get the ball on the block, he could be doubled or defended by a guy like Dennis Rodman. But when the triangle offense was instituted, and O'Neal started flashing to the post, diving to the basket for designed lobs, and generally moving around more, the Lakers were ready for their championship run.

It's not an ideal analogy, but I think UGA would find, just like the Lakers, that having a designed offense opens up the floor for your skill players. We would have more assists if we ran a few set plays, with the action going toward the basket. We do some things now, I am aware, but not enough.

6) Shake the loss off. Take care of business tomorrow.

Kendrick Johnson at Abilene Christian

As posted earlier, Kendrick Johnson is playing at Abilene Christian this year.

The coach for ACU is believing that Johnson can bring strength to the team's front court.


Kendrick averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds his senior year at Morton High School in Morton, Texas. Johnson came to UGA as part of the 2005 signing class that included Mike Mercer, Terrance Woodbury, Billy Humphrey and Rashaad Singleton.

Due to chronic ankle issues, Johnson played only one year at Georgia.

Dawg fans wish Kendrick the best at his newest school.

Snow Storm?

Let's hope we don't need it. But if it takes one to win the whole tournament, then I'll sing a few bars of "Let it snow" early this year.

Dawgs Head to West Lafayette

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More on VMI over Kentucky

VMI had a good coaching strategy going in. There was no way they could compete with UK inside, so their coach said he wanted the team to shoot 50 three-pointers. VMI ended up shooting only 31, but they hit 14 of them.

VMI plays that way all year. VMI shot 1,045 three-pointers last year, while the other teams they played shot only 695. VMI ended the year leading the entire nation in scoring.

Less discussed, but just as important, is the fact that VMI also led the nation in steals. VMI gives different looks on defense, using a box and 1, 3-quarter court trap, half-court trap and full-court presses to rattle the other team and force them to play at VMI's speed.

In the game against UK, VMI employed that philosophy and pressured Kentucky's guards. UK had so many turnovers, that they never could really focus on getting Patrick Patterson the ball.

VMI played fast all year last year, and they still had a losing record, going just 14 and 15. So how did they go into Rupp Arena and come away with a win? I think Kentucky's lack of a point guard and VMI executing on its strategy was vitally important. But perhaps more than anything, the key to the victory was VMI's coach showing the video from last year of Gardner Webb beating Kentucky.

So although Kentucky had 22,000 fans, the huge arena, a light show, fireworks and all that, even though Kentucky got a bunch of calls and had a series of slam dunks, VMI gladly traded that for the opportunity to quickly advance the ball and sink a three. VMI believed that they could win, and they outhustled UK to pull off the shocker.

Here's an article and a video from

Keydets Win!

Just a Note

If you are interested in more information, be sure to check the Blog Archive to the left. Click on the down arrow for a chronological drop-down menu.

Labels (names of coaches, players or particular topics) are listed at the bottom of each post. The labels are in hyper-text, so you can click on a particular label for past posts about the same person or subject.

Steve Newman will Compete in D-League Training Camp

Steve Newman, who graduated from UGA in 2007, has been invited to training camp by the Utah Flash. Training Camp opens today in Orem.

Newman earned a spot by competing in the open try-outs that were held by the Flash in September.

Prior to returning to the States, Newman played in the Netherlands and in Australia.

As readers probably know by now, background information on Newman is available by clicking on his name at the end of this post.

Good luck, Steve!

I'm no Gillespie fan, but,

this is going overboard

Patric Young to Florida

"Close, but no cigar" for UGA.

As others on the message boards have stated, Georgia was on the outside looking in for Young. I believe it was worth the effort on a high talent, high academic recruit.

Disappointing, but on the bright side, there are a number of other guys that UGA probably needs more. Derrick Favors, a talented shooting guard or another point would be nice.

With a base of the Dawgs' talented freshman and sophomore class, Felton can afford to keep working hard on the recruiting trail to find the guys who will complement the team and take us to the next level.

Rashaad Singleton battles Miami and former

UGA recruit Dequan Jones.

Florida Southern played Miami (Fl) yesterday. Although Miami overwhelmed Florida Southern, 96 to 60, Rashaad Singleton did pretty well. He scored 8 points with 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. He was 0 of 3 from the line and had 4 turnovers. Dequan Jones scored 7 for Miami.

If Rashaad Singleton ever cuts down on his turnovers and gets better form on his free throws, he could continue his playing career somehow. He may do so anyway, but you hate to see a guy who works as hard in the weightroom not maximize his talent in the other areas of the game.

Swansey gets Press

Zac Swansey did a nice job in playing against South Carolina Upstate. He deservedly gets accolades for his performance Friday night.


Daniel Miller goes for 38

While the Dawgs were battling South Carolina Upstate Friday night, Daniel Miller was playing in Powder Springs, Georgia.

The recent Dawgs signee had a great game against Christian Heritage, scoring 38 points.

Congratulations, Daniel!

It's Corey Butler!

Corey Butler deserves to have a nice picture in the Red and Black. Great representative of the program. Delighted that he is on scholarship for his last year. I have high hopes for him as we kick off the season with Corey starting at the 2-guard.

In the South Carolina Upstate game, Butler forced at least three tie-ups. Not all became turnovers, but Butler is willing to stick his nose in there, sometimes against bigger guys, and force the turnover or change in the possession arrow.

I want to see Butler go after it on the offensive end. Drive the ball, shoot when open. He can do it.

Butler is a key cog for the Dawgs, one of the three captains for the year. Perhaps that's why I took particular exception to


Come on, Red and Black. Please have someone who knows basketball edit your sports articles. Easy mistake to make, but unacceptable to Dawg fans. It's Corey Butler!