Friday, November 28, 2008

Video on Wayman Tisdale

Great video on Wayman Tisdale. His basketball, music, and recent health challenges.

I think it will load correctly. You may have to scroll over to it. It's #1 of the Top 5 shows on "Inside the NBA," and it was aired recently as part of the show's Thanksgiving broadcast.

Keep Your Head Up

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fred Gibson makes Roster

As with Steve Newman, Fred Gibson has made a D-League team in the Southwest.

Who knows? If he has been working on his jump-shot, Gibson may end up as a really fast shooting guard on some future NBA squad.


Steve Newman makes the D-League

I thought that he had made the team, but it's more official now that the last round of cuts have occurred and Newman is listed on the roster.

Utah Flash Roster

Congratulations, Steve.

Drazen Zlovaric

It's amazing what 7 of 8 shooting can do for a guy.

I imagine we won't see too many remarks on message boards about whether Drazen is a "project" or not. Most sports fans use the term to mean someone who will need a lot of work and a couple of years before being able to contribute, if at all.

Well, if you can hit a number of outside shots in a row, and are 6' 9" to boot, with great handles, the likelihood is that you are NOT a project. A couple of years could make Zlovaric stronger, no doubt, and added strength will help him compete at a higher level. But the consensus now is that the issue is not so much whether Zlovaric can play or when he can play, but rather, how can we get him more minutes.

Another recently debated topic deals with Tanner Smith. Some have lamented the fact that Georgia "missed" on Tanner Smith. The program really needs a shooting guard, and with Ebuka Anyaorah being sidelined with injury, some argue that the coaching staff should have worked harder to bring Smith in.

As great a kid as Smith is, and I would have loved to have him join UGA's program, the truth is that Georgia didn't miss on him. From all I understand, he was recruited and given a scholarship offer.

In the end, Smith's recruitment stopped when Zlovaric committed. In all likelihood, had Smith committed earlier, we would have taken him. But it appeared that the Georgia staff ranked Zlovaric as being a better prospect. And since Zlovaric is taller, with more impressive athleticism, I can understand a basketball program taking him, rather than Smith.

If Zlovaric continues to shoot well, I doubt we will see much posted on Tanner Smith. I'll continue to follow Smith and cheer him on as he competes for Clemson. Sometimes, recruiting is about timing and choices, rather than whether someone was overlooked.

The last matter involving Zlovaric is Felton's body of work in recruiting. It is true that the state of Georgia has a lot of talent in its high school ranks. It is also true that a number of highly-touted players left the state to compete for other schools.

Yet, you still have to give Felton credit for the talent he did bring in. Zlovaric, Thompkins, Ware and Leslie will be big-time players for Georgia for years to come. It has been many years since Georgia has had as talented a class as this one.

Felton traveled all the way to Serbia to check Zlovaric out, and he appears to have gotten it right. Zlovaric can play. The other guys are fantastic, too. They all project to be great representatives of Georgia basketball, and I look forward to their development. Felton is a hard worker on the recruiting trail, and he is bringing in some high quality student-athletes, including last game's designated player of the game, Drazen Zlovaric.

Go Dawgs.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Steve Newman Scores for Utah Flash

Looks like Steve Newman made the roster of the Utah Flash, the NBA Development League team. He was not among the most recent cuts, and when you check the team roster, Newman is listed. I'm not sure if there will be another round of cuts, or what the influence is of NBA teams sending players down.

At any rate, Newman played in the pre-season game that the Flash had this past Saturday against the Idaho Stampede. He played 20 minutes and scored 6 points with 6 rebounds. He went 2 of 4 from the floor, and was 1 of 1 from behind the arc.

Congratulations, Steve!

Dawgs Win!! The good, better and excellent.

Wow! The Dawgs were clicking on all cylinders last night. They scored 98 points on Mississippi Valley State. Final score: UGA, 98. MVSU, 57.

The Dawgs' performance was so outstanding that I have to dispense with my "good, bad and ugly" analysis, and make it, "the good, better, and excellent."

Now, I will put my disclaimer out front. This was Mississippi Valley and it was at home, and I want the Dawgs to succeed. I don't want to get too enthralled when there will be hard days ahead. But, enjoying a win is allowed. And, with my own permission, I will proceed to do so.

The good. We got the W!! Hooray! The Dawgs are now 5 and 1. Not a bad season start.

The better. Contributions from up and down the bench. We got to see who we have. The point guards played much better in eliminating turnovers and distributing the ball. No one was injured, and the players who are recovering (Woodbury, Jackson and Thompkins) were out there on the floor, gaining confidence and getting in shape.

The excellent. Rebounding was superb. Great balance between tough defense and scoring. And Drazen Zlovaric. Who knew? Seven of eight from the floor. Raining in jump-shots. Drazen can put the ball on the floor and finish with authority. I don't know how much of that part of his game was on display last night, but he is super athletic.

Trey Thompkins. The guy can flat out play. He will be the team's leading scorer. He will need to get much stronger and his legs will have to heal. But he is a legitimate 6'9", and he can really score the basketball.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rashad Wright leads Alba Berlin to Victory

Rashad continues to play well in Berlin.

In his most recent game, he scored 12 points against TBB Trier. Alba had gone up by 18 in the game, however, Trier came storming back and got the lead down to single digits.

Wright iced the game at the end with several free throws and Alba won the game by a score of 89 to 78.

Oregon Blasts Alabama

I expected Alabama to lose. It's hard to travel from the East Coast all the way to Hawaii, begin a game at what is to an Alabama player's normal clock, 11:00 p.m., and come away with a victory against a good opponent.

But the issue for Georgia is that the SEC isn't looking good. Alabama lost 92 to 69. I watched part of the game, and it looked like it was going to be much closer. I guess Alabama ran out of gas. Foul shooting continues to be a problem for them. They shot only 26 of 41 from the line, and were held to .370 shooting from the field.

A few interesting notes from the game:

Alabama runs the offensive set that Georgia used to run.

Not that the average reader wants this much detail, but if any of you played for Coach Durham, you would remember. Alabama's offense starts with the John Wooden-style pass out to the wing, followed by the point guard running to the basket. If he's not open, then you pass it to the high post for the shot or the dump down into the big man on the opposite block.

Oregon was led by big man, Michael Dunnigan. Other contributors for Oregon included Billy Humphrey's cousin, Matthew Humphrey, who hit two three-pointers, and Teondre Williams, who went 2 of 5 from the floor. UGA considered both Humphrey and Williams for a scholarship at one point.

The leading scorer for Alabama was Senario Hillman, who had been recruited by UGA a couple of years ago. Hillman may be starting to play better. His freshman year was somewhat disappointing for those that expected him to take over the league with his top-flight athleticism.

Ronald Steele did not play well. JaMychal Green was only 1 of 4 from the field.

Bad outing for Alabama. They are 1 and 2 on the year.

Results of the 1st Unit vs. 2nd Unit Poll

Decided to take down the poll today. Twelve readers, including yours truly, participated.

The hypothetical was this:

Assuming a scrimmage between Georgia's 1st and 2nd units, how many games would the 2nd unit win? The first unit was, for purposes of the exercise, Swansey, Butler, Woodbury, Jackson and Price; and the second unit was Ware, Brewer, Leslie, Thompkins and Barnes. I also added that readers should assume that all players were healthy, and that the 2nd unit could sub in Drazen Zlovaric.

The results were as follows:

Most readers (5 votes, or 41%) voted for option b, which was 3 or 4 games. I guess I could have made the selection a little tougher. In second place, (3 votes, or 25%) was option a, 1 or 2 games. Last place was tied (2 votes each/16%)between option c, 5 or 6 games, and option d, which held that the 2nd unit would win more than 6.

I voted for option c. I think that Thompkins and Leslie are way under-rated. When Ware relaxes a bit, he is going to surprise.

Thanks to all who participated.

Tom Crean is Coaching

I agree with him that his program was at "zero." He will struggle to win games this year, about like Georgia did in Felton's second year.

But Crean is building it. He's starting with the fundamentals. Going to class. Playing hard. Indiana will be back.

And they might even make the NCAA's before too long. Not this year. Not next. But soon enough, based on what Crean had to work with when he arrived.

The good thing about Crean's situation is that he has a 10-year deal, the unwaivering support of his school's administration, and he is not hampered by annual scholarship limits. Besides that, Indiana has great basketball tradition, which will help in recruiting.

Indiana Progressing

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ezra Williams contributes

The Austin Toro's lost to the Colorado 14er's, 120 to 104.

Ezra Williams came in off the bench and scored 14 points in a losing effort for the Toro's. The difference in the game was the fact that the Toro's had 30 turnovers.

In other news from the Toro's, former UGA recruit, Mohamed Abukar, was waived by the team due to injury.

Dawgs Win!!

UGA beats Santa Clara 54 to 48. Georgia is now 4 and 1. Not a bad start for the year, especially with the injuries we have had and the young point guards.

Still want to see Leslie get more time, but we'll have to see how it goes. Woodbury didn't shoot well from the field. But he was money from the free throw line.

Trey Thompkins didn't shoot for a good average, but you can tell the guy has game. He had 10 points and 5 blocks in just 17 minutes.

Chris Barnes was 2 for 2 from the field.

Corey Butler did not score much, but he had his usual key contributions.

Ajax was named the player of the game. He had 12 points and hit two big free throws down the stretch. He also grabbed 5 rebounds and had a block. Coming off of injury, and playing against their big guy, Bryant, I think it was great for Jackson's confidence.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Today's Posts

Today's posts have updates on the following topics:

1. Damien Wilkins and the Oklahoma Thunder

2. Channing Toney at UAB

3. Levi Stukes and 3-point contest

4. Demario Mayfield

Damien Wilkins back in Starting Line-up

The Oklahoma Thunder haven't exactly lit up the NBA in their new location.

When the team moved from Seattle and changed their name from the Supersonics to the Thunder, it was understood that the transition might be a little rocky.

However, it's been worse than that. The team has been bad from almost day one. The Thunder is in last place of the 15 teams that make up the Western Conference of the NBA. They have won just one game all year long. And the Thunder recently fired their coach, P.J. Carlesimo.

The coaching change might work out for the benefit of Damien Wilkins. Wilkins played sparingly in the first part of the season, averaging 5 points and 2 rebounds in 14 minutes per game. However, interim Thunder coach, Scott Brooks, has opted for a smaller line-up and has given the start at small forward to Wilkins.

Wilkins responded with 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting.

Channing Toney averaging

4.7 points per game for UAB.

If I remember correctly, they have him playing down in the post. UAB has one 6' 8" guy getting minutes, but otherwise, they go Toney at 6' 5", Delaney at 6' 2", and Johnson at 5' 8".

Meanwhile, Robert Vaden, their shooting guard and the remaining member of their starting five, is getting the majority of the touches. In the last game, he launched 13 three-pointers. He connected on 8 of them, so it's obvious that he can shoot. And they did beat Arizona on a bizarre play.

But with Vaden slinging it from deep and Toney having to guard much bigger players, I don't see Toney's scoring average going up that much. In the last game, Toney played 26 minutes, but took just 2 of the team's 52 shots.

UAB will be regaining some guys after fall quarter, if memory serves me, and they might help Channing get back to a rotation as a shooting guard. But as for now, it looks like Toney's skills are being utilized awkwardly in this, his final year.

Levi Stukes to Compete in

Three-point shooting contest.

Uruguay's basketball league will have their version of the Final Four this week. Four professional teams are playing in a tournament to see which squad will represent the country in international competition which will take place in Argentina in December.

As part of the competition, Levi Stukes is going up against 5 other players to see who is the best 3-point marksman.

Good luck, Levi!

Franklin County Citizen on Mayfield Signing

Felton has looked at the kid. Watched him play, watched him practice. Hope Mayfield comes in ready to contribute.

Demario Signs