Friday, December 26, 2008

Demario Mayfield Fills the Stat Sheet

In a recent game, Demario Mayfield scored 27 points, with 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 1 blocked shot.

In a positive sign for UGA's future, Mayfield went 9 of 11 from the free throw line.

Mayfield's team, the Franklin Lions, went into the Christmas Tournament at 7 and 1 on the year, and in first place in region 8AAA.

Could Mayfield be the scoring two-guard that Georgia needs?

Drazen Zlovaric Reflects During Christmas Season

I thought this article was extremely well done.

Away for Christmas

Loganville Christian Wins Holiday Tournament

Loganville Christian Academy won a recent Christmas Tournament held in Albany, Georgia.

Georgia signee, Daniel Miller, was named Tournament MVP.

LCA is now 10 and 0 on the year.

Takais Brown Playing in Slovenia

Takais Brown, former player at University of Georgia, is currently playing for the Alpos Sentjur team in Slovenia. He scored 12 points with 9 rebounds in his last game, going 6 of 8 from the floor.

Brown may be called upon to score more for the team. Alpos Sentjur is ranked near the bottom of the Slovenian Basketball Federation.

As background, Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia. Sentjur derives its name from "St. George," who, according to tradition, was a Christian martyr and military hero.

Brown previously played in Helsinki, Finland, for the team, Torpan Pojat. He also played for a brief time in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

After starring at Southeastern Illinois Junior College, Brown was considered one of the nation's top junior college recruits. It was considered a major recruiting coup for UGA when he signed with the Dawgs.

However, due to academic reasons, Brown missed the first two games of the 2006/2007 season. Therefter, Brown proved to be a major contributor, averaging 14 points and 6 rebounds for the year.

Unfortunately, other off-court issues arose and Brown was dismissed from the team prior to the 2007/2008 year.

It looks like Takais is doing well in the international arena.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's About Life

Georgia lost the other day to Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Many people are on the message boards, calling for Coach Felton to be fired. Some, to be sure, have contacted the Athletic Director, Damon Evans, to demand change.

I figured that it was a good time for me to express my opinion as well.

I want W's as much as the next guy, if not more. That's part of the reason for having a Blog. I enjoy following Georgia Basketball and I really want the team to win, and win big. But the Blog is just as much about life as it is about basketball.

And it's that confluence of life and basketball that makes me think that Coach Felton should stay.

As I think about the state of Georgia Basketball, I look at the roster. Lots of freshmen and sophomores. There is no doubt that Coach Felton would have a more experienced team, with a better overall record, had he not dismissed Mike Mercer, Takais Brown and Billy Humphrey. The offense would look better, the defense would be more effective.

However, Coach Felton's approach is that standards are just as important, if not more important, than wins and losses. And he's right.

Basketball may seem like everything, and that line of thinking is often embraced by fans, friends and family. Even teachers look the other way and let athletes slide. But in the grand scheme of things, the window of time in which a player is able to compete athletically opens and closes very quickly.

Therefore, Georgia's coaching staff would be doing their players a great disservice, in my opinion, if they as practical guardians of young lives, did not at least attempt to address patterns that would hurt the players (and possibly, the rest of society). They would be harming, rather than helping, student-athletes if they did not try to instill habits that would serve the players well during their collegiate career and long after they hang up their tennis shoes.

Standards are more important than wins.

And as I heard Coach Felton speak during the post-game show, a difficult interview time for him, I'm sure, I heard him say that he told his team that "things are never as good as they seem, and never as bad as they seem."

It would have been easy for him to fly off the handle, start throwing chairs and what-not, and there may have been some private expressions of frustration, but in his public comments, his tone was very measured. No excuses. Disappointment. Concerns about the lack of execution by the team. But even in his team's embarassing defeat, he still seasoned his comments with encouragement. Coach Felton showed me the marks of a mature program leader-- one, who in the midst of setting standards, also grasps the importance of relationship.

And that's why I really want him to succeed. I want him to be successful because of what it means to him and what it means to me.

I want a coach to be able to get relationship, standards and winning records in the proper order. I want that coach to be able to demand that his players go to class, and for the leader of a basketball program to have the confidence to insist on doing things the right way, no matter how talented you are at putting a ball through a hoop.

Then while a player is in the basketball program, I want to have the coach to build in some important life lessons-- the kind you pick up while distributing toys to kids at St. Mary's, or having parties for children at the Boys and Girls Club.

As we go through life, we will have a multitude of opportunities to choose between a "W," and a less glamorous, less exciting, more uncomfortable, standard. We will be called upon to adjust to losses while preserving relationships.

I believe that you get the relationship down first, set standards that allow the relationship to grow, and then you build like crazy with effort. At the end of the day, or the end of a life, you look up and you find that success has visited, stayed and become a close friend.

I think we caught of glimpse of what the program can be during last year's SEC Tourney. It was enough to cause me to believe that Coach Felton can get it done.
I'm going to go out on a limb here. I'm predicting that Georgia Basketball will begin to take off this year, with Coach Felton at the helm.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dawgs Lose.

No excuse for this one. Shouldn't have been in overtime. Shouldn't have shot the last shot with so much time left in regulation. Shouldn't have missed the last free throw.

Time to go with the freshmen, Coach Felton. Jackson is a good reserve. We saw today what we have. Ware, Leslie and Thompkins are the future of the program. I say, let's ride 'em. Major minutes. Don't take Thompkins out unless he fouls out, or just can't go.

Ricky McPhee's Scoring Records in High School

After looking at the Rivals article, I thought some readers might like to know more about his high school numbers.

As of last year, McPhee was #1 in Gwinnett County for career three-pointers, beating out talented scorers such as Louis Williams, Billy Humphrey, Chris Allen, and Jodie Meeks.

McPhee was #7 for 3-pointers made in a season. And his 25 points per game rank him #12 in career scoring average.

Gwinnett County Scoring Records

Ricky McPhee Recognized

Good article from UGA

Glad to see that McPhee got some press after the Wofford game. He really has done a nice job off the bench for the Dawgs. I mentioned in an earlier post that he might be able to contribute. Don't know how he will do in the SEC portion of the schedule, but every game counts when you're trying to get into the NCAA Tournament. And if teams play zone against us, he'll have his opportunities for more playing time.

Corey Butler has enjoyed ribbing McPhee some. The nickname, "McThree", has a nice ring to it, and it might stick.


Thompkins, Ware, and Leslie

The state of Georgia had some pretty good basketball players hitting college campuses for fall 2008. Out of the Rivals 150 top players, 16 were from Georgia.

Of course UGA can't sign all 16, but we did sign 3. In order to assess how Georgia's recruiting has panned out, I thought it might be useful to see how Thompkins, Ware, and Leslie have measured up against the other players from Georgia that were part of the 2008 Rivals 150.


1st in scoring, 4th in shooting percentage, and 3rd in rebounding. He's also 4th in free throw shooting percentage, and 2nd in 3-point shooting.


9th in scoring, 14th in shooting percentage, 1st in assists.


4th in scoring, 5th in shooting percentage, 4th in rebounding.

Note: This analysis is just an early snap-shot. As the schedules get tougher, the results will surely change. At any rate, in a future post, I'll put up the information that is available now for each player. I may do a follow-up review half-way through the conference schedule and then again at the end.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Swan-Zee! Swan-Zee! Swan-Zee!

Big Shot Bob:


Meet Big Shot Z!!

a. Kentucky video


b. Wofford audio

Coach shoulda' known better

Zac's shots are more impressive, in my opinion, because of the following:

a) Zac has shot his buzzer-beaters over two defenders;

b) Zac's shots have come in overtime;

c) Swansey actually has to dribble and advance the ball upcourt at full speed before shooting, whereas Horry normally catches the ball flat-footed and lines up a set-shot;

d) Zac increases the degree of difficulty by twisting his body into pretzels before launching.

Besides, Horry went to Bama, instead of choosing like Zac and all other sensible people to go to the best school in the SEC, our own University of Georgia!