Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jumaine Jones Playing in Russia

Jumaine Jones reportedly got himself into a bit of a pickle a few months ago when he signed to play with two different teams, one from Russia and the other from the Italian League. He was thereafter suspended from playing with any team in Europe until August of 2009.

Jones went with the Russian team and is now playing for Ural Great, a team based in the Russian city of Perm. Perm is a city of right at 1 million people, and is situated just on the European side of the line that separates Europe and Asia.

Jones said after reporting to the team that he was concerned about the cold weather, since he is originally from Florida, but he was sure that he could adjust.

Jarvis Hayes gets Good Press

Jarvis Hayes is being recognized for his all-around game. He has turned into a reliable perimeter defender, and still shoots the ball very well.

Hayes really stood out in New Jersey's game against the Hawks this week. He hit 3 three-pointers, grabbed 4 rebounds and had 2 steals and an assist, with no turnovers.

He even participated in the last-second play by Vince Carter that won the game at the buzzer. He triggered the ball in from the sideline, Vince Carter ran to go get it, and then he launched a 35 footer that hit all-net.


Toros over the Flash

Ezra Williams and the Austin Toros played Steve Newman and the Utah Flash.

The Toros came out on top, 97 to 88. Ezra Williams had a really nice game, with 19 points on 7 of 15 shooting. His teammate, and former UGA recruit, Mohamed Abukar, went 2 of 4 from the floor.

Steve Newman scored 4 points with 7 rebounds for the Flash.

The Toros have now won 9 straight.

Dawgs lose to Missouri

The game turned out about like I expected it, with a couple of exceptions:

Georgia played much better than I thought, and

Georgia played much worse than I thought.

Much better? Yep. Terrance Woodbury was on his game. Career high in points for him, with 27. Really good looking stroke. I thought he would be rusty coming off of his ankle sprain, but not so.

Georgia shot over 50 percent from the field. Nice offensive movement, most of the time. Georgia shot over 40 percent from behind the arc.

Trey Thompkins does a really nice job for a freshman. He doesn't have much lift, but he can rebound, block shots, and of course, shoot the basketball. He was a nice complement to Woodbury. Thompkins ended the day with 18 points.

We outrebounded them, 39 to 27.

Much worse? Unfortunately, the turnovers were just killers. Was it 23? I thought it was 27 turnovers. Anyway, we just gave them the ball over and over. Unforced errors.

And Zac Swansey and Dustin Ware didn't have their best games. Jeremy Price looked good in spots, but he is not a reliable ball-handler when he gets it away from the basket. Corey Butler didn't give us much, and neither did Troy Brewer.

I suppose that Coach Felton laments the fact that Billy Humphrey and Ebuka Anyaorah aren't available to be called on. They definitely would help our issues at guard. Billy could play some point guard, bringing the ball up the floor. He was not a "create your own shot" kind of guy, but we didn't need much in the way of a slasher. We needed someone with a reliable jumpshot who would not throw the ball away in the clutch.

Oh well. Losing by 7 to a very talented Missouri team is not the worst result in the world, but I would have loved for Georgia to have cut down on turnovers and gotten the win.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Seth Curry (and Troy Brewer)

Seth Curry leads the nation in freshman scoring average. One would think that instead of playing at Liberty Baptist, Curry would have been picked up by some big-level school, even if only on the hope that he would be as good as his older brother, Stephen.


Georgia didn't get him. Didn't look his way, I'm sure.

But I wonder if we already have a guy like him on the bench. The quote from the Liberty coach-- "Look at him. Slight of build. With skinny calves. He hardly looks the part." That statement obviously is directed at Seth Curry, but it could just as easily apply to current Georgia player, Troy Brewer.

Like Curry, Brewer played at a Christian school in the Mid-Atlantic region, and was an overlooked recruit with few Division I offers.

Brewer signed late in the recruiting period just before last season, and showed flashes of good shooting touch during the year. However, as Georgia was improving its play, going into the stretch run of SEC competition, the team often found itself down a bucket or two late in the game. Brewer was then inserted into the contest to see if he could hit a three-pointer in the game's final seconds. Not the kind of situation in which a freshman finds his stroke.

Brewer is a little bigger this year. But not much. And he has hardly played at all. Some have suggested that since McPhee, a walk-on, was getting playing time, and Brewer wasn't, then Coach Felton was politely urging Brewer to transfer.

However, I remember something Coach Felton said last year. "Once Troy gets stronger, he's going to be a terrific player." That's almost word for word, if not an exact quote.

Is Felton right? Can Brewer contribute? Can he do even better? Can he be terrific?

In the game against Kennesaw, Brewer finally saw the floor for extended minutes. I was pleased with what I saw. The longer he stayed in the game, the more he seemed to make good decisions.

Troy shot 5 of 9, and scored 15 points to lead the team to the victory.

As Dave Telep said in the article about Seth Curry: "One component of being good is having the opportunity to be good."

With Terrance Woodbury out for a while, and with Georgia's lack of depth at the guard position, maybe Troy Brewer will have his shot.

J.T. Tiller comes back to Georgia

He will have family supporting him at Saturday's game.

Georgia plays Missouri at 12:00 noon.

Tiller sounds like the kind of guy that we could use on our team. I suppose that he was stuck on Tech, and that we never did push hard to get him, due to the fact that we had just a couple of scholarships open that year, and we really needed big men.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

South Atlanta Beaten in Tournament Final

Derrick Favors had a double-double. He played limited minutes, due to foul trouble. I suppose the other team congratulated themselves for "holding him in check." As I remember, he had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Anyway, Favors did not have his usual monster game. He actually fouled out of the game. Don't know whether there was some "home-cooking" going on, since the tournament was played in Indiana, and South Atlanta was going up against a team from Indiana in the tournament championship. But what's done is done. Hopefully, Coach Reddick helps him to keep his head up, and he is ready to compete for the rest of the season. Would be great, of course, if he signs with UGA.

Steve Newman Closes Out the Year

with a good game. On December 30, Newman played 26 minutes against the Tulsa 66er's and shot 3 for 5 from the floor. He also garnered a rebound.

Not fantastic production from your starting center, but the Utah Flash apparently likes Newman for his all-around game. Most of the scoring comes from two players sent down from the Boston Celtics, Billy Walker and J.R. Giddens.

The Utah Flash won the game, 98 to 82.

Jeremy Price Sports New Eyeware!

Reminded me somewhat of those amber vision things, but Jeremy Price made the glasses work for him in scoring 13 points against Kennesaw State.

His style took me back to the other guys who played basketball behind protective eyewear. At one point, the Lakers had a number of players make the "all-goggles" team.

If Jeremy Price breaks out the "Sky Hook" or gives us Horace Grant-type numbers, I'll vote that he keep wearing them until graduation.

Dawgs Win!

Georgia defeated Kennesaw State by 20 points. The final was 72 to 52.

The highlight for me was seeing Troy Brewer contribute. He was the leading scorer for Georgia, notching 15 points. The bigs did a decent job, too. Albert Jackson was 6 of 6 from the line, and finished with a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds).

Dustin Ware had 10 points and 6 assists. I think he did a decent job of running the team. I was disappointed, though, with the team's number of turnovers-- many of them unforced. We just don't look like a team that can compete with the trapping, full-court pressure squads that we will face in the coming weeks. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

Zac Swansey cut his leg and had to have stitches. Not sure how that happened. Maybe I missed the explanation. Anyway, he was unavailable for the game. I think it was useful for Dustin Ware to have to play major minutes. He will really have to perform Saturday, or Missouri will beat Georgia by 20.

Travis Leslie, AAAA Player of the Year

I attached the article below because it gives some insight into Travis Leslie's game.

Leslie currently is averaging 8 points and 5 boards per game. But he can do so much more. As the schedule gets tougher, Leslie will have to give Georgia the all-around game that we need, whether or not Terrance Woodbury is able to recover from his ankle injury.

Leslie was named the AAAA Player of the Year precisely because of his versatility. We need all that he brings to the table, the high-flying dunks, defensive pressure, good passer and reliable shooter.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where Are They Now?

Robert George Dryden was born on August 26, 1978, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dryden played his high school ball at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville. He experienced a growth spurt, and went from 6' 1" to 7' 1" during his time in high school. Dryden was recruited by the University of Georgia, and spent his first year, 1996/1997, as a red-shirt.

Dryden began to develop under Tubby Smith, but various injuries delayed his progress, including a stress fracture in 1997/1998, and a broken bone in his foot in the 1999/2000 season.

Dryden's career at Georgia took a somewhat strange twist after Tubby Smith left to coach at University of Kentucky. Dryden had a run-in with Coach Ron Jirsa, a former assistant coach who took over Tubby's spot as head coach. According to reports, Coach Jirsa came to Dryden and insisted that he change his major. Dryden refused, and he was dismissed by Coach Jirsa.

Dryden was re-instated after meetings were held with the University's academic support staff. However, Dryden's playing time under Jirsa was diminished.

Dryden averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds during his senior year, 2000/2001.

After leaving the University, Dryden played in the CBA in Canada. He later participated in camps held by the Philadelphia 76'er's and the Memphis Grizzlies, and played internationally for a period of time in Slovenia and China. More recently, Dryden played in the D-League in Fayetteville, N.C., and Los Angeles, California.

Dryden hung up his tennis shoes and started his own construction company, which does work in northern Florida and in southern Alabama. Robb currently lives in Panama City, Florida.

Robb Dryden

Favors Registers Double-Double

Derrick Favors went 12 for 12 from the floor, including a three-pointer in South Atlanta High's game against Duncanville High of Texas.

Favors scored 30 points for the game, to go with 21 rebounds. He also had 4 steals and 2 blocked shots. South Atlanta won the game 67 to 53.

South Atlanta goes on to face Lawrence North in the T-Mobile Classic in Muncie, Indiana. Lawrence North is 7 and 1 on the year and is one of the top-rated schools in Indiana.

Should be a good game.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Derrick Favors Competes

Favors is playing today in the T-Mobile Invitational. His game begins at 1:45 p.m., in Muncie, Indiana.

Favors still has UGA in the mix. He considers himself, "wide open." It would be fun to pair him up with Howard Thompkins. It could happen.

Derrick Favors

Favors is averaging 29 pts, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 steals and 3 assists per game. South Atlanta is 9 and 0 on the year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rashad Wright Sees Through Eye Problems

Rashad Wright has an eye infection. He has been playing well for the Alba Berlin squad, but it looked like his health problems were going to put him on the bench for a while.

Wright missed one game just before Christmas, but he managed to play in the last game. Wright scored 17 points in a losing effort.

As Coach Jim Harrick used to say, "Rashad Wright is a baller."

Sundiata Gaines Strikes from Deep

Goes 5 of 8 from behind the arc, and leads his Pallacanestro Cantu team to a win over Rieti Solsona.

Gaines also had 4 steals and 6 assists in 31 minutes. Cantu is on a 3-game winning streak.

After his shooting went down for a bit, Gaines has scored in double figures for the 5th straight game.

Different Country, Different Uni', Familiar Arm Sleeve

Inaugural Alec Kessler Memorial Tournament

to begin tomorrow.

Coach Durham will speak at a Tournament dinner.

Alec Kessler Tournament

D-League Update

Fred Gibson and the Albuquerque Thunderbirds are 2 and 9. Fred is coming off the bench and is making contributions where he can.

Steve Newman's scoring has gone down. He didn't score any points in his last game, and in the game today, has not scored yet.

Ezra Williams is playing the best out of the three. He did a little bit of everything in his last game-- he had a few rebounds, assists, and points. His team, the Austtin Toros has won 8 straight.

Mike Mercer done for the Year

From articles in the Tampa press, Mike Mercer tore his ACL in his right knee again. It was reported as a sprain, just after the Wright State game, but it apparently was much more serious.

Sad for it to happen. I wish him every success. I don't know what the prognosis is for someone who has two season-ending knee injuries, but it doesn't sound good.

Hope he keeps his head up, trusts God, and works hard at his school work while the doctors do whatever they have to in efforts to get his knee back in shape.

Dawgs Win!!

Man, that was a great game against North Carolina A&T. Dawgs almost hit 100.

The game sure had enough offense. For those who like contests in which Georgia scores the basketball, it was a fun one to watch.

Howard Thompkins gets my award for Player of the Game. He had 22 points with 12 rebounds. He had 4 steals and 2 blocks, too. He could have scored a lot more points, had Coach Felton kept him in longer. As it was, he shot 8 of 10 from the field.

Corey Butler is a close runner-up for Player of the Game. He had 19 points with 9 rebounds and 7 assists. He was just shy of a triple-double. I don't know if Georgia has ever had a player get a triple-double, but it would be neat if Corey did it.

Jeremy Price had a good game. Played within himself. He still is not getting off the floor with the kind of elevation that I expected him to have. But his game is around the bucket, getting rebounds and stick-backs. And for the most part, that's what he did during this game. He did have a three-pointer, but that was a banker, and I doubt he called it.

Travis Leslie played a decent game. He had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Only shot 4 of 12, according to the stat sheet I saw.

Good interview, by the way, by Howard Thompkins. He credited the other guys, was very modest about his own production and his need for improvement. He will be one of the great ones at University of Georgia.

Franklin County Falls in Finals

Franklin County lost in the championship game of the Upward Classic Christmas Tournament, held in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

UGA signee, Demario Mayfield, was the high scorer for the game, with 24 points. Franklin County's opponent, Oldsmar Christian, was able to seal the win with a late lay-up.

Franklin County had previously advanced to the championship game by beating Scott County, 79 to 77. Mayfield scored 24 points in that game.

Scott County's coach credited Mayfield as being the key to the game, and said that his team couldn't seem to stop Mayfield. At one point, Scott County was winning the game by 10, and Mayfield sank three straight 3-pointers to get his team back into the game.