Friday, January 16, 2009

Evaluating Howard Thompkins

Draft Express does a pretty thorough job of evaluating Howard Thompkins and other members of this season's freshman class.

Pete Herrmann once compared Thompkins to Tracy McGrady, and stated how much the whole coaching staff was looking forward to getting Thompkins out on the court.

I felt that the comparison was off, due to the fact that since coming into the League, McGrady distinguished himself by his athleticism. Perhaps diminishing some these days, but the fact remains that McGrady is still considered an above the rim player.

Thompkins, on the other hand, from what I could tell in his high school games, was not a slasher/high-flying dunker, but more of a solid, fundamentals guy. Solid, but definitely below the rim.

To be fair, Herrmann also likened Thompkins to Tim Duncan. And I thought then and still think now, that that's a much more apt comparison.

The good news is that while McGrady went straight to the NBA and Duncan went to Wake Forest. Thompkins is suited up in the red and black.

The point for mentioning the above comparisons is that I think Draft Express is "spot on" in assessing the things that Thompkins needs to work on to improve his game. If he gets more lift off the floor, works on his conditioning, and hits the weights in the off-season, Dawg fans should have many more exciting games ahead.

Draft Express

On a Rolle

This guy definitely has things going for himself. Smart guy. Real dedication to hard work. Talent on the gridiron. Wise decisions.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We Stink.

Tech played a terrible game against Duke tonight, and I can't enjoy it.

Why, because they got Favors, and we stink.

Georgia played Vandy, and we scored a total of 40 points. More than 20 turnovers. Shot 33% from the field, 23% from behind the arc, and 0% from the line. Only two free throws the entire game, and we miss them.

That's a terrible game, folks.

We have lost 4 games in a row and we have to play Kentucky next. We're 0 and 2 in the SEC. Have what can only be called a disappointing signing class coming in. Things are going down in a bad way.

Still time to right the ship and attain to some of this season's goals, but after our performance tonight, how realistic is it that UGA's basketball team will improve?


Could have really been a big deal for Georgia.

Oh well, that's life.

Favors to Tech

Well, this was a momentous decision for him. I'm sure he's glad it's over.

Favors said that he made his mind up last week, so it sounds to me that as I mentioned earlier, it was the Georgia loss to Georgia Tech that was the deciding factor.

With that said, there are a lot of "woulda, coulda, shoulda's." I thought it did not help things to have Terrance Shannon and Favors come to campus, and from what I could tell, before either one could leave Athens, accept a commitment from someone else. Nothing against the other guy, of course, but if we had a chance for a "two-fer," we should have kept it open for a while.

There is a lot in recruiting that is behind the scenes and not reported in the media, so most of my notions are pure speculation. But speculation and rumors and the back and forth of teenagers making decisions is why recruiting is such a fun and fascinating part of the sports scene.

If I'm Dennis Felton, then I put the Favors situation behind me. As much as possible. I read on a message board that Felton did not sign a single player from the 2009 Rivals 150, despite the fact that 11 of the 150 were from Georgia.

The only thing that will take some of the sting off of tonight is to beat Vandy. After that, just keep winning.

I would also pump up the effort at getting a high quality shooting guard. I have one in mind, but I'm not sure if he's a fit for the program.

We lost out on Favors. May have lost a lot more. We'll see how this all plays out.

What College Athletics is All About

I'm proud of UGA's basketball team. Sure, I'd like to have more wins. Hope that we get them soon.

But in my heart of hearts, I'd be dissatisfied with a winning team full of guys who have little to offer other than their jumpshot. There's a pride that comes from winning, but there is a bigger, longer lasting pride in being associated with something great.

Corey Butler is Georgia's starting 2-guard. I've written about his background before. He can really play the game. He's lifted weights enough to be able to defend the other team's toughest player. He can snare rebounds in traffic.

There are other basketball players that are more reliable shooters. Guys who have more developed skill sets. But at the end of the day, I'm glad that Corey is on our side.

I don't know if he'll cure cancer. I am sure, however, that he and his story are a good tonic for fan cynicism about college athletics. Great job, Corey.


Trae Golden Speaks

Trae Golden is an awfully important recruit for Georgia. Since UGA did not recruit a point guard for the 2009 class, it would be "courting disaster" to not get someone good for 2010.

Golden was interviewed as part of his team's participation in the Tournament of Champions in Missouri.


Golden indicates that Georgia is in the mix for his services. Zac Swansey would be a senior then, and Dustin Ware would be a junior. Plenty of playing time for Golden to be "the man."

Well, the announcement has come out.

Derrick Favors will make his college choice today.

So, I'll make my own announcement. I'm calling Favors to Tech.

It's where I've been expecting him to go for months now. I didn't want to post my inclination on this forum or on any message board, because I didn't want anyone else to read my comments and possibly be influenced.

For that same reason, I was reluctant earlier this week to post the video of Favors playing against McEachern. Since this Blog is about Georgia basketball, and not Tech, I felt it might be a tough pill to swallow, if even for no one else but me, if I talked too much about Favors, only to see him sign with UGA's rival.

I am posting my comments now, because Favors said that he has made up his mind.

If I am correct and Favors announces his commitment to Tech, then you have to tip your hat to the other guys. We gave it our best shot within the rules.

And we had our chances. Could have really pushed for Mfon Udofia. Should have beaten Tech at their place this year. Might not have changed things, but when we lost the lead at Tech in the second half, we lost our biggest opportunity to state our case in front of Favors that Felton is the better coach.

One guy on the Rivals message board mentioned that after the Tech game, Favors was down with Udofia and others behind the Tech bench, trading high-fives with the guys. If true, and I have no reason to doubt the account, then Favors' emotions are with Tech. He wants them to win, and next year, he'll be helping.

Either way, whether Georgia or Georgia Tech (doubt that it would be N.C. State), congratulations to Favors. Great kid. Got his head on straight. The same to Coach Reddick for handling the situation with class.

As much as I dislike the phrase, the fact is that as of today Hewitt's seat will be a lot cooler, and Felton's a lot hotter.

Ware is Positive

Have to give the guy credit. He played a lot better against Tennessee.

He is starting to show the speed and quickness that the Dawgs thought they were getting. And the guy can shoot from deep.

I didn't expect him to have the poor shooting percentages that he has had. So far, he shoots under 40% from the floor and under 70% from the line. Instead of the neighborhood of 35% shooting, he needs to be up in the high 40's. And I can't say it enough times that the point guard needs to be automatic from the free throw line.

One recent example was Jeff Teague of Wake Forest. The guy went something like 12 of 14 from the line in a big game against UNC. Wake Forest won the game by 3, I think. And Teague was sent to the line time and time again at the end of the game. Pressure-packed situation, and he came through.

So Dustin needs to be high 80's from the line. It really is the difference between winning and losing.

Scout has an article in which Ware was quoted.

Well, after a 3-game losing streak, your players are either going to be "beat up," physically and emotionally, or upbeat. Glad Dustin is the latter.

But we need a win. Tough to get it at Vandy, since the sight lines are all messed up by the odd shape of the arena, but having a 4-game losing streak going into the Kentucky game is not a good scenario. Dustin, can you help right the ship?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dream Come True for McPhee

Ricky McPhee counts his time with Georgia as a "dream come true."

Despite not having a scholarship, McPhee has enjoyed his time at Georgia, so far. He was part of the run to the SEC Tournament championship last year, but was sitting out, due to the NCAA's rules regarding transfers.

He has gotten to play some this year, and is upbeat on his experience with the team.


Steve Thomas scores 19.

Good game for Steve over in South Korea. He had 19 points and 8 rebounds, 6 of them on the offensive glass. He shot 8 of 13 from the field, and 3 of 4 from the line. Even got 2 assists.

Bad result for Steve's team, the Magic Wings. They lost to Dongbu Promy by almost 30. The final score was 102 to 74. The Magic Wings are not very good.

Maybe Steve will make it back to the States and the NBA. The Hawks could use a tough big man with good shooting skills. A tad undersized for the center spot, but I could still see him giving Al Horford a break, on occasion.

Sundiata Gaines Plays Well. Streak Continues.

Sundiata Gaines is on something of a roll these days. He had not played well during a stretch, and Cantu lost 4 straight. Cantu's coach was criticized. Nonetheless, the coach stayed supportive of his young point guard, and things started to turn around.

Gaines scores 25 last night. Cantu wins its 5th straight.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Marcus Sikes

Former UGA player, Marcus Sikes, has left Brazil. He was playing in the town of Limeira (in the state of Sao Paolo, and famous for its lime trees and sugar cane).

Sikes accepted an offer to go to Cyprus. He is now playing for the team, Omonia Nicosia. Nicosia is the capital and largest city in Cyprus.

Nicosia is sometimes the center of international attention, since the city is split in half into Greek and Turkish sectors. On occasion, skirmishes break out that some worry will bring Greece and Turkey to war.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ezra Williams Gets Double-Double

Ezra Williams had an off-night shooting last night, but he made up for it by contributing in other categories in the Austin Toros' overtime win over the Colorado 14'ers.

Williams played 37 minutes and responded with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. He even added 2 blocked shots, for good measure.

Mohamed Abukar, former UGA signee, scored 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting.

Great Story on Coach Reddick and Favors.

These guys are classy. Both Coach Reddick and his star player.

Love the story on Derrick Favors' reaction after the loss.

Favors would fit well with what Coach Felton is trying to do with young men in his program. Just don't know if we can get him.

Loss to Indiana Squad

Thoughts from the Box Score

Interesting to look at the Box Score from today's game against UT.

Corey Butler had as many points and rebounds as Scotty Hopson. Butler was a walk-on, and Hopson, according to, was the #5 recruit in the country.

Hate to say it, but Albert Jackson was an "0-for" for the game. He had 0 points and 0 rebounds in 14 minutes. I'm sure he played some defense, but your starting center has to at least register something besides personal fouls in a big game. For comparison's sake, UT's starting center gave them 12 points and 7 boards.

Drazen Zlovaric did not play. I, for one, want to see what he can do. Maybe the main reason is that Georgia has strength on the wing, but Woodbury is a senior. Travis Leslie will inherit the starting position, I'm sure, next year, but I'm not sure who will be his back-up. When we play long, athletic teams without the bulky post players, Zlovaric can help us.

Only 3 turnovers from our point guards. Dustin Ware played a really nice game, I thought. He kept his head up on the drives, went at pretty much full speed, either going left or right, and showed a pretty decent shooting touch (4 for 9).

Tyler Smith was the player of the game. He had 24 points, 11 rebounds (4 on the offensive end), and 6 assists. The published report before the game was that he was "doubtful", and might not suit up, due to a bruised bone in his knee. Without Smith, UT loses today's game.