Saturday, January 30, 2010

What was the Strategy?

Down one and we have no rebounders lined up just in case Ware missed? We could have gotten the tip-in, or even if we couldn't have rebounded the ball cleanly, one of our guys might have been able to slap the ball out toward the perimeter so we could grab it and get off a quick three.

With no one on the line, you can't even foul quickly if they got the rebound.

Hate this loss. We're 9 and 10 on the year, 1 and 5 in the SEC. I know some will say that I predicted the loss, but that doesn't matter. I didn't want to lose this way.

Sure the referees missed it when Thompkins was slapped across the face on his move, but we still had a chance. I don't understand the strategy.

Any opinions?

Travis Leslie Putting on a Show

Leslie is just dunking on people with that cold killer look. Doesn't get excited, doesn't showboat, but he is putting on a show nonetheless.

Leslie's offensive rebound jam off of the missed three-pointer will surely be on ESPN top plays. Maybe they ought to give Leslie some stock, he's on their highlights so much.

Leslie played behind Terrance Woodbury last year, but I was hoping that UGA would find a way to play them both at the same time. Now that we see what Leslie can do, let's keep on riding him. I loved his hustle play in which he dove on the floor and the Gamecocks guy ended up knocking it out of bounds.

Maybe Leslie will get player of the week again.

Thompkins has an ankle sprain

He's still able to show magnificent footwork.

Like what Ebuka Anyaorah is doing. He was the second-leading high school scorer in Gwinnett County, behind Trey Thompkins. Anyaorah's playing career in college had a set-back due to his surgery, but he's getting his legs back underneath him.

We're Looking Pretty Good

Leslie is spectacular. We've handled their press pretty well.

Devan Downey was lucky early. Has missed since. Maybe Georgia will pull this one out.

Not Feeling Optimistic

Sorry to say. We have the athletes to beat South Carolina. I just don't know how the team will respond to another hostile atmosphere. If Georgia starts off quickly and doesn't turn the ball over, we have a chance.

My prediction: Dawgs still too young, too turnover-prone. USC wins by 7, 75 to 68.

Friday, January 29, 2010

UGA Rebounding

In my last post, the recap of the UGA-Florida game, I asked the question: What happened to the Dawgs' rebounding?

We didn't get it done, and UF dominated on the boards. "Dominated," in this case means that the real key was not their higher rebounding margin, but that they got the clutch rebounds. We had a considerable size advantage, and they just out-hustled us.

Georgia prides itself on rebounding. The previous coaching administration targeted big guys on the recruiting trail, and the way the roster was built, we should have a size advantage in the post against just about every SEC team but Kentucky.

Speaking of Kentucky, Georgia's next game is against South Carolina, a team that is coming off of a big victory over previously #1-ranked Kentucky.

Darrin Horn's squad has lost a couple of inside players, but the guys they have, hustle plenty. In their win over Kentucky, the biggest story was not Devan Downey's clutch drives and 30 point scoring total. UK probably expected Downey to get the ball into the paint and take a bunch of shots. The real key was the play of the Gamecocks' big men: the team got 40 rebounds, 16 on the offensive glass, and 8 blocked shots.

Georgia should not go to Columbia expecting the game to go our way in rebounding. If we don't really fight for each missed shot, things could get ugly.

We need a win. Let's get it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Happened?

Had a lot of optimism going into this game. To get blown out like we did was disappointing. Not sure how we'll turn it around.

We're 9 and 9 on the year, 1 and 4 in the SEC. We need to be fantastic at home, or else this season could go south in a hurry.

Hats off to Ricky McPhee. He was definitely on the whole game. Trey Thompkins hit from outside, free throw line extended, and down in close. Both he and McPhee had great games. Wish Thompkins would have scored a bit more in the second half, though.

There really wasn't much else to be encouraged about.

The interior defense was porous. Leaving guys wide open under the basket. Guys shooting jump-hooks from two and three feet away from the basket. By the way, what happened to our rebounding?

Our offense against the press was pretty bad. I could use stronger language, but I'll stop there. We need to practice against the press constantly, because that's what Georgia will see constantly. Throwing the ball into the corner to 5' 11" Dustin Ware is not an in-bounds play. At the very least, put Thompkins in the corner so that he can see over the defense to pass it back to the middle.

We didn't seem to have much ball movement against their zone. I think we're supposed to keep running the triangle. Since McPhee was hot, it worked okay to pass the ball around the perimeter. Against the man to man, I'd like to consider running Ricky McPhee's defender off of baseline screens.

When we didn't turn the ball over, our shooting was good. There just weren't enough contributions. Travis Leslie had a decent game, but for Georgia to win, he needs to be dominant. He's got great body control, however, sometimes I think he needlessly throws off his balance and his release by leaping sideways.

I saw a lot I didn't like, but I'm still at a loss to figure out the game. How did we go so quickly from a decent lead to letting them spank us? Anybody?

Dawgs in a blow-out

Predicting that Georgia will crush Florida tonight. Jeremy Price should have a big night against their undersized post players. Travis should be able to get going, too. Their guards are even smaller than ours.

We have too many horses, and match up too well. If our zone slows down their dribble penetration, the Dawgs will win handily.

Final score: 82 to 66.

Trick Shots Answers

Well, the Red and Black has answered a number of my questions. The R&B did a recent article on Matt Bucklin and Connor Nolte, and the story explains a little bit on how Bucklin and Nolte come up with the shots, how football coach Mark Richt came to appear on the video as a guest, and what has happened since then.

Let's save at least one clutch shot just in case we need it against Florida tonight.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Travis Leslie, Sleeper No More

I was so enthusiastic when UGA added Travis Leslie late in the recruiting period two years ago.

At the time, there was in my opinion a noticeable lack of buzz about Leslie's commitment. Part of the issue was that Travis was considered only a 3-star by Rivals, as compared to other Felton targets, like Tony Woods, who was a 5-star recruit, and UGA signee Howard Thompkins, who was a 4-star.

No offense to Tony Woods, but as readers of my various ramblings may remember, I was much more impressed with Leslie than Woods. Leslie burned Woods' Rome High squad for something like 33 points, even though Travis was coming off of bad ankle. Woods may yet display the promise he had as a high school prospect, but for now, he is averaging 3 points and 2 rebounds per game for Wake.

Another metric that shows Leslie's previously under-rated status is his play over the weekend against superstar Bruce Pearl recruits. Renaldo Woolridge was a 4-star, but only gets 3 points and 2 boards per game. He got 0 points in UGA's win over UT.

Cameron Tatum was a 4-star recruit, but he is averaging just 7 points and 2 rebounds over three years. I think he had one bucket against the Dawgs. Tatum and Woolridge have made their contributions, obviously, but the only recent Pearl recruit that I would consider being in Travis' league is Scotty Hopson who was the #5 ranked recruit in the nation-- and in my opinion, Leslie is better.

Will Leslie play all year as well as he did on Saturday? Probably not. He'll have his off-games, too. But the future looks very bright. Leslie has definitely moved from sleeper to star.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Seven Superlatives from the UT Game

Travis Leslie got the Player of the Week award from the SEC. Great accomplishment.

Based on my review, however, there were some other guys out there whose contributions to the game and atmosphere deserve some sort of acknowledgement. So here, for all to see, or at least the five readers of the Blog (thanks, Mom) are my Seven Superlatives.

1. Most Likely to Succeed in MMA

Sorry Herschel, but Ajax gets the nod here. Jackson smoothly transitioned from a tussel underneath the hoop into an over the shoulder arm bar on Wayne Chism. The referee wisely jumped in to give Jackson the victory by submission.

2. Hop Along Cassidy Award: Trey Thompkins

What Travis Leslie lacks in demonstratives, Thompkins makes up. After he hit his three-pointer against UT, Thompkins rode the bronco back down the court.

3. Rocky Award

Whoever that Dude is in the stands.

'Nuff said.

4. All-Orange trophy: Bruce Pearl.

He wears orange. It may have been my cable system, but against Georgia, he even looked orange. Great that he won't be taking to the stairs, thanking all the UT fans, in the Steg any time soon.

5. Shimmy, Shimmy: Ebuka Anyaorah

Anyaorah got the bounce on the three-point attempt. He jumped up and shimmied down the court.

Pearl went ballistic afterwards. Had something to do with the clock, apparently, but his team wasn't going to win anyway. Pearl's reaction did make Ebuka's shot that much more enjoyable.

6. Most Likely to Break the Backboard

Jeremy Price. Scott Howard was spot on when he evoked Darrell Dawkins after the Jeremy Price first half thunder dunk.

Price gets some points taken off for having his shot blocked in the second half by Bruce Pearl's son. Very un-Dawkins like, that part.

7. Most Likely to Make us Barf

Peanut Butter Boy. Dude got his own write-up from ESPN. I thought sure he was a UT fan, with all that stuff smeared on, but he's all ours. Yuck.

Travis Leslie Named SEC Player of the Week

Best known for his posterizing dunk against DeMarcus Cousins in the Kentucky game, Travis Leslie showed the total package against #8-ranked Tennessee. He soared high for rebounds. Got steals. Incredible dunks. The jumper was working.

The box score from the game shows that Leslie shot 8 of 11 from the floor, 1 of 1 from behind the arc, and 2 of 3 from the free throw line. He also garnered 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 7 assists. Leslie should have had 4 or more assists if the recipients of his passes hadn't bobbled the passes.

For his accomplishments, Travis was named Player of the Week by the SEC.

Congrats, Travis!

Coach Mark Richt is a Sensation on Basketball Court

Who knew Mark Richt could hoop? He pulled off that over the head flip-shot from the free throw line like he practices it every day. Wasn't sure who that was in the background, yellin' "first try, first try!" At any rate, Coach Richt has mad skillz (thanks to Connor Nolte and his Passer's Remorse blog for bringing the video to us).

Can the new defensive coordinator help get Richt his first national championship? Tebow is gone at UF. UT has a new coach. South Carolina still has Spurrier.

If Mark Richt's exploits on the basketball court are any indication, this might be our year.

Dawgs Whip #8 UT

Great game for Georgia. Great game for the fans.

I'll be posting more thoughts from Georgia's win. However, in the meantime, I wanted to link the recap from the Red and Black. Awesome picture of Travis Leslie and some video there.

Younes Idrissi Still Hooping

Younes Idrissi is playing these days for the Bahrain Basketball Association. Bahrain is a small nation, close to Saudi Arabia.

Idrissi is playing for Sitra. He scored 30 points in his most recent action.

Gaines to Stay with Jazz

Sundiata Gaines aced his auditions and will be remaining with the Utah Jazz for the rest of the season.

The Jazz, who had to decide by today whether to sign Gaines for the year or send him back to the D-League, recently forecasted their intentions.

Congrats to Sundiata!