Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Hack-a-Travis" Strategy Fails. Dawgs Win!

Wow. We needed that one.

Leslie played great. Mad that Ogilvy didn't pick up the foul on Leslie's first dunk attempt. If that was the tell-tale sign that Vandy would foul Leslie when he went to the basket, Leslie made them pay.

Leslie had 17 points on 4 of 8 shooting, 9 of 12 from the line, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. He had one block and one steal. And get this-- no dunks. He went to his left and shot the mid-range jumper. He drove the basket and elevated sideways to kiss the ball off the glass. He showed the whole arsenal.

Trey Thompkins had a quiet 17 points and 7 rebounds.

The best news is that the other guys contributed big. Vincent Williams had a great game. Dustin Ware had 10 points and just one turnover. Jeremy Price came off the bench to snatch rebounds and score the ball around the cup.

Great game for the Dawgs. Great Win.

Can we turn it around? Any chance we might make some noise in the SEC before the year is out?

TLT: Travis Leslie Time

Mark Fox gave Leslie a blow on the bench. It's time for him to take over.

Go Dawgs!

Please, please, ESPN 360. Enough with the bad commercials

I love ESPN 360. I can watch games on my computer. Very, very happy. Particularly like being able to watch replays when I want to, without having to record it myself.

Pleased with just about everything--- except for their commercials. They need some new material, quick.

The piece with the guys sneaking into the stadium was pretty good the first time, and at least bearable the 15 times after that. Same for the Larry Fitzgerald and the Matt Ryan commercials.

But after the 40th time, I thought about starting my own tea party. Tired of ESPN Advertisements. Don't want them to block my computer from watching the games, but I was so frustrated, I had to write something.

Dawgs Down 3 at Halftime

Things could be worse. The Dawgs are lucky to still be in this one.

Vandy has missed a ton of shots that they normally make. Jenkins is 0 of 5. His release looks different for some reason. Ogilvy has been held in check.

Unfortunately, Beal has gotten hot from deep. He had 4 three-pointers in the first half? Not the fault of our defense, so much. If we stopped turning the ball over with careless passes, he wouldn't have found his touch.

Are we somewhere near 15 turnovers for the first half? Vanderbilt is defending well, forcing the first pass in the triangle offense way up away from the basket, and once our guy gets the ball on the wing, they are defending him tight to cut off the line of sight for the next pass.

Despite Vandy's defense, a bunch of our turnovers are unforced. And what was up with the missed dunk by Chris Barnes? I know he's embarassed by it, but if you don't have your legs underneath you yet when you get in the game, you have to put the ball in off the glass.

If we can get back to the efficient execution we had at the beginning of the game, we can pull this one out in the second half. If we keep turning the ball over, things might get ugly.

'Nother one of my "not optimistic" posts

I predicted a Georgia win against Arkansas, and it just didn't happen. This time, I'll try to be more objective.

Vanderbilt is a lot deeper than we are. They have really good shooters and guys with solid fundamentals. We haven't played against Vandy's backdoor cut-oriented offense. In the meantime, opposing coaches have had more time to scout our triangle offense. The novelty wore off against Arkansas, and Vanderbilt has the athletes to match up with UGA in the post.

Maybe I've lost confidence based on the South Carolina and Arkansas games, but my honest prediction is that Vandy wins by at least 7 points.

Come on, Dawgs! We really have to have a victory. Find a way to win in the second half!

Josh Langford Powers Through Knee Injury

Langford "manned up" against the Johnson High Jaguars last night. Wearing a knee brace to protect himself from further injury, Langford was pretty much held in check in the first half, scoring just one bucket.

In the third quarter, Langford came to life. Josh scored 10 of the Lee Generals' first 14 points. Langford ended the game with a total of 18.

I don't know if Langford is one of the "spring signees" to whom Mark Fox was referring, but the Dawgs could do a lot worse.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Levi Stukes to Argentina

Levi Stukes was recently signed to play in Argentina. He will be suiting up with the Quilmes Athletic Club.

Quilmes is a city of about 500,000, located 10 miles outside of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. Stukes should not have a difficult adjustment to life in Quilmes, since he played previously in Montevideo, Uruguay. Montevideo and Buenos Aires are located on opposite sides of the inlet that separates Argentina from Uruguay, and the two cities are roughly about a half-hour flight from each other. Stukes has also played briefly in Venezuela.

Congrats, Levi!

Note: For more information on Stukes' basketball career, just click on his name, which is in hypertext just beneath this post.

Mike Mercer Goes Off

Mike Mercer shot 0 for 4 in the first half. South Florida was playing #8 Georgetown in a hostile environment, and it looked like the higher ranked team would win.

Then came the second half. Mike Mercer went 5 for 5 from the floor and 2 for 2 from the line. Dominique Jones started to score. Georgetown got rattled, didn't execute their Princeton-style offense, and South Florida came away with the upset victory.

It was good to see Mercer perform well. He shocked me by going way up above the rim to slam an alley-oop. I thought that with his two serious knee surgeries, his flying days were over. Mercer does wear a sleeve or some kind of support over one knee, and he doesn't seem to run nearly as fluidly as before, but he can still jump.

The alley-oop play reminded me of the dunk that Mercer had against Gonzaga a few years back.

Mercer finished off his scoring with a reverse slam on a fast break.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Arkansas Beats Dawgs


The Dawgs won't win if Trey Thompkins does not shoot well. Not sure where the wheels fell off the bus for the Dawgs, but we self-destructed in the second half. Up 15 at the break, and we lose by 4.

We're 9 and 11 on the year, 1 and 6 in the SEC.

Hats off to Pelphrey for instilling discipline in his team and getting his guys to play hard. Dawgs lose 72 to 68.

Who Dat Moving to Division III

The University of New Orleans' chancellor has made the call. Not to Beyonce for an upgrade, but rather to the Sun Belt Conference to disconnect the service. In a tough decision, UNO has decided to move from Division I athletics down to Division III.

I think it's going to be devastating to UNO.

I understand the hand that the school has been dealt. They have the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Falling enrollment. Poor facilities.

I assume that UNO asked the NCAA and the Sun Belt Conference for a waiver due to special circumstances. I assume that UNO appealed to its boosters, alumni and other groups for help. I assume all other avenues were thoroughly analyzed, and the move to Division III was the only option.

As a UGA fan, I follow UNO athletics because Billy Humphrey has been playing there. In this particular case, however, I'm not concerned with Humphrey. He has missed the last 5 games with knee problems, and the July move to Division I wouldn't affect him anyway. Either through injury or exhaustion of his eligibility, he's at the end of his collegiate career.

It's all the other players who will be stuck in limbo, who now have to decide what to do. It's the larger student body that will know that something important has been lost.

For all of its faults, athletics plays a big role in boosting the spirits. Just look at how the entire city of New Orleans has benefitted from the sudden success of the Saints.

My hope is that after a suitable time of recovery, UNO will be able to rejoin major college athletics.

Arkansas vs. Georgia

Predicting a win by the Dawgs.

It won't be easy. Arkansas was playing terribly just a short while ago. They lost to Kentucky by about a million points. Somehow, Pelphrey has started to turn the season around. Arkansas beat both Mississippi and Mississippi State, and the team now stands at 3 and 3 on the year in the SEC.

Arkansas is a lot like South Carolina. No huge power players, but they will test the Dawgs.

Courtney Fortson is the Hogs' version of Devan Downey. Fortson is lightning fast. Scored 35 points to lead Arkansas to a recent victory. Rotnei Clarke is a bit like the Dawgs' Ricky McPhee. No range and no conscience. Clarke can shoot the three from way deep, and he has a quick release that is hard to defend. Occasionally Rotnei will drive into the lane for a runner.

Their big men are talented, too. Again, they're not very tall. Not heavy, but they're athletic enough to get rebounds, shoot turn-arounds and drive it to the cup.

Coaching I would have to call a toss-up. Fox is shaping UGA, but we don't have wins to show for it. Pelphrey has had a ton of turmoil on his roster, but he has a two-game SEC winning streak coming in.

They have the advantage in the backcourt. I think we have a slight edge in the post.

The key is finally getting home-court advantage. The fans will make the difference. Georgia wins by 12, 72 to 60.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jeremy Jacob Scores Career High

Jacob scored 19 points in Oregon's victory over USC on Saturday. Jacob shot 5 of 10 from the field and an impressive 9 of 11 from the free throw line.

Jeremy is earning more playing time as Oregon tries to move up in the Pac-10 standings. Oregon is 4 and 5 in the conference today.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Key SEC Game, Wrong Decision

We had the ball. Chance to tie or even win the game. Just seconds left on the clock.

Seven games into the SEC calendar, needing a victory, and Coach makes a bone-headed decision.

We should have won.

We lost.

Let's face it-- maybe we all got a little ahead of ourselves after the exciting game against Kentucky and the win over top ten-ranked Tennessee.

Perhaps "not so fast, my friends" should be the motto for the fans who thought we knew what we had in our coach. Maybe as a first-year man at the helm, he showed that he really doesn't know what it's like to compete in the clutch. Could it be that our AD made the wrong hiring decision after all?

The good thing is that Coach admitted his mistake.

Even better, Mark Richt bounced back from the poor goal-line decision against Auburn and the very next year he led the Dawgs to the SEC Championship and the #3 final national ranking.

Gaines Plays Big

Utah's most recent contest was against the Sacramento Kings. Since starting point guard Deron Williams was out at a funeral, Gaines was called on to play a major role.

Sundiata responded with 12 points on 5 of 13 shooting, 5 assists, 1 rebound, 3 steals, and 0 turnovers in 24 minutes. As Andrei Kirilenko said in the post-game interview, Gaines "knows how to play, he knows how to play with confidence. I'm not surprised he's bringing it."