Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dawgs Ranked #25

in the ESPN College Basketball Pre-season Top 25 rankings.

Andy Katz updated the rankings on Friday, October 15th.

It's interesting that he has 4 SEC East teams in the rankings. No SEC West teams. That's quite a showing for the SEC East, especially since Katz says that Vanderbilt was one of the teams that just missed the cut.

To put the Division's rankings in perspective, consider that the SEC East's 6 teams had 4 ranked in the top 25, while the ACC's 12 squads only got 2 teams in.

There are of course no guarantees that the final rankings will be anything like the pre-season's, but the list by Katz does give some indication of how tough the SEC East will be this year.

Hope the guys are working hard.

Georgia beats Vandy

It's homecoming. It's Georgia vs. Vandy. It should be another Georgia win.

And so it shall be.

In order for the Dawgs to win this thing, we'll have to be stout at the point of attack.

If I'm Vandy, I keep the ball on the ground, chew up the clock and try to win ugly. 16 to 14. Make Grantham try to adjust and then adjust to his adjustments. Get the UGA defensive line demoralized. Keep A.J. and Murray off the field, and dink and dunk with the passing game. Take a shot with a vertical strike if Georgia turns the ball over.

It will be a test for Dobbs and Geathers and Tyson and crew. However, if we take care of business up front Georgia should win handily. Maybe even give the back-ups some time in the 4th quarter.

My prediction is that Georgia will score 36 points. I'm thinking that the margin of victory will be the Dawgs by 12. Final score: 36 to 24.

Well Said

Alum shares his thoughts on why he goes back to Athens.

Very well written.

Where it all Began

Friday, October 15, 2010

O, Canada!

Some Canadians are smitten with a lovely southern college town.

Sure, you could quibble with a few of their characterizations, but why bother? It was a fun read for me.


Old South, New South, Plain old weird South

D - ####!

Fox is preaching defense. If the Dawgs can pick up some easy baskets from steals or transition buckets from blocked shots, then those close games that we lost last year should turn into comfortable wins.

We'll be a better defensive team, and here's why:

1) Shot-blockers

We lost Albert Jackson and Ricky McPhee to graduation, Drazen Zlovaric, Demario Mayfield and Ebuka Anyaorah to transfer. Albert Jackson averaged a block a game. Anyaorah had 6 blocks on the year, which is decent production for a guy with limited minutes, but he didn't get enough playing time to get a good read on whether he could block shots consistently.

Donte Williams and Marcus Thornton have been added to the post for the 2010/2011 Dawgs. Both are quick leapers. Williams will have to add some weight, for sure, but he is athletic enough to be effective.

The net result of the roster transition is that we will have more shot-blockers on the floor this year. Chris Barnes will get more minutes, and Williams and Thornton will boost Georgia's rejections and intimidation factor.

2) Steals

Ricky McPhee averaged a steal a game. The key to his defensive production was hustle. He didn't have the kind of quicks that would allow him to get out in the passing lanes and take the ball to the other hoop for a lay-in.

From all indications, Gerald Robinson has the speed to pressure the perimeter. Sherrard Brantley will be available, too. Hopefully, he, along with his three-point shooting prowess, will be able to give us tough defense.

3) Fresh Legs

Since the team has more depth, Georgia should be able to exert a high level of energy on the defensive end, without suffering offensively. And as Coach Fox has said, his deeper bench gives him the freedom to sit guys who aren't defending.

4) System

Coach Fox has a core of guys who understand the triangle offense. He can concentrate more on the nuances of the offense and use more of the practice time teaching about defensive assignments.

5) Commitment

The guys have bought in. They want to be good and defense is their ticket to the post-season.


Practice Starts Today

Dawgpost has an article up today. I'm looking forward to seeing how things shape up over the next month or so.

Get fired up!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wasn't to Be

Hope Julian Royal finds what he was looking for.

Hewitt is a very capable recruiter and it looks like matched head to head, he can still outflank us. UGA doesn't have the track record to flip the scenario.

Not sure who are the other 2011 post players being recruited. Nick Jacobs feels like a long-shot to me. If Royal had committed to the Dawgs, we'd almost certainly have no chance with him. As it stands now, Jacobs will know that our power forward slot will definitely be open for the future, and that can't hurt.

Practice starts tomorrow. Let's keep the enthusiasm up.

Julian Royal

I still think he will choose Tech, but Georgia seems like the perfect fit, basketball-wise.

If Trey Thompkins leaves after this year (and if he has the year that I think he will have, it would be hard to convince him to stay), I see Julian Royal fitting in almost immediately to the slot that Thompkins vacated. Hopefully, Royal sees that, too.

We'll all know soon. Typing with my fingers-crossed...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mark Fox Previews the Dawgs

Appreciated the video. Good to have information about the team.

Ten thoughts and impressions:

1. Expectations are high.

Fox and the team are embracing them.

2. Gerald Robinson will be fun to watch

It seems that every chance Fox gets, he says something good about Robinson.

3. The Stegeman Coliseum will be much improved.

I don't need fancy glass, just make sure the bathrooms are fixed.

4. There's competition for playing time.

Wish we had more height on the perimeter, but I feel comfortable that we've got guys who can bring the ball up the floor. Great to have options for post players. With Thompkins, Price, Barnes, Williams and Thornton, we should be able to take advantage of the smaller teams.

5. Fox will start and play the guys that are working the hardest.

6. The team is healthy as practice starts.

I keep waiting for a key injury to occur. Somebody to jump up and come down on a teammate's foot. Always seems to happen to derail the program's potential. So far, so good, though. No hits, no runs, no errors.

7. The SEC East will be tough

No one is talking about South Carolina. Could be a mistake. They're no "gimme."

There is so much parity in the Division that all predictions are suspect. For example, if Enes Kanter is not eligible, Kentucky will be height-challenged. They have enough athletes to play everybody tough, but a team with a talented front-line like Florida or Mississippi State might blow them out.

8. Fox will employ a lot more man-to-man on the defensive side

I like man-to-man if UGA turns out to be a really good defensive team. Otherwise, it's smart to use zone defenses to keep the other teams off-balance. Hopefully, Fox will not rigidly adhere to a particular defense, but mix and match depending on the situation.

9. Repeat the question

It seemed that Mark Fox was having trouble hearing the questions. For the sake of the video, he either should repeat the question after it is asked, or even better, have an assistant pass the mike to each reporter so that he can hear clearly and that the video's volume will be more consistent (the questions will have the same volume as the responses from Coach Fox).

10. Don't repeat the question

Our reporters need to ask more creative, more focused questions. By doing so, fans will get better insight into the team's progress and Coach Fox will be forced to abandon some of the cliches.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nick Jacobs

Really think he would be better off coming to UGA. I am, of course, biased.

Jacobs seems to have enjoyed his time at Florida, so Mark Fox and crew will have to do their best job to reel him in. I share the sentiment of the other people who made comments that the comparison of Nick Jacobs to Udonis Haslem was not a particular compliment to Jacobs.

I'm glad that UGA is in the running to keep the talented players in-state. I await the day when our team will get a good number of early commitments, really be the top choice, instead of one of the finalists.

AJC link.

At the end of the day, there is a lot to be said for playing for your home university in front of all your family and friends. There will be plenty of playing time available at UGA since we are losing Jeremy Price, Chris Barnes and probably Howard Thompkins.

Hoping Jacobs makes the best choice.


I made some changes to the Blog lately.

Decided to add a pageview counter to indicate what kind of traffic the Blog is getting. Please know that although the pageview says "all-time", what that really means is since June 1, 2010. Don't know why pageviews started being counted from that date, but I suspect that it has something to do with the date that I made a major change to the layout of the Blog.

I recently added snippets from the top posts of the last seven days. I don't want to clutter up the Blog, but I thought it might be helpful to see just a couple of sentences from the posts that are getting the most views. I also included a poll yesterday since this is a big week for hoops recruiting.

Don't forget the search capability. If you are looking for information on a particular player or topic, just search on it by going to the upper left-hand corner of the Blog and fill in the search criteria.

I may add or delete items as I decide how I want the Blog to look going into the beginning of the basketball season.

Thanks to those who follow the Blog.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Parker and Royal?

Sounds good to me. UGA might end up with both Dai-Jon Parker, top 100 shooting guard from Milton High, and Julian Royal, top 100 power forward, also from Milton High, whether it is described as a package deal or not.

What do you think will happen? Let your views be known by leaving a comment or taking the poll below.

George Fant to Western Kentucky

UGA basketball recruit George Fant has decided to play his college basketball at home.

Fant had been pursued by UGA, but the opportunity to play in his home state of Kentucky was too much for him to pass up.

UGA may receive good news on the recruiting front this Thursday, as top level recruit Julian Royal is set to announce his decision between the Dawgs and Georgia Tech.

Swansey Honored

The Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook is out, and a familiar hoops player is noted. Blue Ribbon named Zac Swansey its 2010/2011 preseason Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year.

Swansey is newly eligible to compete at Tennessee Tech after sitting out last year, following his transfer from the University of Georgia. Hopefully, he spent his off-year working to tighten his handle and avoid floating sideways on his jumpshot.

Still appreciate Swansey for the miracle turn around J to beat University of Kentucky in the SEC Tourney. Hope he does well at Tech.

Bruce Pearl

I don't think that Bruce Pearl will resign from the University of Tennessee. He has a huge contract with the school, with lots of protection to keep him from being fired, and I doubt he would walk from it.

From every indication I've seen, his personality is wrapped up in who he is as a coach. Although he'd likely be better off if he gave the game a rest, in my opinion he'll stay until UT either fires him or opts not to renew his contract in 2014.