Saturday, December 7, 2013

What was up with the announcers during half-time?

Frat boys?

Wonder how much Dr. Pepper is paying for all these commercials?

At least show some of the other "one of a kind" Dr. Pepper drinkers.

Like the kid with the awesome skills on the tricycle.  Cue up her story.  Oh, and skip the dude with the loaf of bread pinned to his body.  That's not one of a kind, that's weird.

By the way,

since Marshall is so effective as a quarterback, and we had him slotted at cornerback, is it possible that we are mis-positioning other guys?  Mis-reading the talent of other guys on the roster?

Bit of a stretch, but I wonder what Lemay would have done in the spread offense?

Even better question:  Is a hurry-up offense, one that utilizes lots of runs from the option, the best way to utilize our skill at tailback?  Put Marshall in motion so that he can get a full head of steam and hit the edge, and either give it to him or option it to either Chubb or Gurley.  How could we be stopped?

Not saying we should go away from what we do well, but since we have physical quarterbacks in Mason and Bauta, let's throw in some more wrinkles for teams to think about.  Gary Danielson just said that more teams are going to go with the system.  I think UGA should be one.  Do what Missouri has done to mix in a little of each.

Auburn is impressive

Wish we had more elements of the spread in our offense.

Missouri was beating our guys when all they had to do was rush the quarterback and not worry about eye discipline.  But when they don't know where the ball is, by the time they figure it out, Auburn's offensive player is 8 yards downfield.

Is it a surprise to anyone that the two teams in the SEC championship run the spread?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dawgs should win against Chattanooga

Expecting a good game for UGA.  Would like to see us continue to work on fundamentals.  I'm okay with Fox using his deep bench as long as the game is in hand.

Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines should have an advantage on the perimeter.  If Brandon and Forte drive the ball they should be able to finish at the rim. Wish Fox would experiment with both Brandon and Cam on the floor at the same time.  Just slide Morris down to the power forward position.

If Donte plays big, he might start to get his confidence back.  Marcus Thornton has been playing much better this year.  

If we get to a 3 and 4 record with a victory tonight, Coach Fox and the squad will start to feel better about their prospects for the season.  As I said previously, we have to take it a game at a time.

Curious to see how Andrew Houts will do for the Mocs.  Hoops fans may remember that his sister Ashley was a McDonald's All-American and an all-everything player for UGA.  Ashley is playing in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics.  Andrew can shoot the three, so it's important to cover him on the perimeter. 

Predicting a ten-point win for the Dawgs, 73 to 63.  Something like that.

Go Dawgs!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hats Off to Auburn

They did what we could not do.  Took it to Alabama and beat'em.

We came close.  They finished the drill.

Hoping that Missouri beats Texas A*M.  Much rather have Missouri represent the East than South Carolina.  While I'm in prediction mode, I think Texas A*M beats Missouri.  Hoping I am wrong again.

I tell you, Nick Marshall is going to be a tough guy to deal with.  He's got serious wheels and a powerful arm.

Maybe Hutson Mason can use today's game as a springboard and give us a championship next year.  Still football to play this season, but if Mason can get the job done, our defense will have a year to grow, we get several skill guys back, our backfield will be loaded, and it could be our year.

Great, Great Win for The Dawgs

I gave up.  Shouldn't have.

Maybe I should stick to basketball.

Great win for Mark Richt!

How about Grantham's D?  Did they step up or what?  Incredible.  20 to nothing and they held those guys to 7 more points in regulation.

Wow!  Great job by all the Dawgs.  Congrats to all!  Go Dawgs.  Tech, losers again!  12 out of 13!

Mmmphh, Mmmpphh

Pfltt!  (feathers)


In the oven.  Smells good!!

Finally, a call on a cut block!

And they call it on us.  They'd better call it the same way when they have the ball.

Proud of Hutson Mason.  He's made good throws.  We've had some drops and some penalties.  If the D can give us a three and out, then maybe we can get back into this thing.  I'll gladly eat crow if UGA can pull out a win here.

About like I thought

Couldn't bring myself to predict a Georgia loss, but that's exactly what I thought would happen.  I seriously doubted we would play well.

Worse yet, Tech probably blows us out.  Up 20, and we haven't moved the ball.  I haven't looked at the stats, but they must be ugly.  Time of possession, rushing, passing.

Can we turn it around?  Yes.

Will we?  Not likely.

Mason looked rattled several times.  The interception he threw wasn't even close to our guy.  Also didn't like him giving up the ball when he got sacked.  If you throw it away, do it.  Don't toss the ball on the ground in the midst of a sack.  Looks too much like a fumble.

I will say this, that once Paul Johnson gets a qb who can throw the ball, he's sitting in the catbird seat.  Vad Lee has been on the money today.  If the contest is between their system and our skill, and we have a big advantage in skill, we win.  If, however, the contest is between their system and their skill, and our system and their skill, and the skill is anywhere close to even, they win.  The option is just that difficult to defend.  I think Auburn beats Bama today for the same reason.  The score in the Iron Bowl is tied right now, but that's the point.  Auburn is holding their own, and with their system, they might hit on a few explosive plays.

At any rate, Georgia Tech has the better quarterback from what I'm seeing, and Georgia can't win in that scenario.

I predict that the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game will be what Tech fans have been pushing for, and that's a real rivalry again.

Uggh.  Tech beat us in basketball at our place.  Now they are taking it to us in football at theirs.  Tough year.

Tech Game Does Not Set Up Well for Us

I think that Georgia will come out flat due to the loss of Aaron Murray.  If it were just Murray, we might be able to get over the hump, but it's Murray, and Mitchell and JSW, and Marshall and on and on.  Murray was the one constant throughout the year.  He was able to stay healthy when most of Georgia's other key offensive players went down.

In the meantime, Tech is playing good ball.  Let's not forget that Tech was driving for a score last year when Rambo ripped the ball out and turned the game around.  This year we don't have Rambo and Ogletree and Jarvis Jones.

Tech probably wins today.  I could be wrong, and Mason may turn out to be this decade's version of D.J. Shockley, a guy who waited his turn to showcase his talent.  Shockley led us to the SEC championship, so I hope that Hutson Mason plays well today.

Very nervous.  We've had special teams issues, bad injuries, defensive lapses, and now, no Murray.  Very nervous indeed.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Defense Stepped Up

We're not good enough yet to just run guys out of the gym.  We have to do the little things well.  Georgia picked up the pace defensively which led to better offensive production.  Had me worried there for a bit.

You can only beat the guys you're scheduled to play, so this is a good win for the Dawgs.  We're 2 and 4 on the season, and hopefully will start a little run during the remaining pre-conference portion of the season.

I like the fact that everyone got to play a little bit.  Scoring came from up and down the roster.  Kenny Gaines had a good night, so that's always positive.  He's had a slow start, but he will do some good things this year.  That's why it would have been good for him to play more last year--  to give him some experience so he can be smoother this year when we really need his scoring punch.  He and Charles Mann will have to get it done this season, so both of them have to play with confidence.

Dawgs beat Appalachian State 71 to 53.

Playing Better in the Second Half

Up 10.  UGA 47, App State 37.

Way to go, Dawgs.  We can only win'em one at a time.  Let's keep up the good work, finish this one off and on to the next.

What is wrong with Georgia basketball?

Why can't we put teams away?  There is no reason why Appalachian State should be able to come into our house and show us up.

Looking on the bright side, at least we were able to get the lead going into half-time.  It's 33 to 32, but we were bad from the free throw line and from behind the arc.

I was expecting us to have a big lead by now.  Hope Fox pushes the right buttons at half-time.

Georgia will beat App. State

I know, I know.  I have predicted other Georgia wins and have had to eat my words.   But this time, I'm positive Morris, Gaines and Mann will get it done.  App. State has one victory on the season, and they're not about to get their second against us.

Look for four Dawgs to score in double figures, the three sophomores and a big.  If Donte and Marcus stay out of foul trouble, one of those two could get us 12 points and 5 boards.

We'll start a nice streak with this game, and hopefully get to 6 and 4 with our confidence back.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dawgs Lose to Nebraska

Final score:  Nebraska 73, Dawgs 65.

We're 1 and 4 on the year and dead last in the SEC.

We're inventing ways to lose now.  This time we couldn't hit our free throws.

I keep thinking that Georgia is going to put it all together and beat some team by double digits.  I thought we would get a W in at least one of the three contests.  Didn't happen.  We came in last place in the tournament, not winning a single game.

Not sure what to make of this team.  We have some possibilities.  We could go on a run and win the next six games.  It could happen.

There are possibilities, but there are also problems.

Wing players.  Brandon Morris is playing pretty well.  Meanwhile, Cameron Forte seems to have taken a step back (Mark Fox needs to work on Forte's shot.  Make him shoot one-handed until he starts getting good arc on the ball and learns to use his off-hand as a guide, only).

Post players.  We still don't have the production we need in the post.  Marcus Thornton is doing better, but he has no lift off of his surgically repaired legs.  Sad to see, since he had so much bounce in high school.  By the way, he and Donte don't need to be shooting three-pointers.

Shooting guards.   We got next to no production from our 2-guard position.  Kenny Gaines went 3 for 9 and Juwan Parker shot 0 for 3.  A combined 3 for 12 won't get it done.  If our shooting guards don't manage better than 25 percent from the field, we will lose every time.

Offense.  Our offense doesn't seem to get us any good shots.  Or maybe the shots are there, but our guys just can't hit'em.  All too often, however, we run the weave 25 feet or more from the basket, pass it into the short corner and try to angle a guy toward the basket.

If the game under the new rules is to drive the ball to the basket and get fouled, then let's design an offense that will do just that.  Scrap the triangle, or at least try an alternative during part of the game.  Charles Mann is good at driving the ball, but we need to have more players who can do it.  Reminds me of Sundiata Gaines driving the ball on almost every possession back when Felton was coaching.  We can do better.  Coach Fox has to make it so.

I think Mark Fox's record at UGA is now into negative territory at 66 and 67.  If we don't pick up a string of wins during the non-conference part of the schedule, Fox will likely have yet another losing season, notching losing seasons in 4 out of his 5 years.  All of our momentum seems to be backwards, and it's hard to argue with the guys who point out that Georgia basketball has degraded under his stewardship.

They have a point.  Multiple losing seasons, no recruits, poor defense and a stagnant offense spell disaster for a basketball program.  Like I've said before, I like to see our guys graduate, but if that's the only criteria for successful coaching, hire one of the academic advisers to coach the team.  Sure wouldn't cost us $1.7 million a year.

Gotta have some wins and quick.  We really need a good run over these next few games.  Fox, make it happen!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dawgs lose to Temple

Why did we inbound the ball to Donte?  I don't think the three-point cast by Donte is what Fox had in mind, but darned if I could see what play Fox wanted to run.  Why not throw it in to Morris, Mann or Gaines?  All those guys can catch it and drive the ball.

Anyway, we lost 83 to 81.  We're 1 and 3 on the season.  The good news is that for the first time this year, we looked like we can play.

Brandon Morris is the key to this team.  He can handle, drive the ball and defend.  He missed crucial free throws late, but that's to be expected for a guy who hasn't played all year.

Kudos to Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann.  They both played well and scored 21 and 19 points, respectively.  We'll pick up a few victories this year.  All is not lost.  Even Marcus Thornton looked good.

Fox finally let his starters stay on the court during the second half.  You test your deep bench in practice or during exhibition games.  If Fox will stick with a limited rotation, the Dawgs can get in games and stay there.

Please, Fox.  Play Mann, Gaines, Morris, Williams, Thornton, Djurisic and Forte.  Sub in Parker and Frazier when necessary.  Stop pulling guys when they hit a basket.

Thank you.

No more Kool-Aid, please

I know when I'm at my limit.

Approaching the UGA hoops season I saw Wofford at Stegeman, Georgia Tech at Stegeman, and a mid-major on a neutral court.  That early schedule said to me a UGA record of 3 and 0.  Maybe 2 and 1 if we started the season slow.

Mark Fox pronounced to the world that Georgia was a Top 25 team.  I attributed Fox's comments to salesmanship, a coach trying to buoy his players.  Although I couldn't see Top 25, I willingly went along with the implied notion that we would be pretty good this year.  Solid in the fundamentals.  Competitive, beating the teams we should.    

Last night a winless Davidson squad took it to us.  Beat us by double digits.  Now in the cold light of reality, we are 1 and 2.

In that same light, I scan our roster.  We don't have pure shooters, elite defenders or dominant post players. No Jeremy Price, Ajax, Chris Barnes, Ricky McPhee, Travis Leslie or Trey Thompkins.  We got a fat zero on the fall recruiting trail.  No obvious help on the horizon.

My hope is that UGA will get better.  That Brandon Morris is the missing link.  That we will beat Temple tonight.

I'm a homer, but even the most ardent hoops supporters have to face facts.  We're not a top 25 team.  We're not a pretty good team.  We're in last place in the SEC, on the brink of yet another losing season.

We need to turn things around tonight.  I have hope, but that's about all.  I want Fox to show us he can coach, that he can win on the court and on the recruiting trail.  I'm done with Kool-Aid.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Georgia will beat Davidson

Here's why:

1.  Tech beat us

I imagine that practice this week was rigorous.  Not wanting to start the season at 1 and 2, the Dawgs will hunker down early and play to win.

2.  Morris will play

Brandon Morris won't start, but he'll see action.  Anything more than a 3-game suspension would have been in the news.

Brandon will spell Cameron Forte and Morris will remind Dawg fans what he can do:  play above the rim, score in the post, get to the free throw line.

3.  Georgia is bigger in the post

There's a reason they're 0 and 3.  Davidson was really good last year, but they have played this year against schools with bigger athletes and have yet to win.  Georgia will have an advantage on the boards.  When we out-rebound a team, we will win.

4.  Kenny Gaines will have a good game

He didn't shoot well against Tech.  Neither did Parker.  Expect both to bounce back.

5.  Charles Mann is a stud

As I have said previously, Mann will likely finish his career as Georgia's best point guard ever.  Mann has the size of Vern Fleming, the willingness to drive of Sundiata Gaines, and the intangibles of Rashad Wright.  He has changed the release on his shot, which makes him a threat to score from deep.  He'll have 18 or 19 points this evening.

This one won't be as close as the experts have predicted.  Dawgs win by 14.  Game starts at 5:00.

Oops.  Game starts when it starts.  Double-overtime game pushes back the start.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Auburn pulls one out

Incredible game.  I stopped watching at some point because Georgia seemed so out of sync.  I almost never get away from the television when the Dawgs are playing because anything can happen.  And it did.  After a couple of minutes I came back in time to see Georgia right the ship.

Gutsy performance by Aaron Murray.  Took big hits and hung in there.  I think on that play to Rantavious Wooten he could have hit Artie Lynch about 15 yards deeper.

I don't even blame Grantham.  The defense got stops to put us back into the game.  The last play by Auburn was a fluke.  We had the right defense called, guys in position, and they got the luck of the bounce.

Proud of the Dawgs.  We're the walking wounded and we went into Auburn and almost pulled it off.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Boy, was that ugly

Can't believe we have lost to Tech three in a row.  They've beaten us twice straight at home.  How does that happen?

Daniel Miller keeps rubbing Fox's face in it.  No doubt in my mind that Fox came in and told Miller he wasn't wanted.  I knew it was a bad decision then.  Certainly is one now.  Miller scored 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting with 13 boards.

Even if Fox tried to keep Miller, he didn't try hard enough.  We sure could use him.  We looked totally over-matched out there.  Things won't get any better next year, either.  We struck out on every big man recruit for 2014/2015.

Don't see why Fox keeps on removing a player from the floor after they make a good play.  If the guy is hot, leave him in there!  Why doesn't Fox use a 1-3-1 to get a few steals, or go to the press when we need a bucket?  Why didn't he call a time-out?

Fox is struggling, folks.

I hate losing to Tech.

Dawgs Whip Tech

Sure it's a bold prediction, but with the exception of the most recent history, we always beat Tech at the Steg.

This game sets up well for us.

1)  It's at home.

Hopefully we'll have a good, noisy crowd.

2)  It's early in the season

On paper, Tech has the better team.  However, their talent might not gel as well during the first half of November as it will next month, when we usually play them.  If an upset is to happen, better to catch the superior team early, rather than late.

3)  Guards' Game

The new emphasis on hand-checking makes college basketball even more of a guards' game.  That should neutralize some of Tech's size in the post, and play to the advantage of UGA's physical guards, Mann & Gaines.

4)  Morris vs. Bolden

UGA has apparently suspended Brandon Morris.  He won't play tonight.  Bad news for Georgia, but the loss of Brandon and his 4 points and 2 boards is offset by Tech's loss of Chris Bolden and Bolden's 7 points and 2 boards.

Dawgs win 72 to 61.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

UAB Lands William Lee (Chris Cokley, too)

Somebody on their staff knows how to recruit.

UAB got commitments from three of the top ten players in Alabama.

Didn't foresee a day when UAB would out-recruit us.  But that's exactly what happened.  UAB not only successfully pulled in Lee, the player from Alabama that the Dawgs wanted, they also grabbed Chris Cokley,  a 6' 8" 220-lb power forward who is a first-team all-stater from Georgia.  Cokley was the top available big man from the state of Georgia, and was reportedly #2 on our list, in case we couldn't get Lee.  Cokley has cancelled his visit to Athens.

Nice Haul

I predicted we wouldn't get Lee or Jakeenan Gant.  Not sure what it is with Fox, but elite big men ain't buying what he's selling.

I wished we had offered Cokley early.  I remember him two years ago almost leading his squad to an upset over Milton High in the state championship game.

Oh yeah.  To make matters even more insulting to Georgia fans, remember that this is the second year in a row that UAB got the big man Fox was after.  UAB netted Tosin Mehinti, a 6' 9" post last year.  Mehinti was a three-star player, and not the highest skilled player, but that's exactly the point.  The highly ranked big men are going to Tech or out of state.  We can't even bring in our back-up plans.

I guess we're back to hoping for next year.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dawgs Win by 12

over NC-Pembroke.


More on Marcus Thornton

Well, I guess we will see tonight whether Thornton has his wheels back.  Three knee surgeries is a lot.

Maybe Marcus can draw inspiration from Thomas Davis.  Davis is playing great ball for the Carolina Panthers and he had three surgeries on the same knee.

As I said in an earlier post, I'm not expecting much from Thornton.

Contribution?  Yes.  He has averaged 2 points and 3 boards during his career.  If he can stay healthy and match that production, playing good defense against the other team's power forward, then I would be pleased.

Domination?  No.  Playing above the rim like he did in high school?  No.  Scoring double figures?  No.

I would be delighted to be surprised.


Wapo on Fox and the Dawgs

Can Fox make the Dawgs relevant?  With lackluster recruiting and losing seasons in 3 out of his 4 years, the Washington Post points to five items to watch.

1)  Fox Future

How patient will McGarity be?  The Post points out that UGA didn't wait very long with other unsuccessful coaches (Jirsa, Felton).

2)  Marcus Thornton

Can Marcus play above the rim?  Dawgs fans wonder if Thornton is more like Blake Griffin, who regained his explosiveness after knee surgery, or the myriad other hoops players who didn't.

3)  Donte Williams

Will Donte finish strong in his senior year?

4)  Freshman Class

Will the freshmen help this year?  How well will Parker, Frazier, Forte and Geno play?

5)  Early Schedule

Georgia really struggled last year in the pre-SEC portion of the schedule.

Post Article

My take on it:

Fox has the support of McGarity.  Fox will lose it if the Dawgs struggle.  Do not expect for Fox to get a contract extension.  McGarity likes the improved academics with the team.  But let's face it.  If winning isn't the goal, let one of the Honors English professors coach the team.  We'd save a heck of a lot of money.

If Fox follows 3 out of 4 losing seasons with 4 out of 5, he will be let go.  That's my best guess for why Fox used 4 scholarships last year on players who were not high-ranked. You save scholarships if you think you will be around to offer them.  If not, you bring on the best players you can now.

Not expecting much from Thornton.  His game is predicated on his ability to jump.  If he can't jump and attack the rim, then won't score a lot of points.  I'm hoping he will return to form, but realistically, I think we will see about what we saw the last couple of years-- decent effort and rebounding, but not much else.

Donte had a rough start last year with the drug allegations.  He'll do much better this year.

The freshmen guards have to play.  We don't have anybody else.  Forte and Parker could be incredible, or they could be average.  I expect them to contribute, but this team belongs to Gaines, Mann and Morris.

The Dawgs could go 10 and 0 in the early season.  The key game is Georgia Tech.  If we beat Tech, it will be such a huge boost to the team that we could go undefeated early or 9 and 1.  If we lose, things could go downhill fast for Fox.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Posting from St. Mary's

I'm in the cardiac ward if any y'alls wanna come visit.


Great win for the Dawgs!  Three straight.

Now, can anybody beat Mizzou?  We need a little help.


Crap!  Can't blame Grantham on this one.

Offense hasn't done anything but turn the ball over and give them short fields.

Time for Murray, Gurley, and yes, Lynch, to step up.

Go Dawgs!  Let's close this one out.

Color me, Worried

Never is easy, is it?

Is it aspirin that's good for warding off heart trouble?  Where is that Bayer?

Color me, Impressed

Georgia looks great.  Defense looks strong.  Even without Todd Gurley, we drove the football down the field and scored.  No stupid penalties.  No fumbles.  Even special teams is working.  Wish Wooten had caught that fade route, but other than that, Dawgs putting on a whuppin'.

Having Todd Gurley Helps

a little bit.

Dawgs up 14.

Can't do it

My head tells me that Florida will win, that our defense will be poor and our offense anemic.  Jarvis Jones was so huge in the last two victories.  This year we don't seem to have a playmaker on defense.  Malcolm Mitchell made the huge catch and run.  Who will do that for us this year?

However, since I hate Florida so, so much, I have to predict a Dawgs win.  UGA 21, Florida 17.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


I know they're Kentucky and we're Georgia, but it would be nice to get excited about hoops recruiting.  C'mon.  Six McDonald's All-Americans?  And we can't get one signee for 2014?

Embarrassment of Riches

Here's hoping William Lee announces for us tomorrow.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bobo went vanilla, offense went sour, game went south

Funny, I predicted a Vandy win.  I just couldn't bring myself to post it on the Blog.

Congrats to their guys.  They whipped us at the line of scrimmage.  Their play-calling was better than ours.  More creative.  We looked tentative.  Their defense looked more inspired.

This might be the last go-round for Richt.  Not that he would ever get fired, but does he really want to start next season and break in a new quarterback?  Richt seemed to noticeably limp as he was walking, as if his hip replacement is giving him trouble.

Special teams play was awful.  They mostly kicked it deep in the end zone so we couldn't run it out.  When we had a chance to put the game away, we muffed it.

Their back-up quarterback looked like an all-star and Murray looked pedestrian.  Where were the passes to our tight ends?  Why hit Wooten over the middle?  Why run up the middle play after play?  The zone read only works when the quarterback is a running threat.  Murray will tuck it on occasion, but he's not big enough to absorb much punishment.  We seemed to run that expecting them to get faked out.  We're not Oregon.

I know.  We have no Gurley, and no Marshall.  Have no Bennett, no Scott-Wesley, no Malcolm Mitchell.  Our execution is left wanting when you're relying on Brendan Douglas and J.J. Green back there.  Please Douglas.  Hold on to the football.  Still don't see why Turman can't get a carry or two.

You have to put part of this loss on the refs.  The targeting calls are getting ridiculous.

Apparently Chris Conley may be injured.  I turned it off before the last play.  I'm almost glad I did.  Would have been tough to see another receiver go down.

I was mad at Damian Swann, but he gives it his all.  I just thought his all would be better than it has been.  Let's circle up in Athens, keep our heads on straight.  I'd rather Missouri win the East.  Let's be as competitive as we can be.  We could lose to Tech, folks.  We'd better not.  Let's beat Florida and Tech and call it a season.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mark Fox, UGA and SEC Media Day

Interesting quote from UGA head coach Mark Fox:

"I think we finally have a level of experience and physicality and a full complement of players," Fox said.  "I'm not worried about our depth and I probably haven't been able to say that the last couple of years.  It's a team I'm excited about."

The interesting thing is that he said almost exactly the same thing at almost exactly the same time last year.  Here's his quote from the 2012 Media Day:

"I like our team," Fox said.  "This is a group that is deeper than a year ago, more physical than a year ago.  It's a team that I think has the right mentality.  So I think we're going to have a team that will be much improved..."

Similar comments to 11-alive

Some of his remarks are just "coach-speak."  Of course Fox is going to say that he expects the team to improve.  But whether he says it or not, fans generally expect improvement.  The problem is that the team arguably didn't get any better at all last year.  Hard for me to see much improvement from the 2011/2012 team that went 15 and 17 and the 2012/2013 one that also went 15 and 17.  We had losing seasons, finished toward the bottom of the SEC, didn't make the NCAA tourney, and followed that with frustrating recruiting results.

I agree that the 2013/14 team is deeper.  But hearing that Fox is optimistic doesn't translate into any higher expectation for me.  I am far from convinced that Fox will use his roster any better than he did last year.  He's the coach, so it's his team.  However, in my opinion, he played guys out of position, gave minutes to the wrong guys, and neither adjusted in-game nor in-season to significantly improve our outcome on the court or on the recruiting trail.

Red and Black recap

I want to win.  I hope Fox can make it happen.

I'm curious about what other fans are thinking.  Do you agree or disagree with the prediction that we will finish this season 11th in the league?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Troy Brewer in Denmark

Former UGA hoopster Troy Brewer has moved from Hungary to Denmark.

Brewer signed this spring with the team Vaerlose Basketball Club of the European League.  Vaerlose is a small town about 12 miles from Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark.  Troy is averaging 20 points per game so far this season.

A shooting guard from Rockville, Maryland, Troy was recruited by Dennis Felton to hopefully bring an element of athleticism and three-point shooting to the UGA basketball team.  Unfortunately, Brewer never found his shooting touch, and after two years was averaging just two points and one rebound per game.

When Coach Felton was relieved of his duties in 2009,  Brewer asked for his release.  Troy later transferred to American University in the D.C. area where he finished his collegiate career.  Troy averaged right at 12 points per game in his two seasons at American U.

Here is an interview with Troy after he signed with Vaerlose.


For more background on Brewer, click on his name in the blue hyper-text below.

Good luck, Troy!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tres Magnifique!

Travis Leslie dunks on Alex Ajinca during a recent game in the French hoops league.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

How to fix recruiting, attendance and pick up 5 wins

Recruiting for UGA basketball coach Mark Fox has not been going well.  It does not figure to get better in the near future.

Let's face it, hoops fans.  We have missed out on every recruit we tried for this year.  Gant ain't and Lee is lee-ning elsewhere (interpreted, Jakeenan Gant is committed to Missouri, and William Lee will likely end up at Alabama).  Fisher-Davis picked Vandy, Tadric Jackson chose Tech, Ahmed Hill has apparently turned us down, Turman committed to Tennessee.  Guards, forwards, centers.  Didn't matter.  The answer to the Fox recruiting pitch was "No thanks."

Truly is stunning to me.  I have never seen a Georgia coach in any sport go "0-for" in a recruiting season, but that's exactly what Mark Fox has done so far for 2014 players.

Unfortunately, Fox didn't do much better for 2013, either, missing out on every high level recruit, and ending up with what some fans would consider four "diamond in the rough"-types (two 3-star players and two un-ranked guys).  Could be good players, but they are not the heralded recruits that our SEC competitors like Florida, Alabama and Kentucky are bringing in.

2012 was better, and Fox managed to attract three 3-star players, Kenny Gaines, Brandon Morris and Charles Mann.  Still, Fox missed out on elite big men from the state of Georgia, Tony Parker, Robert Carter, Charles Mitchell, and Shaq Goodwin.

I have posted similar information before, but it bears repeating:

Fox Recruiting Classes

Vincent Williams, 2009
Marcus Thornton, Donte Williams, Sherrard Brantley, 2010
John Florveus, Nemanja Djurisic, Caldwell-Pope, Tim Dixon and John Cannon, 2011
Brandon Morris, Kenny Gaines, Charles Mann, 2012
Kenny Paul Geno, J.J. Frazier, Juwan Parker and Cameron Forte, 2013
Nada, 2014

Said another way, Fox has during his tenure brought in 16 signees, who were given a total of 41 stars according to That's 2.5 stars per recruit.

In those 5 classes and 16 recruits, only one signee was above 3-stars.  Performance on the court generally follows performance in recruiting classes.  Of the 16 recruits who have played so far, only one has managed over 8 points per game (KCP).  None of the big men Fox has recruited have averaged over 4.5 boards a game.  Not surprisingly, Fox has managed 3 losing seasons out of a total of 4.  His one winning season was with his predecessor's recruits.

Attendance at UGA hoops games has sagged.  Fans want to see an exciting brand of basketball, and the Fox teams have not delivered.  According to one source, Georgia has the worst home attendance in the SEC.

How can Fox recover?  How can he get a decent recruit for 2014?  How can he win games and boost attendance?  The answer to these questions, in the author's opinion, may lie at Northwest Florida Junior College.

Why Northwest Florida?  Because Tevin Glass and Shaq Johnson are there.

Fox can make a big step forward by bringing in Glass and Johnson.  I don't see anybody else on the recruiting horizon.  I say, if we can get both players, do it.  The two recruits would have to take a chance on Fox, that he'll be around next year.  At the same time, we'd be taking a chance on them.  They are juco players and Johnson has a mark on his basketball resume, since he was dismissed from Auburn, allegedly after getting arrested for marijuana possession.

Fox would have a different appeal to make to Glass and Johnson, one that may ultimately be successful. Come to UGA and get back on track.  Johnson would readily understand that he'd be on a short lease and would have to toe the line.  The big recruiting carrot is that both players would get to suit up with Charles Mann, the point guard that helped Glass, Johnson and Milton High School win the Georgia 5A state championship in 2012.

Glass is a player who can score and rebound.  He's not a traditional big power forward, but he's 6' 7" and can put the ball on the floor.  In the absence of a true big man recruit, Glass would be perfect.  Shaq Johnson is a Travis Leslie clone.  6' 5" and jumps out of the gym.  Shoots 70 percent from the line.

Fox got Leslie into the NBA.  Tell Johnson that he'll do the same for him.

If we can field a versatile line-up with Kenny Gaines, Juwan Parker and Shaq Johnson as two-guards, Chuck Mann and J.J. Frazier at the point, Brandon Morris and KPG at small forward, and Forte and Glass as power forwards, we'd be exciting to watch.  Throw a few lobs to Kenny Gaines and Shaq Johnson and the attendance issue would go away.

Finally, use the resulting line-up to go to a pressure defense for 90 feet.  We'll get easier buckets and pick up at least 5 more wins on the season.  That performance might be enough for Fox to be retained and for an elite big man recruit to sign on early for next year.

I Don't Mind Losing

when we at least play well and avoid self-inflicted wounds.

But 4 turnovers?

Four sacks?  Were any of their sacks on blitzes?  What I remember is seeing our guys out-quicked and bull-rushed.  Our O-line was supposed to be a factor in our favor.

Stupid penalties?

Out-hustled?  They ran the ball effectively, threw it with precision and every gimmick play they tried worked.  At some point we'll have to do at least something well on defense.  I'm not seeing it.

I guess it is personnel.  Remember last year?  Boy do we miss Jarvis!  Out in Columbia he had 8 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception.

We never quit, but "we never got started too good, either."

Hats off to Mizzou.  They came into our place and kicked our tails.

Valiant Effort

Missing players.  Poor defense.  We can't come back from 15 points down with 2 minutes left.

The interception by Murray was the clincher.  But it shouldn't have come down to him doing another long drive.  Why can't we come up with a big stop?  Their replacement qb and we let him throw a 20-yard play?

By the way, what was Herrera thinking?  But for that late hit on their qb, we probably would have gotten the ball with decent field position and time left on the clock.

Well, we can still win the East if we get some help.  We'll have to take care of business, but you have to figure that without Franklin, a couple of Mizzou's opponents can find a way to stop them.  We need Florida to lose, too.  That always helps.

Mark Beard?

Is Houston our only option at right tackle?  We have Theus.  We have Beard.  Why not play them more?  That last sack was tough to watch.

Questions, Questions

Ten troubling questions:

1.  What's up with Swann?

Anybody know?

I rarely criticize a player on this Blog, but expectations were so high for him that it's obvious to me that something is wrong.

2.  What happened to the other players in the defensive backfield?

I know we had Sheldon Dawson and the bigger corner who played some last year (Evans?).  Wiggins looks competitive.  Lakatos and Grantham have to do something.

3.  Why keep the shirt on Turman?

We need him now, not next year.  He looked strong on his YouTube videos.  Besides, next year all indications are that we'll have Chubb and Michel in addition to Turman, Todd Gurley, Brendan Douglas, J.J. Green and Keith Marshall.

My guess is that Turman must not know the plays.  Otherwise, let's not make a Knoshon Moreno mistake.

4.  When will we stop somebody on third down?

5.  Will Jordan Jenkins ever channel his Jarvis Jones?

6.  Who will be our play-maker on defense?

Ray Drew looks good, but we need a Thomas Davis-type safety, Ogletree-type linebacker, or a Champ Bailey on the corner.

7.  Why is their offensive line playing better than ours?

8.  Should we go to the spread offense next year?

The pro offense is a beautiful thing when you have the players to implement it, but the spread seems to keep defenses guessing where the ball is going.  The ability to stretch the field laterally as well as vertically is what we're missing.

9.  How good is Missouri?  Are they going to win the SEC East?

10.  It's the third quarter now.  Can we still win it?  And if so, will my ticker make it to the end of the season?

Dawgs vs. Missouri

All of our weaknesses are being exposed.  Special teams has a low snap followed by a poor punt.  They get the ball at the 50, drive down and score.

Young secondary keeps giving up long plays.  Can't get off the field on third down.  They score.

We have players out, so we're hurting on offense.  Aaron Murray can't do it all.  Giving up the inside to their defensive end results in a sack.  Lack of ball security leads to two fumbles.  One giving them a score and the second keeping us from scoring.  We should be looking at 21 to 17, but instead it's 28 to 10.

Don't think we can win this one, guys.

If we somehow pull even and win in overtime, it will be a certifiable miracle, Coach Richt should get Coach of the Year (beatification, too) and Murray should take home the Heisman.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tadric Jackson to Tech

Not surprised, here.  I was hoping for some good news, but I really wasn't expecting it.  If a basketball recruiting battle comes down to UGA and Georgia Tech, Tech wins.

How many times has this happened?  Tired of the recruiting failures and excuses.  Brian Gregory is a talented recruiter and he has talented recruiters on his staff.  Mark Fox isn't and doesn't.

Surprised?  No. 

Frustrated?  A bunch.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

While I'm At It

and discussing how happy I am for Jonas, I thought it appropriate to provide the link for an article I posted a few years ago.  The article is mostly about the charitable efforts of Jonas' brother, Jarvis, but it still gives insight on how Jonas and Jarvis were raised and the lasting impact that their parents have had on the Atlanta area.


And just in case ever gets rid of the article, I include below an excerpt from the text.

Nets are Winners Where it Counts

Jarvis Hayes grew up minutes from downtown Atlanta and walking distance from Bankhead Courts and Bankhead Highway, a rough area rife with homelessness, gangs, violence, crime and drugs. Hayes’ brothers were robbed at gunpoint twice and one witnessed their cousin being murdered.
Brook Lopez, right, and Devin Harris, next to Lopez on left, with other members of the Nets serve a pre-Thanksgiving meal at the Montclair Citadel Salvation Army.
Brook Lopez, right, and Devin Harris, next to Lopez on left, with other members of the Nets serve a pre-Thanksgiving meal at the Montclair Citadel Salvation Army.

Hayes vowed to help clean up things where he was raised and make a difference, and the Nets’ forward is making good on his promise.

Last week, Thanksgiving came early as the Jarvis Hayes Foundation teamed with Feed the Children and distributed boxes of non-perishable food, hygiene products and other items to 400 families at Compassion Atlanta, an organization that helps the needy in and around the area where Hayes grew up.

“Not only do I want to give back to the community that I’m a part of, but as a professional athlete I feel like it’s an obligation to help out,” Hayes said. “I was blessed to be in the position I’m in to be a professional athlete. I feel like it’s my obligation to bless someone else, if at all possible.”

Hayes, who is out with a hamstring injury, started his foundation in May 2007. His giving spirit was inspired by his parents.

When Hayes was a youngster, his brother Marcus brought home a boy who basically was on his own. Hayes’ parents took him in and made him part of the family. To this day, Hayes considers Raheem Waller, a Florida A&M assistant basketball coach, his brother.

“Ever since then, from the heart my parents have, it kind of was instilled in me to never turn your back or if you can help somebody, help them,” Hayes said. “That’s how I am today.”

Bankhead Courts was the area where the famous Atlanta child murders of 1979-81 took place. Hayes was born in 1981, and saw enough to know things could have gone very differently had he not followed the lead of his strong parents.

“We’ve seen a lot of drugs, robbery, guns,” he said. “It wasn’t good. We all were blessed to make it out. We all in our own way are making a difference.”

This is the second straight year Hayes’ foundation has fed people for Thanksgiving, and there’s more to come.

Hayes hopes to team with his church in Carrollton, Ga., about 50 miles west of Atlanta, to stage a similar event for Christmas. He also will sponsor a child.

Hayes recently started an after-school program with Maynard Jackson Small Learning Communities to help kids improve their grades and prepare them for Georgia’s standardized tests. A program is in the works to teach student-athletes how to balance academics and sports. Hayes’ parents made sure he received good grades or he couldn’t play sports.

“It feels good just to make an impact,” Hayes said. “I do it for no other reason but to make an impact.
“It’s my obligation. … No matter how good it was and how bad it was you can never forget where home is. I fortunately haven’t.”

Jonas Hayes Promoted

Congrats to Jonas.


I guess I called it back in '09, but I have to admit I didn't necessarily think that Jonas would become an assistant at UGA.

Good for him.  I'll make another prediction:  Jonas will be a head coach somewhere within 5 years.

I hope that Jonas can recruit SEC-caliber athletes.  It's a pretty tall order for him.  Georgia has been under-performing in recruiting and in wins and losses for a long time.  At least Fox finally has an assistant with Atlanta-area connections.  Unfortunately, if Fox does not win next year, Fox could be shown the door at the end of the season.

We'll see how this turns out.  In any case, I am happy for Jonas.  Class act.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

McGarity Wants Improvement

I guess that's why Fox used up his 'ships this year, instead of holding one or two back.

McGarity Expectations

I'll be honest, I don't like using up four scholarships in one year unless you're bringing in a very talented class.  Think about it, of the four recruits, most commentators would call them possible contributors.  No four-star players.  No five-star players.  Is that right?  Key year for Fox to make headway in recruiting, and we have four players and a total of six total stars among them (average of 1.5)?

I don't want to get too caught up in the math or in the ranking systems of the various web sites.  It is possible that Fox has managed to find players who have been overlooked and underranked.  But my confidence level has been shaken by 3 out of 4 losing seasons.  As I look back at the Fox program of work, the one recruit who was expected to be really talented was, and the guys who were lower ranked and weren't expected to be difference-makers weren't.

My larger concern about the decisions made by Fox has to do with the future of UGA basketball. 

Only one scholarship was awarded to a kid from the state of Georgia, and that one was handed out to a small player from a small school in a small town.  Kid might be talented out of his mind, given, but don't expect the boosters to stand up and do the wave.  Georgia-area high school and AAU coaches won't either. 

Coach Fox's recruiting strategy does not set the table for recruiting in coming years.  He has almost no scholarships left for 2014, and I would argue that he still has made no inroads with the key guys who can help Fox get 4 and 5-star players in the future.  I can't think of a talented recruit in the 2014 or '15 class who is from the same school as the players we're bringing in. 

A coach at the flagship university from a state rich in basketball talent which is also located just an hour from Atlanta ought to bring in a fair share of the wealth. If you can't do that, and you must take a chance on a project or a diamond-in-the-rough kind of guy, don't you roll the dice on in-state players?

The logical conclusion to be drawn from this year's recruiting class is that Fox brought in the players he wanted, without much thought to the future.  He has to win now.  But can these guys perform?  There isn't a single low post player in the bunch.  That's a head-scratcher, particularly since the obvious need on the roster is a bruiser who can rebound the ball and finish around the basket.

 Will the four new guys help in year one?  They'd better.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Woodbury Scores Big

Terrance Woodbury is leading the Ryukyu Golden Kings into the playoffs.  He scored 29 points earlier today in the Kings' win over the Tokyo Cinq Reves.

Wood' has made a nice start this year in the Basketball-Japan League.  Liked the quote from The Japan Times:  "There was Woodbury (29 points, 13 for 18 shooting from inside the arc), getting good looks every time he touched the ball, and making shots in bunches, jumper after jumper..."


Former UGA Runningback Installed as Pastor

Dave McCluskey was joined by Coach Vince Dooley recently to be installed as pastor of Greater Bethlehem Temple in Rome, Georgia. 

From just a spot check of available information out there, McCluskey was part of the tailback-by-committee rotation that Coach Dooley used the year after Herschel Walker went off to the professional leagues. 

Good to see UGA athletes keep making contributions.

Kwanza Johnson to TCU

According to a recent news story.

I suppose fans who wanted Coach Fox to bring on an assistant coach with ties to Atlanta will want to monitor this upcoming staffing move for Fox.  Will he promote Jonas Hayes?  Go out to UCLA, somehow arrange to talk to someone associated with Korey McCray and try to get a two-fer?  I suppose since Fox just received a commitment for his last open scholarship, the idea of somehow bringing Tony Parker to UGA could scarcely happen even if Parker decided that he did want to come back east.  However, with Johnson's pending move, bringing McCray on board could happen without Fox having to get rid of a current assistant.

Fox could also bring on a current high school or AAU coach from Atlanta.  I've always thought that former Columbia High coach Dr. Phil McCrary, who is now in assistant athletic director for Dekalb County, would be an excellent college coach.  Would Fox also look at Rivers, the coach at Shiloh?  Doug Lipscomb over at Wheeler?

Curious to see how this all turns out.

KJ to TCU?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Travis Leslie Interview

Loved this.  Great interview. 

Travis is the kind of guy who would be a good friend.  Not cocky.  Not overly impressed with himself or his talent.  Sure, he wanted to be nominated for the D-League Allstar Game, and he hopes to get called back up to the NBA, but he still manages to be modest about it all.  The interviewer had to mention it herself that Leslie won the MVP award.

Maybe next year Travis can find a good fit for himself on some NBA squad's roster.


Monday, March 25, 2013

How did Andy Enfield do it?

Everyone is excited about "Dunk City."  We all want to know about Florida Gulf Coast University.  FGCU has now defeated Georgetown and San Diego State, making an improbable run during March Madness to the Sweet Sixteen. 

FGCU was just the seventh #15 seed to beat a #2 seed, and the first #15 seed to ever make it to the Sweet Sixteen.  Sounds like an improbable story that Walt Disney Studios up in Orlando might put out.  But the story behind the story is not Cinderella.  There's no fairy godmother, no magic wand that takes a pumpkin and turns it into a carriage.  It's not a feel-good basketball fantasy like Son of Flubber or Air Bud. 

Nope, this is a tale about hard work, about a coach, Andy Enfield, who knows what he's doing. 

a)  Great talent evaluator

FGCU had some players when Enfield arrived, but the key contributors to the team were sort of languishing on the bench.  Eddie Murray scored 11 points the entire year before Enfield showed up. Chase Fieler scored 5 points a game barely shooting 30 percent from the field (31.5).  Sherwood Brown was a walk-on who almost never played.

I can play!

b)  Tireless recruiter

Enfield got Bernard Thompson from a small town less than an hour from Athens.  He came out of high school with 0 stars.  Not rated at all.  Yet the guy scores 23 points against Georgetown, then follows it up with 23 points against San Diego State. 

Not only did Enfield come up and get a stud from Georgia, he kept key players at home.  He mined the talent in his backyard and got commitments.  Enfield was named head coach on March 31, 2011.  In less than a month he had Brett Comer on board.  Comer was an unranked point guard, but the kid could play (watch the video in the link below).  Enfield quickly targeted him and got him on board.

Comer signs.

The secret to Enfield's recruiting prowess? 

Hard work. 

Or perhaps I should say, hard labor.

c.  Skilled developer

Enfield is no flash in the pan.  Guy came to FGCU with NBA experience, a high-level recruiting background from his days at Florida State, and talent at teaching guys how to score the basketball.  He's worked as a consultant or coach with over 100 NBA players.


d.  Fun-loving

Enfield was quoted as saying, "I'm not a yeller or screamer most of the time... We just go out and have fun."

Fun is probably the best way to describe Enfield's system.  They don't back the ball down, slow everything to a snail's pace, make precision cuts and all that.  They attack the basket, get to the foul line, shoot three-pointers and make fantastic lobs and finishes.

Get this:  Enfield makes $157,000 a year. 

And there it is.  When you can evaluate players, go out on the recruiting trail and bring in key contributors, develop your roster once assembled, and instill a system that players love, it's all fun.  Even magical.

Skilled technician.

Teaches his guys how to shoot the basketball.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Florida might win it all

They're actually my bet to win right now.  They have talent and they defend like crazy. 

 I hope someone takes them down, though.  Florida Gulf Coast would be perfect.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kentucky Blown Out by Vandy?


There went attendance for the balance of the SEC Tournament.

Strange universe, the SEC this year.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Maybe it's a good thing

we didn't pull that game out yesterday.  Florida is absolutely killing LSU.

Who knows?  Maybe Houston Kessler will turn out to be a talented "stretch 4" like Erik Murphy.  Murphy is shooting lights out. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Great Effort, Guys!

No need to hang your heads after this one.  We started off way too slow.  We didn't give up, though, and we made it a game at the end.  LSU wins, 68 to 63.

We needed a few baskets from our big guys.  If we go 3 of 20 from the field for our 3's, 4's, and 5's, we're not going to win.

Great game, though, by KCP.  Career-high 32 points and 13 rebounds.  I think he improved his draft stock, so it's really, really doubtful that he comes back.

Charles Mann had 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.  He's going to be a good one, folks.  Kenny Gaines had 6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.

We end the season 15 and 17.

If KCP comes back, I think the team should be competitive.  We still wouldn't have quality bigs, unless someone makes a huge step forward in the off-season.  Didn't happen this year, so it's kind of discouraging, but you never know what another year of strength and conditioning could do.

In any case, put KCP out there with Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines, and Brandon Morris, then see what Parker, Frazier and Kessler can do in a support role. 

Although I think Kentavious will not be back in Athens, my sense is that Mark Fox will.  His record over 4 seasons is not good.  He is now 65 and 63 overall, which is 50 percent.  He's just 43 percent in SEC competition, and has managed a losing record in 3 out of 4 years.  I've said it before, but if a coach is judged on wins and losses, Fox is doing about the same job that Felton did before he was dismissed.

Ultimately, I think McGarity likes Fox and wants to give him at least another year to see what he can do.

Extremely disappointed with this season, especially Fox and his substitution patterns.  LSU coach Johnny Jones decided to go small with his line-up, and they were tearing us up.  Wish Mark Fox had done the same.  Water under the bridge, at any rate. 

Let's support the Dawgs and see if we can come back better next year.

Yes, Fox, Gaines and KCP

in the game at the same time.  It's not impossible. 

Teaming them with Charles Mann gives the Dawgs a line-up that can drive the ball, get fouled, stop the clock and score points.

Now, please slide Brandon Morris to the four spot.  We need a quicker guy on Coleman.  Do it. 

Not Dixon!  Morris!  This is our last chance for 2013.  Please.

KCP Trying to Bring Us Back

He's the real deal.

Might be his last game for the Dawgs.  Can someone else help him out?

Why take out Brandon Morris?

Anybody noticed what happened when Fox pulled him?  We sent in Brantley, but with all due respect, Brantley does not drive the ball.  Morris looked great on the release on his free throws and I thought that if he gets open next time, he will be in rhythm.  Not to be.

We're down 20 at half-time, 39 to 19.  Please put in Gaines, Morris, Williams, KCP and Mann and let's see if we can get back into this thing.

Leslie's Mom Receives First Call

No surprise there.  Still a nice story about an NBA player and his mother.

Beyond Happy

I liked the big smile on Leslie and the quote that his Mom was beyond happy, screaming and very excited about the news that Travis was going to get another shot at the NBA.  It's also great that Leslie got called up by the Utah Jazz, a team with other players from Georgia and the franchise that gave Sundiata Gaines his first NBA opportunity.

Good luck, Travis!

Dawgs vs. LSU

Call me crazy, but I think the Dawgs win 2 or 3 games this SEC Tourney.  Doesn't mean we go to the post-season, of course, but if we win the first one and somehow get by Florida, we would have a great shot to get to the SEC Tournament championship.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me focus on today's game.

We start against LSU today at 1:00.  We match up pretty well with them, winning by 9 points over the Tigers back on January 19. 

The key today is that we have to hold down Johnny O'Bryant.  He had 16 points on 5 of 8 shooting and 14 rebounds against us.  Just a powerful guy in the paint.  6' 9", 262 lbs.  Donte Williams held his own last time out, almost matching O'Bryant's point production with 14 of his own. 

Kentavious was a 50 percent shooter, going 7 of 14 from the floor against LSU.  He always gives maximum effort, but he has started to wear down some, in my opinion, as the year has come to a close.  He was clicking on all cylinders middle of the season, but he went 27 for 80, right at 33 percent, the last 5 games.  Hope he is rested and ready to go today.

I think our guys step up.  We keep their short point guard Andre Stringer out of the paint, limit their second chance points, no easy baskets by O'Bryant, and our guys do enough to help KCP.  Dawgs by 8 today.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Still a Dawgs Fan

Proud of the team for beating Kentucky.  That almost never happens.

UK's team is no slouch, either.  They have some good athletes and have won 21 games on the year.  Calipari's team will make it to the tournament, especially since they rebounded from the loss to us and went out and beat Florida.

At the end of the day, however, Kentucky - Nerlens Noel = beatable team.  Since losing Noel to his knee injury, Kentucky has gone 4 and 4.  They'll go to the NCAA's, but I doubt they do much.

The silver lining for Calipari is that there isn't a sure-fire one and done guy on his roster.  He may actually have talented sophomores next year.  Bring a healthy Noel back, add in their all-world recruiting class and--   let's just say I'm just glad we beat them this year.

After the victory over Kentucky, we lost the close one to Alabama.  I've said it before.  I don't like losing to Anthony Grant.  He's beaten us 5 times straight, I think.  Somehow, someway, he seems to have our number. 

We're having our third losing season out of four.  Not doing much on the court or on the recruiting trail.  Meanwhile, Grant just notched his third-straight 20-win season.  He has momentum and he's going to be around for a long time.  He's also our main competition for some of the blue-chip recruits we're targeting for 2014.

Bad enough that Grant out-athletes us.  Now he outlucks us to boot. 

Shouldn't have gotten down to luck or a last-second heave.  We needed to jump on them early, establish a lead and put pressure on them to score.  We had to have a good-shooting game from KCP and didn't get one.  We needed a good game from our bigs.  Didn't get that either. 

Alabama's Nick Jacobs is an Atlanta kid I hoped Fox could bring in.  He had 11 points on 3 of 5 shooting, 5 of 5 from the line.  He's just a sophomore and if he stays healthy, he could really blossom over the next couple of years.  Meanwhile, Dixon, Florveus, Donte and Cannon were a combined 2 of 5 in 51 minutes.  I really want those guys to step up.  They have enough talent, in my way of thinking, but for some reason, aren't quite playing to their potential.

Although Charles Mann had the late turnover, I am confident he will be a good player for Georgia.  Nemi had a solid outing and Brandon Morris showed that he can score the ball, shooting 4 of 5 from the floor and 2 of 2 from behind the arc.  If Morris can add an on-target outside shot to his driving ability, the sky's the limit for him.

Georgia ended its regular season at 15 and 16.  I wanted us to at least do better than .500.  Having a winning season would have been a morale boost after we started so poorly.  The good news is that we can still get into the NCAA's by winning the SEC tourney.  If KCP regains his form, Brandon Morris shoots well and we have scoring from one other guy, like Nemi or Kenny Gaines, it could happen.

A dose of good luck wouldn't hurt, either.  Here's rooting for a tornado!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chris Daniels to Indonesia

Chris Daniels is now playing in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the Indonesia Warriors (sometimes called by the team's former name, Satria Muda) of the ASEAN Basketball League. 

Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, with a population of over 10 million residents.  ASEAN is the association of southeast nations, a group of ten countries in southeast Asia.  Besides Indonesia, ASEAN includes the countries of Singapore, Thailand, the Phillipines and Vietnam, to name a few.

Daniels lines up next to a familiar face on Indonesia's front line.  Former UGA hoops teammate Steve Thomas starts for the Warriors at center.

Daniels Arrives

Chris went right to work for the Warriors.  He is averaging 14 points per game through 9 contests. 

If UGA fans have time and want to see Daniels and Thomas play, the Warriors' game against the Singapore Slingers is linked below.

Last Night's Game

As always, if readers want more background information on Chris Daniels or Steve Thomas, just click on their names in hypertext at the bottom of this article.

Daniel Miller Leads Tech to Victory

over #6 Miami.

Miller had 17 and 5, shooting 67 percent from the floor.  When's the last time we've had a post player step up like that against a top ten team?

Sure hope Dixon and Cannon live in the weight room during the off-season.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Were we never in the running

for Quarterman?

Guy is a 6' 5" point guard who plays against Oak Hill and goes off for 35 points.  He's headed to LSU? Nothing against the guys we have coming in, but Quarterman looks like a John Wall-type talent.

If someone knows what happened there, I would love it if you leave a comment.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dawgs Beat UT

Once again, I missed the game, but for the first time this season, I got a prediction right.  What is that they say about a blind squirrel?  Ha!

Congratulations to Coach Fox, KCP and Kenny Gaines.  I understand that Charles Mann had a fantastic game.  He didn't shoot the ball well from the field, going 3 of 9, but he had 8 assists against 0 turnovers, nailed his free throws, and shut down the other guy.  That's what you want a point guard to do. 

I still believe that Mann will be one of UGA's best ever point guards by the time he leaves the program.

Jordan McRae was unconscious.  Dude had 35 points on 10 of 15 shooting overall, 8 of 11 from behind the arc and 7 of 7 from the line.  We couldn't stop him, but we limited Stokes' touches and ultimately did enough to get the win.

Can we win these next two?  I'm still waiting on Brandon Morris to have a huge outing.  He can get us 16 and 9.  When he gets confident, look out.  Maybe it'll happen against Kentucky.

I'm seriously going out on a limb here, but without Nerlens Noel, UK can be had.  Dawgs in a shocker over the Cats. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Terrance Woodbury Thriving in Japan

Woodbury plays for the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the Japanese Basketball League.  Blog readers may remember that last year Terrance was with the Austin Toros of the D-League, where he averaged 11 points a game.

Woodbury hit the ground running over in Okinawa, averaging 21 points a game, shooting 63 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc his first month.  For his performance, Wood was named the League MVP for November. 

Even though his shooting has cooled off some, Terrance is playing well, scoring at a clip of 17 points a game.

More updates later.

Correction: Dawgs to face Tennessee

in Athens.  Not Knoxville.

Somehow my subconscious mind was kicking me and telling me that I had the location wrong, but I never did focus enough to heed what my mind was saying and double-check.  Thanks so much, Anon, for reading the Blog and bringing the error to my attention.  I fixed the article.

So, if we beat them at their place, I know we can take them in the Steg.  KCP goes off and John Cannon and Kenny Gaines come off the bench to help us score points.  Dawgs win by 7. 

Go Dawgs!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Dawgs to Face Tennessee

Tennessee is playing pretty well right now, having rattled off 6 victories in a row since they lost to us in Knoxville.  They're now 17 and 10 on the year.  UT beat Florida in their last game, so now is not the best time to be facing the Volunteers.  At least we'll have home-court advantage.

We'll likely have a hard time handling Stokes down in the post.  Big guy, good hands.  He's 6' 8" and 270 pounds--  the kind of build that Mark Fox dislikes.  I wish Fox would recruit some of the football-player types.  Nothing against any of our guys, but tall and skinny doesn't work out too well in the SEC.  Not unless you have a lot of quickness and can hit the outside shot.  Our returning post players need to be seriously hitting the weights during the off-season.

In the meantime, let's play hard today, double-team Stokes and make his touches difficult.  He had 16 points and 11 boards against us on 4 of 6 shooting in our last contest.

Jordan McRae is definitely coming on.  He had 27, 23 and 34 points in his last three games.  Anybody know if we tried to recruit him?  McRae is a 6' 5" player with a good jumpshot, hailing from southeast Georgia. 

If memory serves me, I think we did try to bring in Trae Golden.  When Golden is on his game, he's a handful.

We need to win tomorrow's game since we close the year with Kentucky and Alabama.  Surpassing .500 in the regular season is a realistic goal for our squad, but we'll have to win two of three to do it.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Missed the Game Last Night

Glad I did.

Dawgs lose 63 to 62 to Vandy.  Don't see how we were able to blow a 17-point lead.

We're now 13 and 15, and chances for a .500 season are fading away.  Best I can tell from the various web sites, this one was a game in which we desperately needed our big men to step up.  KCP didn't shoot the ball well in the second half and had a late turnover.  Somehow the game got away from us.

Frustrating to see the box score from the Tech game.  They went up against a pretty good 19 and 8 Maryland squad which already had victories over #14 N.C. State and #2 Duke this season.  Tech won by 10.  Tech's Robert Carter had 19 points and 10 boards on 7 of 11 shooting.  Former UGA signee (and possible Mark Fox cast-off) Daniel Miller had 16 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.  Miller has blocked 200 shots in just three years.

It's hard to go into Vandy's gym and come away with a victory, but they're not very good this year and we needed the win. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Coach Mark Richt Speaks about his Faith

Recounts the 6 and 7 season and the impact of starting the next year 0 and 2.

Great read.

Hot Seat

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Maybe this guy can help

Georgia seems to be losing its edge late in ball games.

I'm not looking forward much to next season, primarily because KCP is likely to bolt for the pro's this summer.  But if he does come back, Georgia should be a stronger team offensively.  Kenny Gaines, Brandon Morris and Charles Mann will be a year older.  And the two incoming recruits are pretty decent scorers.

With better offensive execution and more discipline in the fourth quarter, Georgia will be able to close out games better.  Would make a huge difference in our season.  We're 12 and 14 on the year, but four of our losses were by four or fewer points.  If we had won just those, we'd be 16 and 10 and the whole season would feel different.

Disciplined Player

Friday, February 22, 2013

Demario Mayfield Dismissed

Sad story. 

Mayfield had real potential.  In fact, he still does, he just has to put it all together.  I won't speculate on the cause for his dismissal from the Charlotte 49er's basketball program, but with the reported earlier discipline for marijuana it sounds like he wasn't taking his school responsibilities seriously.

Will some other team give him a shot?  Maybe he should try South Florida like Mike Mercer did, or even a lower level team. 

The transition from high school to college is hard.  Even if you're the leading scorer on the team, if you don't manage the challenges of being away from home and playing big-time basketball, you can find yourself on the outside looking in.


Dawgs Lose to Arkansas

I missed the game, so I don't have much to offer on what happened during the game or the final few minutes.  I saw from the box score that KCP had 15 and 4 on 4 of 8 from the floor.  Sherrard Brantley had an efficient 10 points.  Would have been nice if we had one more scorer step up.

Tired of losing.  The season is getting away from us.  We're now tied with LSU and  the Aggies for 8th place in the SEC.  Based on our overall record, it feels more like we're in 10th place since both LSU and TAMU have winning records and we don't. 

We can still finish the season strong if we take care of business against South Carolina and Vandy, and then win two of the three against Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.  We'd then have a 10 and 8 record in the SEC and a 16 and 15 mark on the year.  Not what any of us expected at the beginning of the year, but at this point I'd take a .500 or better season.

Mike Mercer to Australia

Mike Mercer has landed in Australia.  He's been signed by the Geelong Supercats of the Australian Basketball Association.

Mercer's new home, Geelong, is located about 50 miles southwest of Melbourne.  Geelong is the second-largest city in the state of Victoria, lying at the southern tip of Australia just across from the island of Tasmania.  The nick-name "Supercat" comes from the large aluminum-hulled catamaran ships produced in the region.

Good to see that Mercer is married (wife Adreana) and has a son (MJ). 

Ironically, Mike is now playing close to Melbourne, the home of his old roommate, Kevin Brophy, who passed away in a tragic car accident almost seven years ago.  Dawgs hoops players Steven Newman and Terrance Woodbury also played in Australia. 

Note:  For more information on the careers of any of the above players, just click on their names in the blue hypertext below.

Mike was brought in by the Supercats after their existing two-guard, Kimmani Barrett (formerly of Lasalle University), went down with a knee injury.  For his part, Mercer's knees have been holding up during stints in China and Canada, so if he can stay healthy he might be able to stick with his new team Down Under.

Mercer and family

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dustin Ware Waived

Dustin Ware was waived by the Cibona international league team.  He had previously been signed to a three-year deal.

Cibona has reportedly been through difficult financial times.  Ware was one of five players let go.  I understand that the head coach and at least one other member of team management were also released.

Ware had been averaging 3 points on over 50 percent shooting through five games played.

Dustin had a tough senior season at UGA, but he has a good point guard mentality and I hope another international league team picks him up.

Leslie Staying Humble, Working on his Game

Great attitude. 

Wish we'd had the privilege of seeing Travis in a Dawgs uniform one more season, but I certainly don't blame him for staying in the draft.  If you know you're going to be a lottery pick no matter what, then deciding when to come out is a matter of how much you enjoy the college game (and how comfortable you are with the risk of injury).  But if you're on the bubble for being drafted, you have to make the jump to the NBA whenever you can.  And so it was.

Leslie was drafted, but that's just the first step.  During his one year with the Clippers, he rarely saw the floor.  The issue now is whether he can get to the NBA and stay.

Well, Travis has certainly helped himself this week.  After being named the MVP of the D-League All-Star Game he is in a stronger position than ever before.  The Red and Black newspaper reported that out of the 20 players who competed in last year's D-League All-Star Game, 6 were later called up to the NBA.

Path to NBA

Leslie has the athleticism and the attitude, now he just has to keep working.  He averages less than 2 assists per game and he has generally needed someone to set him up for scores.  I'd like to see him distribute the ball effectively and gain more ability to create his own shots off the dribble.  At the same time, I realize that Leslie gets just 27 minutes per game.  If he were on the floor for 35 or more minutes like some of the other D-League leaders, his ppg (16), rebounds (7), assists (1.7) and other stats would no doubt go up. 

The key for Travis, as I've said before, is developing more side-to-side quickness.  He's great at leaping and running straight ahead, but the true elite guys mix in a strong left-handed move, spins, hesitations, pump fakes and the like to their repertoire.  If he learns to go around defenders just as easily as he goes over them, Leslie could have a long NBA career.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Travis Leslie Named MVP of D-League All-Star Game

Leslie scored 19 points with 7 rebounds in the game. 


Leslie was a last-minute addition to the game after Andrew Goudelock couldn't play due to injury.  Travis came in and put on a show.  Sure, there wasn't much defense played in the game, but that's true of all the all-star games.  The key is that Leslie showed what he can do out there.

Leslie is averaging 16.2 points and 7 rebounds with 2 steals in 27 minutes a night in the D-League.  He's shooting 50 percent from the floor overall and 40 percent from behind the arc.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dawgs Robbed in Mississippi

Best game of the year, by far.  UGA loses by 10 to Ole Miss in overtime.

Would have liked to see Kenny Gaines start the second half.  I think he earned it.  Gaines was on a roll at the end of the first half and had scored 8 points on 3 of 4 shooting.

Since Marshall Henderson had three fouls and he wasn't quick enough to guard Gaines, I would have gone right after Henderson by isolating Gaines in the post or on the wing.

Fox has to recognize that you have to go with the hot hand.  Yanking Gaines out after good plays and letting him sit until the second half is half over won't get it done.  Gaines went in somewhere around the 10:00 mark and hit two quick buckets.  He could have done that earlier had he started after intermission.

The story of the game was that Georgia set up an alley-oop play at the end of regulation.  Djurisic threw the ball in and Donte Williams caught it and laid it off the glass.  He was undercut by an Ole Miss player who also fouled Williams up top.  The referees didn't call it.  That play was just the most egregious biased call of the night.  There were plenty of others.  They shot 36 free throws and we only got 19.

Hard to fault the Dawgs on this one, though.  We had 8 players shoot at least 50 percent from the floor.   Gaines finished the night with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting, and 2 rebounds in just 18 minutes.  Sherrard Brantley missed two three-pointers and went 0 for 2 from the field.  KCP shot 7 for 19.  Not his best shooting night, but he still finished the contest with 19 points and 12 boards.

Other than the substitution patterns, Mark Fox seemed to call a good game.  We'll have a tough finish to the season since we have away games at Alabama, Vandy and Arkansas, and we still have to play Kentucky.

We're now 6 and 6 in the SEC and 12 and 13 overall. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dawgs Lose to Tide

Well, we lost by 7.  I'm okay with that, though.  Not happy about it, but just okay. 

Earlier in the year I had high expectations.  I figured that if Thornton came back healthy and Fox put Gaines, Morris and KCP on the floor at the same time, we might do some damage.

We were terrible at the beginning of the season and then I wasn't sure if we would beat anybody.  Wonder of wonders we got to the middle of the season and won 5 straight.  I knew we were playing the SEC's worst teams, but I thought we might develop some confidence and manage a break-even season.

Welll, Georgia is at 6 and 5 in the SEC and we're at .500 on the season overall.  We may still make it into the NIT.  Right now we're in the top half of the SEC.  Sure, it's a down year for the conference, but we were in last place not too long ago.  Sadly to say that after being a homer for so long, I am now a disappointed realist. 

At any rate I didn't expect us to beat Alabama.  I hoped that we would since they beat us in football.  But the fact remains that the Bama hoops squad is a notch better than South Carolina and Texas A&M. 

At some point we'll have to break through against Anthony Grant's team.  He beat us this year at home, last year at home (2011/2012) and twice the year before (2010/2011).  The issue is that he's a good recruiter and he is developing a better record than Fox as the two coaches go head to head and make the pitch to Atlanta-area recruits.

My main beef with the loss last night is that I don't understand why Kenny Gaines cannot get more minutes.  He got 8 tonight.  We are an offense-challenged team and he played well during our winning streak.  Was he hurt? 

Watch.  After KCP leaves next year, Gaines is going to get major minutes and display his talent.  Some people are going to praise Fox for "developing Gaines."  The truth is that Kenny can play now.  A good coach adjusts his system to his talent.  Fox is doing just the opposite.  The end result is that we can't score the basketball.

Maybe I missed something since I couldn't watch the game on t.v.

KCP had another great game.  The ESPN box score had him initially with a double-double, 22 points and 10 boards, but I later saw that the official numbers had him with 8 rebounds total.  Hopefully, the team will somehow ride his coattails and finish the season with a flourish.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

KCP on a Tear

Just looked at the stats for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over the last five games.

KCP shot 63 percent (!) from the field, 55 percent from behind the arc, and 80 percent from the line.  He averaged 20.1 points per game.

He also snagged 7 bds an outing and got 1 steal per game over the same period.

Georgia has gone 4 and 1 during this stretch and KCP is obviously the reason.  Pretty amazing performance.

Meanwhile, Kentavious continues to rise up the charts in just about every SEC statistical category for the 2012/2013 season.

Category                            Average                    Rank

Scoring                              17.8                            2nd
3-ptrs made                         2.5                            2nd
3-pt pct                              38.4                           4th
Steals                                   2.2                           2nd
Free Throw pct                  78.7                           4th
Field goal pct                     46.5                           4th
Defensive rebounds             5.4                            3rd
Minutes played                   33.4                           3rd

If KCP's recent performance were stretched out over the entire season, he would be #1 in scoring, #1 in field goal percentage, #1 in three-point percentage, #1 in three-pointers made, and #4 in free throw percentage.  Of course he can't go back and re-play the earlier games, and at some point he'll likely hit a wall if he keeps playing just about every minute of every game.  However, if he avoids injury and somehow keeps going the way he is, he could arguably have the best SEC season ever for a UGA hoops player, and maybe for the entire league.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Songs from the Dawgs?

Wow.  I loved today's article from the AJC.

Sound of Music

Just in case the AJC ever gets rid of the link, here's a quote:

As soon as coach Mark Fox stepped inside the door on the lower-level concourse, he was engulfed in a sea of black jerseys who jumped up and down as they chanted something that sounded like “yeet, yeet, yeet!” Moments later, that noise morphed into a rendition of the school fight song, “Glory to Old Georgia.” Only this was an abbreviated, rap-style version. The celebration was finished with some loud, timed applause.

The message: The Bulldogs are starting to get this basketball business down, and they’re thoroughly enjoying it.

“We’re feeling good,” said Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who led the Bulldogs with 19 points. “There’s a lot of confidence going around. We’re helping each other and picking each other up. Everybody’s stepping up every night now.”

Asked about the musical postlude, Caldwell-Pope laughed and grinned wide.

“We’re just re-mixing a little bit,” he said. “We’ve got Houston Kessler providing a little beat box and Kenny Gaines singing for us. We’re just singing and having fun.”

Houston Kessler beat-boxing?  Are U kiddin' me?

Maybe anything is possible in this season.  Heck, if they can sing, perhaps they might find a way to get invited to the Big Dance.

Woo-Hoo! Dawgs Win! Gaines Gets PT.

UGA beats South Carolina in Columbia.  Final score:  67 to 56

I missed most of today's game and I missed the Auburn game, too.  However, from the little bit I caught of today's action, it's apparent that Coach Fox has finally seen fit to give Kenny Gaines substantial playing time (24 minutes).  Bravo!  He even played Gaines and KCP at the same time.  Together on the floor with Mann!  Amazing.

Now, if he would just put Brandon Morris at the 4 position and slide Donte over to center.  That line-up would be the starting five that I thought we would have before the season began.  Guys who can catch and finish in the post, guards who can put the ball on the floor and drive.  Players who can advance the ball against the press.

In the pre-season I thought that UGA would be good enough to maybe get into the top five in the SEC.  Needless to say, I was disappointed with with the fact that we started out of the gates poorly and then lost to Georgia Tech and Florida.  Ugghh.  I hate losing to those guys in anything.

Given our early season losses, I figured that Fox was set on his line-up.  If he hadn't seen enough during the practices and the Italy trip to figure out the relative strengths of the players on his roster, then I didn't see much hope for the SEC calendar.  However, here we stand today at 4 and 4.  Sure, the SEC is weak this year, but so were a good number of the teams we played prior to the SEC part of the schedule.  The difference, in my humble opinion, is that KCP is playing a lot better, and Fox is starting to put his most talented guys on the floor. 

A lot of fans called for Kenny Gaines to get more minutes.  We were so bad before at scoring the basketball that we were hard to watch.  Playing Gaines could hardly hurt the team.  We desperately needed more offensive production.  In fact, I wrote earlier in the season that I was "calling Gaines out."  But in fairness to him, Gaines can only perform to the extent that he is allowed to play. 

Fox had insisted on making Gaines back up KCP, which is a losing proposition for Kenny.  Now that KG finally got major minutes, he has shown to the fans and to the coaching staff what he can do.  Having been inserted into the starting line-up for the second half of the South Carolina game also proves that he and KCP can be on the floor at the same time.

It's not hard to figure out.  Putting guys that can drive the basket on the floor makes the whole team more efficient.  Against the Gamecocks, it worked.  We 'bout had 4 guys to score in double figures (KCP had 19, Gaines had 11 and so did Charles Mann--  John Cannon had 8).  As it stands, our four top scorers for the game all shot 50 percent or better from the floor. 

Best game of the year, in my opinion.  Shucks, we may indeed finish the year in the top, rather than the bottom, third of the SEC.  Right now we're number six, so if we can keep the streak going a few games longer, the team will develop a lot more confidence.