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.