Archive for February, 2011

GSU’s Barnes fired

Georgia State basketball coach Rod Barnes has been fired after four seasons. Athletic director Cheryl Levick made the decision Sunday to buy out the final year of Barnes’ contract.

He will not coach the team in the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament beginning Friday.

Assistant coach Paul Graham will coach in Barnes’ stead. Georgia State finished the regular season Saturday night at home, a 65-58 loss to George Mason. The team finished the regular season with a record of 11-18 and a 6-12 mark in the conference, which placed the Panthers in ninth place.

Barnes’ career record at Georgia State was 44-79 and 24-48 in the CAA.

“The win-loss record simply does not reflect where we want to be for Georgia State men’s basketball,” Levick said in a statement. “We felt it was in the best interest of the program to make this change now and begin moving forward immediately.”

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GSU 2011 schedule notes, Pt. 2

Greetings-

Hope this finds you well. A few other notes about the 2011 schedule, released last week.

1. Georgia State had agreed to play Coastal Carolina but canceled the game when Houston made its pitch to play a payout game. Athletic director Cheryl Levick also bought out Morehead State, which had a home-and-home agreement with GSU. That was necessary, she said, to have the Thursday night opener.

2. South Carolina State will be a home-and-home. The Bulldogs will come to the Georgia Dome in 2012.

3. The school is working for a game with Georgia Southern, but I don’t think anything will happen anytime soon. Levick said that president Mark Becker has talked with Georgia Southern president Brooks Keel about it and that she has done some “gentle calling to see if there’s any interest at all.”

I talked to Georgia Southern athletic director Sam Baker and coach Jeff Monken about it last fall and didn’t get the impression either was terribly interested. They didn’t say it, but for …

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GSU 2011 schedule notes

Greetings-

I spoke with Cheryl Levick Tuesday about the 2010 schedule, which you’ve undoubtedly read about, here or elsewhere. She offered a sprinkling of tidbits about this schedule and beyond, which I’ll share here, because, really, who doesn’t love a sprinkling of tidbits?

1. Levick said she, with the help of associate AD Kosha Irby, spoke with “a lot of schools” about the opening Thursday night game, a spot that ultimately went to Clark Atlanta. Once they found out that Clark was interested, she said, that became the top priority.

I don’t know that I’d call it obvious, because it didn’t occur to me until I heard about it, but I think it’s a smart addition. For GSU alumni, it’s, at the least, a recognizable name and perhaps a school that they have some connection to, even if it’s merely knowing people who went or go to school there.

There are plenty of Clark alumni in metro Atlanta and I imagine even alumni outside of the area who would want to see their team in the Georgia …

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Georgia State 2011 schedule

Georgia State’s 2011 schedule will open, as it did in its inaugural season in 2010, on a Thursday night against an in-state opponent at the Georgia Dome. Clark Atlanta will open Georgia State’s second season Sept. 1.

Other highlights include a game a Sept. 10 home game against future Colonial Athletic Association opponent Old Dominion, Sept. 24 game at Houston of Conference USA and an Oct. 22 homecoming game against South Alabama

The schedule:

Sept. 1     Clark Atlanta (4-6 in Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

A smart move that could well produce a crowd greater than the 30,327 that watched last year’s opener against Shorter.

Sept. 10   Old Dominion (8-3 as an FCS indepdendent)

Like last year, a good measuring stick for Panthers. ODU, which beat GSU in 2010, will start CAA play in 2011.

Sept. 17   at Jacksonville State (9-3 in Ohio Valley Conference, lost in second round of FCS playoffs)

A rematch of perhaps GSU’s most exciting game of 2010. A good road …

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GSU recruiting; Ben McLane, David Huey

Greetings, all-

One more (and perhaps final) recruiting post for you. I spoke with offensive coordinator John Bond late last week as he battled a flu that caused him to miss work for the first time in 26 years, he said. He gave me a few insights into the two signees on his side of the ball that hopefully you’ll find interesting.

- First, Brookwood High quarterback Ben McLane. Bond said he went to watch McLane play in the Class AAAAA state semifinals and over time grew more and more impressed with him.

“He’s a coach’s kid, he’s a state champion, he’s a 4.0 student,” Bond said. “You want those guys around you.”

The plan is for McLane to redshirt this season, though Bond said that he was confident that he could step in this fall if he had to do so.

Said Bond, “He’s the type of kid that’ll learn it in a hurry as quickly as he could.”

- Offensive tackle David Huey, Bond admitted, was a stroke of fortune. Georgia State wasn’t recruiting him until assistant coach Anthony Midget

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Some GSU recruiting thoughts

Greetings, all-

Hope you all enjoyed national signing day. It still befuddles me a little bit how much interest there is in recruiting in general and signing day in particular, specifically about how people can get so excited or disappointed that a player they’ve never seen before is or isn’t coming to their school, but, to use a phrase, it is what it is.

Anyway, a couple thoughts on the class.

- Obviously, the coaches are happy with the players they’ve signed, but disappointed that so many got away. As coach Bill Curry put it Wednesday, “We certainly didn’t get everyone we wanted, but we got most of the ones we wanted.”

GSU was shooting for 12 and got nine. There may still be some more signings, though. You probably read about some of the de-commits, like defensive tackles Fatu Ulale, a junior college guy who switched to New Mexico at the last minute, and Jakari Kinnie, who switched to Jacksonville State. Those in particular hurt because the defensive line is a  need area, …

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GSU recruiting update

My apologies for such a lengthy absence. I’ve been meaning to post for awhile, but have been caught up with a number of assignments. Anyway, enough prattling.

I spoke with Bill Curry Friday for a story that will run on signing day Wednesday, and talked to him a bit about the class he hopes to sign. He’s not allowed to talk names, but he gave some details.

First, while he and recruiting coordinator George Pugh have said in the past they expected the class to be 7 or 8 players, it has grown. Curry said it will be between 8 and 12.

“That could change in a heartbeat,” Curry said. “We could get two or three or we could lose two or three.”

The reason it could go up depends on what will happen with players already committed. For instance, if a committed player decides to take another offer, Curry may not be willing to commit a full ride to the next guy on the list. So he might offer to half-scholarships to two players.

That said, Curry said he felt “reasonably good” about where …

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