LIVE BLOG: Dogs, Jackets each looking to affirm direction

Georgia (5-2) is coiming off a narrow win over UAB.

Mark Fox's Dogs can send a strong signal about program tonight. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

Paul Hewitt's Jackets need to make a statement.

Paul Hewitt's Jackets rebounded from the loss to Kennesaw State. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

So are the Georgia and Georgia Tech basketball programs truly headed in opposite directions? There is evidence to suggest that but we’ll get a greater sense of it tonight.

The Bulldogs and Jackets meet at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Since the series moved back on campus in 1995-96, the home team has won all but one of 15 meetings. The exception came 10 years ago, when Georgia (coached by traveling potions salesman Jim Harrick) won at Alexander 75-70 in Hewitt’s first season with Tech.

A lot has changed since then. The Dogs have changed coaches twice (from Harrick to Dennis Felton to Mark Fox) but appear to moving forward now. Fox has invigorated the fan base, winning several big games in his first season and stepping things up in recruiting.

The Jackets had a meteoric rise under Hewitt, all the way to national championship runner up in his fourth season but have won only two NCAA tournament games in six years since, despite talented rosters. Going from 11-17 in 2008-09 to 23-13 last year didn’t appease a significant segment of the fan base, which felt a second-round exit wasn’t good enough for a team that included two future NBA players (Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal).

So this should be interesting. A Tech win at home obviously means nothing once the ACC season begins but it certainly would take the heat off Hewitt, who doesn’t want to hear that the programs are going in different directions.

Tech rebounded from the humiliating loss at Kennesaw State to win its next three games and nearly upsetting Syracuse, before losing 80-76. The Jackets then were drilled by h0t-shooting Northwestern 91-71.

The Jackets’ biggest problem will be dealing with the Dogs’ potent front line of Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie and Jeremy Price.

That’s it for now. I’ll be blogging live during the game. What are your early thoughts on the game?

– By Jeff Schultz


Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

515 comments Add your comment

JJ

December 7th, 2010
4:58 pm

JJ

December 7th, 2010
4:59 pm

By the way – Dawgs win by somewhere between 4-7 points. Will be close throughout until the last 5 minutes when Trey takes over. Leslie is also due for a big night.

RAMBLE ON!!!

December 7th, 2010
5:02 pm

Phewitt sucks. All I want for xmas is a new head basketball coach.

anderson jones

December 7th, 2010
5:04 pm

RAMBLE ON!!!

December 7th, 2010
5:05 pm

NO, The Jackets’ biggest problem will be over-coming their incompetent HC.

Let’s hope GT won’t need a timeout late in the game…won’t have any.

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 7th, 2010
5:10 pm

Jeff, think you meant a Tech win once the ACC starts….

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 7th, 2010
5:12 pm

Photo’s: Fox calling a play. Hewitt pointing out best agent.

Ezra Williams in the Flanagan's bathroom

December 7th, 2010
5:16 pm

UGA! UGA! UGA!

JSS

December 7th, 2010
5:17 pm

Good luck, how long before it goes downhill? Any odds?

Stinger2

December 7th, 2010
5:18 pm

i hate to say it, but I don`t have much hope for GT
tonight or for the entire season. Not enought front court
to be competitive and the backcourt has been inconsistent.
I hope I am wrong as I would love to see Paul Hewitt turn his program around and have a good season.

Herschel Talker

December 7th, 2010
5:19 pm

RAMBLE ON!!!:

42-34. You like men.

HT

MattDawg

December 7th, 2010
5:20 pm

Mark Fox > Paul Hewitt

Nevermissagame

December 7th, 2010
5:21 pm

UGA wins and suprises Tech with a pretty good road crowd

saban

December 7th, 2010
5:22 pm

Who really cares?

Two mangy dogs in an alley fight for a piece of old chicken.

Guess Tech wins. Hewitt gets a pay raise.

Is it true about Hewitt and Richt having the same hairdresser?

Fire Paul Johnson

December 7th, 2010
5:23 pm

Go Jackets! Maybe one of the Pauls can actually manage a win over UGA this year.

Dave Bliss + Levi Stukes = awesome

December 7th, 2010
5:26 pm

KSU! KSU! KSU! Party on Barrett Pkwy!!!!

Stinger2

December 7th, 2010
5:26 pm

Jeff: Of course Hewitt does not want to hear that his
program is heading in the wrong direction. I do not think
that you should have asked him that question. I think his response was good. How would you have replied if someone
asked you how if you think your articles and blogs are going downhill?

Charles

December 7th, 2010
5:26 pm

I’m always surprised when I read these blogs and the blogger never thinks to mention what time the game is on nor what channel… at least I have never noticed it done. Food for thought!

RAMBLE ON!!!

December 7th, 2010
5:27 pm

Herschel Talker likes men who like men.

Hewitt just called a time out.

RAMBLE ON!!!

December 7th, 2010
5:29 pm

Leif Garrett > Paul Hewitt

funny...

December 7th, 2010
5:30 pm

Dave Bliss, that guy was AWESOME!

Hope Georgia doesn’t need a tornado to win in Atlanta.

funny...

December 7th, 2010
5:31 pm

hey Ramble On, try this on for size

Paul Hewitt = Mark Richt

thing kings of almost

Boise Dawg

December 7th, 2010
5:32 pm

This game doesn’t mean much aside from bragging rights from the respective fan bases. I’d give the edge to Tech only because the home team has been dominant in this series. A loss probably hurts Tech more than it does Georgia, just because it would be a home loss to an unranked non-conference team, but a win would be bigger for Georgia as a road win.

I think Tech has alread shown it has little chance of playing well in the ACC this year and making the tournament. Still not sure what this Georgia team has this year…. regardless of tongihts outcome, they will need a winning record in conference (9 – 7 at least) to have a chance to go dancing.

Fire Paul Hewitt

December 7th, 2010
5:35 pm

It breaks my heart to not pull for GT because I love GT and its players. I can’t pull for my team because I’m not going to support that DA Hewitt. When he’s gone I will be so happy to return.
Fox is a good Coach and I hate to say it but I hope Fox wins if it helps get PH fired. God Bless GT, with PH we need a blessing.

Paul in RDU

December 7th, 2010
5:40 pm

The game is on at 7 PM on ESPN2

Biff Pocoroba

December 7th, 2010
5:41 pm

The fact that there will be plenty of tickets for sale at the gate tells you a lot about this rivalry. It used to sell out at the Omni, but now they cant’ sell 9500 tickets because UGA fans don’t care about basketball and Tech fans aren’t going to buy tickets anymore after getting suckered into buying tickets last year with the promise of a good season. DRad had a chance to get out of Hewitt’s contract when we got put on probation two years ago, but he didn’t do anything since Hewitt had signed Favors. Now we will be back on probation soon since we are at the bottom of the APR ratings again but now we will have to give Hewitt millions to go away while he just blames everything on Bradley and Schultz.

RAMBLE ON!!!

December 7th, 2010
5:42 pm

Mel Gibson-Beaver > Paul Hewitt

RAMBLE ON!!!

December 7th, 2010
5:47 pm

Quincy Carter > Paul Hewitt

Don't Go In There!

December 7th, 2010
5:48 pm

What I just flushed > Paul Hewitt

Erik

December 7th, 2010
5:49 pm

GT wins!! This is basketball, NOT football!!

DIT

December 7th, 2010
5:52 pm

This Dawg wishes my fellow tech friends “good luck” tonight!

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

The Nature Boy @ Charles

December 7th, 2010
5:55 pm

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-sports-tv-listings-90690.html

It isn’t rocket science…Jeff only spoon feeds the needy….

Belcher

December 7th, 2010
5:57 pm

Hewitt gets OUTfoxed tonite!!

Dawgy-Style

December 7th, 2010
5:57 pm

@Erik,

That’s what you probably said last year. UGA B-Ball is on the upswing, while GT is, well, the 3rd best team in the state behind UGA and KSU. Let’s hope for a good game tonight!

Willy

December 7th, 2010
5:58 pm

Jeff Schultz is the Paul Hewitt of sportswriting.

Johnny 5

December 7th, 2010
6:04 pm

LOL… Do rednecks even know what basketball even is??? Round ball thrown in a hoop. Not that oval looking hogskined ball. Too funny hearing from UGA fans and bball.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Kelley, George Baker, Gary Pratt, Jessica Harris, brownie and others. brownie said: LIVE BLOG: Dogs, Jackets each looking to affirm direction http://bit.ly/dECr94 [...]

Johnny 5

December 7th, 2010
6:06 pm

Hewitt does suck though..

NoCoach Blewitt

December 7th, 2010
6:07 pm

Johnny 5 – lets give credit where credit is due and not undersale this. Hewitt doesn’t suck. HE BLOWS

Johnny 5

December 7th, 2010
6:09 pm

Of course, stopped buying Season tix because of this man. I told that to DRad, but we will see what happens.

NoCoach Blewitt

December 7th, 2010
6:11 pm

Only chance we have is if Bleweys Bentley breaks down on his way to the game

[...] webmaster@technorati.com wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

Johnny 5

December 7th, 2010
6:13 pm

Nah, we will probably still beat em, and that unfortunately is the sad part :(

Fill In the Blank Tech Fans

December 7th, 2010
6:17 pm

“We Still Run This _____”

blazerdawg

December 7th, 2010
6:18 pm

JS – reread para 5 and delete my post

[...] webmaster@technorati.com wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

Huh?

December 7th, 2010
6:22 pm

Johnny 5 – anyone that knows how to insert an emoticon into a blog comment clearly has never touched a basketball

Time

December 7th, 2010
6:25 pm

It’s a shame UGA even has to play this game. Going to drag down our RPI come March.

DodgerDAWG

December 7th, 2010
6:26 pm

So do I get 4 dogs and 4 Cokes at tonights’ game? I hear the TraveLodge in Shreveport is offering the same with a room rental – even with a $15.00 game ticket