Is season ending too soon for basketball Dogs?

Travis Leslie is going to have more big nights for the Dogs. (University of Georgia)

Travis Leslie is going to have more big nights for the Dogs. (University of Georgia)

Third time was the charm for Vandy in the SEC tournament Friday night after splitting regular season games against Mark Fox’s team.

The Dores had fretted aloud this week that they didn’t match up well with the Dogs, but they astutely applied what they’d learned in their two previous meetings, primarily by smothering Trey Thompkins with their zone. Thompkins, normally Georgia’s most consistent player, didn’t look that sharp anyway this particular night, but the Vandy defense didn’t give him much of a chance, holding him scoreless in the first half and to just 13 points on the night.

Add the Commodores’ domination of the boards and a string of 3’s that allowed them to pull away in the second half after the Dogs had narrowed their lead to 2, and that was pretty much the story, despite Travis Leslie wowing everyone with his career-high 34 points. But it wasn’t enough. Leslie “is a great player in this league,” Dores sophomore Lance Goulbourne told the Nashville Tennessean. “But he was the only one going off, really. As long as we got everyone else shut down, then we did a great job on defense.”

No. 20-ranked Vandy was obviously the better team, but as the Nashville Tennessean noted, Fox’s Dogs “were no ordinary East No. 6 seed.”

The Dogs, not expected to do much in Fox’s first year, had some big upset wins over ranked teams this season, which had some fans thinking this team worthy of continuing play in a third-tier tourney like the College Basketball Invitational or CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

Fox pretty much put that idea to rest Friday night, saying, “I don’t think we’ll do that. This is it.” The coach figures that the Dogs, at 14-17, are “not going to get an invitation somewhere to play” because “we don’t have a winning record. I think we’re done.”

But as Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald notes, teams with losing records have been selected for the 16-team CBI field the past two years. The tournament’s Ray Cella, who before Friday’s game listed Georgia as a team being considered, said, “We look at the entire scope of the season, and if they’re under .500 but still a quality basketball team, we’re interested in them.”

If a third-tier tournament makes an offer, should Mark Fox consider letting his team play on?

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So what do you think? If the CBI or CIT were to still express interest in Georgia despite the losing record, should Fox change his stance and let his Dogs play on? Would the continued practice time and game experience benefit the team, much like the argument for 6-6 teams participating in football bowl games? Might even a lesser tournament be a fitting reward for a Bulldog team that may have fallen short a few too many times in close games but restored the faith of the fans in red and black?

Share your thoughts in the comments or vote in the poll.

Meanwhile, if this really is it for Fox’s first Georgia team, I think he’s scored a major achievement in Athens this year by making definite progress in turning around a program that was moribund. If Thompkins joins Leslie in returning next season and Fox can add a quality player or two, Georgia is going to become a factor again in SEC basketball. Those are two special players with bright futures.

Even with a losing record, this was a big season for Georgia basketball. As Fox put it after the game, “I am proud of this team because when I came everybody kept telling me how terrible we were. I don’t know if we were necessarily a great basketball team, but we beat some people maybe we weren’t supposed to beat, we’ve given our program some momentum, and we earned some respect back. In rebuilding, those are steps you have to take. So I don’t feel empty because we did take some steps forward, but I’m angry that we lost.”

BOOOOOOOO!

As regular readers know, I’m against fans booing their own team, but now I’m looking foward to some sustained booing at Sanford Stadium in the future. Or rather, Booing.

With the news that incoming freshman running back Ken Malcome has decided to play under the nickname his family and friends have for him, Boo, I’m hoping he gives the crowd plenty of opportunity to salute big plays by offering up his name in vocal tribute.

The Southwest DeKalb star will be wearing No. 24, which has been pretty good to the last two Georgia players who’ve worn that number.   So here’s hoping …

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66 comments Add your comment

Thirty Points to your Twenty-Four Points

March 13th, 2010
11:36 am

{{{{{30-24}}}}}

Thats all that really matters.

ghsclassof2012

March 13th, 2010
11:40 am

good piece. and yes, the club needs all of the experience it can get! And, it doesn’t hurt to have more attention on the program for a few more games.

DawginOH

March 13th, 2010
11:52 am

I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of players Fox can bring in next season. We have reason to be optimistic.

NewnanDawg

March 13th, 2010
12:02 pm

I certainly think that if offered, this team should get the extra practice time and experience. I also think that McPhee, Jackson, and Whatley are deserving of a little more time with the team before they graduate. Ricky and Albert played their hearts out and left everything they had on the court for this program.

If no offer comes, congrats to this team for what they accomplished this year and I thank them for making UGA bball fun, competitive, and entertaining again. The future looks bright with Fox at the helm.

Go Dawgs!

Branden Smith

March 13th, 2010
12:31 pm

I have always hated basketball. But i find myself watching the bulldawgs every night they are on now. Something is growing in Athens.

Tanner from Bad News Bears

March 13th, 2010
2:26 pm

Just like the Bad News Bears in the AstroDome…”Let them play! Let them play! Let them play!” Why wouldn’t you want to have extra practice/games if you can get them? The CBT or CIT would both like to have guys like Leslie and Thompkins play…both have been good enough to get ESPN’s attention, and that can help when the good teams are off in the NCAA.

Boo Boo's boo's from Sanford.

March 13th, 2010
3:50 pm

How many times must we tell you that us hardcore fans are not Booing the players its the coaches who are making millions with their inept play calling.! Sheesh……..

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 13th, 2010
3:51 pm

Sorry but this team floundered in the road games and doesnt derserve an invite to any tournament.

icedawg

March 13th, 2010
5:41 pm

If they get an invite let ‘em play. The more playing time the better even for next year. If this season is any indication of what can happen in the future the DAWGS may just be going in the right direction in basketball for a change. I hope we can pickup a few more skilled players.

[...] See: Vanderbilt Beats Georgia 78-66 in SEC Tournament Quarterfinals – SicEmDawgs Is season ending too soon for basketball Dogs? – Junkyard Blawg [...]

Bo williams

March 13th, 2010
6:45 pm

Dawg fans back to pick’n buggers.

Stinger

March 13th, 2010
6:58 pm

At least you Dawgs can watch the Jackets at the Big Dance,while your team sits at home.

Frank Lane

March 13th, 2010
7:05 pm

Playing time is everything. Hope they get a chance.

jroe

March 13th, 2010
7:51 pm

We will take it out on you in football stinker! We run this state!

smith30

March 13th, 2010
8:24 pm

What is recruiting looking like? Any other players coming in besides the one we signed in the early signing period?

KJ

March 13th, 2010
8:45 pm

“At least you Dawgs can watch the Jackets at the Big Dance,while your team sits at home.”

No, unlike you NATS fans, I don’t obsess over rival teams; I really couldn’t care less what the state’s perennial second fiddle is doing if UGA isn’t playing them.

But let me guess… when NATS chokes in the NCAA tournament, you’re going to claim that “winning the ACC was our goal, and therefore the only thing that matters”…. right?

David

March 13th, 2010
9:58 pm

Haha KJ is dumb. UGA is second fiddle to GT in every sport this year and look for that to continue to happen in the future. UGA athletics is a joke.

KJ

March 13th, 2010
10:02 pm

LOL delusional dorks:

30-24
73-66
8-1
etc
etc
yawn

jonL

March 13th, 2010
10:40 pm

#24, so what number will washun be wearing. plus, i like the boo’s for players named boo, boozer, or just enjoy booze! gets some noise goin!

Upstate Dawg

March 13th, 2010
11:34 pm

Disappointing loss in Nashville last night but Vandy came to play. I really thought that Trey was sick or really tired from the first game. He didn’t seem to have much spring in his step.

Encouraging season when you beat at least 5 teams going to the NCAA Tournament. I don’t know how I feel about playing in a lesser post-season event. I am very optimistic for the future. I hope that both Trey and Travis stick around. We should be even better next year.

Denver Dawg

March 13th, 2010
11:55 pm

what happened to the NIT? did it change its name too? (ala “Football Bowl Subdivision”)

athdog

March 13th, 2010
11:59 pm

Dog fans have hope now on the hardwood, haven’t had it in quite some time. If given the opportunity, play on!

BuLLdawg

March 14th, 2010
3:35 am

Coach Richt has a horrible offensive coaching staff. And, if you want to know why Coach Richt is on the bubble, it is because of his recruits. This 2005 recruiting class rx-dawg wants to lie about is a horrid recruiting class of 19 only 13 of which came in the Fall. 1/3 of the class was not there in the Fall. The rankings of this 1/3 were among the leaders, which inflated our recruiting rankings when in fact, it was not a good class at all, was it ? That 2005 recruiting class stayed in jail. They had nothing but Academic issues. They stayed suspended. They lost to every SEC East team in a row, consecutively. The had penalty after penalty. They fumbled the football. They threw interceptions.

Coach Richt won with Jim Donnan’s recruits.

Jim Donnan was fired for losing 13 games his last 4 years.

Coach Richt has 14 losses his last 4 years.

Dawg 39

March 14th, 2010
3:04 am

Enter your comments here

BuLLdawg

March 14th, 2010
3:17 am

Since The SEC expanded to the current teams

FOOTBALL

NCAA MAJOR INFRACTIONS

3 Alabama NCAA Major Infractions Database PROBATION in Football.

2 UGA NCAA Major Infractions Database PROBATION in Football

Alabama is the ONLY SEC school on PROBATION in football at this time, serving THREE (3) YEARS PROBATION starting June 11, 2009 NCAA Major Infractions Database.

Alabama has had 3 PROBATION in football since The SEC current alignment in 1990, with 3 Major Infractions Database PROBATION football.

In fact, since the realignment in 1990, NO SEC SCHOOL HAS MORE MAJOR INFRACTIONS Database PROBATIONS than Alabama in all sports.

Not even Auburn.

Alabama is the only SEC school on Major Infractions Database PROBATION in football.

Alabama leads The SEC since 1990 in all sports Major Infractions Database PROBATION with 4.

Alabama leads The SEC since 1990 in football Major Infractions Database PROBATION with 3.

Come back and talk to me June 12, 2012

Liar

Bama

You’re the only 1 SEC school on Probation in football.

You have the most SEC football Major Infractions Database Probations since 1990 when the current SEC teams expanded to what we have now.

You have the most SEC Major Infractions Database Probations since 1990 when the current SEC teams expanded to what we have now in all sports.

And, THIS is what you want to talk about

Bama

?

Bama, you also talk repeatedly about how great the education is there compared to at UGA, however, when we look at these FACTS as well, what we actually find out is that Alabama is ranked # 96 U.S. News and World Report Ranking and UGA is ranked # 58.

Alabama accepts far more than UGA.

Florida Dawg

March 14th, 2010
6:24 am

I think Georgia basketball looks promising….Fox appears to be a very good coach…now if we can recruit…we can win.

Gen Neyland

March 14th, 2010
7:41 am

BuLLdawg : Have you ever had one happy day in life, not counting UGA sports victories or somebody elses misery..?

superDawg

March 14th, 2010
8:15 am

BuLLdawg take a break until the new coaches give you new stats.

WonderDawg

March 14th, 2010
8:59 am

BuLLdawg sure can get off-topic …

RxDawg

March 14th, 2010
9:10 am

Bill, I thought the same thing when I heard about a player using the name Boo. The crowd interaction should be interesting.

It’s been a while since UGA had a player with a similar sounding name the fans could chant causing confusion for people less in the know. Mooooooooooooosa Smith is the last one if memory serves me correctly. I can hear it now, “why are UGA fans Booing their own team for scoring that touchdown”?

AltamahaDawg

March 14th, 2010
10:07 am

Gen, you assume that #39 takes joy in a UGA victory? Even seen any evidence of that?

Coffee Bluff DAWG

March 14th, 2010
11:01 am

I agree with Coach Fox saying that UGA is finished playing this year. His focus has to be on recruiting now.

Even though UGA had some nice upsets this year there are a lot of holes to fill on the roster. He needs a really good big man and maybe even a pt guard. Although Ware had a decent year he was still turnover prone late in the season.

Mr. SEC

March 14th, 2010
11:04 am

Cute little season from the pups this year. Lets not forget this is a team that played a horrible out of conference schedule, played in a down SEC, and this UGA team has 2 supposed NBA prospects, and couldn’t even finish with a .500 record. Sure it was nice to beat GT, and finally beat Florida in something, but lets not start J’ing each other off yet. They have a long way to go.

BuLLdawg

March 14th, 2010
11:07 am

89 UGA Bulldogs’ players arrested / suspended in Coach Richt Era :

http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/friday-morning-buffet-27/#comment-45158

You wanted 4 Altamaha Dawg, you ask another poster this week ?

west coast dawg lover

March 14th, 2010
11:35 am

I read the comments fairly frequently and I’m amazed at the people who are so delusional. Many claim that we’re right up there with Alabama, LSU and Florida despite the fact that all of them have won a national championship and we have yet to qualify for the game in the nine years that Mark Richt has been at the helm.

I belileve that you can split Richt’s tenure in half, almost. Look at the record for the first five years (2 SEC Chamionships and an Eastern Division Championship) and then look at the abysmal four years since. What happened? Seems like to me that Richt went to sleep on the switch. Arrogance and complacency ravaged the DAWGS. Instead of continually improving, we continued downhill and we’re still in that mode as we move into the upcoming season which should be far easier than the last.

This great QB coach, Richt, has put us in the position of starting the season with an untested three times now with Joe T, Cox and now Murray? What kind of personnel management is that?

We also know that Richt sort of fudged it with Cox as QB. He was supposed to be the great leader, knew the play book by heart. But alas, he was a bust. For the most part we won when he didn’t throw the ball. Doesn’t say much for Cox, Bobo or Richt. And this isn’t the first time this kind of thing happened. Joe Tereshinski III was ill-suited to be our QB, hadn’t had much game experience yet he was the starter over Stafford. And again, we start the season with hope not a seasoned player. WOW!

As I see it, Grantham was a necessary move long before it happened too. Why Willie was with Richt in Florida post season to talk with the kid that ultimately opted for USC in Los Angeles? I have no idea. I think it was bizarre. Had he decided to keep Willie? Looks like that to me. Wierd. Despite the defense being a train wreck, he wanted to retain Willie. Unbelievable.

I got to think there was some goings on on Ag Hill that resulted in Willie’s dismissal shortly after that. Richt put friendship over his team and we, the fans. I think he has a lot of making up to do. He’s got his priorities screwed up. And folks, this wise person, me, says it has always been the offense, not the defense, that has created the problems for my beloved UGA.

The hotseat is heating up because Damon has given Richt everything he’s asked for and if he doesn’t produce, he’s a goner and Bobo with him. I always thought Mike Bobo was a curious hire but on further thought Richt wanted someone who he could control and Bobo was the guy. Not the same with Grantham.

I am getting long in the tooth and I hope that I’ll live to see us play in the National Championship Game and win it. I have lilttle confidence that Richt is capable of guiding us there, however. Maybe he’s just too nice a guy.

The first five years were great. The last four were awful and we had some real butt kickings along the way. Florida slammed us twice, Tennessee twice, Alabama embarassed us at home.

Why Richt isn’t on the hot seat as so many delusional contributors to this column insist is beyond my ken. He damn well tought to be on the hot seat. How many chances does he get to take us where we all want to go?

I don’t see him improving on offense. He just can’t play wide open football.

He may be a fine man and from what some people whose judgment I trust, they reside in Athens, I am sure he is.

But as a coach he’s no Nick Saban or Urban Meyer. Not even close. I’d take either one of those guys over Richt in a New York minute.

Mark. Prove I’m wrong. I don’t like what’s happened the last four years. Your butt should be gone in my opinion despite your lofty record. You’re paid $3M for what you have ignored the past four years and presented us with a lousy product. How did you in good conscience take that money? For shame. What have you been thinking? Win or go!

Coffee Bluff DAWG

March 14th, 2010
11:47 am

SEC,

Call it a pretty good year under the circumstances. UGA had virtually no bench strength at all. Fox has a lot of recruiting to replinish the roster.

You can’t compare a team like UK with a dozen McDonald All Americans with the UGA team this year. And btw, Trey and Travis are not supposed NBA prospects, they are NBA prospects and will both leave after their junior year.

AltamahaDawg

March 14th, 2010
2:02 pm

Ah, you do love me after all! Glad to know that you hang on my every word. That’s sweet.
But I do believe the gentlemen said in the past 14 months did he not? Mr. factual.

AltamahaDawg

March 14th, 2010
2:25 pm

Maybe the Messenger can help you with that. Ask him to look in the folder with my name on it where he stores everything I have ever said in here.

lawzoo

March 14th, 2010
2:49 pm

Yes ! “Em dawgs must keep this marvelous season going if they can. Let the fans (both of them) have more opportunities to turn Stegeman Audotorium into Rupp Arena South.

You can’t stop those dawgs you can only hope to contain them.

DawgNation

March 14th, 2010
2:54 pm

Hang on. Tech lost their shot at the ACC title in BB so they will be on here soon to try and wash their sorry away with stupit jabs at UGA.

Hello BuLLdaug

March 14th, 2010
4:15 pm

Did you get mixed up?

Stinger

March 14th, 2010
6:24 pm

What? You mean your team didn’t make the tournament?

BuLLdawg

March 14th, 2010
6:37 pm

west coast dawg lover,

That is the best post I’ve ever read in my life, sir. I wish you would contribute more often.

Time

March 14th, 2010
7:46 pm

Laughing at the Tech people in here thinking they’ve done something again. Ok, so you get to go to the NCAA and maybe, maybe win a game before getting put out. Woo-Hoo. Still couldn’t beat UGA and now there’s a good coach in Athens, you won’t be beating them in the future. Have fun next year when the one and doners leave.

On topic, of course UGA should accept any invitation. I think they should get a invite. They were pretty close to being a 19 or 20 win team with some nice “big game” victories. Lost a handful of close ones, as young teams tend to do. But Trey Tompkins and Travis Leslie should be enough to attract any 3rd tier tournament that’s looking for some exposure.

DawginLex

March 14th, 2010
7:46 pm

Bulldawg,

how in the he!! did Coach richt win with Donnan’s players in 2005 and 2007 when Donnan was fired after the 2001 season?

Richt recruited SEC offensive player of the year Shockley, not donnan.

Dumba$$

DawgVoiceofReason

March 14th, 2010
8:57 pm

west coast dawg lover,

So, exactly what “dawgs” do you “love” on the west coast? You sure don’t follow the Georgia Bulldogs. Otherwise you would know that we finished number two in the AP poll for the 2007 season. Look up the word abysmal in the dictionary. It might not mean what you think it means. But then it seems like there’s more than a couple of things you don’t get. You do realize that Joe Cox won at least two SEC games because of his passing. In fact, he had one of the greatest games ANY UGA quarterback ever had. Again, you can’t be following the same Dawgs that I follow. Thank goodness you’re on the west coast.

March 14th, 2010
11:35 am

“look at the abysmal four years since [2005]“

No add'l tourney!!!

March 14th, 2010
9:38 pm

Back to the topic at hand (basketball) – If we are trying to keep these kids around for another season, then definitely no tourney. The last thing we need are Thompkins/Leslie going out and having another couple 30 pt/10 rebound games in post-season play (regardless of who those games might be coming against). Or even possibly risking injury in a meaningless tourney. What is there left to prove for UGA basketball this year? Hang it up, we had a season that exceeded expectations, let’s keep these kids around another year to help with the momentum UGA basketball has going for them. I don’t think that any recruit is being swayed by us going to the CIT tourney – our players will practice during the offseason anyway.

Time

March 14th, 2010
10:01 pm

On Thompkins and Leslie – I think Leslie has pretty much already said he’s coming back and Fox has plans to work with him on ball skills so he can transition to shooting guard, which will be his position in the NBA. Thompkins should come back, but is the more likely to leave. But he’s definitely a player in my mind who could use just one more year of seasoning at the college level but is more NBA ready right now.

Columbus Dawg

March 15th, 2010
4:29 am

Hey Bill, could you find out if there is any truth to all of the claims that Aaron Murray’s arm is still a problem? Several posts on some boards are claiming that he is suffering from “dead arm”. We don’t need any more coverups from this coaching staff on injuries to key players.

BuLLdawg

March 15th, 2010
4:59 am

Last 4 years

10-10 vs SEC East alone

1-3 vs Florida

1-3 vs Tennessee

2-2 vs Kentucky

14 losses the last 4 years, fired Jim Donnan for 13 losses his last 4 years here.

Average 21 fumbles per year last 4 years.

Average 14 interceptions per year last 4 years.

Average # 96 NCAA Rank for most penalties per year last 4 years.

Lost to every SEC East team in a row, consecutively, last 4 years.

Oh yeah, DawgVoiceOfReason, west coast dawg lover is so wrong about the last 4 years

not.