Two UGA teams get some preseason attention

A.J. Green makes preseason first-team All-America. (Photo by Olivia King)

A.J. Green makes preseason first-team All-America. (Photo by Olivia King)

With the exception of the AP and coaches’ polls, preseason rankings don’t really mean much other than to give you an idea how media types are thinking about a team. Still, it’s worth noting that according to an early posting on a UNC athletics site, the Dogs did manage to crack the Lindy’s Top 25, which hasn’t hit newsstands yet. Georgia placed No. 21.

The same site includes Lindy’s preseason All-Americans, and three Dogs were selected: Wide receiver A.J. Green and punter Drew Butler on the first team and placekicker Blair Walsh on the second team.

Although I expect the Dogs to make a few (though certainly not all) of the preseason rankings still to come, there’s no denying that Mark Richt’s team will be operating way under the radar as this season begins. Too many question marks, what with an inexperienced quarterback and revamped defense.

But it won’t take long for the Dogs to start getting some attention. All it will take is a win in Columbia.

Meanwhile, Andy Katz of ESPN.com has listed Mark Fox’s basketball Dogs in his preseason Top 25. Here’s what he had to say about UGA, which he ranked at No. 25:

“If you’re looking for a sleeper in the 25 slot, then I’ve got one in Georgia. The Bulldogs have two of the top talents in the SEC in Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. If you haven’t seen these two perform, you’re missing a good show. UGA also adds a terrific scorer in Tennessee State transfer Gerald Robinson Jr. The Bulldogs slowly developed into a big-time pest in their first year under Mark Fox. Remember, this team beat Illinois, took out Georgia Tech and Florida, crushed Tennessee and Vanderbilt and gave Kentucky a serious scare in Lexington. Georgia will be taken seriously from the outset next season. Don’t sleep on the Dawgs.”

After wandering the desert for the past few years, it’s starting to look like the basketball Dogs are headed back to the big time. And I’m hearing from some fans whose anticipation level over Fox’s team just about matches the usual level for the football Dogs.

Are you getting excited about UGA basketball again?

Speaking of Trey Thompkins, blogger Alan Ashley has taken note of a Tuesday Tweet by the UGA player and wonders if it means that Fox’s players have been banned from Twitter. Here’s what Thompkins wrote: “Twitter World, don’t expect anymore interesting tweets from me and @TLeslie… Don’t ask why but there will be NONE ANYMORE!!!!”

Ashley speculates that the Athletic Department has started the clamp down the use of Twitter, adding: “I hope this is not the case. … We, as fans, learned a lot about the guys and gals we cheer for.”

55 comments Add your comment

The D

May 12th, 2010
11:25 am

I am really hoping for a great Basketball team to compliment our other programs!

YardDawg

May 12th, 2010
11:25 am

YardDawg

May 12th, 2010
11:25 am

I MEAN SECOND

The D

May 12th, 2010
11:26 am

are the upgrades to Stegman going to be finished before next season Bill?

How2fish

May 12th, 2010
11:37 am

Congrats to A,J , Drew and Blair now lets GATA!

CONFEDERATE DAWG

May 12th, 2010
11:39 am

PUT THEM GAYTORS IN THE DIRT!!!!!!!!

big k

May 12th, 2010
11:43 am

if murray can be as good as we hope he is, then AJ will be first team all american

Willie Martinez

May 12th, 2010
11:58 am

I love Oklahoma. I can’t wait to play defense against you guys in the NC. Just wait. Please don’t do any boot leg stuff. It scares me.

chipperdawg

May 12th, 2010
12:03 pm

With an improved defense (no where to go but up) and 10 returning starters on offense, these Dawgs oughtta hunt! Murray won’t have to be great… just manage the game and try to keep mistakes down. CMR has proven time and again there are few better at guiding young QBs.
I think we are on the right track and will soon be back atop the SEC East! 10 wins and Top 10 finish is my guess for 2010!
GGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS !!! SIC ‘EM !!! WOOF WOOF WOOF !!!!!

Buddawg

May 12th, 2010
12:04 pm

I am and have been excited about basketball. Many of our fans aren’t aware of Gerald Robinson, and he was even talked about during the season this year. If we were to be lucky and land Thornton, KATY, BAR THE DOOR!!!! Mark Fox has show he can coach, is another first class individual on our coaching staff, and is going to do great things IMO.
I have been a football season ticket holder, a basketball season ticket holder, and I don’t think I have ever been this optimistic where basketball is concerned. I have guarded optimism about football due to the uncertainty of Murray and the defense, but I want to think positively.
Hopefully, only good times lie ahead!

AceDawg

May 12th, 2010
12:04 pm

Fox has momentum going for UGA basketball, but we need Marcus Thornton to head on over and ensure a breakout season this year, as well as star power as UGA moves forward the year after probably without both Thompkins and Leslie. Thornton could turn the Dawgs into a powerhouse among in-state recruits that had mostly lost interest especially during the Felton era. A little preseason love is nice promotional material for the Dawgs.

SSIgator

May 12th, 2010
12:24 pm

chipperdawg -

“Murray won’t have to be great… just manage the game and try to keep mistakes down.”

Wasn’t that the battle cry last year with Joe Cox behind the wheel?

Don't get too excited, Basketball Dawgs...

May 12th, 2010
12:27 pm

…the team, though showing promise, was hardly better last year than the year before, despite the new coach. The players were the same, andm basically, so was the record. If the new guy for TN State can play, then maybe we will be better – but wait until it happens before jumping too far onto the bandwagon…

Dawg 1

May 12th, 2010
12:33 pm

B-Ball, we should expect a slow build here. They should be better – and maybe even make the dance – but Top 25? That’s a little lofty for now. Give this time.. Mr. Evans is doing this the right way. Everyone should like what they see so far. The kids will come around with wins and a ‘new look’ building. UGA has a nice future – talent in this state has ‘never’ been the issue.

F-Ball. Like the idea of being under the radar. Let’s see what comes of it. Strong offensive line play and solid running backs equate to eating clock and controlling the ball. If the ‘D’ comes around – we’ll be okay. More talent at UGA than others believe and less talent at other places (Florida and Alabama excluded) than others believe.

Prediction: UGA finishes 2nd in the East to Florida, but beats all other rivals including Georgia Tech.

bigdawg

May 12th, 2010
12:47 pm

I said it earlier this year and I’ll say it again: I wonder two things:

— What Mark Fox could’ve done with Paul Hewitt’s talent last year?
— What Paul Johnson could’ve don with Mark Richt’s talent last year?

Bottom line: We gotta keep the good basketball talent in-state! I’m so tired of losing our best bball players to UK and UConn and Memphis and UNC and Duke. We gotta keep ‘em here!

DawginLex

May 12th, 2010
12:58 pm

SSIgator,

Yes it was and the mistakes killed Cox. no turnovers against UK and we win. No turnovers against OSU and we win(not all on cox). The Florida game was fairly close in the first half until-Turnovers.

turnovers make great teams average and good teams poor. UGA was a good team made poor by turnovers.

Delbert D.

May 12th, 2010
1:06 pm

Early in the season, Georgia can expect to see defenses stacked against the run. I don’t think that will be a surprise to the coaching staff. The key is getting past South Carolina and Arkansas with a simplified offense because of the QB situation. Given Ealey’s performance late in the 2009 season, and the return of a veteran OL, that may be good enough.

Jtriverdawg06

May 12th, 2010
1:15 pm

It was prob the Marcus Thorton tweet by Leslie

PTC DAWG

May 12th, 2010
1:22 pm

SSI, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you didn’t pay much attention to Cox..his mistakes were plentiful….

How2fish

May 12th, 2010
1:24 pm

SSIgator yes that was the battle cry however there was not the execution needed..if Murray can just cut down on the mistakes he doesn’t have to be as good as Cox was…when Cox was good, that being said he will have to be greatly improved from where he starts the season at, if we have a shot to beat the Gators..we won’t be able to simply run the ball down their throat’s after all they are the Gators not the Bugs..so QB play will have to be better than “just don’t turn it over” we will have to be able to mount a passing attack to allow us to run.

harold

May 12th, 2010
1:45 pm

GEORGIA BASKETBALL WAS LAST IN SEC. GEORGIA ISN’T COMMITTED!

Monticello Dawg

May 12th, 2010
2:15 pm

Buddawg- you summed up my feelings about UGA basketball nicely.

SSI Gator- Aaron Murray vs. Joe Cox. My opinion, what you are overlooking is Murray’s superior athletic talent over Cox- stronger arm, quicker release, accuracy. I think Murray will have growing pains, but he will have experienced, talented players to help him over the rough spots.

Question to posters who do not think last year’s basketball team was any better than Felton’s last edition- did you actually watch any games? Did you see the wins against Illinois, GT, Florida, Vandy, Tennessee, and the scare they gave UK in Rupp Arena? Did you not notice how much virtually every player improved under Fox’s tutelage?
Like it or not, the BB Dogs are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the SEC.

Cuz

May 12th, 2010
2:31 pm

You dang skippy Bill I am excited about the round ball team.

kydawg

May 12th, 2010
2:56 pm

I agree jtriverdawg…it was probably the Marcus Thorton tweet the other day by Travis Leslie.

What do you call a team without a QB?

May 12th, 2010
3:01 pm

Some dougs talk only running to win…others talking air ball….?

Concerned

May 12th, 2010
3:02 pm

When is someone going to look at our Athletic Administration? It seems to me that only one program is on the upswing (men’s basketball)…while the others are either treading water or slowly heading under. This will be our worst finish in the AD’s Cup in 20 years. Since the problems are across the board, isn’t the problem systemic and point to a lack of leadership?

RxDawg

May 12th, 2010
3:20 pm

“But it won’t take long for the Dogs to start getting some attention. All it will take is a win in Columbia”

Actually, I think it’s the Arkansas game. If we win that, then we’ll turn some national heads our way.

Gillislee

May 12th, 2010
4:48 pm

Murray will crumble in Columbia against the best defense he has ever seen in his life and a hostile crowd. Grantham will crumble the next week against Arkansas when the Hogs light up his “new” defense. “New” defense, same players, same result.

national attention

May 12th, 2010
4:57 pm

national attention?

national attention?

we had all the national attention we could want when we were preseason #1.

we handled that SO well.

in fact, we did such a great job, I can’t wait until we get back into the spotlight again.

Jones

May 12th, 2010
5:21 pm

Richt’s coaching, getting UGA out of that 4-4 start last year, then going 4-1, was the stuff of legends. I like the way UGA ended the season, I like the adjustments Richt made, I like the momentum, Georgia is the team to beat in the SEC.

AltamahaDawg

May 12th, 2010
5:25 pm

yea SSI i dont get your point about that comment. It was said about Cox, and he didnt always do that. (which seems to validate the statement even more doesnt it) Does that mean its wasnt true, should never be true again under any circumstances, or that its simply didnt work out in that case?

As a matter of fact its a pretty generic comment that probably applies to more team than its doesn’t every year. Are you thinking Brantley HAS to be great, for UF to be any good?

I would argue that Cox also battled a few big issue, not his fault, that were never part of the equation about what he needed to do this time last year. And IF those same issue resurface this year, its not likely to turn out any better.

But it doesn’t change the basis of the statement.

catsfly

May 12th, 2010
5:52 pm

How did UG’s baseball fall so far so fast?

Hunk

May 12th, 2010
6:01 pm

Georgia is headed for a 8-5 season which will be just enough for Saint Richt to stay another year while Fla, LSU and Bama seperate from the houndogs. Football is about TEAM, not a couple individuals getting preseason hype for an award.

Dawg Days

May 12th, 2010
6:03 pm

“Georgia is the team to beat in the SEC.”

That’s news to me and the rest of the country, we would figure that would be Alabama. You know the defending champions.

Puppy Dawg

May 12th, 2010
6:04 pm

Look, AJ is first rate but we have major problems with turnovers and penalties. We do have the easiest schedule in the SEC and it should get us above .500.

Alan Ashley

May 12th, 2010
6:05 pm

Thanks for the link. Can I say vie been published now? Go Dawgs

Jefferson

May 12th, 2010
6:08 pm

Dawgs haven’t played as a team since DJ Shockley left. The kid in Detroit never won anything at Georgia but padding stats. Look at Greene and Shockley.

SOUTHGADAWG88

May 12th, 2010
6:26 pm

There is no flying under the radar at UGA…all we have to do is win and the rankings will follow.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 12th, 2010
7:09 pm

I think UGA will be in the top 25 by seasons end. 9-4 or 10-3 if they don’t make the same mistakes as last year (pnalties, turnovers). If they do, then it could be 8-5 or even 7-6.

I am the dog

May 12th, 2010
8:37 pm

lots of questions????? to move forward this team needs a solid leader. A take charge guy. I’m at a loss ..

Rabun Dawg

May 12th, 2010
10:37 pm

Catsfly, I know this blog isn’t about baseball, but I agree with you. Two years removed from the finals of the CWS, and this team is pitiful, will not qualify for the SEC tourney! How have they fallen so fast? I have no idea, but Perno has to be looked at rather seriously. What has happened to the baseball program is unacceptable!

Michael Adams

May 12th, 2010
10:42 pm

I am THE solid leader, and THE take charge guy! Here is my latest update,and newest requirement concerning the new tailgating rules for the 2010 football season:

http://www.collegelunchboxes.com

Vegas Baby

May 13th, 2010
6:20 am

Odd of winning National Championship
UGA 30 to1
GT 40 to 1

Bud Kilmer

May 13th, 2010
8:19 am

Stick to the basics!!!

James T. Kirk

May 13th, 2010
8:35 am

Congratulations on yet another preseason National Title, mutts.

GT51

May 13th, 2010
8:54 am

pretty sad when your best players are the punter and place kicker. says alot about what your team is. cant keep drives going and has to settle for fieldgoals

Evansdawg

May 13th, 2010
9:05 am

I expect to suffer many minor heart attacks in Columbia. I don’t think that game is going to be easy at all. If we get through that hump, you’re right Bill. The attention will come.

The difference in the two UGA qbs

May 13th, 2010
9:11 am

Joe Cox wanted so badly to win and he was VERY uptight about it. He had to replace what he thought was a legend. Sadly, in 15 years, Stafford will not be revered like a Buck Belue or a David Green or Ray Goff ( my first two or three years after graduation ) or Andy Johnson or even a Kirby Moore.

Now, along comes Aaron Murray and he has that cool, controlled confidence thing going on. THIS is another KEY to UGA’s 2010 success. He can do all the things that Cox could not physically do, like roll out away from the on rush. He also EXPECTS to perform well ……….whereas Joe wanted so badly to perform well but, um, ah, well, you know. I to this day think that Cox was “ill “pre Ok State game due to nerves. The uga team that day appeared to be in second gear all day long ……. he transferred his inner fears to them and whoops.

Conversely, AARON IS CHAFFING AT THE BIT TO GET AFTER THEM AND LEAD AND WIN. This will also transfer to the team ……….. they will feed off of his confident attitude.

Go Dogs.

Gatorbait 17-3

May 13th, 2010
9:19 am

Another bad year in Jacksonville, at least acording to the Vegas odss makers. Sorry to bring such bad news.

Future Book Odds

· Las Vegas Odds · ·Live Odds

Team Open Current
Florida 2/1 3/2
Texas 11/2 9/5
Alabama 15/1 3/1
Texas Christian 60/1 6/1
Boise State 75/1 15/1
Cincinnati 125/1 20/1
Georgia Tech 50/1 50/1
Pittsburgh 60/1 50/1

Tom

May 13th, 2010
10:47 am

It says something about the program when we’re concerned about beating SC and Arkansas. The way those programs have been of late we should expect to win both. I would think national attention will turn our way when we beat FL, Auburn and Tech. Too bad it takes that long with this schedule to play any half-decent programs. Conversely, if we lose 3 or 4 games with this schedule, we’re gonna look, and be, pretty mediocre.

bug spray

May 13th, 2010
12:27 pm

10 wins bout right if we dont have butter fingers. 8 if we do.

Outside Observer

May 13th, 2010
1:08 pm

Enter your comments here

Outside Observer

May 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

It lost my comment. Anyways, Good luck on the season. See you in late November. I also can’t wait to see the basketball team in Atlanta this year.

James T. Kirk

May 14th, 2010
7:49 am

Maybe if the puppies concerned themselves with end of season polls instead of preseason polls they’d find a better outcome

BigDawg

May 17th, 2010
10:49 am

Bill you forgot to mention all the times the gym dawgs were crushed by far inferior teams like LSU and many others. They did play well against ranked teams that overlooked UGA because of our miserable record but notice that other subpar teams loaded up on wins over UGA because they did not overlook us. UGA will win more games next year but not as many as the pundits think. Enough to make the Madison Square Garden maybe…but not the NCAA tournament.