Second-half collapses, bucking the Gators and screaming freshmen

Greg McGarity offers dance lesson to UF officials. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Greg McGarity offers dance lesson to UF officials. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

First, whatever Mark Fox is doing at halftime … stop it!

Another game, another second-half collapse by his Dogs, followed by the obigatory “we got comfortable” or “we got complacent” or “we relaxed” or “we let the other guy back in the game” quotes from alleged team leaders Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins.

Perhaps Fox should just try changing everything about the way his team is approaching the second half, because the current plan just isn’t working and there’s been no sign of improvement.

Meanwhile, Georgia might not be able to beat Florida on the field or on the court these days, but Greg McGarity showed the Gator braintrust that “it takes two to tango,” as he put it when he bucked UF’s plan to hike the ticket prices for the annual Jacksonville football clash by $10. “We’re not ready to make that move yet,” he told the UGA athletics board Thursday. Bet that raised a few eyebrows in Gainesville. Go Greg!

The athletics board meeting also saw a couple of moves made toward improving the game day environment at Sanford Stadium. Upgrading the scoreboard/video screen again allows Sanford to keep pace with other SEC schools’ stadiums, but the approval of new rules governing student ticketing is likely to have more of an impact.

Georgia has been plagued at some games with nearly a third of the 18,000 student seats going unused, a problem exacerbated when they went to electronic ticketing using the student ID cards, which made it more difficult to sell or give away unwanted tickets. Under the new rules, if students with tickets don’t attend a game or designate their seats for use by another student or for sale to the general public, they’ll receive a “strike.” Three strikes in a season and they’re ineligible for tickets to a bowl game and the following season’s games.

As reported recently by The Red and Black, student leaders support the plan because it will increase the flow of tickets to freshmen, who are generally considered more likely to show up at the games than the jaded upperclassmen, who have priority in ticket-buying.

Anything that gets more loud, cheering students into the stands at Sanford is a plus, and with Georgia’s so-called home-field advantage sometimes difficult to discern amid all the complacent alums sitting on their hands, game day in Athens could certainly use the added energy the kids bring.

And as I’ve noted before, it also would help if the powers-that-be would shift the Redcoat Band so that they could more easily be heard by the majority of the stadium.

Any other suggestions for improving the game day experience at Sanford Stadium?

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

81 comments Add your comment

Reality

February 25th, 2011
10:45 am

Those “complacent alums sitting on their hands” are the ones whose donations fund the program and provide opportunities such as upgrading the scoreboard/video screen. Granted, the stadium could always be louder, but it’s never a good idea to bite the hand of the ones who feed you.

Lance

February 25th, 2011
10:51 am

sorry Bill Im am off topic here but did anyone notice on AJ’s draft blog how surprised he seemed about how serious his training facility in Arizona takes nutrition? REally?

I know this has been addressed here in Bulldawg land now but nutrition is not new. How is that its not been a cornerstone of our program for decades, constantly evolving? Hey did any of you hear about nutrition? It actually has an effect on athletic performance. Who knew?

GMAN

February 25th, 2011
10:53 am

We will bite on Reality, if you want peace and quiet watch it on TV or head over to Spa Sydell for a relaxing afternoon, or even better spend an afternoon at half full grant field. Make room for real Bulldog fans. Auburn and Alabama seem to have plenty of noisy alums that seem to give enough money to keep them winning.

Dawg Dude

February 25th, 2011
10:54 am

Can someone explain to me why Fox went zone the second half? Worst coaching adjustment of the year.

Michael

February 25th, 2011
10:58 am

still pretty darn content with the improvement with UGA basketball. im super excited about watching them in the tourney this year, assuming they get in.

but man, they are just mentally out of it. its like…they go up 12 in every game…and have gotten so accustomed to blowing the lead they cant help but do so. its bad the 2nd or 3rd time…but its happened to them at least 9 times in 2 years. maturation, or coaching…who cares…something needs to get fixed

also, Gerald Robinson is obviously struggling with playing on bigger stages. hes had some messy messy games. gets a little careless with his footwork, leading to a lot of travels and stuff, and he’s had some mishaps with interior passing.

JaxDawg05

February 25th, 2011
11:04 am

Can anyone explain how the most athletic players in the NCAA let Chandler Parsons score 16 points on one leg?

chris

February 25th, 2011
11:14 am

I love Mark Fox and what he has done in 2 seasons is remarkable so I am not going to beat him up too bad. However, it is frustrating to watch great first halves and cringe when then 2nd half starts because you already know what is about to happen. They’ve had all year to figure it out and it hasn’t changed. Not sure a few more games will show any different but here’s to hoping we can make the Dance and at least be in the tourney that matters.

schmeckdawg

February 25th, 2011
11:20 am

Bill, where would you suggest putting The Redcoats?

Gary

February 25th, 2011
11:22 am

The band is going to be moved to the endzone under the video screen next year.

npgator

February 25th, 2011
11:24 am

Here is a news flash – Florida is just a better team!

schmeckdawg

February 25th, 2011
11:26 am

@ Gary, that is going to pretty close to the visiors band isn’t it? Are they planning on moving them as well?

sogadog

February 25th, 2011
11:29 am

If the UGAAA wants to get the students in the stadium, and complacent alums off their hands, then improve the quality of play on the field and win more games.

schmeckdawg

February 25th, 2011
11:31 am

@sogadog, AMEN Brother, and IT REALLY IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT!!!!

Keep Hunkerin’

Pup Fan

February 25th, 2011
11:35 am

Another waste of my time reading the Blawg. Will we ever have a real Dawg blogger? I understand that everything is not ‘rosey’ at UGA but I can figure that out by reading the other AJC blogs and the ‘comments section’. I’m ready to at least have somewhere I can read about ‘all that is good in Dawg Nation’. Get with the progam Bill!

UGA Alumnus

February 25th, 2011
11:38 am

@Reality
February 25th, 2011
10:45 am

But the students are the ones who currently comprise the “body” of the school and they are paying tuition. It is THEIR school. In my opinion, every student who wants a ticket should get one (see the University of Tennessee).

It was my time when I was a student at UGA. It’s now the current students’ school and their time.

Go Dawgs!

SSIgator

February 25th, 2011
11:39 am

Bill King -

“Bet that raised a few eyebrows in Gainesville. Go Greg!”

He is too worried about selling all of the UGA tix at current prices for the annual beatdown in Jax.

UGA Alumnus

February 25th, 2011
11:43 am

oh yeah, and as far as the Hoop Dawgs blowing leads… we are a good, up and coming team. but we are losing these game to better teams than us. we are good, and i believe in Fox and the players. we are competing. but we’re “blowing leads” to better teams.

just like in football, the better team is the team that can sustain themselves for the entire game. doesn’t matter whose winning at the half.

look at Auburn football this past season. They won most of their games in the second half.

but the Hoop Dawgs are here to stay with Mark Fox, and they are getting better!

Go Dawgs!

J Clay

February 25th, 2011
11:43 am

I got an idea to improve gameday experience…..WIN MORE GAMES

schmeckdawg

February 25th, 2011
11:46 am

J Clay you and sogadog, are right on!

TR

February 25th, 2011
11:52 am

BASKETBALL TEAM DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH WINNERS. WINNERS FIND A WAY TO WIN.NOT TOUGH ENOUGH OR GOOD ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN A FULL GAME. FOX’S TEAMS WILL GET BETTER- HE IS FOR REAL.YOUR SUPPOSED BEST PLAYER CANNOT GO 2-5 FT’S AND WIN. LAST 2 SHOT FOUL HE SHOULD HAVE HAD 1 SHOT- SHOULD HAVE FINISHED. WINNERS DO.

ONLY BIG WINS ARE AGAINST UT AND UK–TALENTED BUT MENTALLY FLIMSY ALSO.

GO DAWGS, BUT LETS RECRUIT SOME MORE TALENTED WINNERS.

PA Dawg

February 25th, 2011
12:16 pm

The basketball team is very athletic; but they aren’t mentally tough. Let me get something out right now….Trey Thompikins isn’t mentally, physically, or athletically ready fo rthe NBA. He’s good on the low block and that’s it. Every now and then he’ll make a jupmper; but he’s very good down low. When the team’s down by 5 or 6 late in a game, we shouldn’t be jacking up 3’s. Work the darn ball down low to Trey. It’s that simple. Trey needs to produce in the last 5 minutes of the game too. He missed two free throws last night and missed a couple easy baskets. Travis and Trey need to work on their game next year and not even thing about the NBA….they’re not ready. They both need to learn how to dominate an entire game….not just the first 30 minutes.

Bill King

February 25th, 2011
12:41 pm

Pupfan:

Sorry, misplaced my rose-colored glasses.

Bill King

February 25th, 2011
12:42 pm

schmeckdawg:

I think the East end zone stands would be the best location for the Redcoats.

schmeckdawg

February 25th, 2011
12:45 pm

Thanks Bill!

TR

February 25th, 2011
1:04 pm

PA DOG- THANKS . YOU SAID IT EXACTLY AS I SEE IT.IF YOU DO THE SAME THINGS WRONG OVER AND OVER AGAIN, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? IT IS MENTAL, BUT YOU ARE CORRECT IN ANALYSIS OF THE PLAYERS.

ONE OTHER THING. I HAVE SEEN ON TV MANY OF THE GAMES. AGAINST THE WEAKER TEAMS THEY HAVE PLAYED POORLY AND ESCAPED. LOSERS ATTITUDE. ONE DOES NOT GET PREPARED FOR THE BIG ONES BY HALF DOING AGAINST THE WEAK ONES.

TO PARAPHRASE THE GREAT JOHN WOODEN, SUCCESS IS DOING THE BEST YOU CAN, REGARDLESS OF SCORE.

Mad Mike

February 25th, 2011
1:07 pm

yeah i have another suggestion to improve the game day experience: lose the piped in music and cue up more of the redcoat band. that music sucks and i don’t care what it is; anything over the loudspeakers is a disappointment. it’s the university of georgia not the atlanta falcons. the nfl sucks – let them blare the metallica and jay-z songs at their games and let the college game retain it’s personality, pageantry and pride. **LOSE THE PIPED IN MUSIC!!**

A Different Jim

February 25th, 2011
2:01 pm

I agree that all students should have a seat at the game. It is their time. By not allowing the freshman to go to the game, they learn they can do other things than attend a football game. I also agree winning would improve attendance.

Pup Fan

February 25th, 2011
2:01 pm

Bill,
INDEED.

The Watergirl

February 25th, 2011
2:11 pm

Can’t blame the coaching!! Mark Fox is getting the players in positions to win the games, but our team doesn’t have the experience of winning the big game. Oneday, and I hope soon, they will get over the hump and learn how to win and not give the game away!
Thompkins has a chance to cut it to a 2 point lead and he misses both free throws (how on earth is he a 70%) they reel off couple of threes and its over!!
Our biggest need is finding a true shooter, who can knock down the outside shot

HM

February 25th, 2011
2:13 pm

2 weeks ago..”I can step up my game a lot”…Well we are still waiting. Our two “star” players are weak. Look at UF’s Parson’s. That’s how you step up your game.

I see a unsettling similarity with UGA football and basketball. They have all the talent but can’t step up and win when it matters most.

Matt

February 25th, 2011
2:40 pm

The change in ticketing from resalable paper tickets to unsalable electronic tickets is what directly led to the downturn in student attendance, as could have been predicted when this stupid system was set up. So now, in order to fix the problem, they’re going to… punish the students? The idiocy of whoever is in charge of these policies(and of SGA for always going along with them) is only matched by their greed. Want to fill the seats with enthustiastic students? Go back to the old way, where as long as you had a student ID you could get into the student section, or even better, use an electronic check to make sure the student ID is current and make all student section seats free, first come, and first serve. That will get true fans in the stadium, and judging by the new athletic facilities unveiled, UGA Athletics is not going to miss the dough.

JB

February 25th, 2011
2:43 pm

I will admit, as attending a lot of Georgia games AT AUBURN, they really get into it. Loud. Georgia can be a quite place at times.

Ed Pilcher

February 25th, 2011
2:51 pm

Enter your comments here

Ed Pilcher

February 25th, 2011
2:52 pm

Yeah, I have a suggestion for improving the game-day experience. How about winning the game?

bart

February 25th, 2011
3:07 pm

I’m beginning to wonder if Fox is the guy to make UGA basketball competitive.

Charlie

February 25th, 2011
3:30 pm

How about having a better team.

broadstreet11

February 25th, 2011
3:31 pm

The new student ticketing system allows students to sell tickets to other students. It allows for a direct transfer of the ticket to another id. It keeps down scalping to the nonstudents.

JaxDawg05

February 25th, 2011
3:34 pm

npgator

February 25th, 2011
11:24 am

Here is a news flash – Florida is just a better team!

This just in, Gator fans that comment under a UGA blog are weak.

georgedawg

February 25th, 2011
3:36 pm

Schultz, How did you get your gig? Our bb team is greatly improved – they’ll have a winning record this year. Because they don’t have a deep team – not enough good players – they are getting beat down the stretch.
Fox is a great coach but he can’t turn it around overnight. Plus, Florida, has a better team and that’s why they will win the SEC and are ranked in the top 15.
Personally, I’m disapointed that we’re falling short but I understand it. We are making good strides to improve. Do we really have this many fair weather fans? Some of you are taking this too seriously and are too negative! The columnist from the AJC are just flat out stupid or they are attempting to stir up debate on their blog, whatever. Schultz seemed surprised that we lost to the #13 on the road. I’m surprised the AJC has not corrected their error and fired Schultz and Bradley and gotten someone whose interesting and knows about sports.

Donny D

February 25th, 2011
3:36 pm

Perhaps the AJC should try changing everything about this blog. And by everything, I mean just the author. Once again, a terrible post. Mark Fox is the best thing to happen to our program since Tubby Smith and you’re calling him out.

Seriously Bill, you suck.

Dawgdad (The Original)

February 25th, 2011
3:40 pm

We lost that game last night on defense in the second half. We did not play defense, leaving Parsons and the little guy open all night to shoot the three. Maybe to start the second half put in 5 fresh reserves and tell them to concentrate on defense. It seems every game we lose the game in the first 5 minutes of the second half.

In their defense, SC, Vandy, and UF shot a tremendously high almost unbelievable percentage in the second half. Vandy was like 75% from the field.

All students should be allowed to attend football games, they should have priority.

uga droppings

February 25th, 2011
3:49 pm

Now we aren’t rivals with UF on the court. We quit being football rivals 20 years ago (17-3)

Spoke

February 25th, 2011
3:57 pm

I love the work Mark Fox has done in Athens. Dawg fans should be very grateful to have a coach of this caliber.

That said, the second-half fades suggest to me a conditioning problem. That is something that should be addressed next time around.

Bob LaBlah

February 25th, 2011
4:04 pm

I go to Sanford on Saturday’s to get some sleep. It’s nic and quiet and there’s plenty of room to stretch out in the stands. Sellout, Schmellout!

Cuz

February 25th, 2011
4:13 pm

Keep the guys on the court during the halftime break. Running to the locker room is wearing them out.

Since Vince

February 25th, 2011
4:42 pm

If you want a stadium to get loud then start winning some damn football games in a dominating fashion otherwise be quiet.

Since Vince

February 25th, 2011
4:47 pm

Cant blame the hand sitters when they even know what the next play Boo Boo is gonna run.

Fred G. Sanford

February 25th, 2011
4:48 pm

The G stands for Gators you big dummy!

Then Foley said to Greg

February 25th, 2011
4:55 pm

Who’s your Daddy ?

ValdostaCat

February 25th, 2011
5:25 pm

Congratulations on your victory over Florida in the Battle Over Ticket Prices. Maybe now UF will challenge you to a Male Cheerleader Lifting Contest.