Posts Tagged ‘Georgia State Panthers’

Heat Check: Keeping up with the Joneses (Julio and Jarvis)

Julio Jones celebrates with his quarterback, who apparently has mad hops. (AP photo)

The burgeoning Julio Jones celebrates with quarterback Matt Ryan, who apparently has mad hops. (AP photo)

Atlanta, city of winners! And our weekly Heat Check reflects as much.

FALCONS: Went to Missouri, faced an energized home team, still scored 40 points and won by 16. Heat Index: A mighty impressive opening victory.

GEORGIA: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but … went to Missouri, faced an energized home team, scored 41 points and won by 21. Heat Index: A mighty impressive road-opening victory.

JULIO JONES: Best receiver on the Falcons roster? Yes. Best receiver in Falcons history? Maybe. Best receiver in the NFL? Maybe soon. Heat Index: That draft-day trade looks better and better, does it not?

JARVIS JONES: Best defender in the SEC? Yes. Best in the country? Probably. Best in Georgia history? With apologies to Bill Stanfill, Jake Scott, Ben Zambiasi, Terry Hoage, Champ Bailey and David Pollack … yes, maybe. Heat Index: Tell me his fourth quarter in Columbia didn’t …

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As coach and conscience, Bill Curry will be greatly missed

Bill Curry at the podium Wednesday. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Bill Curry at the podium Wednesday. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Bill Curry asked that Cheryl Levick, Georgia State’s athletic director, not refer to him Wednesday as a legend. Having played under Bobby Dodd, Vince Lombardi and Don Shula, Curry is sensitive about the word and its usage. And there is, ahem, the issue of whether it actually applies.

Bill Curry’s career record is 92-118-4. He has had seven winning seasons in the 19 he has worked at Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky and now Georgia State. He announced Wednesday that the season ahead will be his last as a coach. It will not, he hopes, be his last as a person of influence, and that’s the good news. If there’s such a thing as a legendary voice of reason, Bill Curry is it.

This correspondent met Curry 28 years ago, just after he gave a speech to a Yellow Jacket booster club proclaiming that his Tech team “will drive the cheaters to their knees.” Fans of rival schools were outraged. The AJC columnist Lewis Grizzard, an …

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Customer service: Our expert panel provides bracketing help

Is Murray State the new VCU? Or will VCU be the new VCU? (AP photo)

Will Murray State be the next VCU? Or will VCU itself be the next VCU? (AP photo)

On the road to the Final Four, everyone needs a little help. Toward that end, we’ve sought the guidance of five learned observers, posing the same four questions to each. Our illustrious panel includes:

Barry Goheen, a Vanderbilt legend for making seven game-tying/winning shots in the late ’80s, including two outrageous treys in seven seconds against favored Pittsburgh in Round 2 of the 1988 NCAA tournament, the clip of which is available on YouTube; now a litigator for King & Spalding and chairman of the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.

Ron Hunter, an NCAA tournament participant with IUPUI in 2003, when his 16th-seeded Jaguars lost 95-64 to Kentucky, the tournament’s top seed; now the coach of Georgia State, which was picked to finish 11th in the Colonial Athletic Association but won 20-plus games for only the fourth time in school history.

Dave Odom, who as coach of Wake Forest and South Carolina took …

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A conference tournament run for Tech? No. For UGA? Maybe

Georgia wrong-footed Tennessee once already. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Georgia has wrong-footed Tennessee once already this season. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Hoops Hysterics

1. Does Georgia Tech have a chance to make a run in the ACC tournament? A run, no. Tech hasn’t won consecutive games since before Christmas. It might, however, upset Miami on Thursday night. The Jackets lost to the Hurricanes at Philips Arena by 15 points in January, but Tech has steadied a bit over the season’s final fortnight. (Heck, it actually won twice at Philips, where it had been 1-7.) That said, Miami needs to win a couple of games this week to play itself into the NCAA field, so the Hurricanes won’t take their Round 1 opponent lightly.

2. Does Georgia have a chance to make a run in the SEC tournament? Oddly enough, yes. The Bulldogs open with a desperate opponent in Mississippi State, but Georgia beat the maroon Bulldogs in Starkville last month. Then UGA would play Vanderbilt, which traditionally bombs in this event, and the winner of that game could face …

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Hoops insider: On Georgia State’s chances and UGA’s big win

The sight of Georgia outfighting his Gators galled Billy Donovan greatly. (AP photo)

The sight of Georgia outfighting his Gators galled Billy Donovan greatly. (AP photo)

Hoops Hysterics

1. Does Georgia State have a chance to win the Colonial Athletic Association tournament? A chance, yes. The Panthers should handle Hofstra, seeded 11th, in the opener on Friday. Then would come No. 3 George Mason, as coached by Paul Hewitt, on Saturday. Then, assuming the seeds hold, would come No. 2 VCU on Sunday, and VCU is based in Richmond, which is the site of the event. And then No. 1 seed Drexel could await in Monday’s title tilt. I’d say that potential 3-2-1 parlay is a bit much to ask. I’d say it’s more likely Georgia State will lose in the semifinals. But I’ve been known to be wrong.

2. Georgia beat Florida on Saturday. A major shock? Yes and no. Georgia hasn’t been very good this season, but Florida is good in the way — it doesn’t defend much — that leaves it vulnerable to such upsets. You’ll recall that Tennessee, which doesn’t do anything but defend, swept the …

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For all their success, mid-majors still face an uphill NCAA climb

If you're from the Colonial, you'd better win the Colonial tournament. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

If you're based in the CAA, you'd better win the CAA tournament. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Many of the conference tournaments that matter will have ended before the ACC tips off its annual convocation next week at Philips Arena, and here’s how we distinguish between league tournaments that do and don’t matter: Almost nobody cries real tears after losing a final in one of the big leagues. That’s because teams in the BCS Six already know their in-or-out NCAA fate.

Yes, there are exceptions, Georgia winning the 2008 SEC tournament and heading to the Big Dance being the most glaring. But conference tournaments in the big leagues are, as a rule, window dressing. For proof, we turn again to Georgia. It was believed that the Bulldogs’ Round 2 game against Alabama at the Dome last March was an in-or-out game. Nope. Georgia lost and made the NCAA field as a No. 9 seed. Alabama won and went to the NIT.

Turning to this year: Festivities in the Colonial Athletic Association — that’s …

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Could Savannah State save the Big Dance for Georgia teams?

Could last year's darling be shut out of the 2012 NCAA tournament? (AP photo)

Could last year's darling really be shut out of the 2012 NCAA tournament? Er, yes. (AP photo)

Hoops Hysterics

1. Which upper-tier ACC and SEC teams are in the greatest danger of missing the Big Dance? North Carolina State is tied for fourth in the ACC with Virginia and Miami but has slipped to 60th in ESPN Insider’s Daily RPI and is listed in Joe Lunardi’s latest ESPN Bracketology as the first team out of the NCAA tournament grid. Lunardi has Mississippi State in as a No. 9 seed, but the Bulldogs are 56th in RPI and have lost three in a row. Not helping either case: N.C. State carries a home loss against Georgia Tech, which is 173rd in RPI, and Mississippi State has a home loss against Georgia, which is 115th.

2. Is it possible the highly regarded Colonial Athletic Association — that’s Georgia State’s conference — could wangle only one NCAA bid? Yes. Both Lunardi and Jerry Palm of CBS Sports place only one CAA team in the field, and that constitutes a surprise. Three Colonial …

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Hoops insider: Can Fox and Georgia fashion a fast finish?

For the record, Georgia is unbeaten since Mark Fox got ejected at Tennessee. (AP photo)

For the record, Georgia is unbeaten since Mark Fox got ejected at Tennessee. (AP photo)

Hoops Hysterics

1. Does Georgia have a chance to finish strong? Winning at Mississippi State on Saturday gave the Bulldogs their first victory of substance since they beat Notre Dame in November, and this week offers an opportunity to consolidate gains. They face South Carolina, which is awful, on the road, and then get Vanderbilt at Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday. Win both and it’s possible Mark Fox’s team could finish 7-9 or even 8-8 in SEC play.

2. Which is the nation’s most disappointing team? Aforementioned Vandy has shooters on the perimeter and size underneath and experience everywhere — its contributors are either seniors or juniors, which rarely happens in contemporary college hoops — and still it has lost eight games, five of them at Memorial Gym. Ranked seventh in the preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll, Vandy didn’t receive a single vote this week.

3. Which is the nation’s …

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Hoops insider: Does UGA have a shot versus No. 1 Wildcats?

Will it be a stress-free night for Coach Cal at the Stegasaurus? (AP photo)

A stressful night for Coach Cal at the Stegasaurus? (AP photo)

(Yet again, let me note that this feature is part — but only a small part — of our weekly college basketball package, which runs every Tuesday in the print AJC. I offer my contribution for your digital perusal.)

Hoops Hysterics

1. Does Georgia have a prayer against No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday? Sure. As good as the Wildcats can be, they trailed in the second halves of both SEC road games, and neither of those — at Auburn, at Tennessee — was against top-shelf competition. At 1-4 in league play, the Bulldogs aren’t top-shelf, either. But they’re at home, which means something.

2. If you had to pick one team against the field to win the national championship, would it be Kentucky? North Carolina? Missouri? Syracuse? None of the above. I’d pick the same team I picked — incorrectly — last March. I’d pick Ohio State because I think Jared Sullinger, whose numbers are almost the same as a sophomore as they were as a …

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College hoops insider: Georgia State as an at-large team? Nah

If Georgia State doesn't win the CAA tournament, it won't be celebrating on Selection Sunday. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

No CAA tournament title would mean no Selection Sunday glee. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

(Again, let me note that these, er, nuggets are part of our weekly college basketball package, which runs every Tuesday in the print AJC. I offer them for your digital delight.)

Hoops Hysterics

1. What’s the best conference in the land? It’s not the ACC (too top-heavy) or the SEC (too Kentucky-heavy), and it’s not the Pac-12 (nary a team in the Top 25). That leaves the Big Ten (five teams in the Top 25), the Big East (also five in the Top 25) and the Big 12 (three in the top seven). For quality at the top, we’ll say the Big 12. For overall depth, we’ll say the Big Ten.

2. Who’s the best freshman in the land? Take your pick between Kentucky Wildcats. Center Anthony Davis — he of the unibrow so famous it’s already a feature on Bluegrass T-shirts — could be the first player drafted this summer, but forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been the Big Blue’s MVP to date, scoring 24 points against …

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