UGA’s Fox shows hacks how it’s done in ‘Media Madness’

Just came from the Stegeman Coliseum Practice Facility at UGA. New Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox was holding what he calls “Media Madness” in which us media types are put through the (modified) paces of one of the Bulldogs’ practices.

I considered it an overwhelming personal success, mainly because I’m not dead. So does the University of Georgia, which just in case made me sign a waiver and had a defibrillator within sight of the court.

I don’t have anything Earth-shattering to report here other than I thought it was a pretty cool way for Fox to introduce himself and his staff and players to the media. And it was a great turnout, with about three dozen men and a half dozen women suiting up to participate.

We stretched and shot around at first, then split into four groups and rotated through five stations working on rebounding, defense, free-throw shooting, ball-handling and basic offensive principals. Then we had a shooting contest followed by an eight-minute, half-court game in which we stayed on defense for four minutes and offense four minutes. Finally, staying with our original group, we played an eight-minute, full-court game against one of the other groups.

My group’s coach was Mark Pope, who played college ball at both the University of Washington and Kentucky and played in the NBA until 2005. He’s now an operations guy on Fox’s staff.  Let’s just say Pope is very patient and has a great sense of humor.

I was point guard on my team because, well, what else can you do with a 5-foot-7 guy? And I left a beautiful line in my box score: 6 minutes played, 3 turnovers, 0 assists, 0-2 shooting, 0 points.

Remarkably, we almost won anyway. But AJC colleague Steve Hummer missed a free throw and couldn’t gather up a late rebound in the final seconds and we fell 11-10. Way to go, Steve; it’s all your fault! (The truth is the 6-foot-3 Hummer actually plays in a YMCA men’s league and was our best player).

But it really was a good time and I appreciate Coach Fox going to the trouble of putting it all together. He has his hands full as it is. The Bulldogs just started practice this past Friday and they will need every minute of all 29 practice opportunities to master Fox’s version of the triangle offense.

For me, probably the most enjoyable part of the whole exercise was watching the players watch the hacks going at it in the game they work so hard to play. Their facial expressions and full-belly laughs were priceless.

I told Trey Thompkins they probably should have had the players report on the writers’ performances for once. You know, turnabout’s fair play.

And I could have given him his headline: “Towers stinks it up.”

Now I have to go soak.

In the meantime, here’s a few pics (I think they’re blurry from all the sweat in the building):

Georgia basketball players cracking up watching us hoop it up.

Georgia basketball players cracking up watching us hoop it up.

My team's coach, Mark Pope, of Kentucky and NBA fame, telling us how to run the play "Clear Blue." That's Steve Hummer in the yellow.

My team's coach, Mark Pope, of Kentucky and NBA fame, telling us how to run the play "Clear Blue." That's Steve Hummer in the yellow.

Steve Hummer posting up forward Chris Starrs of the Athens Banner-Herald.

Steve Hummer posting up forward Chris Starrs of the Athens Banner-Herald.

Me grabbing another breather. Those practice pullovers make it look like I have a gut, don't they? (Photo by Julianne Upchurch/UGA)

Me grabbing another breather. Those practice pullovers make it look like I have a gut, don't they? (Photo by Julianne Upchurch/UGA)

34 comments Add your comment

DrewDown

October 20th, 2009
4:42 pm

GA Faithful

October 20th, 2009
5:06 pm

Coach Fox seems to be a pretty intriguing guy and i like the way he is establishing himself at UGA. Hopefully he has it on the recruiting trail too b/c he can be the greatest coach in the world but it means nothing without the talent on the court.

Chip Towers

October 20th, 2009
5:09 pm

Indeed you are, DrewDown. Congratulations. And please don’t shoot!

GA Faithful

October 20th, 2009
5:10 pm

And is it the pullover that makes your stomach look too big, or does your stomach make the pullover look too small??? Haha just kidding

Chip Towers

October 20th, 2009
5:11 pm

GA Faithful: You have to say this about Fox and recruiting: He shoots high. He’s battling for Jelan Kendrick.

GA Faithful

October 20th, 2009
5:21 pm

He did do pretty good recruiting for lonely Nevada so im actually optimistic he can land some GA stud prospects. Had UGA gotten rid of Felton earlier like they should have he might have been able to get Favors.

J-Dawg

October 20th, 2009
6:14 pm

Chip, great photo of you. You at least appear to have a sense of style on the court regardless of what your line says in the box score.

Manny

October 20th, 2009
6:16 pm

Great stuff! Mark Fox is absolutley refreshing and total opposite of the coach I will not mention.

He knows how to work a crowd and doing a great job of bringing people back together fan wise.

R&B editor

October 20th, 2009
6:16 pm

Um, that’s 12-10. I hit a free throw to put us up 2. haha

Adam R

October 20th, 2009
6:21 pm

Hummer bangin bodies with Chris Starrs. That’s the stuff legends are made of.

Henne Patchinko

October 20th, 2009
6:36 pm

That shirt makes you look like you have a belly. Darn lyin’ shirt.

Jimmy

October 20th, 2009
7:15 pm

Steve looks like he’s about 80 years old, Chip. What’s your excuse? ha!

Ted Striker

October 20th, 2009
8:15 pm

Cool column, Chip. I always enjoy your writing.

Reid Adair

October 20th, 2009
8:41 pm

Very interesting idea, Chip. Well done by Coach Fox. Glad you made it through.

AltamahaDawg

October 20th, 2009
9:39 pm

Good to see you Chip on the B-ball beat again.

Jay Stone

October 20th, 2009
10:09 pm

Gives one a new level of respect for George Plimpton and Tom Verducci, doesn’t it? Next up: Chip in official’s stripes …

Matt Winkeljohn

October 20th, 2009
11:48 pm

6-3? The bearded lobster has to be 6-5 or more. Played with him many times as a youth. Takes his hoops seriously. Alas, my knees (really, just one) no longer allow such poundage. I miss that stuff. Fun.

NRBQ

October 20th, 2009
11:51 pm

Nice job, Chip.

To see such an example of your dedication to the beat and your good sportsmanship makes it even more painful to log on and read the comments of the daily herd of idiots whose only aim is to criticize you.

Way to man up.

Ignore the naysayers.

Pesci

October 21st, 2009
2:08 am

Don’t worry Steve, Grant’s not much better, just ask Ryan he’ll tell you.

Top Dawg

October 21st, 2009
6:33 am

Nice article, Chip.

collegeballfan

October 21st, 2009
8:27 am

As I keep saying Fox has to make UGA basketball matter in basketball.
I really think he will do so.

NewnanDawg

October 21st, 2009
9:30 am

Uh oh! UGA will make you take down the photo of the players shortly. Dustin is wearing Russell – Nike will not like that out in public.

Seriously, glad you had fun and I hope the new energy Fox brings helps out this year.

Go Dawgs!

native atlantan

October 21st, 2009
9:31 am

And this is news worthy why?

NewnanDawg

October 21st, 2009
9:49 am

It’s UGA blogworthy because bball season is about to start, the football team has a bye weak, UGA bball fans are interested in what the new coach is doing; should I go on? This is not a front page news story, just a blog for fans.

Go Dawgs!

What a waste of electronic space!

October 21st, 2009
10:18 am

So what??? Who really cares about reporters practicing basketball? Seriously! Did he also come over and commit some crime? Was there some type of NCAA rule violation? Exactly how is this news?????

????????

????????

????????

Hey Dogtards

October 21st, 2009
10:24 am

“Had UGA gotten rid of Felton earlier like they should have he might have been able to get Favors.”

Don’t make me laugh. The only reason you were in the running with Favors is cause he felt sorry for Felton (i.e. he liked him). The only thing Fox is going to do by shooting for the moon is strike out and be left with sorry talent that will get him run out of Athens in 3-4 years.

native atlantan

October 21st, 2009
10:35 am

So now that the football team sucks at UGA, Are ya’ll now a basketball school? If that team sucks too, hey at least you have Womens Gymnastics to brag about!

Fort Worth Dawg

October 21st, 2009
10:37 am

I have to think that this is a smart move. He’s endearing himself to the media, so if he has a bad year the media will be less inclined to write nasty articles about him. I hope Coach Fox can recruit, coach, fire up the students, and win but this looks like a good start.

Dale

October 21st, 2009
11:57 am

Photoshop Hummer’s face and Chip’s belly and you got Santa Claus.

Gdawg

October 21st, 2009
11:58 am

I truly believe that CF will turn around the UGA basketball program. I like his approach with the media and I am very glad to hear that he is shooting high in recruiting.

NewnanDawg

October 21st, 2009
1:37 pm

I hope Gdawg is right about the direction of the program and am leaning toward believing so. Of course, we’ll have no idea until the players hit the court this season. They probably don’t have a team that can go very far this season, but if they pick up the new system and are fired up about playing for Fox, they should at least be competitive. Why not shoot high in recruiting? You’ll never know if you don’t try and lots of these kids want playing time; Fox can certainly offer that.

Go Dawgs!

RxDawg

October 21st, 2009
7:50 pm

LOL, nice article Chip. Looks like you guys had fun.

djawjuh

October 21st, 2009
8:32 pm

I think it is great. Hey, give Fox a chance. He’s going to be a lot better than his predecessor. Felton didn’t know how to handle himself. This latest episode in the DAWG Basketball saga shows that he’s a good coach and great greeter.

NakedLadyMudFlap

October 23rd, 2009
2:18 pm

Does Hummer have a beard or is he eating a Muskrat?