How ’bout them Dogs?!
That’s about all you can say after Georgia’s stunning 90-85 upset of Kentucky on Wednesday night. It was just the fifth win over the Wildcats in 60 games in Lexington. That it came from what had been a two-SEC-win Bulldogs team that has already fired its coach against Kentucky on Senior Night in Rupp Arena made it all the more amazing.
“It was a real team win,” interim coach Pete Herrmann said. “I felt we were aggressive offensively. We wanted to make sure we constantly put pressure on their defense because they are very good in the passing lanes. I told our guys to play with purpose and maintain their poise. It was a great win.”
It definitely was a team deal. Senior Terrance Woodbury led four Georgia players scored in double-figures with 30 points. Freshman Trey Thompkins added 19 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth career double-double, Dustin Ware had 18 points and Corey Butler added 13.
The Georgia victory avenged a 68-45 loss the Wildcats handed the Bulldogs in Athens on Jan. 18. The Dogs hadn’t won in Lexington since 2004.
I hate that we weren’t at the game to chronicle the action live but our newspaper, like all the others that cover Georgia sports, made the business decision not to travel with the basketball back at the first of the year. That made for an interesting scene in the press box over at Foley Field Wednesday night.
I was there covering the Diamond Dogs’ history-making ninth win in a row to start the season (13-6 over Wofford). The TV in the press box didn’t pick up Fox Sports South. We heard that Georgia was leading the Cats by 10 in the second half. So after I filed my story I logged onto ESPN.com’s gametracker and started to follow the action. By then Georgia was only up four or five points. That morphed into me giving an impromptu play-by-play for my colleagues in the press box. It was actually quite exciting, especially given the uneven manner in which information is delivered in that format.
“Kentucky missed a free throw so Georgia has the ball,” I’d relay. “Wait a minute, Thompkins turned it over and Meeks hit a 3 to get within two. Hold it, Ware’s shooting free throws. He made them both. Georgia up four with 53 seconds to go!”
Anyway, congrats to the Dogs because I know those players have continued to work hard despite a largely hopeless situation. With this win and the Florida victory they made some lifetime memories this season And you can bet South Carolina, which is coming into Athens on Georgia’s Senior Day Saturday, sat up and took notice.
Here’s the Lexington Herald-Leader’s take on the game. Spoiler alert: Big Blue ain’t happy. . . .
My cohort Tim Tucker whipped up some Georgia football notes from Wednesday’s teleconference with Mark Richt. He also wrote about the Dogs waiving admission for the G-Day Game so the seats will be filled for ESPN’s national broadcast. Anybody inspired to make it to the game just for that reason? . . .
Here’s my story on the Diamond Dogs’ historic start. Hard to believe none of Georgia’s teams had won more to start a season. This one ought to be 14-0 by the time it opens the SEC season at Bama March 13-15. . . .
South Florida coach Jim Leavitt did finally hire a defensive coordinator. After Georgia’s John Jancek turned him down he went to Joe Tresey, who was fired last month as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator. Interesting to learn that Tresey will make $190,000 with the Bulls. That’s $20,000 less than the previous D-coordinator but $27,000 more than Jancek is currently making with the Dogs. Richt won’t say but I believe Jancek will probably have another raise forthcoming.