Fox looking for games — and players

  Good morning. Hope you had a good weekend.

  Georgia’s baseball team certainly didn’t, getting swept at home by Florida.

  The Bulldogs, No. 1 two weeks ago and No. 6 last week in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, figure to plummet when the new rankings come out today.

  One person who had a nice weekend: Mark Fox.

  His family was in Athens —  the first time he had seen them in 26 days.

  “That’s been hard,” Georgia’s new men’s basketball coach said. “My daughter came up the escalator, and I thought, ‘Wow, she looks taller. Her hair looks longer.’”

   Fox’s family —  his wife Cindy, 6-year-old daughter Olivia and 8-year-old son Parker –  will move to Athens this summer after finishing the school year in Nevada. Meanwhile, Fox is staying in the Georgia Center hotel, a short stroll from Stegeman Coliseum.

  Hope you saw Saturday’s Q&A, in which Fox touched on topics ranging from Daniel Miller to Trey Thompkins to Vincent Williams to Travis LeslieIf you missed it, here’s a link.

   Fox also discussed a few other matters that didn’t make the Q&A, but which I thought you might be interested in here:

  THE 2009-10 SCHEDULE: Georgia got behind on scheduling between the January firing of Dennis Felton and the April hiring of Fox.

   Fox inherited games at Missouri, at Virginia Tech, vs. Illinois in Gwinnett Arena and vs. St. John’s in Madison Square Garden — but no non-conference games in Stegeman Coliseum except for the rivalry game against Georgia Tech. He also inherited an offer to play in a Christmas tournament in Hawaii, which UGA had been penciled in to do, but declined the invitation. “We’re not going to Hawaii,” Fox said. “Had we gone to Hawaii, we would have . . . been away from home, like, five or six games in a row.”  He added: “We played Hawaii every year [at Nevada]. I know how hard that is, and it was a lot shorter trip from Reno than it is from Athens. So we elected not to do that. We’ll get back there [another year].”

   So, bottom line,  UGA was eight non-conference games short of completing the 2009-10 schedule when Fox took over. He said three or four opponents have been identified, and UGA is “crossing t’s and dotting i’s” with them. But the other games “are going to need some work.” Look for the schedule to be announced later than usual.

   “Finding teams that want to play and finding dates and situations that work will take some time,” Fox said.

   SCHOLARSHIPS: After signing Williams, Georgia has three scholarships still available. Fox would like to use at least one of them this year — if he finds the right player.

  He’s open to late-qualifying high schoolers, transfers and international players. He notes that at Nevada he was able to sign Ramon Sessions in August before his freshman year because Sessions didn’t get his qualifying test scores until July. Sessions, a guard, is now with the Milwaukee Bucks and averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 assists per game this season.

  “We’ll keep looking,” Fox said, “because you never know what you’ll find.”

  He will carry at least one and probably two scholarships over to next year because they’ll come in handy then, with only one senior (Albert Jackson) on Fox’s first Georgia team.

  STAFF: Already having hired two assistants —  Kwanza Johnson from Nevada and Philip Pearson from Alabama — Fox has one assistant’s opening left to fill, plus support staff.  “We’ll . . . get the staff finalized, I would hope, in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

 

   Around Bulldog Nation:  The on-line edition of a Nigerian newspaper, Daily Trust, reports that former UGA hoops coach Dennis Felton is a leading candidate to coach Nigeria’s national basketball team. Daily Trust quotes Felton as saying the “competitive challenge” and “the opportunity to work with good people and such eager players” inspires him “to be interested in the opportunity.” . . .  Baseball is a game of streaks and slumps, and the Bulldogs certainly are in one of the latter. They lost the opener of the rain-plagued Florida series after leading 8-0 in the second inning and lost the finale after leading 7-4 in the seventh. They’ve lost six in a row. . . . It was a much better weekend for Georgia’s softball team, which completed its regular-season schedule Sunday with a doubleheader sweep at Arkansas. Georgia won 8-0 and 8-2. Sarah McCloud and Christie Hamilton combined on a five-inning no-hitter in Game 1. . . . Mark Richt and Fox will be on the road for two more Bulldog Club meetings this week —  Wednesday in Macon and Thursday in Columbus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32 comments Add your comment

Pago Flyer

May 4th, 2009
8:50 am

So the Diamond Dawgs are also over ranked! Can we beat anybody….

godawg

May 4th, 2009
8:55 am

Thank God you were talking about Coach Fox. For a minute, I was afraid you meant Fox Sports wanted to broadcast some games….Whew!

VolsRule

May 4th, 2009
9:53 am

Nice article about Coach Fox – he has a mess on his hands and I think UGA will be the SEC east basketball equivilant of Vandy or SC in football.

The reason why I say this is Kentucky will be very good with Calapari, Florida has Donovon and Tennessee is looking good under Bruce Pearl. Then there is Vandy – which is always very respectible if not down right good. Is Coach Fox Tennessee’s version of Buzz Peterson – great guy – good coach – but had too much to overcome? I think Tubby Smith would have been a great hire at UGA – his teams are tough – but Fox may be a better long term solution.

I think UGA will be competitive under Fox – but Vandy and So Carolina are also competitive now in football – but still finish in the bottom half.

At any rate – I hope UGA has success – as SEC basketball did not get national respect this year – and it was a down year. However, I think that the SEC will be send 5 or 6 teams next year and at least 6 2011.

Go Vols.

BAMA STAN

May 4th, 2009
10:18 am

12 National Titles – 21 SEC Titles!!!

BASKETBALL:
UGA will be looking for another basketball coach in 4 years – book it.
Why?
1. Metro Atlanta players flock to ACC.
2. If they do go SEC – they will go to Kentucky or Florida – proven programs that are Elite (yes – one year out of the NCAA’s – but who cares – these two programs are solid).
3. GT
4. NO tradition – a few good years under Tubby and Durham – but overall – UGA basketball = Miss State football.

BASEBALL:
UGA will be fine – they are not getting blown – just missing some timely hitting in their slump. The pitching and overall talent is excellent – may need some luck to get to the CWS – but in baseball – all teams need a little luck. Solid team – should do well.

FOOTBALL:
Regarding Football – UGA will be lucky to win 8 games this year.

I have to give it to UGA – have really picked up the schedule. Other than TN Tech – UGA will be in a lot of exciting games this year – and if I am a UGA ticket holder of fan – each weekend will be alot of fun. I can’t tell you how lame it is to play Southern Mississippi, LA Tech, LA Monroe, etc. – -bring on PENN STATE, OHIO STATE, SO CAL – let’s play these guys home and home!!! Get beat? so what!! At least Ohis State has the stones to schedule So Cal. And Pete Carrol will play anybody – anywhere ans they realize that their conferences do not prepare them.

UGA has two losses on their schedule – Florida and LSU (will need upsets to win these games)
Wins are TN Tech, KY and AZ State.
– OK STATE will be a handful.
– SO CAROLINA always plays you tough.
– ARK – road game with a team waiting to pull the upset – will be much improved. Dogs need to take this game serious – if so – should win.
– VANDY seems to play UGA tough.
– TN and AUBURN – who knows???
– GT – better bring you A game

Like I said – no gimme’s in that schedule.

Now if you want to look at a schedule and just laugh – check out “mighty” Notre Dame. This is why I hate the BCS – heck – Vandy or Miss State could win 8 or 9 games with that schedule.

In my HUMBLE opinion – and you Know how HUMBLE ole BAMA STAN is – NOtre Dame should be in the TOP 8 to be CONSIDERED and CONSIDERED ONLY for a BCS bid – nothing automatic. Have lost all respect for this program and their lawsuit yielding because I’m a FAT A$$ and can’t lose the weight by means of excersize and diet coach.

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom

May 4th, 2009
10:49 am

re: Miller….

Q: Did you know or care when releasing him that he would sign with Georgia Tech?

A: No. Didn’t know. Didn’t care.

Wow. Guess he didn’t get too much prior input on that one. LOL!

Tom

May 4th, 2009
11:39 am

re: Miller….(from the previous article)….

Q: Did you know or care when releasing him that he would sign with Georgia Tech?

A: No. Didn’t know. Didn’t care.

I’m guessing he didn’t get much prior input on that one.

Cuz aka Nigerian Scam Artist

May 4th, 2009
11:50 am

I have seven million in American dollars that I need to get out of the country because my grandmother needs hip surgery in Brussels. If you give me your e-mail address, credit card numbers, social security number and your bank account number I will gladly deposit the seven million in your bank for safe keeping. And I will throw in the hire of Dennis Felton as the Nigerian National Basketball coach as a sign of goodwill.

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2009
12:14 pm

VolsRule, thats a great point. Competitive in the SEC East is just going to good enough to be in the middle. I think most UGA fans are just looking to get to that, to start with. Middle with hope and a plan is far better than last place and uninterested.

I read a comment that probably put UGA BB situation and hire in perspective. UGA wasnt looking for its Donanvan, and he isnt out there yet, but it was looking for its Lon Kruger, and found him. As you said, its Buzz Peterson. Of cource we are hoping Fox is a more permamant solution. Who knows. I know a couple of different pretty avid Vol fans and they would tell you that hiring a guy from UW-Milwaukee carrying some personal baggage wasn’t exactly a can’t miss move on Tenn’s part, and it’s worked out pretty well. Frankly Billy Donavan wasn’t that impressive on paper when UF hired him either.

[...] coach Mark Fox would like to add another player to this year’s signing class — if he can find the right guy.  He’s not ruling [...]

tenn.DAWG

May 4th, 2009
1:12 pm

Another perspective,as bad as last season was,UT and UK were supposed to be it in the east.UGA beats UK at home on senior night and should have beat UT in the first game.That gap may not be as wide as you think volsrule.On the other subject,I am glad to see Fox take the high road and release a player unconditionally,he did nothing wrong and should not be penalized.Maybe Kiffy might take a lesson from that,ie BJ Coleman and the other six or so he ran off.

BernieDawg

May 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

Glad to hear Tompkins has had some good conversations w/ CMF.

Gator Fan

May 4th, 2009
1:29 pm

UGA has a basketball team?

Glynn

May 4th, 2009
1:42 pm

Fox, do you want a big stage to get UGA bassketball some exposure?

…Well then, come play a game in SYRACUSE at the CARRIER DOME,

the dawgs will have chance to test themselves agains the great Jim Boeheim!
Please do it for this upcoming season!

Andrew Miller

May 4th, 2009
2:50 pm

I’ve now met Coach Fox two times. He has the charisma, attitude, and winning percentage (at Nevada) to give me the optimism that he will be able to recruit the state of Georgia and turn our program around. I encourage you to go meet Coach Fox at one of the upcoming Bulldog Road Tour events that Tim mentioned in his blog. If you want to read my take on the Bulldog Road Tours: http://www.bulldawgillustrated.com/blog/264

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2009
3:06 pm

Yes, and they actually have just as good of a record in the NCAA tournament in the past 2 years as Florida.

DawgGirl32

May 4th, 2009
3:19 pm

I’m pretty sure they might have beat Florida this year, too. :)

stinger

May 4th, 2009
4:21 pm

I love tickle piles and rusty trombones!

Tron5000

May 4th, 2009
4:40 pm

Matt Stafford have emotional problems? Probably gets it from his coach.

http://www.northwestgeorgia.com/sports/local_story_123221620.html?keyword=topstory

Cuz

May 4th, 2009
4:42 pm

I wonder how our debate team did against Florida? Now that we lost a baseball series to the dreaded Gators perhaps our debate team beat them on (UGA)Camos vs (UF) Jorts.

reservoirDAWG

May 4th, 2009
4:50 pm

Miller, that article was bs.

reservoirDAWG

May 4th, 2009
4:55 pm

Sorry Miller, I meant Tron.

Monticello Dawg

May 4th, 2009
5:39 pm

I never saw Mark Fox on the radar in the coaching search, but as a longtime UGA fan (5 decades), the more I read about him, the more I think he is the man to build this program. We will be hurting this season due to a talent deficit, but I expect a better showing than Felton’s last year, despite losing a scoring leader in Woodbury.

I think we will see steady improvement over the first few years, as Coach Fox brings in players. One of the main reasons Felton is gone is poor recruiting. I love how Fox is mending/building relationships with the Georgia high school and AAU coaches. It appears he is not going to try quick fixes, but will build the program steadily on a strong foundation for longterm success.

With the talent in this state, and the UGA brand, I think Georgia will begin getting their share of the in-state blue chippers, and Fox’s record at Nevada (123-43) indicates he knows how to win.

Hugh Durham and Tubby Smith both won big at times in Athens. Jim Harrick was on the way to being a perennial challenger in the SEC East when the program was derailed by scandal. Everything is in place for the Dogs to contend, now that it appears the athletic department seems to want to pursue excellence in basketball, as we do in numerous other sports.

Cuz

May 4th, 2009
6:59 pm

Coach Fox, win ten games in 2009-2010 and you get a contract extension.

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2009
8:24 pm

Touche’ DawgGirl32.

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2009
8:31 pm

Tron, it’s hard to say which was an bigger waste of print, that article or your post trying to invent some insult from it.

Dawgtime

May 4th, 2009
9:13 pm

Again class, stick to the topic at hand. The class retards want to talk about schools that have nothing to do with the article. For that, Bama Boy and Gator Girl get two F’s. Everybody knows Gators are a hot team now, but where were all the fans 8 years ago. These are typical bandwagon fans. If the Gators struggle, they will jump to the hot team at the time. Those people are not fans. They are parasites. They were UM and FSU fans five years ago. Stick to one team and support it. In terms of the Bama fan expelling useless information, I remind you that Bear Bryant is dead. You cite all these titles, yet the article is written about basetball. Get a clue. Why are you talking trash on a UGA site that says nothing negative about Bama? Reminder: your school was embarassed in the bowl game. Also Mr. Charmin, you just got a new coach too, hence your team can’t talk a lot of trash. We have won an SEC title since the toilet paper school has. In terms of the actual topic, I am very excited about our new coach. He brings a high energy level and dedication to the Dawgs. I think we should get behind the Dawgs and full support the program. Trey Thompkins is going to be a star. Go DAWGS

Dawgtime

May 4th, 2009
9:16 pm

To the classy fans of Florida and Alabama, ignore my last post. It was dedicated to the people that have a no clue.

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2009
11:20 pm

Andrew, you couldn’t find a better picture for the web cover than W.G.?

bigdawg

May 5th, 2009
12:48 am

gator fan: we kicked yall’s sorry a$$ this year in athens!

Judge Dawg

May 5th, 2009
10:17 am

Back to Coach Fox. I think he is what we need. It is easier to rebuild a basketball program since it only takes a few good players. He is buying into the Georgia program and using it to promote basketball. Felton missed out here. I used to get me that he would not wear red or black.

BUZZ

May 10th, 2009
6:47 am

Just saw the new Star Trek movie. AWESOME. The only thing I’ve seen better is the CD of the a$$ whoppin Georgia Tech gave Georgia last year between the hedges. 45-42! Let me know if any of you want to purchase a copy.

BUZZ

May 10th, 2009
9:41 am

Winning cures everything, just ask us. 45-42!

Defending State Champions!

hey dawg nation, until you dethrone us again, STFU!