First practice for Fox’s first team

Athens — Mark Fox’s first Georgia basketball team opens preseason practice at 5 p.m. today.  “Certainly, we’re excited about the start of our season –- the chance to do what we all love to do, which is get into a gym and coach our players and train our team,” he said.  In a meeting with the media this week,  Fox  touched on these topics:

The benefit to Trey Thompkins of playing on the U.S. Under-19 team that won a gold medal at the World Championships in New Zealand over the summer: “He was able to play on Team USA . . . a privilege few of us ever have a chance to experience. I think he was really able to gain an appreciation of that. But also playing for [the team's coaching staff of] Jamie Dixon [Pittsburgh], Chris Lowery [Southern Illinois] and Matt Painter [Purdue], he was able to play for three proven defensive coaches, proven winners, and I think get a taste of different philosophies that will improve him. Jamie is a long-time friend of mine, and he was very pleased with Trey’s production and performance. I think that experience can only help him mature and be a better player this year. And it also helped him stay in shape, quite frankly.”

What would constitute success in his first season as UGA coach: “We’re going to focus on getting better every day. If we can get better today, and if we can do that for the six work days we have during the week, then we have gotten better that week. And if we can do that for two or three or four weeks in a row, then we have gotten better over a month. And if we can do that two months in a row, then our program has gotten better. And then if we can do that for a couple of years in a row, our program will slowly have climbed forward. . . . Ultimately, your daily efforts add up to something. . . . What will I gauge success on this year? I think largely I will gauge it on how much we are improving, how hard we work, and do we approach the game the right way. And certainly, we are going to measure it in wins and losses.”

Building fan support: “If I need to sell popcorn to get people to come to games, I’ll do it. If they want me to make the popcorn, we’re in trouble. But I do think we have interest in the program again, and we need to build that. We need momentum and we need fans in the seats. . . .  That’s one of the great things about basketball: The noise stays indoors. . . .  We have to build this program and our fan base and support back to where it is really an advantage for us to play at home.”

The UGA Athletic Board recently approving the expenditure of  $1.2 million on design plans for expanding the concourse and creating a new glass façade for Stegeman Coliseum: “Certainly the commitment from our administration is one of the things I felt when I interviewed for the job. Damon Evans and Dr. [Michael] Adams sat in a room and I sensed the commitment, and we shared a lot of the same philosophies. So the commitment they are showing by wanting to make some changes to Stegeman does not surprise me. It’s kind of par-for-the-course of what I felt in my initial meeting. . . . I do think the changes are going to make it better for our fans. My focus has to be the interior of those four out-of-bounds lines – we’ve got to get better there — but we do want the fan experience to be better [too]. And that building will now look, if the [preliminary] plans I’ve seen come to fruition, like a new place. And it won’t be something that can be used against us in recruiting. . . . . I don’t think we need a new building. I think the changes that they propose to make will be just perfect.”

(At this point, the Athletic Board has approved only moving forward with the design plans.  But Evans made it clear to the board that he expects to ask for approval as soon as February to proceed with the construction,  which he said could be completed by the start of the 2010-11 season.)

Offensive philosophy: “We are one of the few teams that play the way that we play on the offensive end. . . . We run a variation of the triangle that the Bulls and Lakers of Phil Jackson have won 10 world championships with. We don’t run a true triangle; we run a varied version of it. . . . . I think we’ve got a pretty diversified package, but one that we probably won’t be able to fully implement for quite some time because it takes time to learn. We normally have three or four new players, and this year we have 15 because they’re all trying to learn a new system. And we have to take that into account as we move forward.”

Defensive philosophy: “We have to build a defense. Everyone wants to talk about offense, and that certainly is half the game. But the other half, you got to play the defensive end. You can build a defense faster than you can build an offense, and we have to establish a defense and get stops and grab rebounds. That is certainly a primary concern for us. We have been traditionally a man-to-man defensive team; we have always had a zone defense to use as a ‘Plan B’; and we have always had a catch-up defense that we haven’t had to use much. . . . We’re going to have to establish that defense is of the utmost importance for our players.”

Play ball.

54 comments Add your comment

Trying to Be Realistic

October 16th, 2009
2:46 am

Wonder if Fox can coach football? I’m sure he could do better than Willie Martinez or Bobo. Like his “whatever it takes” attitude. Wish we had that with CMR and his staff. I’m planning on being in the stands and will support Fox. It’s time we stepped up in basketball.
Maybe a down year in football will bring an up year in basketball. Football season is just about over so lets look move into another arena. Go get em coach Fox. Go round ball dawgs.

kauai dawg

October 16th, 2009
2:57 am

The Fox and his hounds! Go DAWGS!

Saint Simons

October 16th, 2009
5:11 am

((((( 79 72 ))))) hahahahahahahaha

BuLLdawg

October 16th, 2009
5:49 am

This is what we have reduced ourselves to ?

Mid-season in football when many Bulldog teams are RANKED in the Top 10 and UNDEFEATED, facing Vandy next, then a bye week before we face Florida down there in JAX.

Instead, we talk BASKETBALL.

Sounds like Tech around here to me.

cursive

October 16th, 2009
6:32 am

I like what I am hearing a lot… I’ll make the drive up 316 to cheer them on!

Big time?? Not

October 16th, 2009
6:33 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

dd

October 16th, 2009
6:45 am

Miami 33 tech 17

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ha

BuLLdawg

October 16th, 2009
6:51 am

I watched the Coach Richt Show this week. Coach Richt said that is Tony Ball who coaches the kick-off return team, and is to Tony Ball’s Credit that Brandon Boykin has returned two (2) kick-offs 100 yards for Touchdowns this season.

Uh, no Coach Richt; those BOTH looked like Brandon Boykin caught the ball and ran it up the field for Touchdowns on HIS OWN.

The problem with this “coaching staff” of your college roommates and buddies Coach Richt, is that even when you can see that Brandon Boykin is a LOAD and very difficult to bring down, your “coaching staff” has ONLY PUT Brandon Boykin BACK THERE ON KICK-OFFS 19 of the 33 kick-offs we have returned.

42 percent of the Kick-offs we have returned this year are by EVERYONE BUT Brandon Boykin.

42%.

God Almighty Coach Richt.

He and Bacarri Rambo lead the team in Interceptions this year.

ONLY your “coaching staff” does NOT put them BACK THERE TO DEFEND passes.

Instead, it is Reshad Jones (a very dirty player who your “coaching staff” is wholly unable to teach to play the game like a gentleman) who cannot defend the pass quite obviously after witnessing it for 4 years now, Bryan Evans a senior “free safety” who has not defended a pass in 4 years either yet, and Prince Miller another senior cornerback for us as well who has NOT in 4 years as well yet either defended 1 single pass in his career.

Let’s see now, who is your Secondary Coach, Coach Richt ?

Oh, yeah, right, your college roommate and BEST FRIEND, right ?

Willie Martinez – Secondary Coach.

If we gave Willie Martinez a football player to play in the secondary, (1) he would NOT recognize he is BETTER than what we have at the positions now in the Secondary and (2) we would be extremely LUCKY to get the secondary player, because Willie Martinez does all he can do to make the entire Secondary look like idiots running around without a Clue.

Who would want to come play Secondary for Willie Martinez ?

As dire as this situation is in the Secondary, when anyone 5 feet 8 inches tall with 4.8 speed in the 40-yard dash and NO BALL SKILLS, and NO ONE TO TEACH HIM, could just step on our team and IMMEDIATELY START OBVIOUSLY AS A FRESHMAN :

(1) Willie Martinez ONLY got 1 Secondary Defensive Back in last year’s recruiting, and he doesn’t play him.

(2) We have 1 senior Cornerback and 1 senior Safety, and Willie got us 1 not playing defensive back in the recruiting class. Duh, we have issues back there.

(3) We have no sophomore Safety and 1 sophomore cornerback, and Willie Martinez signs us 1 Defensive Secondary player, who he does not play.

(4) We have 1 junior safety and 1 junior cornerback and Willie Martinez in THIS STATE OF GEORGIA signs us 1 Defensive Back in total, whom he does NOT play much.

(5) We put in fact five (5) defensive backs in on every critical play, and Willie Martinez signed one (1) Defensive Back this year whom he doesn’t play.

Scoring Defense Number 100.

Total Offense Number 97.

Rushing Offense Number 104.

Turnover Margin Number 118.

Pass Defense Number 97.

Punt Returns Number 85.

Penalties Number 114.

Pass Efficiency Defense Number 92.

And, now you have two (2) more Bulldogs ARRESTED Coach Richt.

That is now 118 Bulldogs ARRESTED/SUSPENDED in your 8 years plus here Coach Richt.

Nice “coaching staff” of college roommates and buddies of yours, Coach Richt.

Nice.

Bill Lumberg

October 16th, 2009
7:06 am

Football is overrated. UGA Basketball will make the Big Dance this year as a 9 seed.

Saint Crompton

October 16th, 2009
7:26 am

((((( uga football )))))) hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Jim Mora Jr.

October 16th, 2009
8:57 am

Since 1964, the Jackets have managed just 12 wins against Georgia. Let me say that again for all of you Jacket fans out there…12 wins in 45 games.
Losing to Tech is like letting your little brother win at “horse” in the backyard. Even though you beat him constantly, he holds that one win in a decade over you as his trophy.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Tim

October 16th, 2009
8:59 am

What’s with all the parentheses Saint Simons? I for one can’t wait to see what Coach Fox can do with our basketball team. I like the energy and experience he brings to the position and I am looking forward to the progress. His first priority should be making sure all the 5 star players stop leaving the state and going to Wake, Kentucky, Mich. State, etc. You can win multiple championships with just the players coming out of the state of Georgia (unless you’re Ga Tech). I think the program is in good hands now and I will be 100% sold on Coach Fox once the 5 stars start rolling in.

Ben

October 16th, 2009
9:06 am

BuLLdawg, are you kidding me? There are several dozen football blogs to post that in. This is the first basketball blog of the new season. If you don’t follow hoops, fine, but others, like myself, do. I welcome it. Some people can follow more than one sport at a time. Get over yourself. I’m pretty excited to see what Fox can do. I don’t expect to make the tourney this year but I do want to see what he can do to get things turned around this year. There is no reason this program can be a perennial Top 20 program with the talent that is in this state.

You are crazy

October 16th, 2009
9:08 am

No Jim Mora Jr, we just like to hold that more recent national championship trophy over your head. Jimmy Carter was president the last time UGA won a NC. Does Herschel have any kids? If not, you are in trouble.

Face it, your program is a joke. You spend big bucks and what does that get you? Only two sec championships over a 25 year period (doesn’t look like any more SEC championships are coming unless Ron Zook comes back to UF). You UGA fans shell out a bunch of cash for crappy seats to watch a crappy team.

hoopdog

October 16th, 2009
9:16 am

BuLLdawg, you moron…this is a basketball blog. can you not tell?

[...] team that they used the Vandy game as a springboard in 2007.6.  In basketball news, Mark Fox will take his first Georgia team through its first practice this [...]

OZZFEST

October 16th, 2009
9:19 am

Enter your comments here

OZZFEST

October 16th, 2009
9:20 am

IMPLODE THE STEGASAURUS!

Ben

October 16th, 2009
9:23 am

OZZFEST. *yawn* Change the record.

Hey Dogtards

October 16th, 2009
9:36 am

“You can win multiple championships with just the players coming out of the state of Georgia (unless you’re Ga Tech).”

Yeah, uog has really proven this one. I went to a game five years ago at that piece of junk you call a stadium and uog STILL hasn’t stopped emailing me asking me if I want free season tickets.

It’s not even the hot dog and coke package. FREE SEASON TICKETS. Frankly, I’d rather watch women’s basketball than the garbage Fox will put on the court.

Tim

October 16th, 2009
9:46 am

Yeah, I’m sure they are offering you free season tickets. That seems very likely. Look at the 5 star players the state of georgia produces every year and tell me you can’t win championships with them. It sounds like someone’s upset because Paul Hewitt can and never will win the big one. I’ll never understand why so many “fans” from other schools come on a University of Georgia news site to talk trash. You’ll never find me on a techie website because, quite frankly, I really have better things to do. Since you are so consumed with the University of Georgia, it seems like we must be doing something right.

One of the few.

October 16th, 2009
9:58 am

Gotta agree. Take the football talk to it’s rightful place. Believe it or not, there are some people who prefer the game of basketball over football even at UGA.

bart

October 16th, 2009
10:23 am

Go Fox Hounds!

seahawk

October 16th, 2009
10:29 am

HEY GUYS – i know you mean well, but get your football comments OFF the basketball blog

The Truth

October 16th, 2009
10:51 am

GA Tech Lies and Cheats in all sports.

confused

October 16th, 2009
11:45 am

you’re wrong about one thing, BuLLdawg, Bacarri Rambo and Boykin have ALL of the interceptions this year………(2 each, and that’s the team total)

Stan

October 16th, 2009
11:49 am

Georgia does not care about basketball. After Georgia State beat them for the second year in a row, all the UGa fans in the dome could say was “Get a football team and then you will be a real school.”

Tim

October 16th, 2009
12:11 pm

Speak for yourself Stan, some of us do care about basketball. It is by far my favorite sport.

Rush!

October 16th, 2009
1:38 pm

I don’t really even know if we should field a basketball team. What with all the gang colors and such.

Rick

October 16th, 2009
1:44 pm

This is a UGA Sports blog, not a UGA football blog. We do have more sports at UGA than just football. This entry would’ve been written even if we were undefeated and #1 in the country. I applaud AJC for taking some time out to talk basketball. I hope they do the same for some of the other sports, primarily baseball, when the season kicks off.

Rush!

October 16th, 2009
1:52 pm

Now baseball, there’s a sport I can really get behind.

Actually, do any of the basketball fans here know if we’re going to be any good? Do we project better than last in the SEC? Do we have some talent on the team? What about the kid that was on the USA team, I didn’t notice him much last year.

Grandad

October 16th, 2009
2:33 pm

BuLLdawg: Do you really want our defense playing like gentlemen? I thought that was our problem; “after you sir”. Also you want B. Smith on the field, then complain when he returns ko’s. After B. Boykin has been on the field for 912 consecutive plays they have to let him rest a min. My apologies, I love Basketball, And agree…today is Coach Fox’s day.

collegeballfan

October 16th, 2009
2:40 pm

I believe Fox will do a real good job at UGA. In a TV interview a few days ago he said he realizes that he has to get the program to a level to where UGA basketball matters in basketball circles. In the SEC that’s being talked about in the same breath with UK, UF, & LSU.

And as he indicated to Tim he knows this will not happen without the fan base getting involved. In basketball the fan base must be involved before the winning comes or the winning will never come. And that has been the problem with UGA basketball from day one.

Hey Dogtards

October 16th, 2009
2:46 pm

“Look at the 5 star players the state of georgia produces every year and tell me you can’t win championships with them.”

Well, seeing as uog can’t get any of them it doesn’t matter.

Re season tickets, Coach Fox just called me and begged me to come to a game. Apparently uog has sold 18 tickets. Individual tickets, not season tickets. He told me not even the players’ mothers wanted to come to that piece of junk stadium and watch another Georgia State victory.

He told me that they will be offering free admission this year, in hopes that someone will actually care about the basketball program. He also thought about dressing up the players in wigs and skirts, because apparently uog women’s basketball sells more tickets than the men’s team.

Rush!

October 16th, 2009
2:50 pm

Dogtard – No, our women’s team does not sell more tickets. Not even close, so your comments just don’t even raise a chuckle.

Hey Dogtards

October 16th, 2009
3:48 pm

When I’m not trolling these blogs, I like to lure little boys into my van…

Tim

October 16th, 2009
4:15 pm

Don’t even talk to that Dogtard moron. We’ve all tried to say something constructive that advances the conversation but he refuses to say anything intelligent. Just let him ramble on about whatever he wants to. So…does anybody think Fox and UGA has a chance at landing Jelan Kendrick, the 5 star from Wheeler? Anybody know where he’s leaning? Cause I know the early signing period is rapidly approaching.

NewnanDawg

October 16th, 2009
4:34 pm

I actually put on one of the blogs the other day that I was looking forward to a bball update, so I’m glad it’s here. Those obsessed with posting football comments here are probably just having a hard time with the fact that they aren’t noticed with the 200 other posts on a football topic. Guess what, I don’t care about your football comments here either.

The constant negativity in the football posts right now makes this a nice change of pace – looking at something new and hopefully exciting. I was extremely impressed with Dustin Ware last year in his progression at PG, so his apparent optimism about the new system is encouraging. He also seemed very bright in his interviews throughout the year, a kid that should be able to pick up the new system and its many options well. It’ll be interesting to hear the coaches’ assessment of the early practices. I am very happy with Fox’s commitment to the fan base. It is very different than when Felton arrived, and he seems to be trying to improve the tip off club as well to be more appealing to younger members and people who live outside of Athens.

Well, it’s about to be the season for a lot of miles on the car – football and basketball overlap time.

Go Dawgs!

BuLLdawg

October 16th, 2009
6:02 pm

Coach Richt is RESPONSIBLE for this debacle of a “coaching staff.”

How can Joe Cox be responsible when we have four (4) Top 10 Quarterbacks in the United States of America according to EVERYONE, every single solitary Recruiting Source paid MILLIONS to know. Who isn’t playing the other Quarterbacks ?

How can Willie Martinez be RESPONSIBLE when we are :

Total Offense Number 97.

Rushing Offense Number 104.

Turnover Margin Number 118.

Punt Returns Number 85.

Penalties Number 114.

And, now you have two (2) more Bulldogs ARRESTED Coach Richt.

118 ARRESTED/SUSPENDED Bulldogs in 8 years and 6 weeks Coach Richt.

How can Damon Evans be responsible when he was NOT EVEN HIRED until this ENTIRE “coaching staff” of Coach Richt was ALREADY here.

How can Mike Bobo be responsible when it was Coach Richt who called the plays when UGA was any damn good ?

There is but one (1) person possibly responsible for this “coaching staff” of Coach Richt.

Duh, that 2 out of 3 of all of us, find Coach Richt RESPONSIBLE.

Dawg fan forever

October 16th, 2009
10:29 pm

All you techmites can just close the pie hole. You have a game tomorrow billed as a big game and you can’t even sell enough tickets to sell out the little stadium you have. Pitiful. The only way tech makes the acc championship is if Miami and VT’s team plane crash into each other. And since the Gator Bowl dropped the acc looks like the tire bowl or the blue turf again.

Duston

October 16th, 2009
10:31 pm

Only thing they need to do to Stegman is tear it down. You want a winning basketball program at UGA, then build a new Arena!!!!!

Upstate Dawg

October 16th, 2009
11:02 pm

Stegeman is fine. It gets quite loud even when not packed. As collegeballfan stated, the winning will not come consistently until the fans do their part. College basketball games are many times won by emotion and the energy of a home court. It’s time to Rock the Steg!! Go Coach Fox and the Basketbulldogs!!

BuLLdawg

October 17th, 2009
3:24 am

That’s NOT going to work, having top-notch basketball in the Stegesaurus.

BuLLdawg

October 17th, 2009
3:27 am

This is the UGA Beat blog. UGA is a football school. This blog is NOT just for discussion of whatever some AJ-C writer talks about. We have talked football in this blog since it started on Access Atlanta over 3 decades ago. If you don’t like it and that is all you can say that you say we cannot all of a sudden talk about football on this blog, you are barking up the wrong tree. Basketball at Georgia, ha ha ha ha.

BuLLdawg

October 17th, 2009
3:34 am

What, I ask, is the SUBJECT of the day, for UGA ?

Duh.

It’s NOT Basketball.

It is that, half way through the season those of us who care about UGA Sports, have the heat on Coach Richt to get rid of his buddies and college roommates as his “coaching staff.”

And, we have made the point clear that if he isn’t going to do that, he can leave with them.

15-16 LOSING record vs. LSU, Florida, Auburn and Tennessee in 8 years plus.

17-19 LOSING record vs. Final AP Poll Top 25 teams in 8 years plus.

7 LOSSES vs. teams NOT in the Final AP Poll Top 25 teams in 8 years plus.

Get rid of your “coaching staff” Coach Richt, or MOVE ON.

elderdawg

October 17th, 2009
9:12 am

BuLLdawg> just one of many tunnel visioned redneck football followers that probably didn’t get thru 9th grade.

BULLSEYE

October 17th, 2009
9:41 am

BuLLdawg was blogging 30 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was on the band wagon to buy GA their first facemask.

Upstate Dawg

October 17th, 2009
11:08 am

Florida and Tennessee are “football schools” with top-notch basketball programs. If they can do it, so can we. As for the Steg, have you ever been to Cameron Indoor Stadium? It is an absolute dump. It’s the environment that matters—not the arena itself.

Dawgtime

October 17th, 2009
12:00 pm

Hello, the article is about UGA basketball. Stop complaining. Get over all the crap. When you lose 2 first round picks, they are hard to replace. I am very excited about UGA’s future in football and basketball. It sounds like we have a great basketball coach too. He has my full support. If you need to complain and find problems, support another team. In terms of fans of other teams posting, that is funny to me. Pathetic people needing attention. Very bright future in basketball, football, and baseball. Go DAWGS….

Tyrell

October 17th, 2009
4:56 pm

I thought Fox was going to be an awful coach and have three seasons here and get fired, but in that press conference he was actually likeable. I’m a huge basketball fan myself, and I love the way that he has presented a likeable image. He has this football tailgating show on Georgiadogs.com and is a personable guy. I hope he is the coach to bring them out of the cellar. That program needs it.