– Add to the long list of Super Bowl XLIV connections to Georgia: Former UGA player Travis Jones, roundly rumored recently as a candidate for a spot on the Bulldogs’ coaching staff, is New Orleans’ assistant defensive line coach. Jones is in his second season with the Saints after previously coaching under Nick Saban with LSU and the Miami Dolphins. Jones’ coaching career began in 1997 as a graduate assistant at UGA, where he played on the defensive line (1990-94). A lot of Bulldogs fans would love to see him fill the UGA staff’s remaining opening for a linebackers coach (he worked with the outside linebackers in Miami for a couple of years, by the way.)
– Happy to hear that ex-Dog Sundiata Gaines, after working under a couple of 10-day contracts, has been signed for the rest of the season by the Utah Jazz.
– His nickname preceded him to Athens: “The Hit Man.” Safety Jakar Hamilton enrolled at UGA this month from Georgia Military College and joined off-season workouts with the football team. “Living up to ‘Hit Man,’ a lot of people expect me to come here and be like [former hard-hitting UGA safeties] Greg Blue and Thomas Davis,” Hamilton said. “And that’s what I’m trying to do, trying to work hard and get bigger and hit harder just like those two guys so that when I leave everybody will know that I was ‘The Hit Man.’”
– Hamilton heeds new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s call for an aggressive, attacking defense. “Especially on defense, you got to be aggressive,” Hamilton said. “I’ll throw my whole body. Even if I have to break something to do it, I’ll do it. If I have to catch a concussion, I’ll do it.”
– If you missed it, this definitely merits noticing: UGA sophomore sprinter Torrin Lawrence set a new collegiate record in the 300-meter dash at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va., last weekend. His time of 32.32 broke the collegiate record set 23 years ago. It also was the fifth-fastest time in the world ever, less than a half-second off the fastest.
– Last I checked, Mark Richt’s one-handed, behind-the-back trick shot in Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday morning had been viewed more than 22,000 times on YouTube. Click here if you haven’t seen it yet.
– Georgia plays two basketball games on the road this week –- at Florida on Wednesday and at South Carolina on Saturday. For whatever it’s worth, 12 of 27 SEC games have been won by the road team so far this season.
– UGA had its first basketball sellout in almost three years on Saturday. It’ll have another in early March, if not before. UGA said Monday that the March 3 game against Kentucky in Stegeman Coliseum is sold out except for student tickets.
– If Travis Leslie, the SEC’s Player of the Week, had gotten one more rebound and three more assists against Tennessee on Saturday, he’d have posted the first triple-double in the history of Georgia’s basketball program.
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