Archive for March, 2010

Travis Leslie will pass on NBA draft and keep dunking for the Dogs

Travis Leslie will keep dunking for the Dogs for at least another year.

Georgia’s high-flying sophomore forward from Decatur announced Wednesday afternoon that he will pass on the 2010 NBA draft and remain with the Bulldogs for his junior season.

“After talking about it with my family and coaches, I believe it’s the best decision for me,” Leslie said in a statement. “I enjoy being at Georgia. . .  I think we have a chance to have a great season next year. Right now I just want to continue working hard to improve as a player and help us become a great program.”

Leslie made huge strides in his second season at Georgia, averaging 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and drawing much national attention for his dunks. He had a recurring role on ESPN’s “Top 10″ plays-of-the-day feature.

His sophomore season contrasted sharply with his freshman year, when Leslie averaged 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds and was benched for the final five games to focus on academics.

Leslie had said …

Continue reading Travis Leslie will pass on NBA draft and keep dunking for the Dogs »

Richt reclaims seat in quarterback, offense meetings (PLUS: practice notes)

ATHENS –-  Mark Richt says he might be a bit slower to answer his mail this year.

That’s because, for the first time in several years, Georgia’s head coach plans to make it a point to attend every quarterbacks meeting –- the almost daily, hour-long sessions at which the QBs meet with offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to review film and, during the season, game plans. Richt said he also will attend every offensive team meeting.

“Like I told Mike and the staff, I’m not in there to make them crazy at all,” Richt said Tuesday night. “But I’m in there because, No. 1, I do miss it and because I want to be able to add as much value as I can as we go.”

Richt’s increased involvement in the offense comes after a 2009 season in which the Bulldogs finished 75th in the nation in total offense (362.15 yards per game), 51st in scoring offense (28.92 points per game) and 99th in turnovers lost (28).

Richt said he stopped attending the QB meetings on a regular basis around the time he delegated …

Continue reading Richt reclaims seat in quarterback, offense meetings (PLUS: practice notes) »

Fox comments on two players transferring out of UGA program

ATHENS — In my interview Monday with Mark Fox –- see some of it here and more of it  in a story later this week -– he answered questions for the first time, albeit guardedly, about the two players who left the UGA basketball program last week.

Freshman guard Demario Mayfield and sophomore forward Drazen Zlovaric left with plans to transfer to other schools.

“Playing time, really,” Fox cited as the reason for the departures. “Great kids. No hard feelings at all.”

This is the portion of the interview dealing with that topic:

Did [Mayfield and Zlovaric] ask you if they should stay?

“We had long conversations and healthy conversations, you know.”

Did they do the right thing for them?

“I’m supportive of the whole thing. I think it’s healthy. They didn’t choose this style of play. And they are wonderful kids.”

Was it their decision to leave?

“We had honest communication, both ways, and I certainly expressed my feelings of how much I thought they could develop, where they would fit, …

Continue reading Fox comments on two players transferring out of UGA program »

Talking with Mark Fox about Trey Thompkins’ and Travis Leslie’s NBA decisions

Also: Fox comments on two players transferring out of UGA program.

ATHENS — I met with Mark Fox on Monday afternoon, mostly talking about his first year living and working in Georgia for a story that will run on Friday, the one-year anniversary of his hire as UGA’s basketball coach. Of course, we also talked about the decisions facing Georgia sophomores Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie on whether to enter the NBA draft.

Fox said Thompkins and Leslie are in the process of gathering information about their NBA stock and have not made their decisions, which Fox indicated will come later rather than sooner.

“I wouldn’t think, in the next week or 10 days, it’s imminent,” Fox said. “I think they’ll get more information from the NBA and by the latter part of April have an idea of whether they’re going to enter [the draft] and work out [for teams], or just enter full and hire an agent, or just come back.”

Here’s the timeline Fox outlined:

  • Around April 16-19, the players will receive …

Continue reading Talking with Mark Fox about Trey Thompkins’ and Travis Leslie’s NBA decisions »

Notes and quotes on position change, injuries (updated), QB race

(Updated 11:30 a.m.)

Justin Anderson seems intrigued and excited about his move from offensive line to defensive line, where he’ll probably play the nose position in Georgia’s new 3-4 defense.

Anderson said he first heard rumblings about a possible move in January but didn’t believe it would happen until coach Mark Richt called him into his office early last week.

“What was explained to me was that I was needed more on the defensive line than the offensive line,” Anderson said. “Because the offensive line has some depth with Tanner [Strickland] and Trint [Sturdivant] coming back [from injuries] and on the defensive line we lost Kade [Weston] and Jeff [Owens and Geno Atkins]. So we need to fill some bodies on defense. So I was like, ‘Of course. Change can’t hurt.’”

Anderson won’t be able to practice at his new position until summer, because he’s sidelined this spring after January surgery on his right shoulder. In the meantime, he plans to “learn as much as I can” from …

Continue reading Notes and quotes on position change, injuries (updated), QB race »

QBs, defense, Wooten share spotlight in Bulldogs’ first spring scrimmage

(Please click here for scrimmage statistics.)

ATHENS -– Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger put up good numbers but Logan Gray not-so-good. Caleb King and Washaun Ealey picked up where they left off last fall. Rantavious Wooten had a big day.

And the new 3-4 defense apparently made its presence felt at times, too, as Georgia’s football team held its first scrimmage of spring practice Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium.

“I’m pretty sore right now,” wide receiver Wooten said afterward. “The defense was bringing it.”

The 90-minute intra-squad scrimmage was closed to the public and media, but these were among the storylines, based on statistics provided by coach Mark Richt and post-scrimmage interviews:

  • The quarterbacks: Murray completed 10 of 15 passes for 125 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown throw to A.J. Green. Mettenberger completed 7 of 10 passes for 157 yards, including a 65-yard TD to a wide-open Wooten. Gray, though, completed only 6 of 14 for 37 yards. Murray and …

Continue reading QBs, defense, Wooten share spotlight in Bulldogs’ first spring scrimmage »

Quick stats from this morning’s UGA scrimmage . . .

(UPDATE: Click here for full report on scrimmage.)

ATHENS — Georgia just completed a closed scrimmage in Sanford Stadium. Here are “very unofficial” stats provided by Mark Richt:

PASSING

Aaron Murray: 10 of 15,  125 yards,  1 touchdown, 1 interception  (long pass of 40)

Logan Gray: 6 of 14,  37 yards,1 interception, 3 sacks (long pass of 12)

Zach Mettenberger: 7 of 10, 157 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 sacks (long of 65)

RUSHING

Caleb King: 6 carries for 79 yards (long run of 55)

Washaun Ealey: 9 carries for 64 yards (long of 23)

Carlton Thomas: 8 carries for 25 yards (long of 12)

RECEIVING

Rantavious Wooten: 6 catches for 146 yards (TD of 65)

A.J. Green: 1 catch for 40 yards and a TD (Green played limited snaps).

DEFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS

Akeem Dent: 6 tackles

Bacarri Rambo: 5 tackles and an interception

Shawn Williams: Returned an interception 30 yards for a TD

UPDATE: Click here for full report on scrimmage.

Continue reading Quick stats from this morning’s UGA scrimmage . . . »

Offense, defense gear up for ’showdown’ in Saturday scrimmage

ATHENS –- Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium, Georgia coaches will get their best look yet at their quarterback competition and new 3-4 defense.

The Bulldogs will hold their first of three spring scrimmages, and even though the 92,000 seats will be empty, coach Mark Richt and his assistants have stressed that this is showtime.

“Coach Richt was talking after practice [Thursday],” quarterback Aaron Murray said, “that this is going to be the first test for everyone, [the time] to see where everyone is at, what we have learned and where we have come after two weeks of practice.”

The scrimmage will be closed to the public and media, but closely analyzed by the coaches.

“Tomorrow ought to be fun,” Richt said Friday. “I think guys will be revved up, ready to go. . . . I think they’re ready to compete.”

Defensive end Demarcus Dobbs went so far as to say that he expected players to be studying their playbooks Friday night.

“I think it’s going to be a good showdown,” Dobbs said, …

Continue reading Offense, defense gear up for ’showdown’ in Saturday scrimmage »

The unspoken question: Who leads the QB derby?

(UPDATE: Report on Saturday’s scrimmage, including the quarterbacks’ performance, is here.)

ATHENS –- Each day, Georgia’s quarterbacks meet with their position coach, Mike Bobo. One topic never comes up in those meetings: a pecking order among the three quarterbacks competing this spring to be the Bulldogs’ starter.

“Coach Bobo really isn’t telling anybody, ‘You stand here,’ ‘You stand here,’” Logan Gray said.

“No, Coach Bobo hasn’t said anything, him or Coach Richt,” Aaron Murray said.

The three quarterbacks -– Gray, Murray and Zach Mettenberger –- have evenly shared snaps with the first-team offense in the seven sessions of spring practice so far. And they will do so Saturday morning when the team holds a closed scrimmage in Sanford Stadium, undoubtedly the most important day yet in their competition.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Murray said. “Coach Richt was talking after practice [Thursday] that this is going to be the first test for everyone, [the time] to see where …

Continue reading The unspoken question: Who leads the QB derby? »

Two UGA basketball players transferring

(Please click here for Thursday’s spring football practice report.)

ATHENS — Georgia basketball players Demario Mayfield and Drazen Zlovaric are leaving the Bulldogs’ program.

Both have requested, and have been granted, releases from their scholarships, UGA coach Mark Fox announced Thursday night.

Both players, in written statements, said they intend to transfer to other schools in search of more playing time.

“I enjoyed my year here at Georgia under a great coaching staff, but after discussing the situation with my family, I wanted to seek a better opportunity for my career,”  said Mayfield, a freshman guard from Franklin County.

Said Zlovaric, a sophomore forward from Serbia: “I would like to have stayed in school here, but in order to become the player I want to be, I need to seek a better chance for more playing time. I just have to do what’s best for my playing career.”

Mayfield  played in 18 games this past season, averaging 6.5 minutes and 0.9 points per game. Zlovaric …

Continue reading Two UGA basketball players transferring »

He’s teaching 8th grade — and playing football for the Dogs (PLUS: practice update added)

(Updated 8:30 p.m.)

ATHENS — One Georgia football player comes to spring practice directly from his eighth-grade classroom.

Wide receiver Kris Durham is an education major who’s doing his student-teaching this semester at nearby Oconee County Middle School.

Durham

Durham

He will graduate from UGA in May and begin work on his Masters degree this summer, but he has one season of football eligibility remaining because he sat out last season after shoulder surgery. So this spring he is rushing between his Georgia History classroom and football practices.

“He comes in all dressed up, late for the meetings,” freshman receiver Marlon Brown said fondly.

Durham, who is at the middle school from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day, said he tries to compartmentalize his two roles, although he admits his students identified him as a Georgia football player “after about the first 20 minutes.”

“I had to get that out of the way real quick and make sure they saw me as not just a football player, but …

Continue reading He’s teaching 8th grade — and playing football for the Dogs (PLUS: practice update added) »

Notes and quotes on Samuel, Geathers, Williams and “Hitman”

(Updated 11 p.m.)

There was no football practice Wednesday. Georgia resumes spring ball on Thursday and also practices Friday and Saturday, the latter a closed scrimmage in Sanford Stadium.

Meanwhile, a few notes and quotes:

  • I chatted with Richard Samuel about his on-the-move spring (from tailback to outside linebacker to inside linebacker). He seemed cautiously optimistic about how things are going. “It’s good so far — learning, coming along slowly,” he said.

After working at OLB the first two practices and at ILB the past three, he said inside seems a better fit for  him. He said he doesn’t expect to take a redshirt season this fall but did not completely rule out the possibility. He said it’s too early to gauge how much progress he will make by the start of the season.

“I still have to get used to using my hands and getting used to doing certain techniques you need for defense,” he said. “Just because I know the plays and how to get to the ball, I need more than that to …

Continue reading Notes and quotes on Samuel, Geathers, Williams and “Hitman” »

Richt ‘pretty certain’ Mettenberger suspension will be one game; Anderson moved to defense

(Updated 9:30 p.m.)

ATHENS -– Georgia coach Mark Richt said Tuesday night that he is “pretty certain” recently arrested quarterback Zach Mettenberger will be suspended for only one game — the Bulldogs’  Sept. 4 season opener against Louisiana Lafayette.

Richt is withholding a final decision in case there are any further police reports on the case.

“What I’m looking for is if there is any other report I can get my hands on,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “A lot of times there is an initial report and then another one.”

Mettenberger was arrested by police in Remerton, Ga., near Valdosta, on March 7 on five misdemeanor charges: underage possession/consumption of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and two counts of possession of false identification.

UGA Athletic Association policy mandates at least a one-game suspension for an alcohol-related arrest, although Richt could impose more.

“I’m pretty certain it’s going to be a one-game suspension and all the other internal …

Continue reading Richt ‘pretty certain’ Mettenberger suspension will be one game; Anderson moved to defense »

Notes: Lady Dogs back in Sweet 16; football practice today; Hall of Famer Goldberg

If you missed it late last night . . .

Georgia’s women’s basketball team reached the Sweet 16.

The Lady Bulldogs defeated Oklahoma State 74-71 in overtime in Tempe, Ariz., to reach the regional semifinals for the 18th time in 27 NCAA Tournament appearances under coach Andy Landers. Only two programs, Tennessee and Louisiana Tech, have reached more Sweet 16s in the tournament’s history than UGA.

Georgia (25-8)  will play No. 1 seed Stanford on Saturday in Sacramento (time TBA).

UGA freshman Jasmine James came up big in overtime Monday night, scoring 14 of Georgia’s 19 points in the extra period. She hit her only two 3-pointers of the night and went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in OT to finish the game with a career-high 27 points.

Here’s Landers’ overview of the win, from a transcript of his postgame press conference:

“The game was much as we thought it would be. Very hard fought. They didn’t back down, nor did we, so it was a very competitive game from beginning to end. I …

Continue reading Notes: Lady Dogs back in Sweet 16; football practice today; Hall of Famer Goldberg »

So who’ll start at tailback for the Dogs? Caleb King or Washaun Ealey?

(Updated 6:45 p.m.)

I’m working on a story for tomorrow’s paper (on-line later today) about Caleb King and Washaun Ealey, who, as you know, eased all worries about Georgia’s tailback position with their play late last season. (UPDATE: Click here for the story.)

One thing that kind of struck me is that, for all the talk about who’ll be the starter at quarterback and various other positions, you don’t hear any talk around spring practice about who’ll emerge as the starter at tailback, King or Ealey.

That’s probably because they were so effective as a tandem late last season that, well, why worry about who starts?

Mark Richt and Mike Bobo don’t dismiss the question, though.

“Both of those guys are competing hard,” Bobo said, “because like at any position there’s going to be a guy who wants to start and wants to go first. And I think that’s healthy.”

“I think Caleb and Washaun have a very good friendship,” Richt said, “but I think they both want to be the starter and both want to …

Continue reading So who’ll start at tailback for the Dogs? Caleb King or Washaun Ealey? »

A.J. Green on returning punts, Aaron Murray on offense’s ‘great week,’ Marlon Brown on his progress

(Updated 4:15 p.m.)

ATHENS –- A.J. Green, Georgia’s star wide receiver, wants to add a new role to his repertoire. He wants to return punts for the Bulldogs in the fall.

“I hope they give me a chance back there,” Green said after practice Saturday. “It’d be fun.”

The coaches gave him a chance as Georgia held its fourth session of spring practice -– its first in full pads and first in Sanford Stadium.

Green was among seven players who practiced returning punts, joining Branden Smith, Brandon Boykin, Washaun Ealey, Bacarri Rambo, Carlton Thomas and Rantavious Wooten. (Actually, the punts were simulated –- thrown rather than kicked — but that sufficed for practicing returns and coverage.)

Georgia’s punt-return job is open with the graduation of Prince Miller, who had 19 of the Dogs’ 23 returns last season.

Green, who will be a junior in the fall, returned punts at Summerville (S.C.) High School. In fact, he said Saturday, he returned 12 for touchdowns. And he seems serious about …

Continue reading A.J. Green on returning punts, Aaron Murray on offense’s ‘great week,’ Marlon Brown on his progress »

Notes: Dogs seek taller cornerbacks; Grantham praises Garner; full pads Saturday

(UPDATE: For a report on Saturday’s practice, please click here.)

There was no football practice Friday. The Dogs will hold their fourth session of spring ball Saturday in Sanford Stadium, their first in full pads. Meanwhile, a few notes and quotes:

  • The overhaul of Georgia’s defensive staff and scheme naturally affects the type of players the Dogs are looking to recruit. “I mean, you got different body types, because you got to get outside linebacker types and your defensive end and nose types,” said Rodney Garner, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. He added that new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and new defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos “like taller corners. So we want bigger corners, too. So it’s really just trying to find exactly what [Grantham] wants to fit his scheme.”
  • Grantham said Garner, the only holdover from the previous defensive staff, “has meshed very well. Rodney is a conscientious guy. He’s worked hard to understand what we want to get …

Continue reading Notes: Dogs seek taller cornerbacks; Grantham praises Garner; full pads Saturday »

Bulldogs’ Richard Samuel changes positions . . . again

ATHENS –- Richard Samuel has changed positions again, although it’s a less substantial move this time.

Samuel, who switched sides of the ball when he moved from tailback to outside linebacker for the start of  Georgia’s spring football practice, shifted to inside linebacker Thursday.

“I think he’s a natural [inside linebacker],” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said after a late-afternoon practice. “He can run. He can cover. And . . . you can still blitz as an inside guy, but there is a little bit more coverage element involved and that would utilize his speed.”

Head coach Mark Richt agreed that inside linebacker is a more natural spot for Samuel. “We started him outside, a little bit  because of depth issues at outside linebacker,” Richt said. “To give him more of a fair opportunity, we moved him inside.”

Samuel joins an inside-linebacker group that includes Darryl Gamble, Akeem Dent, Marcus Dowtin and Christian Robinson.

Georgia’s starting tailback at the start of last …

Continue reading Bulldogs’ Richard Samuel changes positions . . . again »

Practice updates: Mett gets first QB snaps; defense works on forcing, recovering fumbles

ATHENS — Georgia’s football team is currently on the field for the third session of spring practice, which started a bit later than usual today.

  • Early in practice, new secondary coach Scott Lakatos was working with players on stripping the ball and recovering fumbles. The Dogs, remember, recovered only two of 18 opponent fumbles last season.

Lakatos:

“Both hands. Tuck it away. Finish the drill.”

“Scoop. Scoop. Scoop. Finish.”

“Hands on the ball. Let’s score a touchdown.”

  • Today, Practice No. 3 of spring ball, was Zach Mettenberger’s turn to take the opening snaps with the No. 1 offense. The three quarterbacks are splitting reps evenly this spring and even alternating days taking the first snaps. Logan Gray took the opening  snaps in spring’s first practice and Aaron Murray in the second practice.
  • New inside linebackers coach Warren Belin was working with players on shedding blocks. “Go. Linebackers got to go make tackles.”
  • Just two players are wearing green non-contact …

Continue reading Practice updates: Mett gets first QB snaps; defense works on forcing, recovering fumbles »

Why is Georgia QB Aaron Murray wearing a glove on his throwing hand?

Glove-wearing QB Aaron Murray passes as Mike Bobo watches at practice Tuesday. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)Glove-wearing QB Aaron Murray passes at practice as  Mike Bobo watches. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Murray gets a play from Bobo at Tuesday's practice. (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Murray gets a play from Bobo at Tuesday's practice. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS — Some of you have noticed in photos from Georgia’s  spring football practices that  quarterback Aaron Murray is wearing a glove on his throwing hand.

Which, of course, has led to the question: What’s up with that?

Basically, Murray said after practice Tuesday, it’s a spring-practice experiment.

Surrounded by a half dozen reporters in the Butts-Mehre building -– hey, welcome to life in the limelight — Murray said he just happened to wear a glove for the first time when throwing on his own on a particularly cold day this winter,  surprisingly liked the results and has stuck with it, even on a nice, sunny day like Tuesday.

“The ball is pretty slick,” Murray said. “I felt good with [the glove], so I tried it out for a couple of more weeks and continued to like it. So I finally talked …

Continue reading Why is Georgia QB Aaron Murray wearing a glove on his throwing hand? »

Richt: Decision this week on Mettenberger suspension

ATHENS –- Georgia coach Mark Richt said Tuesday night that he’ll decide by the end of this week how to discipline quarterback Zach Mettenberger, including how many games the recently arrested player will be suspended at the start of the season.

Mettenberger, who entered spring practice in a three-way battle for the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback job, was arrested in the early morning hours of March 7 outside a South Georgia bar on five misdemeanor charges: underage consumption/possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and two counts of possessing false identification.

Richt said UGA Athletic Association policy mandates a suspension of at least one game for an alcohol-related arrest “that sticks,” but the coach could impose more.

“I’m disappointed, first off,” said Richt, who commented publicly on Mettenberger’s arrest for the first time. The Bulldogs resumed spring practice Tuesday following a 12-day interruption for UGA’s spring break.

“I did spend some time …

Continue reading Richt: Decision this week on Mettenberger suspension »

Update from UGA football practice

(Updated 9 p.m.)

ATHENS — Classes are back in session at UGA. And so is football.

Classes resumed Monday after spring break, and the Bulldogs returned to the field on a beautiful, sunny Tuesday afternoon for the second session of spring practice -– 12 days after the first.

“I thought the boys were kind of rusty.  I guess you would expect that coming off spring break,” coach Mark Richt said.  “But they are very eager to learn, very eager to prove to the coaching staff they deserve to play.  They’re really working hard at learning what to do. I’ve got no issue with their effort at all right now or the attitude of the group.  It’s pretty encouraging, actually.”

Notes from practice:

  • There were fewer players in green non-contact jerseys, signifying injuries, for this practice than in the first session of spring ball March 4. In fact, the only green jersey Tuesday was on fullback Fred Munzenmaier (shoulder). (The quarterbacks were wearing black jerseys,  signifying non-contact but …

Continue reading Update from UGA football practice »

AD Evans wants Dogs to kick off a season in Georgia Dome

Georgia athletics director Damon Evans said Monday night that he wants the Bulldogs to open a football season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome at some point.

“It’s something I’m definitely interested in,” Evans said on UGA’s “Bulldog Hotline” radio show, “and I think that Mark [Richt] has some interest in it as well.

“It’s one of those things where [it's difficult] trying to get it to fit the schedule [and] trying to find the appropriate team to play in that particular game, but we’ll get it in at some point in time. And I think it’ll be exciting for us, because it’ll be sort of like a home game, playing in our state.”

Evans said he’s aware of how the Kickoff game has benefited Alabama, which has opened the past two seasons at the Georgia Dome –- vs. Virginia Tech in 2009 and Clemson in 2008.

“Atlanta is fertile recruiting ground, and [the game] gives [Alabama] an opportunity to bring their program in once a year so people in the state of Georgia can see …

Continue reading AD Evans wants Dogs to kick off a season in Georgia Dome »

Mark Fox spotted in Los Angeles on day after SEC tourney loss

Georgia coach Mark Fox apparently took the long way home from the SEC tournament -– by way of Los Angeles.

At 3:53 a.m. EDT Sunday, I received an e-mail from a Georgia fan reporting a Fox spotting at Los Angeles International Airport.

Wrote Matt Little, a UGA alumnus and senior vice president of an insurance brokerage firm in Birmingham:

. . . I’m in the Los Angeles airport right now. It is 11:45 PM Pacific Time and I saw Mark Fox at the Delta gate waiting in line on the red-eye to Atlanta. I introduced myself (I happen to have a UGA t-shirt on). He said he was on stand by trying to get on the flight. He was visibly tired. I asked if he was recruiting and he said he was.

I just thought it might make a good story. The guy just finished the season basically 24 hours ago in Nashville and already flew to California to recruit and is now flying back home. Pretty dedicated if you asked me. As I am typing, Mark just walked on the plane, so he made it . . . .

Aren’t modern …

Continue reading Mark Fox spotted in Los Angeles on day after SEC tourney loss »

Sixth UGA coach reaches 500 career wins. Can you name the six?

Thought you might like to know . . .

Manuel Diaz, Georgia’s esteemed men’s tennis coach, got his 500th career coaching victory Sunday when the Bulldogs beat Vanderbilt 4-3 in Athens.

“It means I’m getting old, that’s about it,” Diaz was quoted in a UGA release.

UGA pointed out that Diaz became the sixth Georgia coach in any sport to reach 500 career victories. Can you name all six? Answer is a few paragraphs below.

In his 22nd season as the Bulldogs’ head coach, Diaz has a career record of 500-102 with four NCAA team championships, 13 NCAA “Final Four” appearances, 12 SEC regular-season championships and seven SEC tournament titles. His team is 12-2 this season (4-0 SEC).

Sunday’s victory, by the way, extended Georgia’s home-court winning streak in men’s tennis to 71 matches, dating to 2005. The streak –- five wins short of the school-record 76-match home winning streak that ended in 1972 –- will get a big test Friday, when defending national champion Southern Cal visits the …

Continue reading Sixth UGA coach reaches 500 career wins. Can you name the six? »

Georgia sophomore wins NCAA championship

Thought you might like to know . . .

Lawrence

Lawrence

Georgia claimed its first-ever NCAA indoor title on the track Saturday night when star sophomore sprinter Torrin Lawrence won  the 400-meter dash in the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

Lawrence ran the race in 45.23 seconds, the third-fastest time of his career and the second-best time ever in the NCAA final. He beat Alabama freshman Kirani James by four-tenths of a second for the NCAA title.

Lawrence holds the world’s fastest time this year in the event, 45.03.

The Georgia men’s track and field team had won only two previous NCAA indoor titles, both in field events: Hrvoje Verzi in the triple jump in 1995 and Andras Haklits in the weight throw in 2001.

More details are here.

———————

Other UGA news today:

Mark Fox will meet soon with Trey Thompkins and family about future.

Fox thanks his first UGA team for making “an impact on Georgia basketball.”

———————

Please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and …

Continue reading Georgia sophomore wins NCAA championship »

Fox: No further postseason play; will meet soon with Thompkins

If you’re wondering:

  • You can close the book on Georgia’s men’s basketball season.

The talk about possibly playing in a third-tier postseason tournament such as the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) or CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT)?  Mark Fox doesn’t see that happening.

“This is it,”  he said a half hour or so after last night’s loss to Vanderbilt knocked his team out of the SEC tournament.

He had said earlier in the week that depending on how Georgia played in the SEC tournament, he might look into the possibility of a CBI or CIT berth. But the Dogs went 1-1 in the SEC tourney to finish the season 14-17.

“We’re not going to get an invitation somewhere to play,” Fox said, “and we don’t have a winning record. I think we’re done.”

  • Fox said he’ll be meeting soon with Trey Thompkins to discuss the sophomore forward’s thinking on whether to enter the NBA draft or remain at UGA.

“Trey is a very, very good basketball player, and I think he could get even better. I really …

Continue reading Fox: No further postseason play; will meet soon with Thompkins »

Dogs pick a good time for first win of season outside Georgia

NASHVILLE — It was close to 1 a.m. today when Georgia’s basketball team left Bridgestone Arena. Several players said they were headed back to the hotel to immediately start preparing for tonight’s game against Vanderbilt.

We’ll get to that matchup in a minute. But first a few things you should know, if you don’t already, about Thursday’s late win over Arkansas in the opening round of the SEC Tournament:

  • It was the Bulldogs’ first win this season outside the state of Georgia.
  • It was the Bulldogs’ second win this season against an SEC West opponent.
  • And it was the only game of the four played here Thursday won by the lower-seeded team.

Before Thursday night -– actually, the game ended early Friday morning Eastern time — the Bulldogs were 0-12 outside Georgia and 1-5 against SEC West opponents this season. The farthest from Athens they had won a game was Gwinnett Arena, where they beat Illinois in December.

The win over Arkansas, you’d have to say, was a breakthrough …

Continue reading Dogs pick a good time for first win of season outside Georgia »

‘I feel like we can make the same run without the tornado,’ Georgia player says

(Updated 4 p.m. Thursday)

NASHVILLE –- Two years ago, Georgia entered the SEC tournament with a 4-12 league record and a No. 6 seed -– and famously won the tornado-struck event in Atlanta.

Tonight, Georgia starts the SEC tournament with similar credentials — a 5-11 league record and, again, a No. 6 seed.

“Well, I’m not going to pray for a tornado,”  coach Mark Fox said.

Even so, Georgia’s improbable success in 2008 seems to have become a standard rallying cry for SEC underdogs who dream of a shocking run that would put them in the NCAA tournament.

“Two years ago, Georgia did it,”  LSU forward Tasmin Mitchell, whose team went 2-14 in SEC regular-season games this year, said here Wednesday. “We’re going to go out and play every game like it’s our last and try to get one of those spots like Georgia did.”

Georgia senior guard Ricky McPhee, who sat out the 2007-08 season as a transfer, recalled the “magical run” and said: “Hopefully, we’ll get on a run like that.”

Senior center …

Continue reading ‘I feel like we can make the same run without the tornado,’ Georgia player says »

An 8-63 road record! Two 1,000-yard rushers? Owens a first-round pick?

Some notes and numbers this morning:

– Georgia’s recent road record in men’s basketball might be even worse than you think. Yes, Saturday’s loss at LSU dropped the Dogs to 0-11 in opponents’ arenas for this season. But that merely continues a mind-boggling seven-year stretch of futility on the road. The Dogs are now 2-28 on the road over the past three seasons and a mind-boggling 8-63 over the past seven seasons. In five of the seven seasons, Georgia has won one road game or none. Horrific.

– Fascinating quote in a story by David Hale the other day on Georgia’s Caleb King-Washaun Ealey tailback tandem: “We’ve talked about it,” King said, “and we’re both pushing for 1,000 [yards rushing] apiece. I think we can do it.” That sent me to the record book. Georgia has never had two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season, of course, and has had only 10 seasons with one 1,000-yard rusher -– half of those seasons accounted for by Herschel Walker (1980-81-82) and Knowshon Moreno

Continue reading An 8-63 road record! Two 1,000-yard rushers? Owens a first-round pick? »