‘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 Albert Jackson thinks it’s possible.  “We probably have, all-around, more talent than that team had,” he said.   “If we play with the high level we can play with, I feel like we can make the same run without the tornado.”

Fox noted that a photo of the 2008 team holding the tournament trophy hangs in the Bulldogs’ locker room, where the players “see it every day.”

Beyond that, Fox isn’t getting too carried away with the flashback angle.

“Outside of telling them to pack for a week,” he said, “our complete focus has been on just playing well on Thursday night.” Georgia plays Arkansas in the last of the opening-round games at 9:45 p.m. (or shortly thereafter).

“I don’t think the tournament of 2008 or the tournament of 2000 is going to have a lot of impact on the tournament in 2010,” Fox said. “My guys need to play well when they turn that scoreboard on.”

———————————————

Arkansas had to weather some controversy leading up to tonight’s game against Georgia.

Freshman forward Marshawn Powell told reporters early in the week that “what this team needs is a leader” and “we haven’t had that all year” and vowed to try to fill the void.

Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said he discussed the comments with Powell, a member of the SEC’s all-freshman team. Pelphrey said he believes Powell was referring to suspensions and injuries taking some veteran Arkansas players off the court at times this season. Pelphrey also noted he previously had encouraged Powell to develop as a leader.

“Hopefully nobody reads into [the comments] anything . . . negative . . . other than that we are encouraging a young man who’s got a chance to be a tremendous player,” Pelphrey said.

——————————————————–

Georgia would have to win four games in the next four days to reach the NCAA Tournament. But the Bulldogs possibly could work their way into another postseason event.

The NIT? Doubtful, because that tournament has never taken a team with a sub-.500 overall record and Georgia (currently 13-16) would remain below .500 unless it wins the SEC tournament.

So how about the CBI or the CIT?

Many of you probably are asking: The what?

The College Basketball Invitational (CBI) is a 16-team event in its third year. It takes teams passed over by both the NCAA and NIT tournaments. Games are played on campuses. The tournament is single elimination until the final, which is a best-of-three-series. Oregon State won last year’s event.

The CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) is a 16-team event in its second year.  It, too, takes teams passed over by the NCAA and NIT.  Its field last year consisted entirely of teams from mid-major conferences. Games are played on campuses. Old Dominion won the event last year.

So, barring a 2008-style miracle in the SEC tournament, would Georgia be interested in playing in the CBI or CIT?

Fox wants to see how his team plays in the SEC tournament before answering definitively.

“I think [this team has] been really committed to being as good as they can be,” Fox said outside Georgia’s locker room here Wednesday. “That’s why I think if they have a terrific tournament, then I’d certainly go to [athletics director] Damon [Evans] and say, ‘Let’s see what’s out there.’

“This group has represented Georgia well, but I also am of the belief that postseason tournaments should be a reward for a quality year. And we need to have a good [SEC] tournament for us to really say, ‘Hey, we’ve had a good enough year to move on.’”

———————————————–

Albert Jackson, the Georgia center, said Tuesday that he “definitely” expects sophomore Trey Thompkins to be back at UGA, rather than in the NBA, next season.  So Fox was asked Wednesday: Do you agree with that assessment?

“Do I think he’ll be back?” Fox replied. “I’m not sure I have an opinion on that yet. Or if I do, not one that I’ll tell you.”

Fox said he’s sure that he’ll meet with Thompkins and his family about the matter after the season.

“I’ll get all the information that they need me to get,” Fox said. “My only piece of advice will be that they listen to the 30 general managers who make the decisions on draft day. And then I’ll assist them and him in the process however I can.”

Asked how high, in general, he believes an underclassman needs to be projected to go in the draft to justify entering it, Fox said: “I think it’s different for everybody. I think any kid should have a guaranteed money spot, which would be first round. That would be my opinion. But it’s about a kid’s life. It’s about a career, not a cup of coffee, but it’s about a kid’s life. And it is their decision, not mine.”

Thompkins said Tuesday and again Wednesday that he hasn’t thought much about the matter.

“It’s not even on my mind, to be honest with you,” he said.  “I haven’t made my decision yet.”

More from Nashville:

– Former walk-on Ricky McPhee (McThree to his teammates)  is living his dream as a Dog.


87 comments Add your comment

Yellow Fuzz

March 10th, 2010
7:29 pm

DAWGS RULE

March 10th, 2010
7:29 pm

SD Dawg

March 10th, 2010
7:30 pm

All things possible! Not probable, but possible. Been fun watching this team. I just wish they could put together a little runa and sneak into the NIT so they can get some more practice.

Yellow Fuzz

March 10th, 2010
7:31 pm

Hey Dawgs Rule,

Came up a little short again didn’t you little man?

SouthGAdawg

March 10th, 2010
7:35 pm

Anyone know if you can get the game on Direct TV tomorrow night? Channel?

VAdawg

March 10th, 2010
7:37 pm

yellow fuzz, not like your yellow jackets against us in football/basketball this year

south

March 10th, 2010
7:42 pm

Yellow Fuzz- as much as I see you posting on these blogs, you must be retired and living the high life….why don’t you pony up to buy out CPH contract?

Herschel Talker

March 10th, 2010
8:05 pm

Yellow Fuzz -

Demaryius Thomas’ alligator arms came up a little short on that fourth down, no?

30-24.
73-66.

In short, you suck.

proud dawg

March 10th, 2010
8:06 pm

I think they will win at least 2 games and if they still have their legs who knows???? Go DAWGS! 30-24

proud dawg

March 10th, 2010
8:08 pm

yellow fuzz or is that yellow snow?

We will have to admit as loyal DAWG fans that some of our best players have been Reggie Ball and D. Thomas? We love those guys. They provide the gift that keeps on giving! Go DAWGS

Ledhead

March 10th, 2010
9:09 pm

Big time recruits want early playing time. Georgia has playing time to offer including a brand new facility to train in. Fox will find a way to tie all of this together for a run at an NCCA bid next year. Leslie and Tompkins will not be the Stafford/ Moreno of 08. The SEC is ready and so are the Dawgs. Thanks coach Fox, we are ripe for the harvest.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

March 10th, 2010
9:30 pm

H. Talker is one to talk… losing 17 out of 20.

In short, you suck. But you’ve got that slogan thing going for you. That you run a state. Why don’t you try winning a significant championship. (In mens sports, ladies…)

nerd nation

March 10th, 2010
9:32 pm

love to see the flagboys on here!

UGA 1980

March 10th, 2010
9:54 pm

You have to love Mark Fox! He gets more production out of his players than any coach in any sport I know. Mark Fox elevates his players to a higher level. You can tell he teaches and inspires his players to play better than his players thought they were capable of playing. Georgia basketball is now fun to watch, and it is going to get better! UGA basketball is a sleeping giant.

UGAKev

March 10th, 2010
9:59 pm

WE ARE BEHIND YOU DAWGS,THE BULLDAWG NATION,BELIEVE ONE GAME AT A TIME AND YOU CAN DO IT,GO DAWGS!

Laughing

March 10th, 2010
11:24 pm

Heck yes, Mark Fox elevates those boys. Last year they won 12 games. This year, why, they won 13. Now that’s production! You tell ‘em UGA 1980. And by the way, thanks Jasper Sanks.

Tailback U

March 10th, 2010
11:31 pm

Go ahead and pray for that tornado coach, pray for a
red and black one to be specific.
Because if this team doesn’t play like there’s no
tomorrow it will be a very short Nashville visit.

Rocky Topper

March 11th, 2010
5:44 am

Go Hawgs! Pig Soooooie!

Stinger

March 11th, 2010
5:46 am

I say go for it. The tourn. of loosers.

Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
7:41 am

proud dawg

March 10th, 2010
8:08 pm
yellow fuzz or is that yellow snow?

We will have to admit as loyal DAWG fans that some of our best players have been Reggie Ball and D. Thomas? We love those guys. They provide the gift that keeps on giving! Go DAWGS

WOULD THAT MEAN THAT STRATFORD AND MORINO WERE TWO OF OUR BEST PLAYERS WHEN WE BITCH SLAPPED YOUR MAKE BELIEVE NUMBER ONE RANKED AZZ’S IN YOUR YARD 45-42? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. NICE LOGIC AH!

@laughing

March 11th, 2010
8:18 am

If you can’t tell the difference between this year’s UGA teams, and those under Felton, well you’re probably a lost cause.

Too Easy

March 11th, 2010
8:22 am

YF: Stafford and Moreno put up 42 points. Wasn’t their shortcomings that caused your win. Nice logic, though.

yellow fuzz ass kicker

March 11th, 2010
8:26 am

Could I meet you in a alley somewhere, or I will come meet you at your mothers basement for a good ole fashioned woodshed bitch slap!
Can you say TAR HEEL chump.

CW

March 11th, 2010
8:55 am

I swear any Tech fan that comes to a UGA blog to badmouth the dawgs THIS YEAR, is mentally challenged and should spend their time trying to make improvements in the quality of their life. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT!!! We beat you in BOTH football and basketball. GO AWAY!! Florida fans? That unfortunately is a different story but TECH FANS??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
30-24
73-66
THAT’S IT!! GAME OVER!!! YOU LOSE!!! Try again next year nerds!

go dawgs

March 11th, 2010
8:56 am

Game is on Channel 17 (peachtree tv)

AndyC

March 11th, 2010
9:53 am

I’m a Dawg fan but I do think it’s a little silly to play in the third or fouth best post season tourney. I think the NIT is barely meaningful and anything beyond that is a waste of time for any major college program. I do like the idea of the mid-major schools having their own tourney…but UGA ain’t no mid-major so stay away.

Hey ........Laughing

March 11th, 2010
9:55 am

I suspect when you look in the mirror in the morning, you have to duck. The mirror is laughing at you because it saw your face when Thomas MUFFED Johnny Unitas Nesbitt’s pass. AAAAHAHAHAHA

We all know UGA BB is a work in progress ….for sure. BUT UGA PISTOL WHIIPED TECH!!

AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA

SportsPaige

March 11th, 2010
10:18 am

Go Dawgs! One game at a time.

UGA Rules!!

March 11th, 2010
10:32 am

It would be more embarassing to play in those two tournaments than staying at home to begin with!!!

ASHVILLE DAWG

March 11th, 2010
11:15 am

Thanks “go Dawgs ” for letting us know where to find the game.

Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
11:19 am

Yeah that’s right! I am a complete loser.

[...] in Nashville before he’ll accept a bid to a lesser postseason tourney.9.  By lesser tourney, we’re talking about the CBI and CIT.  Yep, nothing like two teams with losing records battling it out in the [...]

Halberstram

March 11th, 2010
11:41 am

I thought the NIT had passed a rule that no team could receive a bid without a record over .500.

Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
12:21 pm

Hahahaha

For the record, I could care less about what georgia or Georgia Tech football did in the 1800 or 1900’s. I care about what they have done in the Paul Johnson’s era.

And the best I can tell that would be as follows:

1. 45-42 bitch slapping (and 3rd qtr 26-0 BITCH BEAT DOWN), between the hedges, against your overrated and over hyped preseason number one azzes. I was there. You had a 16 point lead at the half, then got STUNG and walked through all that tailgate trash you left on campus to your trucks in stunned silence. Don’t even try to deny it AH’s.

2. You beating us 30-24 was YOUR “signature” win for the year. Then you advanced to the SEC # 10 Bowl in Shreveport where you beat a team ranked in the top 60. On the other hand, we won OUR conference championship and advanced to a BCS (non sherevport) bowl. We lost there by 10 to a very good Iowa team which ended the year ranked 9th (about 40 slots higher than your mouthy azzes). At the end of the day we finsihed 13th in the final BCS polls and you, with your Bobby Bowden vote were what 30th?

Now you tell me (and I hope you can hear me) why I should listen to anything the dog nation has to say. Hahahaha.

STFU and I’ll see you AH’s in Athens in Novemeber for the sequel to

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((45-42 )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Dawg in Athens

March 11th, 2010
12:29 pm

yellow Fuzz: I have had more than enough of you’re sack of sh$$ lies. Look me up when you come back to Athens AH! Let;s see how big you talk in person “little man”.

italian_29

March 11th, 2010
12:31 pm

I have to agree with andyc, the Dawgs shouldn’t go to a tourney this year unless they pull the upset in the SEC Tourney and qualify for the NCAA, these two LOWER tourneys are jsut not what they need as a “atta boy” and to Yellow Fuzz, boy you were missing in action for almost a year, we saw you every day for nov 08 to nov 09 with the 45-42 and CPJ thought it was SO great that he had Championship rings made to commemorate the score. Then you just vanished after 30-24 son. You can keep quite about your Yellow Bugs, until you have something to crow about, which right now 30-24 & 73-66, you don’t bug, so in short STFU!

Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
12:32 pm

I;m in junior high school and live in my mom’s basement.

Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
12:41 pm

Too Easy

March 11th, 2010
8:22 am
YF: Stafford and Moreno put up 42 points. Wasn’t their shortcomings that caused your win. Nice logic, though.

I SURE DID SEE A LOT OF 3 AND OUTS FROM THEM WHEN IT MATTERED LIILE MAN. ESPECIALLY IN THE 4TH QUARTER. MAYBE YOU HAD ALREADY LEFT WITH A LOT OF YOUR OTHER SPOILED AH FANS

Tech=insignificant

March 11th, 2010
12:44 pm

Yellow Fuzz,
…and how many bowl games and top 10 finishes have you had with Fatso as the coach?

Tech=insignificant

March 11th, 2010
12:46 pm

“3 and outs”? Obviously you were NOT at that game, little man. I don’t think there was one 3 and out the entire game. Stafford had 400 yards passing and 5 TD’s!

Tech=insignificant

March 11th, 2010
12:48 pm

BTW, little boy, why are you trolling UGA blogs?

Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
12:49 pm

Tech=insignificant

March 11th, 2010
12:46 pm
“3 and outs”? Obviously you were NOT at that game, little man. I don’t think there was one 3 and out the entire game. Stafford had 400 yards passing and 5 TD’s!

CHECK THOSE LAST TWO DRIVES IN THE 4TH QUARTER LITTLER MAN

Tech=insignificant

March 11th, 2010
12:49 pm

Little boy, did we finish ranked 49th or 30th? Whichever it was, we still kicked that Nerd butt!!!

Tech=insignificant

March 11th, 2010
12:50 pm

Hey look everybody, little boy (YF) can copy and paste. You must be computer engineer from Nerdland!!!

Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
12:52 pm

I pee my bed:)

BAMA STAN

March 11th, 2010
12:56 pm

You know, yellow fuzz does have a point. The last two years Tech has been on the rise and the Dawgs have been sort of flat. Could it be a coincidence?

Ringold Dawg

March 11th, 2010
12:59 pm

Let’s see how good the nerdherd does this fall now that all there good players have left. LOL. I bet they are the ones that goes to the Shreveport bowl next year and omg, if that happens am I going to rip into the amber fuzzmeister.

reality

March 11th, 2010
1:00 pm

Hey Yellow Fuzz. FO!

Hey Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
1:01 pm

Yellow Fuzz

March 11th, 2010
1:04 pm

Tech=insignificant

March 11th, 2010
12:49 pm
Little boy, did we finish ranked 49th or 30th? Whichever it was, we still kicked that Nerd butt!!!

WHY DON’T YOU LOOK IT UP AH! INSTEAD OF ALWAYS HAVING SOME ONE DO IT FOR YOU. WHAT A TYPICAL georgia TOOL.