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 victory.

You can find the final version of my game story here, but a few points bear reiterating:

  • Take a look at Trey Thompkins‘ numbers. He led his team in points (23), rebounds (14) and assists (6).
  • Ricky McPhee’s loooong 3-pointer as the first half ended was huge.
  • Georgia outrebounded the Razorbacks 45-28 and outscored them on second-chance points 19-9.
  • Georgia’s defense was so strong down the stretch that Arkansas did not make a field goal in the final four minutes and 48 seconds.

Next, Vanderbilt.

“We understand we’re going to have to come with every punch we have because they’re going to play us hard,” Thompkins said. “We’re going to focus on them when we get back to the hotel as a team.”

It should  be an interesting game.  (And it’ll be another late one, scheduled to start at 9:45 p.m. Eastern but likely to start around 10 p.m.) Vanderbilt is a definite NCAA Tournament team, ranked No. 20 in the nation. But Georgia beat the Commodores by 14 points in Athens on Feb. 6 and lost to them by two points in overtime in Nashville on Feb. 24. And Vanderbilt players, in unusual candor, admitted earlier this week they’d prefer to play Arkansas than Georgia in the SEC quarterfinals.

“Georgia matches up well with us,” Vanderbilt forward Andre Walker told The Tennessean. “They have big strong guys. They’re really deep in the post. We haven’t given them our best shot, and they’ve played us really well.”

Thompkins and Travis Leslie, who combined for 44 points Thursday, came up big in both regular-season games against Vanderbilt.  In the victory in Athens, they scored 17 points apiece.  At Vandy, Leslie scored 22 and Thompkins 21.

So . . . what did you think of last night’s game? And what about tonight’s?

48 comments Add your comment

Barry

March 12th, 2010
4:00 am

Now let’s get a win over Vandy and we could play in the CBI. Not great but we’re showing definite signs of improvement.

English Bulldon

March 12th, 2010
4:21 am

Impossible to stay up late enough to watch this one from London, UK. Well, not impossible, but I don’t bounce back like I used to and I don’t want to feel like death the next day.

Second!

BIRDAWGONE

March 12th, 2010
5:23 am

Go DAWGS! (a shoutout from China)

VolsRule

March 12th, 2010
6:18 am

Too bad both can’t lose!!!!

UGA is ONE Gritty team – and Vandy is not only Gritty – but SAVY and does not choke at the end.

MY TAKE: Vandy will work to get either Tomkins or Leslie in foul trouble – and will pull away at the end of the game. Also – this game being in Nashville – big for Vandy.

IF Tomkins and Leslie both have big games – and decent support – UGA has a real good chance. but I think this is Vandy’s game to lose.

GO VOLS!

TheNumber34

March 12th, 2010
6:36 am

Last night we saw a Georgia team that played far from its best game. As a matter of fact, it was downright frustrating at times. Our inability to handle the press at certain times and careless turnovers had me throwing shoes at my T.V. set.

With that said, UGA did play with determination, now has some confidence going into this game and matches up very well against Vandy.

Dawgs will roll Vandy in front of the home crowd.

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 12th, 2010
7:02 am

Mark Fox will blow it just like Mark Richt. MARK it down!!!!!

TheNumber34

March 12th, 2010
7:06 am

Floundering Fox, the only one who blows ‘it’ here…..is you.

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 12th, 2010
7:16 am

#34 always wanting to live in the past of almost 30 years ago. Get over it !

PTC DAWG

March 12th, 2010
7:21 am

If you were throwing shoes at the TV because of a UGA BBALL game this year, you might have issues.

Nice win, beat Vandy…and good to know a Vol is following UGA BBALL.

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 12th, 2010
7:22 am

Any arrests after last nights game?

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 12th, 2010
7:25 am

You may wanna throw shoes at the UGA baseball team… those guys keep the beatdowns comming !

TopShelfDore

March 12th, 2010
7:31 am

It will be ‘one heck of a game’.

Sure post play is where it’ll be in this game but coaching will likely be the ‘trump card’ that allows Vandy to win. I’m not saying Coach Fox is lacking–only that he’s new to the SEC. Stalling’s 11 years at VU gives him an advantage…at least this year.

Vanderbilt has 3 bigs and I’d like to see them all on the court at the same time–although for short durations–throughout the game. The extra muscle is needed. Minimizing offensive rebounding by the Dawgs and getting them in foul trouble will help the Commodores win by 12.

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 12th, 2010
7:46 am

Enter your comments here

Hmmmm

March 12th, 2010
7:54 am

Stallings 11 years helped him in the first 2 games? UGA won by 14 and lost by 2, in overtime. I’d say Fox matched up quite well with someone who has 11 years and more talent. Coaching won’t be the difference for Vandy, but it might be for UGA.

Floundering Fox Hounds Batman!

March 12th, 2010
7:57 am

I hear Stallings is shaving his head for the game to get the dores pumped.

MDG

March 12th, 2010
8:15 am

34, I agree about the ball handling. I can think of three times when the PG had his pocket picked for an easy layup. They must get stronger hands and not leave the ball on a tee for other players to take it from them.

That said, they played great when they had to and today should be another exciting game.

Chris Barnes' Stone Hands

March 12th, 2010
8:23 am

TopShelfDore, I wouldn’t say coaching as much as the referee-ing will be important. The conspiracy theory is that the SEC wants it’s higher ranked teams to look good entering the tourney, just like in football where they worked so hard to get UF and ALA to the SECC. In the UGA-Vandy game in Nashville, the refs definately had a stronger whistle when it came to anything the Dogs did, and Vandy had a big advantage at the line. If Vandy gets more home and SEC cooking, the Dawgs won’t have a chance unless they are shooting nearly 60%. But I have a feeling the refs will be Vandy’s 6th, 7th and 8th men on the court.

Gator On the Loose

March 12th, 2010
8:24 am

Yawn, Yawn maybe get to .500. What a thrill.

HBTD

March 12th, 2010
8:34 am

Win or Lose, Mark Fox has me believing in the future of the program for the first time in a while. What he’s been able to do with the squad in his first year is amazing. The only thing this team needs is experience in knowing how to finish a game and a belief that they can win. They play solid defense, they have an inside and outside offense, they can play a half court offense or run in transition, they’re deep with big men (Thomkins, Price, Barnes, Jackson), Ricky McPhee comes out of nowhere to light it up from the 3 anytime he gets a chance, Ware plays a solid point and T. Leslie is arguably the most exciting player in the league. It’s a great time to be a Georgia Bulldog fan! Go Dawgs!!!

AltamahaDawg

March 12th, 2010
8:44 am

Floundering Fox, wouldn’t is be FAR les embarasing to live in the past than to live for somebody elses sports teams?

AltamahaDawg

March 12th, 2010
8:52 am

At least the Dawgs will be playing in front of a nice friendly impartial crowd tonight.

DawgBreath

March 12th, 2010
9:11 am

Great win last nite… Dawgs certainly have a shot tonite, but home cooking for the Dores will make it a tall order.

Our guard play is *really* spotty, has been all year… Ware would be a solid SEC backup, but he’s overmatched by most of the more athletic guards in the league. I’m sure he’s a good kid, and he’s hit some clutch shots for us this year (his 3 point shooting has improved dramatically as the season’s gone along), but most nights he’s a liability as a playmaker and as a defender.

That said, we’ve done some good things all year, and it’s fun to be watching good ball again. Thanks Coach Fox, and Go Dawgs!

TheDoctorIsIn

March 12th, 2010
9:28 am

Ah yes, the new psychological phenomenon of the internet age: InaneCommentMania. Defined as “the need to post inane and irrelevant comments on your rival’s blog to make up for certain physical shortcomings.” We are sorry about that bad luck, guys.

doyle, winder

March 12th, 2010
9:28 am

Before last night I was excited about the Dawgs BB future for the 1st time in years. Yes, the cake was pretty tasty. But now, the FoxDawgs have given me some icing, too. Sweet! GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!

[...] team to advance in yesterday’s first round.2.  The Bulldogs’ win over Arkansas was their first of the season outside of Georgia’s state lines.3.  Mark Fox was proud of his team’s performance.4.  The Dawgs’ defensive effort was [...]

AltamahaDawg

March 12th, 2010
10:06 am

We used to call that Short Man Syndrome.

J Dawg

March 12th, 2010
10:23 am

Floundering Fox Dawgs were not supposed to be good in hoops, and they’re not. Jackets were, and they’re not. Dawgs have just as good a chance to win thier con. tourney as Jackets. Pretty sad

Tech=nerds

Upstate Dawg

March 12th, 2010
10:46 am

I agree with Chris Barnes’ comments about the officiating the last time in Nashville. UGA took the ball in the lane and got whacked without a call while anyone breathing on AJ Oglivy was whistled. Fox is clearly a superior coach to Stallings. Of the three bigs, only one played more than 20 minutes last night so they should be fine. Arkansas pressed us all night so the guards are bound to be tired. But as we found out in Atlanta in ‘08, the Dawgs can hunker down when the odds are against them. Beat Vandy!

Can You Dig It

March 12th, 2010
10:51 am

10,000 comedians out of work and we get Floundering Fox on this blog….two shows nightly…what a tool he is!
Can You Dig It!

Tailback U

March 12th, 2010
11:01 am

House money rides easy, let’s go dogs!

Freddie G

March 12th, 2010
12:15 pm

This Bulldogs team has given fans a good reason for the renewed optimism for the future of the program under Coach Mark Fox. They play with discipline and focus although there were some careless tornovers in last nights game. I looked forward to their games win or lose, they have me staying up regardless of the time they are playing. Go Dawgs.

Mikey T

March 12th, 2010
1:01 pm

I find it amusing that, for once, a fan from a school other than VU is talking about how the refs might not be calling the game on an even keel. It must be a cold day in hell…

Bryan G.

March 12th, 2010
1:02 pm

YOu have to figure that the Dawgs have tired legs at this point. Georgia really is going to need quality minutes off the bench from one of its backcourt guys to have a chance to take down Vandy. Vandy won’t miss open shots behind the arc the way Arky did last night.

TheNumber34

March 12th, 2010
2:31 pm

Floundering whatever you are….the number 34 will live forever. It’s not a past thing…it’s a past, present and future. As a matter of fact, our beloved ‘34′ is still whooping ass today. Go ask that 26 year old dude who still has Herschel’s knuckle prints on his face.

bruce mac

March 12th, 2010
2:35 pm

Foundering Fox: King of the BS Bravado that is the Florida Gators. No facts, just BS and Brag.

AltamahaDawg

March 12th, 2010
3:02 pm

Talk about “punching somebody in the face!”

That’s the real deal there.(and not just not some fatbasturd talking crap about his crybaby fanbase)

Joe Hamilton

March 12th, 2010
3:14 pm

30-24. Man, they can’t move on from it. It frustrates them to the point where they become insane.

Barkin'Dog

March 12th, 2010
5:42 pm

It’s on the bench, boys. If the bench players can contribute and the Dawgs minimize TOs, they will prevail. Losing that OT game is still in their craw. Vandy is rested (compared to GA having played LN), but the D will be there to frustrate the ‘Dores and our RBs and free throws will make the difference in the end. When Travis lays down his first dunk at about the 3-min. mark, the game will be on. Trey’s 3s will be on target too. I’ve got a hunch McThree will push his UGA experience to another game. Then the championship game will be on the line. Anything can happen… it did before. Let’s go dancin’… woof-woof!

poopdawg

March 12th, 2010
6:07 pm

bruce mac , floundering fox is a Bama knothead. His shift at waffle house is over at 7:00 and he’s going to be pissed. Bama lost, and somebody dropped a bomb that flooded the mens room .

[...] See: Georgia Defeats Arkansas 77-64 in 1st Round of SEC Tournament – SicEmDawgs Dawgs pick a good time for first win of season outside Georgia – UGA Sports Blog (AJC’s Tim [...]

[...] Atlanta-Journal Constitution’s Tim Tucker notes that Georgia’s win in the opening round of the SEC Tournament was [...]

Georgia gets Vandy Tonight « MrSEC.com

March 12th, 2010
6:23 pm

[...] A high note in Nashville – ABH– Tired of talking about 2008 – AJC– A good time to win outside of GA – AJC– A hunch that Thompkins will be back – [...]

dallasdawg

March 12th, 2010
6:54 pm

JUST WIN BABY !!!

colorado bulldog

March 12th, 2010
7:22 pm

Very impressed with what Fox has done this year with a team that no one gave much hope. Reminds me of Hugh Durham early days: Did okay Nique’s FR year until he got hurt, lost 1st round of NIT (first postseason for UGA) next year, NIT final four the next and then, year after Nique left, ran table of SEC Tourny & went to NCAA final four beating teams along the way like St. John’s and defending champ UNC with Perkins & Jordan.

Even if they lose tonight (and playing a rested Vandy on their court will be tough), see good things in coming years especially if Thompkins stays around.

bruce mac

March 12th, 2010
7:31 pm

I guess I owe him an apology. I like Bama and they usually don’t stoop to all of the trash talk since they are the kings of college football. Why pick on the less privaleged?

Xes

March 12th, 2010
9:19 pm

Morninggame over here in Korea…. Go dawgs!

BuLLdawg

March 13th, 2010
6:00 am

Alabama is the ONLY SEC school on PROBATION in football at this time, serving THREE (3) YEARS starting June 11, 2009.

Alabama has had 3 PROBATION in football since The SEC current allignment in 1990, with 3 Major Infractions PROBATION football.

In fact, since the reallignment in 1990, NO SEC SCHOOL HAS MORE MAJOR INFRACTIONS PROBATION than Alabama in all sports.

Not even Auburn.

Danny Ford

March 13th, 2010
8:52 am

is,si this the same bru-mac that cant answer the trivia question about ”Who was the youngest football coach to ever win a NC …?