Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

In retrospect, maybe Hugh Durham hasn’t been honored enough

Georgia made 12 postseason appearances -- including its only Final Four in 1983 -- in 17 seasons under coach Hugh Durham. He and the '83 team wil be recognized before Saturday's game against Mississippi State. (AJC photo)

Georgia made 12 postseason appearances — including its only Final Four in 1983 — in 17 seasons under coach Hugh Durham. He and the '83 team wil be recognized before Saturday's game against Mississippi State. (AJC photo)

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of its historic run, Georgia’s 1983 Final Four basketball team will be back in Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday. So will its coach.

Hugh Durham is 75 years old now and long since retired. In fact, he has been away from Georgia for as long now as he was its basketball coach. Seventeen years it has been, and the longer Durham has been gone the more the Bulldogs have come to appreciate him.

What has become increasingly evident since Durham was forced out in 1995 – the Dogs were 18-10 that year, if you can believe it – is winning basketball at Georgia is hard. Just ask the six coaches that have had the job since Durham was ousted because he wasn’t winning enough.

The latest among those to try is Mark Fox, who is finding the …

Continue reading In retrospect, maybe Hugh Durham hasn’t been honored enough »

Bulldogs overcome 25 turnovers to beat George Washington 52-41

ATHENS — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Nemanja Djurisic each scored 17 points and Georgia overcame 25 turnovers as the Bulldogs defeated George Washington 52-41 Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

The win was the fourth in a row for the Bulldogs (6-7), who open SEC play on Wednesday at No. 13 Florida (9-2).

“That’s a good win,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We hold them to 20 percent (shooting). I don’t think they made a 3. We win the rebounding battle (39 to 31). We shoot 48 percent from the field. There’s some good-looking things on that stat sheet. Then you look down and you see the turnover column, in which we have 25.

“I was telling my wife, I think our team needs school to start … as poorly as we were thinking out there tonight.”

The Colonials (6-7) did fail to make a 3-point basket. In fact, they were 0-for-12 from behind the arc. The last time Georgia held on opponent without a 3-pointer was 261 games ago when it hosted Nevada in 2004. The coach of the Wolfpack …

Continue reading Bulldogs overcome 25 turnovers to beat George Washington 52-41 »

Bulldogs ‘win one for the kids,’ 58-49 over Mercer

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

ATHENS – Turns out a building full of school children was exactly what the Georgia Bulldogs needed.

More than 4,000 kids had Stegeman Coliseum rocking with high-pitched noise for Tuesday’s 11:30 a.m. tip against Mercer. The Bulldogs responded with just their third victory of the season, 58-49 over Mercer.

And while the children, who came from Athens area elementary schools, were invited well before last week’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the significance of their presence was not lost upon coach Mark Fox or his players.

“With what happened in Connecticut, you couldn’t look at those kids without thinking about it,” Fox said of the Dec. 14th shooting, which left 27 dead. “I mean, I’ve got kids who go to elementary school. I can’t imagine what some of those families are going through. So often in this country we lose sight of the things that are the most important. . . . So today did feel different, and I hope those kids had a great time because …

Continue reading Bulldogs ‘win one for the kids,’ 58-49 over Mercer »

Foul shooting derails Georgia in humiliating overtime loss to Iona, 81-78

Georgia's Brandon Morris gets his shot contested by Iona's Curtis Dennis (33) and Tavon Sledge during the Bulldogs' 81-78 overtime loss on Saturday. (AP photo by Richard Hamm)

Georgia's Brandon Morris gets his shot contested by Iona's Curtis Dennis (33) and Tavon Sledge during the Bulldogs' 81-78 overtime loss on Saturday. (AP photo by Richard Hamm)

ATHENS – You got the feeling when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made a half-court shot at the halftime buzzer, this might be Georgia’s night.

It wasn’t.

Instead, the Bulldogs did what has been typical of them this season. They missed free throws and key shots down the stretch and watched in disbelief as Iona made all the clutch plays to win 81-78 in overtime.

The loss dropped Georgia to 2-7 – its worst nine-game start since 1970 — and adds to the list of defeats to small-time opponents, including Youngstown State and Southern Miss. Mercer (5-5) is up next on Tuesday.

The Gaels, a New York team out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, improved to 4-4.

“That was a tough loss,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “I’m sick of losing, as our team is, but we’ve got to play better basketball. That’s taking …

Continue reading Foul shooting derails Georgia in humiliating overtime loss to Iona, 81-78 »

Struggling Bulldogs head to Georgia Tech looking for offensive diversity

ATHENS — It’s not to difficult to figure out how to defend Georgia at this juncture in the basketball season. The Bulldogs’ scoring leader is sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with 17.6 points per game. No other player is averaging double figures.

Suffice it to say, Georgia is in desperate need of offensive diversification.

“Kentavious is doing all he can,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said Monday. “We need somebody else to finish some plays. … We can’t put it all on one guy’s shoulders. That’s probably the biggest issue right now.”

Tuesday night would be a good time for that somebody to step up. The Bulldogs (2-5) are heading into Atlanta to face rival Georgia Tech (4-2) at new McCamish Pavilion. In order to score its first victory over a major-college opponent, Georgia needs someone other than Caldwell-Pope to put the ball in the basket.

That starts in the paint. Sophomore Nemanja Djurisic, a 6-foot-9 sophomore forward, is currently the Bulldogs’ No. 2 scorer at 8.3 points …

Continue reading Struggling Bulldogs head to Georgia Tech looking for offensive diversity »

Georgia’s Andy Landers cements his place in history with 800th win

Move over Summitt and Auriemma, scoot over Krzyzewski and Smith. You need to make room for Georgia’s Andy Landers.

The Bulldogs’ 43-year women’s basketball coach gained entry into an exclusive club with the Lady Bulldogs’ 94-57 win over Savannah State Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum. Including his time at Roane State, the only women’s basketball coach Georgia has ever had now owns 882 career wins.

Following is a complete report from UGA Sports Communications on Landers’ landmark achievement:

ATHENS – Stegeman Coliseum witnessed history on Tuesday night, as Georgia’s Andy Landers became only the eighth head coach in basketball history – men’s or women’s – to record 800 wins at one Division I institution.

Landers, now in his 34th season as Lady Bulldogs head coach, joined a list including women’s head coaches Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma and men’s coaches such as Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith. Landers, who is still the only full-time women’s basketball coach the University …

Continue reading Georgia’s Andy Landers cements his place in history with 800th win »

Basketball Bulldogs in Big Apple to face No. 1 Indiana

Atlanta's Tony Parker, who chose UCLA over Georgia and several other schools last spring, is averaging 6.7 points and 12.5 minutes per game for the Bruins. Both teams are playing in New York City tonight. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Atlanta's Tony Parker, who chose UCLA over Georgia and several other schools last spring, is averaging 6.7 points and 12.5 minutes per game for the Bruins. Both teams are playing in New York City tonight. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

What’s little ol’ Georgia and its work-in-progress basketball team doing up in big ol’ New York to face storied Indiana and its No. 1-ranked Hoosiers?

Well, exactly what coach Mark Fox wants.

Certainly it’s not ideal that the Bulldogs (1-2) are heading into the bright lights of the Progressive Legends Classic tournament with one of their younger and less experienced groups in a while. But since taking over Georgia’s basketball team, it has been Fox’s philosophy to get his program on the biggest stages possible as often as possible.

“When I came to Georgia, I felt like we needed to get in as many national events as we could and get on television as much as we could because I just thought we needed to establish a presence,” said Fox, who came to …

Continue reading Basketball Bulldogs in Big Apple to face No. 1 Indiana »

After falling to Southern Miss in OT, Bulldogs head to New York to face No. 1 Indiana

ATHENS – For Georgia, the first half of the Progressive Legends Classic was hard. The second half figures to be a lot harder.

The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 in the tournament with a 62-60 loss to Southern Miss in overtime Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum. Now the Bulldogs (1-2) head up to New York City for the “championship rounds” of this 12-team, four-game event. There, in the sparkling confines of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Georgia will face No. 1-ranked Indiana Monday night. They will play either No. 13-ranked UCLA or Georgetown on Tuesday, depending on which teams win.

To say the early outlook for Georgia this season is bleak wouldn’t be strong enough.

“We haven’t played well out of the gate, but we have a lot of opportunities in front of us,” Georgia coach Mark Fox. “It’s a game at a time and, with this group, it’s a day at a time. There’s so much to learn from this game. I thought that all of our freshmen, who I thought really hurt us the last time out, were all …

Continue reading After falling to Southern Miss in OT, Bulldogs head to New York to face No. 1 Indiana »

Georgia basketball addresses backcourt needs by signing JJ Frazier, Juwan Parker

By the way, Wednesday was the first day of the early signing period for NCAA basketball. And the Georgia Bulldogs took full advantage.

Bulldogs coach Mark Fox on Wednesday announced the signing of JJ Frazier, a point guard from Glennville, and Juwan Parker, a shooting guard from Tulsa, Okla. Both will help address Georgia’s backcourt needs after it loses seniors Sherrard Brantley and Vincent Williams after this season. CLICK HERE to read more about the the newest Hoop Dogs.

Frazier is beginning his senior season at Faith Baptist Christian Academy in Ludowici. He averaged 26.2 points, 4.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game last season for the Crusaders, who won 33 games in 2012. The 5-9, 160-pound guard is considered the state’s top prospect at his position in the Class of 2013.

Parker is currently a senior at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. He averaged 20.5 points and 9.4 rebounds as a junior at Washington, which won Oklahoma 5A state championships in …

Continue reading Georgia basketball addresses backcourt needs by signing JJ Frazier, Juwan Parker »

UGA AD Greg McGarity likes direction of basketball program under Mark Fox

Georgia coach Mark Richt, here with point guard Vincent Williams, hasn't won big with the Bulldogs. He's 50-46 entering his fourth season. But AD Greg McGarity believes Fox is "doing things the right way" and building a strong foundation for the future. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Georgia coach Mark Fox, here with point guard Vincent Williams, hasn't won big with the Bulldogs. He's 50-46 entering his fourth season. But AD Greg McGarity believes Fox is "doing things the right way" and building a strong foundation for the future. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

ATHENS — The fourth season of the Mark Fox era of Georgia basketball gets under way Friday when the Bulldogs play host to Jacksonville in the season opener at Stegeman Coliseum.

Generally the fourth year of a coach’s tenure is thought to be a make-or-break time in the ruthless world of modern college athletics. As Fox himself pointed out in the preseason, this is the first year he has recruited every player on his roster.

But Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity doesn’t sound like an administrator who is looking to throw down any ultimatums this season.

“I have all the confidence in the world Mark’s going to lead our program in the right way and in a way we can all be proud of,” McGarity said. “I …

Continue reading UGA AD Greg McGarity likes direction of basketball program under Mark Fox »

Bulldogs welcome Young Harris, Pete Herrmann for basketball exhibition

ATHENS — Season No. 4 for Georgia men’s basketball coach Mark Fox gets under way tonight at 7 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs play host to Young Harris — coached by former UGA interim head coach Pete Herrmann — in an exhibition game. Georgia’s regular-season opener is Nov. 9 against Jacksonville.

The Georgia Bulldogs will welcome back Pete Herrmann on Friday. Herrmann finished a six-year tenue with the Bulldogs as interim head coach. He's now head coach at Young Harris. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

The Georgia Bulldogs will welcome back Pete Herrmann on Friday. Herrmann finished a six-year tenue with the Bulldogs as interim head coach. He's now head coach at Young Harris. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Asked what he hoped to see out of this first public outing, Fox said: “Certainly we want to be able to just play in front of a crowd, relax and learn how to play in front of people. That’s really not something we’ve done to this point yet.”

Georgia’s a little ahead of the game in that respect. The Bulldogs played four exhibition games in Europe late this summer. “We had a good crowd in one game,” Fox said, “but none of them spoke English.”

The Bulldogs will be trying …

Continue reading Bulldogs welcome Young Harris, Pete Herrmann for basketball exhibition »

SEC Basketball Media Day notebook

HOOVER, Ala. – Georgia men’s basketball coach Mark Fox insists he was disappointed when the SEC schedule came out and showed, for the first time in almost a half-century, no game at Kentucky for the Bulldogs.

“We’ve got to go to Arkansas; we’ve got to go to Missouri; we’ve got to go to Tennessee; we have to go to Florida; we have to go just about everywhere,” Fox said. “I mean, why not send us to Rupp (Arena), too?

“We like to play there. It’s a fun place to coach and play. So I was a little disappointed.”

You might have expected a different reaction, given that the Bulldogs’ all-time record against the Wildcats in Lexington, Ky., is 5-57.

The SEC schedule format is different than in the past because of the league’s expansion from 12 teams to 14 and from 16 conference games to 18. Each team has one designated opponent that it will play twice every season — South Carolina in Georgia’s case — while other home-and-home opponents will rotate from season to season.

This season …

Continue reading SEC Basketball Media Day notebook »

New teams command attention at SEC hoops Media Day

HOOVER, Ala. – Missouri is still seeking its first SEC win in football, but it figures to find faster success in its new league in basketball.

According to a preseason media survey, Missouri already is regarded as the third-best men’s basketball team in the 14-member SEC — behind only Kentucky, which won the national championship last season, and Florida, which reached the Elite Eight. And Missouri might have the league’s best player, junior point guard Phil Pressey, voted the SEC preseason player of the year by the same media panel.

The new teams on the block, Missouri and Texas A&M, were popular topics of conversation at the SEC’s annual Basketball Media Day, held here Thursday.

“They’re going to make us a bigger and deeper and better league,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “They’re good programs, both of them.”

Much of the discussion Thursday focused on Missouri, which was ranked among the nation’s top five teams for much of last season and won its final Big 12 …

Continue reading New teams command attention at SEC hoops Media Day »

Georgia Bulldogs getting down with ‘Gangnam Style’ video parody

ATHENS – Georgia’s basketball players are getting down, “Gangnam Style.”

The Bulldogs’ men’s and women’s basketball players, along with mascots “Hairy Dawg,” “Spike” and some UGA students, recently shot a video on campus in which they parody the popular dance song by Korean pop star “PSY,” which is currently sweeping the nation. The video was first unveiled this past Friday night when the teams held their preseason “2012 Basketbash” event at Stegeman Coliseum and will likely be shown again on the video board at Sanford Stadium during a football game.

“[Associate promotions director] Emily Deitz and her staff wanted to do something with our teams to show them in a fun and entertaining light,” said Alan Thomas, Georgia’s associate athletic director for marketing and promotions. “So they got both our teams together with our Dance Dawgs to show them the steps and they had a lot of fun with it. Some of our guys, like Kenny Gaines, he was all over it. They worked with some groups to …

Continue reading Georgia Bulldogs getting down with ‘Gangnam Style’ video parody »

Bulldogs eager for Marcus Thornton to be healthy as basketball practice begins

When healthy, Marcus has proven to be a physical inside presence and strong rebounder for Georgia. (AJC photo by Curtis Comption)

When healthy, Marcus has proven to be a physical inside presence and strong rebounder for Georgia. (AJC photo by Curtis Comption)

ATHENS — Marcus Thornton said the last time he felt 100 percent healthy was the semifinals of the state high school playoffs his senior year at Westlake High.

That day Thornton suffered a bizarre injury. He sprained his left ankle jumping up in the air to chest bump a teammate. Thornton, who was named Mr. Georgia Basketball that year, has been dealing with one injury or another ever since.

Now a junior at the University of Georgia, the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward is still trying to get well. He’s coming off his second knee surgery – he’s had one on each leg – but is oh so close to feeling normal again as the Bulldogs prepare to open the season.

“I’m getting there,” said Thornton, who also has dealt with a staph infection his right elbow while at Georgia. “Ever since I’ve been here I haven’t really felt well. So it’d be nice to feel …

Continue reading Bulldogs eager for Marcus Thornton to be healthy as basketball practice begins »

Expectations high for Georgia’s women’s basketball team

A quick update on Georgia’s women’s basketball team, which began practice this past Sunday. Coach Andy Landers met with reporters Tuesday. . . .

GEORGIA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL.

  • Last season: 22-9, 11-5 SEC
  • Starters returning: 4 – F Jasmine Hassell (13.0 ppg), G Khallidah Miller (12.4), F/G Anne Marie Armstrong (11.5), G Jasmine James (10.6)
  • Starters lost: 1 – G Meredith Mitchell (9.2 ppg)
  • Lettermen returning: 5 – G Erika Ford (5.5 ppg), F Krista Donald (5.0), F Tamika Willis (3.5), F Ebony Jones (2.0), G Danielle Bennett (1.7)
  • Newcomers: 5 – G Tiara Griffin (5-7), F Merritt Hempe (6-2), G/F Shacobia Barbee (5-10), G Marjorie Butler (5-8), F Kaelyn Causwell (6-4)

COACH ANDY LANDERS

On general outlook . . .

“Tempered excitement, this time around. . . . I like this team, I like this senior class and I like what they did in the offseason. They worked extremely hard and I like the way they handled their business. I like the way they talk; I like the way the walk. Their heads are in …

Continue reading Expectations high for Georgia’s women’s basketball team »

TE Jay Rome to play hoops again, and other basketball news

ATHENS – We interrupt this Georgia football panic attack to bring you this important news bulletin: It’s basketball time, or at least about to be.

The Georgia women’s team started practices this past Sunday and the men’s team gets under way on Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum. Both squads are going big with the old “Midnight Madness” theme, only rules this year will allow such events to start as early as 5 p.m. this year. The “2012 Georgia Basketbash” will run from 7-10 p.m. Admission is free and there will be lots of giveaways and such in addition to a sneak-a-peak at the team.

To that end, men’s coach Mark Fox and Lady Bulldogs’ coach Andy Landers held a joint news conference Tuesday to talk about the upcoming season. Some players are supposed to be available later.

In the meantime, I figured I’d give you a quick what-you-need-to-know update and share of some of the insights on the men’s team. So here you go . . .

GEORGIA MEN’S BASKETBALL.

  • Last season: 15-17, 5-11 …

Continue reading TE Jay Rome to play hoops again, and other basketball news »

Georgia’s Katrina McClain heads into Basketball Hall of Fame tonight

You might think Katrina McClain is kicked back and relaxed in retirement these days in her hometown of Charleston, S.C.

Not exactly. She’s relaxed when she’s not working with her foundation to prevent childhood obesity, writing children’s books, running basketball camps or raising her three children, Malachi, Emmanuel, and Genesis.

“I’m trying to keep busy and impact youth as much as I can,” said the author of “Our World,” published in October.

Oh, she’s also busy writing speeches for Hall of Fame inductions. That’s what she’s been doing lately. The former UGA All-American will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall tonight in Springfield, Mass.

“You always have a buzz in your stomach,” said McClain, who lists coach Andy Landers, Georgia teammate Teresa Edwards, Julius “Dr. J” Irving, and coach Vivian Stringer among her guests for tonight’s ceremony. “It’s the excitement of it. My biggest worry is making sure I don’t leave anybody out in my speech. They only …

Continue reading Georgia’s Katrina McClain heads into Basketball Hall of Fame tonight »

UGA hoops schedule set; no trip to Kentucky

Georgia’s 2012-13 men’s basketball schedule, announced Friday, includes two games against Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M but only one game against each of the eight other SEC opponents.

The schedule format is different than in the past because of the SEC’s expansion from 12 teams to 14 and from 16 conference games to 18.

Under the format approved by SEC schools in June, each team has one designated opponent that it will play twice every season – South Carolina in Georgia’s case – while other home-and-home opponents will rotate from year to year.

As a result, for the first time since the 1963-64 season, Georgia will not have a road game against Kentucky.

The Bulldogs’ lone game against Kentucky, the defending NCAA champion, is scheduled for March 7 in Athens, the next-to-last game of the regular season. (Georgia’s all-time record against the Wildcats in Lexington, Ky., is 5-57.)

In another rarity, Georgia’s schedule includes only one game against …

Continue reading UGA hoops schedule set; no trip to Kentucky »

Marijuana charges dropped against UGA basketball player Donte Williams

ATHENS — Georgia basketball player Donte Williams told media gathered at Stegeman Coliseum on Monday that the marijuana charges leveled against him in May have been dismissed and vehemently proclaimed he does not do drugs.

Reporters came for a press conference to advance the Bulldogs’ upcoming 10-day trip to Italy for three exhibition games. But before that event got underway, Williams took a seat next head coach Mark Fox at a table on a podium in the Stegeman interview room and asked to make a statement. Following is what Williams’ said:

“I know everybody here is aware of the incident that took place on May 25th. First I want to apologize for bringing negative attention to the University and towards me team and towards my family. But I want the truth to be known that I don’t do drugs. Soon after the incident I took a drug test; passed my drug test. I came up here and passed my drug test and took another drug test for the court and passed that drug test. The case has been …

Continue reading Marijuana charges dropped against UGA basketball player Donte Williams »

New rules help UGA’s Mark Fox get young hoops Dogs ready for season

Georgia coach Mark Fox feels new rules that allow coaches to work with players over the summer, coupled with a team trip to Italy in August, will help the young Bulldogs develop quickly for next season. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Georgia coach Mark Fox feels new rules that allow coaches to work with players over the summer, coupled with a team trip to Italy in August, will help the young Bulldogs develop quickly for next season. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Got a few minutes with Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox on an SEC teleconference call yesterday. The Bulldogs’ fourth-year coach, coming off a 15-17 season in which they failed earn a postseason tournament bid, sounded upbeat and confident about the prospects for the coming season.

“This is a team I’m looking forward to coaching,” said Fox, who is 50-46 (19-29 SEC)  since coming to UGA from Nevada. “Unlike last year where we had lost so much productivity, this year I think we go in returning a great deal of the previous team and I think we’ll have a group that will certainly be more experienced. As they mature physically and get a little older and work in the weight room, they will also be more physical, which was certainly an issue for us …

Continue reading New rules help UGA’s Mark Fox get young hoops Dogs ready for season »

Catching up with D.A. Layne, who earns a college degree at 33

When Georgia basketball player D.A. Layne left school early for the NBA draft 11 years ago, he made a promise to two important people in his life.

“I promised my mother and my grandmother that I’d eventually get my degree,” Layne said Thursday. “My grandma passed two years ago, and on her deathbed we spoke again about it, and she really stressed to me that would be one of the proudest moments for her. I promised her again I would.

“A couple of weeks later, I talked to Georgia. I tried to go back to Georgia and graduate, but I would physically have had to go back to Athens and I couldn’t do that at the time. So I transferred my credits to Phoenix and took online courses the past two years.”

Layne, now 33, said he’ll celebrate “one of the proudest moments of my life” Sunday when he receives a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix during the school’s Atlanta campus commencement ceremony at Gwinnett Arena.

Layne, a former Wheeler High standout, played at …

Continue reading Catching up with D.A. Layne, who earns a college degree at 33 »

SEC coaches can’t agree on football schedule format

DESTIN, Fla. — Strong differences of opinion surfaced among SEC coaches Wednesday about how the soon-to-be-14-team league should format its football schedule.

Entering the league’s spring meetings, “the leader in the clubhouse” — as SEC commissioner Mike Slive put it — was a 6-1-1 format in which each team would play six games against intra-division opponents, one game against a permanent cross-division opponent and one game against a rotating cross-division opponent. That formula would preserve annual rivalries such as Georgia-Auburn and Alabama-Tennessee.

But some coaches found fault with the 6-1-1 approach Wednesday.

“It was kind of all over the place,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “Everybody had sort of a different agenda.”

The SEC’s athletic directors will vote Friday on a format to recommend to the league’s presidents, who will make the final call. The pending decision is for the 2013 season and beyond; the SEC previously adopted the 6-1-1 format for …

Continue reading SEC coaches can’t agree on football schedule format »

UGA basketball player Donte’ Williams arrested for marijuana possession (updated)

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM COACH MARK FOX . . .

Georgia basketball player Donte’ Williams was arrested at Lenox Square Mall this past weekend for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, Atlanta police confirmed on Tuesday.

Williams

Williams

Williams, a 6-foot-9 starting forward and rising junior for the Bulldogs, was booked into Atlanta City Jail around 9 p.m. this past Friday night, Atlanta police officer Curtis Davenport said.

“I am aware of the situation,” Fox said from the SEC meetings in Destin, Fla., on Tuesday. “I will be gathering more information and will deal with it accordingly.”

According to a preliminary police report, Atlanta police officers had just pulled into the Zone Two police station in the mall parking lot when a black Dodge Charger with the personalized license plate of “DWILLS15″ drove by. Officer Sauderan reported smelling “an extremely strong odor of burning marijuana coming from this vehicle.” After the Charger parked in a space “right next to an Atlanta Police …

Continue reading UGA basketball player Donte’ Williams arrested for marijuana possession (updated) »

Georgia lands legacy Houston Kessler as final signee of 2012 hoops class

We now know who was Georgia’s “Plan B” to Tony Parker.

Houston Kessler, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward out of Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, signed with the Bulldogs on Tuesday night and faxed in his signed letter-of-intent Wednesday morning, his coach confirmed.

“They have been watching him since his sophomore year,” Landmark Christian coach Chip McAllister said via email. “They have always really liked him. He had a huge year this year and as the season wore on things just fell into place.”

Kessler is a UGA legacy, the son of former Georgia basketball player Chad Kessler and the nephew of the late Alec Kessler, who starred for the Bulldogs’ 1990 SEC championship team. Kessler averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds as a senior at the Class A private school and finished as Landmark’s career scoring leader at 1,600 points. The War Eagles have gone 39-16 over the past two seasons, including a 20-8 mark in 2012 that was capped by a Round of 16 showing in the Class A state …

Continue reading Georgia lands legacy Houston Kessler as final signee of 2012 hoops class »

Georgia’s Katrina McClain joins Teresa Edwards in Naismith Hall of Fame

Congratulations to former Georgia star and U.S. Olympian Katrina McClain, who learned Monday she’s heading to the Naismaith Basketball Hall of Fame. Here’s the report from New Orleans filed by UGA’s Sports Communication office. . . .

McClain

McClain

Katrina McClain, Georgia Basketball’s first-ever National Player of the Year in 1987 who went on to become a three-time U.S. Olympian, has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Hall’s Class of 2012 was announced on Monday in New Orleans in association with the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

“It’s always good to feel like you’re part of a family,” McClain said at the ceremonies. “Knowing from the past, my best friend Teresa Edwards was inducted last year, she talked about how great the Naismith family is and how great the people from the Hall of Fame treat you. This is a wonderful feeling and I feel so honored.”

McClain’s basketball resume is as distinguished as virtually any player in women’s basketball history. She …

Continue reading Georgia’s Katrina McClain joins Teresa Edwards in Naismith Hall of Fame »

Believe it or not, Georgia not far off from being a postseason presence

Sixty-six-point-six percent of the SEC’s men’s basketball teams will be involved postseason play this year. The Georgia Bulldogs won’t be among them.

That’s no revelation. Nobody was expecting the Dogs to receive some kind of miraculous at-large invitation. They didn’t deserve one. I’m just bringing it up as a point of mathematical illustration.

Four of its SEC brethren is all that Georgia needed to be better than to be involved in some sort of madness this March. Four SEC teams were selected for the NCAA Tournament and four are headed to the NIT in what would have to be considered a relatively down year in the league.

For comparisons sake, four other conferences placed more teams into the NCAA tournament: the Big East (9), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (6) and ACC (5). The Atlantic 10 and Mountain West also received four bids each.

SEC regular-season champion Kentucky (32-2) is the overall top seed in the Big Dance despite its loss to Vanderbilt on Sunday in the SEC tournament …

Continue reading Believe it or not, Georgia not far off from being a postseason presence »

Bulldogs run out of gas vs. Vandy in SEC quarterfinals

NEW ORLEANS – Mark Fox insisted he was not concerned about the turnaround his team faced in playing on back-to-back nights in the SEC tournament. But the Bulldogs looked a step slow Friday night as they fell to Vanderbilt for the third time this season, 63-41 this time.

Despite much evidence to the contrary, Fox was still hesitant to admit fatigue was a factor.

“We just didn’t defend well enough,” said Fox, who saw the Commodores outscore his team 39-16 in the second half. “That would be unfair to Vanderbilt to say that. Our defense was pretty good in the first half, but I think they made their first five or six shots to start the second half, and I really think that was the big key. . . . Our defense failed us.”

That poor defense probably had something to do with tired legs. The Bulldogs fought hard and played one of their better games in defeating Mississippi State 61-51 on Friday. But they looked completely different 22 hours later.

After having five players score …

Continue reading Bulldogs run out of gas vs. Vandy in SEC quarterfinals »

Bulldogs need more of same from Djurisic against Vandy

Georgia's Nemanja Djurisic (42) was an offensive and defensive force to be reckoned with in the Bulldogs' first-round win over Mississippi State. He'll have to be again tonight against Vanderbilt. (AP photo)

Georgia's Nemanja Djurisic (42) was an offensive and defensive force to be reckoned with in the Bulldogs' first-round win over Mississippi State. He'll have to be again tonight against Vanderbilt. (AP photo)

NEW ORLEANS — There were a number of reasons Georgia was able to dispatch Mississippi State in such a dominating fashion Thursday night. Nemanja Djurisic was a big one.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pound import from Montenegro became the Bulldogs’ first post player to record a double-double all season when he scored 11 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the 71-61 victory in the opening round of the SEC Tournament. Five of Djurisic’s rebounds came on the offensive end. He added a 3-pointer, an assist and a steal.

“Nemanja is a better player now,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said of the freshman. He’s more experienced and he’s just more comfortable. . . . I thought his effort on the glass was critical to the game. Obviously he made some real key plays for us.”

Two plays loom …

Continue reading Bulldogs need more of same from Djurisic against Vandy »

Georgia shoots lights out in New Orleans for SEC tourney win

NEW ORLEANS – Dustin Ware didn’t get the 16 points he needed to reach 1,000 for his career. But he got something more important – a chance to play again.

Ware did manage 13 points, however, and along with the 23 of fellow guard Gerald Robinson, the veteran back court was a big reason Georgia was able to defeat Mississippi State 71-61 and advance to the second round of the SEC Tournament.

“Dustin’s had a tough year but he shot it well tonight,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “I thought he and Gerald played like experienced players, like seniors should play. We had a lot of guys make plays to win tonight. I thought they all felt good about seeing a teammate chip in.”

It was particularly uplifting for Ware, who has been mired in a long shooting slump.

“I wanted to be aggressive,” said Ware, who was scoreless at the half. “Teammates, coaches, they all kept a lot of confidence in me and really kept me going. I saw a few go down and it really felt good.”

Ware was 3-of-6 from behind …

Continue reading Georgia shoots lights out in New Orleans for SEC tourney win »