Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

Georgia men sign Nemanja Djurisic; Lady Dogs ink 2

The first day of the spring signing period came and went without any surprises for the Georgia Bulldogs.

As expected, the Bulldogs received the signed letter-of-intent from 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward Nemanja Djurisic of South Kent, Conn. A native of the Podgorica, Montenegro, in Eastern Europe, Djurisic averaged 20.1 points and 10.3 rebounds a game as a high school senior last season. He comes from the South Kent School, a college preparatory school for boys that has produced the likes of Washington’s Isaiah Thomas and Andray Blatche of the NBA’s Washington Wizards. Djurisic also has extensive international experience playing for four straight Montenegrin Under-18 national teams.

“It feels really good to have this done,” Djurisic said Wednesday. “After all the work and everything I’ve been through the last two years, it just feels great to know it all paid off. I’m very excited about going to Georgia.”

Djurisic has already graduated from high school. He will play in the …

Continue reading Georgia men sign Nemanja Djurisic; Lady Dogs ink 2 »

It’s official: UGA’s Travis Leslie will stay in NBA draft

Guard Travis Leslie is taking his high-flying act to the NBA after three seasons at Georgia. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Guard Travis Leslie is taking his high-flying act to the NBA after three seasons at Georgia. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

Travis Leslie has decided to keep his name in the NBA draft. That means his college basketball career at Georgia is officially over.

The good news is the Bulldogs will have two players in the NBA draft pool at the same time for the first time in school history (forward Trey Thompkins had already declared himself a professional). The bad news is coach Mark Fox has now lost his two leading scorers from last year’s NCAA tournament team and is now in full-blown rebuilding mode. It’s probably no coincidence that the announcement came on the eve of the opening of the spring signing period.

Leslie, a 6-4 guard from Decatur’s Columbia High School, averaged 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds a game as a junior last season. He finishes with 1,099 career points, 30th all-time at Georgia.

“After talking it over with my family, I have decided that I will forgo my senior year …

Continue reading It’s official: UGA’s Travis Leslie will stay in NBA draft »

Annual Richt/Fox speaking tour expands to 11 stops in four states

It’s almost time for Mark Richt and Mark Fox to hit the road on their annual spring speaking tour, which this year has been expanded to 11 stops in four states in conjunction with the UGA Alumni Association and Bulldog Club chapters.

The tour begins with an appearance April 20 in Savannah and includes stops in Jacksonville (April 21), Augusta (April 27), Macon (April 28), Columbus (May 5), Greenville, S.C. (May 11), Charlotte (May 12), Gainesville (May 17), Dalton (May 19) and Albany (May 24). Then, after a two-month break, the tour will conclude in Atlanta (July 25 at the Cobb Galleria).

The events, open to the public, begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by a program at 7 p.m.

The out-of-state spots were selected because of the large number of UGA fans and alumni there. According to Dave Muia, the UGA Athletic Association official who oversees fund-raising and alumni relations, Greenville and Charlotte were the top two out-of-state cities this year in terms of …

Continue reading Annual Richt/Fox speaking tour expands to 11 stops in four states »

Fox: ‘I don’t want anyone thinking I’m leaving, because this is where I’m going to coach’

ATHENS — Although the rumor mill has linked his name to various coaching openings in the past month, most recently UNLV’s, Georgia men’s basketball coach Mark Fox insisted again Tuesday that he has no interest in any other job.

“I don’t want anyone thinking I’m leaving, because this is where I’m going to coach,” he said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week that Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity had opened discussions with Fox about a new or amended contract.

“Greg and I had an initial conversation, and I trust him,” Fox said Tuesday. “He knows this is where I want to coach. . . . Right now we’re spending our energy on getting information for Travis [Leslie regarding the NBA draft], coaching our team, recruiting. And when we have time, I guess we’ll finish that [contract] discussion.”

McGarity, seated nearby, nodded his head in agreement.

“I really feel like this is a place where we can win at a very high level,” Fox said. “But to do that, we have to take …

Continue reading Fox: ‘I don’t want anyone thinking I’m leaving, because this is where I’m going to coach’ »

Thompkins enters NBA draft; Leslie tests waters, too

(Updated 6 p.m.)

ATHENS — Trey Thompkins has played his last basketball game for Georgia, and Travis Leslie might have done so, too.

Thompkins and Leslie, juniors who were the Bulldogs’ top two scorers and rebounders this past season, announced Tuesday they will enter the NBA draft, although one of them — Leslie — left open the option of withdrawing.

Thompkins said he’ll hire an agent, meaning his decision to enter the draft and end his college career will be irreversible. Leslie said he will not hire an agent at this point, thus preserving the option of pulling out of the draft by the NCAA’s May 8 deadline and returning for his senior season at UGA.

Thompkins’ decision — and potentially Leslie’s — will mean a much different look next season for the Bulldogs, who are coming off a 21-12 season and an NCAA tournament appearance.

Thompkins, a 6-foot-10 forward from Lithonia, averaged 16.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in an injury-filled junior season. Leslie, a 6-4 guard from …

Continue reading Thompkins enters NBA draft; Leslie tests waters, too »

UGA, Fox discussing new contract; ‘not interested’ in any other job, he says

Georgia has opened discussions with men’s basketball coach Mark Fox about a new or amended contract that would increase his pay and demonstrate the school’s desire to keep him long-term.

Both athletic director Greg McGarity and Fox confirmed the contract talks in interviews Wednesday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Yes, I have had a preliminary discussion with Mark,” McGarity said. “Over the next week, two weeks, we’ll sit down and try to formalize some of the things we have discussed.”

Said Fox: “Greg and I had a great initial discussion. We’ll continue that later. But this is the job I wanted and where I want to be, and I’m excited Greg and I had such a great meeting.”

With several high-profile programs –- including N.C. State, Missouri and Oklahoma -– seeking coaches, there has been speculation that Fox might be pursued for another job.

Although Fox’s agent has fielded a couple of feelers from other schools, McGarity described the contract talks as a “proactive” …

Continue reading UGA, Fox discussing new contract; ‘not interested’ in any other job, he says »

Former UGA assistant reaches Final Four with VCU

A few notes to start the day:

Jones

Jones

  • A former Georgia assistant coach is headed to the Final Four. Mike Jones, a member of Dennis Felton’s UGA staff for six seasons, is an assistant at Virginia Commonwealth, which will play Butler in a wildly improbable national semifinal on Saturday. Jones was let go by Georgia, along with the rest of Felton’s assistants, when Mark Fox was hired in April 2009. Jones landed a position a couple of months later on the staff of then-new VCU coach Shaka Smart. Jones is a 17-year veteran coach who also has worked at  West Virginia, Richmond, Furman and Howard.
  • It won’t go down in the annals of famously effective motivational speeches, given the Georgia women’s basketball team’s 79-38 loss to Texas A&M in an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 game on Sunday. But if you want to listen, here’s a link at georgiadogs.com to Herschel Walker’s pregame speech to the Lady Bulldogs.
  • After winning two of three games last weekend over No. 9 LSU, Georgia’s baseball …

Continue reading Former UGA assistant reaches Final Four with VCU »

What you might have missed over the weekend…

It was a busy weekend in Bulldog Nation. So let’s start the week with a recap:

Wendy Trott

Wendy Trott

  • The UGA women’s swimming and diving team finished second in the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas. The Lady Bulldogs’ 394.5 points trailed only California’s 424. Georgia’s Wendy Trott won the 1,650 freestyle for the third consecutive season, and the 400 freestyle relay team of Morgan Scroggy, Megan Romano, Melanie Margalis and Allison Schmitt placed first with an American-record time.
  • The women’s basketball team, in the NCAA tournament for the 17th consecutive year, defeated Middle Tennessee State 56-41 in an opening-round game Sunday night at Auburn. Jasmine James scored 18 points, and Porsha Phillips had 10 points and 14 rebounds. The Lady Bulldogs advance to a round-of-32 matchup against Florida State on Tuesday night.
  • The gymnastics team finished third at the SEC Championships, behind winner Alabama and runnerup Florida. Georgia senior Cassidy McComb won the SEC all-around …

Continue reading What you might have missed over the weekend… »

UGA-Washington notebook from Charlotte…

CHARLOTTE – Isaiah Thomas, the Washington guard who was named for the former NBA star, says his name is a “blessing.”

Usually.

“I mean, if I don’t play well, people think, like, ‘Why is his name Isaiah Thomas?’ When I play well, it’s pretty cool. People compare us, even though we’re kind of totally two different players. But it’s pretty cool just to have the name and to be known for the name.”

Thomas was named for former Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas because his father lost a friendly bet on the Lakers-Pistons series in the 1989 NBA Finals. Thomas’ mother added an extra “a,” preferring the biblical spelling.

Thomas increasingly is known for his game, rather than his name, and he’ll undoubtedly get a lot of attention, from both the Georgia defense and the CBS announcers, in Friday night’s NCAA tournament game.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas enlarged his reputation by capping a remarkable performance in last week’s Pac-10 tournament with a buzzer-beating shot in overtime to win the …

Continue reading UGA-Washington notebook from Charlotte… »

‘When [Fox] first got here, we were a team full of problems’

Greetings from Charlotte, where the Georgia Bulldogs and Washington Huskies will continue preparations for Friday night’s NCAA tournament game. The Huskies flew in from Seattle on Tuesday, and the Bulldogs bused up from Athens on Wednesday. Both teams will have late-afternoon/early-evening press conferences and practices on Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Before leaving Athens, the Georgia players and coach Mark Fox met with a much-larger-than-usual media contingent at their Stegeman Coliseum practice facility Wednesday afternoon. Some of the topics that I thought were interesting:

  • Washington was not only the first school to hire Fox as a coach, but the first to fire him. After working there as a graduate assistant for one season and as an assistant coach for another, Fox lost his job when the school fired head coach Lynn Nance and the entire staff after the 1992-93 season. I asked Fox how he handled that setback so early in his career. “As a young coach, it’s so hard to …

Continue reading ‘When [Fox] first got here, we were a team full of problems’ »

Video: Georgia-Washington preview

CineSport’s Noah Coslov chats with the AJC’s Tim Tucker about the Georgia-Washington matchup in the NCAA tournament:

Continue reading Video: Georgia-Washington preview »

UGA players ‘jumped around like 7-year-olds that just won a Little League championship’ after NCAA bid

(Updated 9:30 p.m.)

ATHENS — After days of debate about whether Georgia would reach the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the verdict came quickly Sunday night: The Bulldogs are in.

Georgia will open against Pac-10 tournament champion Washington on Friday in an East Region game in Charlotte.  Game time will be approximately 9:45 p.m.

Georgia’s selection was announced early in the hour-long, nationally televised bracket unveiling, and the Bulldogs’ No. 10 seed revealed that they were not as close of a call as many analysts had projected. The Georgia players got the news while watching the selection show in the team’s locker room.

“They jumped around like 7-year-olds that just won a Little League championship,” coach Mark Fox said.

“I don’t think I’ve been that happy in a long time,” forward Trey Thompkins said, “just seeing our whole team jump around and throw stuff in the locker room and hug each other as much as we did. That was a blessing, just to be able to see our name as …

Continue reading UGA players ‘jumped around like 7-year-olds that just won a Little League championship’ after NCAA bid »

A new job for UGA grad assistant who coached in bowl (and other notes)

Emptying the notebook to start the weekend:

Hartley

Hartley

  • You remember Todd Hartley, one of the two UGA football graduate assistants who famously filled in as interim defensive coaches for the 2009 Independence Bowl after Mark Richt fired three coaches. Marshall University officially named Hartley to its coaching staff on Friday. He’ll coach safeties. The Georgia staff has known for several weeks that Marshall was hiring Hartley, who returned to G.A. duties at UGA after Richt hired new defensive coaches. Hartley, a Gray, Ga., native, graduated from UGA in 2008;   he and his wife have a four-month-old son.
  • Published heights and weights of athletes are not always reliable, but Georgia’s spring football roster, released this week, shows some substantial weight gains from the Liberty Bowl roster. Changes in Georgia’s strength and conditioning program took effect after the bowl. Four linemen are showing gains of 20-plus pounds: defensive lineman Kwame Geathers (from 325 to 350) and …

Continue reading A new job for UGA grad assistant who coached in bowl (and other notes) »

Can Dogs find their way from Georgia Dome to Big Dance?

Georgia coach Mark Fox speaks to his team at center court before Wednesday's practice at the Georgia Dome. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Georgia coach Mark Fox speaks to his team at center court before Wednesday's practice at the Georgia Dome. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

How many games must the Georgia men’s basketball team win this week to play in the NCAA tournament next week?

That question dominates discussions about the team entering the SEC tournament at the Georgia Dome.

Must the Bulldogs beat Auburn, their opponent at 1 p.m. Thursday, to reach the big dance? Must they also beat Alabama, which will face the Georgia-Auburn winner Friday? Or might the Dogs possibly slip into the NCAA tournament even without a win at the Dome because of a weak bubble field?

Similar questions follow two other teams into the SEC tournament — Alabama, which most “bracketologists” argue is in a worse position on the bubble than Georgia, and Tennessee, which the same experts contend is in a better position than Georgia.

Three other teams enter the SEC tournament with no doubt they’ll get NCAA bids Sunday evening — Florida, …

Continue reading Can Dogs find their way from Georgia Dome to Big Dance? »

Despite injuries, Thompkins is first-team All-SEC; Leslie second team

Despite an injury-plagued junior season, Georgia forward Trey Thompkins was named first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches Tuesday.

Travis Leslie, also a Georgia junior, was named second-team all-conference by the coaches.

Thompkins leads the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding; he’s averaging 15.8 points per game, eighth best in the SEC, and 7.6 rebounds, fourth best in the league.  Voted the league’s preseason player of the year by the media in October, Thompkins has battled ankle, shin and toe injuries.

“He’s had a real tough go,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said on his weekly radio show Monday night, referring to Thompkins’ injuries. “Maybe once or twice all year, I felt like I saw him move around like he was healthy. That’s unfortunate because he’s a great player. And it has impacted him, it really has; he has not been as powerful because his lower body hasn’t been healthy.

“But hopefully we can continue to try to make him a little bit better every day so he can go into the …

Continue reading Despite injuries, Thompkins is first-team All-SEC; Leslie second team »

Pairing set: UGA will open SEC tourney vs. Auburn

After his team finished the regular season with a victory at LSU on Saturday night, Auburn coach Tony Barbee gushed: “I know this. There are a lot of teams in the conference that are heading to Atlanta saying, ‘I hope we don’t match up with that Auburn team.’”

As it turns out, the first team that will match up with Auburn in the SEC men’s basketball tournament is Georgia, which will play the Tigers at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Georgia Dome.

Tournament pairings were set Sunday afternoon, when Kentucky’s 64-58 victory at Tennessee finalized the SEC East seeds. The win clinched second place in the division for Kentucky (10-6 in the league, three games behind runaway East winner Florida) and left Georgia and Vanderbilt (both 9-7) in a tie for third place. Georgia is the division’s No. 4 seed because of two regular-season losses to Vanderbilt.

The Bulldogs thus open the conference tournament against the No. 5 seed from the Western Division, an Auburn team that finished 11-19 overall …

Continue reading Pairing set: UGA will open SEC tourney vs. Auburn »

Toe doesn’t keep Thompkins out of Dogs’ lineup

(Updated 1:45 p.m.)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Wearing a shoe with extra protection for his left big toe,  forward Trey Thompkins started Georgia’s game against Alabama this afternoon at Coleman Coliseum.

Thompkins had an ingrown toenail removed on Tuesday and was lifted from Wednesday’s game against LSU after aggravating the tender toe. Coach Mark Fox said on Friday that it wouldn’t be known until close to game time  whether Thompkins would play against Alabama.

Thompkins participated in pregame warmups today, at one point taking a brief break to allow an SEC Network cameraman to zoom in for a closeup shot of his left shoe.

Also, freshman backup forward Marcus Thornton, who missed Wednesday’s game with what Fox described as a deep elbow laceration, participated in warmups.

It’s going to be an interesting final weekend of the regular season for several SEC East teams.  Depending on what happens in three games this weekend, Georgia could be seeded anywhere from No. 2 to No. 5 in next …

Continue reading Toe doesn’t keep Thompkins out of Dogs’ lineup »

Thompkins questionable for Dogs’ regular-season finale

(Georgia 73, LSU 53: Click here for game story.)

ATHENS — Amid the good news for Georgia’s basketball team Wednesday night –- a 20th win, a move into a second-place tie in the SEC East and fitting farewells to Stegeman Coliseum for two senior players — there was a bit of bad news:

Trey Thompkins is questionable for the regular-season finale at Alabama on Saturday.

Thompkins has been bothered this week by an injured toe and, according to coach Mark Fox, had part of a toenail removed on Tuesday. The tender toe obviously was bothering Thompkins in Wednesday’s game, limiting him to 22 minutes –- just six in the second half.

Afterward, Fox suggested Thompkins might not play in Tuscaloosa, where the Crimson Tide is unbeaten this season (15-0).

“I’m not sure, to be honest with you, if he’ll make it to the weekend,” Fox said. “We’ve got to get him healthy. The poor kid has been hurt the entire year.”

Thompkins, Georgia’s leading scorer (15.8 points per game) and rebounder (7.5 per …

Continue reading Thompkins questionable for Dogs’ regular-season finale »

UGA-LSU: 1 game, 3 storylines

Three storylines for tonight’s Georgia-LSU basketball game in Athens:

1. Standings and seedings.

A Georgia win would send the Bulldogs into the final weekend of the regular season in a three-way tie with Kentucky and Vanderbilt for second place in the SEC East. Kentucky’s win over Vandy last night made both of those teams 9-6 in the league, and Georgia takes an 8-6 record into tonight’s game.

However, for SEC tournament seeding purposes, Georgia would lose tiebreakers to Vanderbilt and Kentucky. (First tiebreaker is record vs. tied team(s); second is divisional record.) So to get the No. 2 East seed and first-round bye, Georgia would need to finish ahead of — not tied with — those teams in the standings. For that to happen, Georgia would need to beat LSU and Alabama (Saturday in Tuscaloosa), while Kentucky would need to lose at Tennessee (Sunday) and Vanderbilt would need to lose at home to Florida (Saturday).

And, hey, here’s another possibility in the jumbled East: Georgia, …

Continue reading UGA-LSU: 1 game, 3 storylines »

On oversigning, reseeding and rumor mongering …

Emptying the notebook . . .

———-

Sounds like the SEC spring meetings in Destin will be quite interesting. Three SEC football coaches defend the practice of oversigning in this Wall Street Journal article –- the same practice that Florida President Bernie Machen called “reprehensible” in this SI.com article.

UGA President Michael Adams briefly addressed the topic at Georgia’s athletic board meeting last week:  “We will not oversign,” he said. “Issues of grayshirting and oversigning in football — and some of the other [compliance] issues that have been in the press — are issues that I know will be on the presidents’ agenda for Destin.”

———-

Speaking of the SEC spring meetings, another issue sure to be on the table is the seeding format for the conference’s men’s basketball tournament.

The past two seasons of disparity between the divisions –- the East much stronger than the West –- have drawn criticism to a system that gives the top two finishers in each division a first-round …

Continue reading On oversigning, reseeding and rumor mongering … »

‘We made a mistake’ by benching Rocky, UGA’s McGarity says

ATHENS — The big controversy in UGA sports recently, at least among some students, has been the missing Rocky Run.

Tom Fell is a UGA student who dresses like the Rocky and runs to the top of Stegeman Coliseum.

Tom Fell is a UGA student who dresses like the Rocky and runs to the top of Stegeman Coliseum.

Here’s the background. Tom Fell is a UGA student who for four seasons has dressed like the movie boxer Rocky and excited the crowds in the second half of home basketball games by running to the top of  Stegeman Coliseum. He was benched at last week’s game against Vanderbilt because the athletics department sold his time slot to insurance company Geico for an in-event advertisement.

The controversy came up at the UGA Athletic Board meeting Thursday, when student representative Trey Sinyard reported to the board: “I can say that this has been a big issue on campus. . . . The pulse on that is students feel the athletics association is over-commercialized.”

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity quickly responded that Rocky will run again.

“We have had internal discussions …

Continue reading ‘We made a mistake’ by benching Rocky, UGA’s McGarity says »

Today’s fare: Athletic Board meeting, Butts-Mehre dedication and hoops

ATHENS – Good morning. It’s going to be another busy day on the Bulldogs beat.

  • The UGA Athletic Association board of directors will hold its regular quarterly meeting on campus. The agenda appears pretty light, although the board will hear, as usual, from UGA President Michael Adams, athletic director Greg McGarity, faculty athletics representative David Shipley and treasurer Tim Burgess.  Other items on the agenda include “renovation” of the Sanford Stadium video board and distribution of student football tickets. Also expect discussion of this year’s “Hartman Fund” contributions, which you can read about here, and the ticket price for the Georgia-Florida football game. The Florida athletic board tentatively approved a $10 price increase at its Dec. 15 meeting, pending a decision by UGA. UPDATE: McGarity said today that any increase would not take effect until the 2012 game. The board meeting starts at 1:30 p.m.; check back to ajc.com for updates.
  • The dedication ceremony …

Continue reading Today’s fare: Athletic Board meeting, Butts-Mehre dedication and hoops »

Former UGA star Edwards is finalist for Hall of Fame

Dominique Wilkins is the only former University of Georgia player in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Teresa Edwards soon might join him there.

Teresa Edwards after winning gold medal in 1996 Olympics (AJC file photo)

Teresa Edwards after winning gold medal in 1996 Olympics (AJC file photo)

Edwards, a two-time All-American at UGA and a five-time Olympian, was named Friday among the 12 finalists for induction this year. A 24-member committee will determine which of the finalists get in; 18 votes are required for induction. The inductees will be announced April 3 at the men’s Final Four and enshrined in August in Springfield, Mass.

Edwards, a native of Cairo, Ga., put Lady Bulldogs basketball on the map in the 1980s. During her four seasons (1983-86), Georgia compiled a 116-7 record, won three SEC championships and reached the Final Four twice.

Her Olympics career spanned three decades, from 1984 in Los Angeles to 2000 in Sydney. She is the only U.S. basketball player, male or female, to compete in five Olympic Games. She was on teams that won gold medals …

Continue reading Former UGA star Edwards is finalist for Hall of Fame »

Big home game for Dogs tonight; big road turnaround this season

Big basketball game in Athens tonight, Georgia vs. Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. It’s big for Georgia because:

  • A win over a team with Vanderbilt’s RPI (15) would be helpful come Selection Sunday.
  • A win would put the Bulldogs, who have finished fifth or sixth in the  SEC East for seven consecutive seasons, in sole possession of second place in the division with five games to go.
  • A win at home would be well-advised and well-timed, what with the Bulldogs’ next two games at Tennessee and Florida.
  • A win would achieve a split of the season series against Vanderbilt, which beat Georgia 73-66 in Nashville.

———-

Lost in the shuffle of Saturday’s crazy game at South Carolina is that the victory assured Georgia a winning road record — a feat that definitely should be noted in the context of recent history.

Georgia is 6-2 on the road this season — a dramatic turnaround from its 0-11 road record last season, 2-28 over the past three seasons and 8-63 over the past seven seasons.

Georgia …

Continue reading Big home game for Dogs tonight; big road turnaround this season »

From the notebook: a move up in the East … and a coach’s first loss to Tech

A few notes to start the week:

  • The SEC East men’s basketball standings are worth a glance today. Among the teams behind Georgia in the division: Kentucky and Tennessee.

Florida 9-2

Georgia 6-4

Vanderbilt 6-4

Kentucky 5-5

Tennessee 5-5

South Carolina 4-6

Each has been a struggle, but Georgia has won three consecutive SEC games — at Arkansas on a last-second free throw, at home over Auburn in overtime and at South Carolina in that inexplicable game Saturday in which Georgia allowed nine points in the first half and 47 in the second half and saw a 23-point lead dwindle to two in the course of 10 minutes before winning by four.

The Bulldogs, though, are 0-3 against the next three teams on their schedule –- Vanderbilt in Athens on Wednesday night, then Tennessee on the road Saturday and Florida on the road Feb. 24.

The Vanderbilt game will be a battle for sole possession of second place in the East. The Commodores are coming off a home victory over Kentucky and are No. 15 in the …

Continue reading From the notebook: a move up in the East … and a coach’s first loss to Tech »

Offensive line coach still looks Friend-ly; SEC East standings still look jumbled

A few notes to start the day:

  • Mark Richt expects to name a new offensive line coach early this week, and all indications continue to point toward UAB’s Will Friend.

Two other candidates who had expressed strong interest in the position have been told they won’t get the job.

As for when the hire is made and announced, that probably depends on how long it takes to complete a routine pre-employment background check. UGA typically uses an outside firm to conduct the checks, which sometimes get completed more quickly than others.

Anyway, if you missed it, here’s a bit of bio on Friend from Friday’s blog:

As an offensive guard at Alabama in the 1990s, he was a four-year starter and a two-time All-SEC player. He was named to Alabama’s Team of the Decade.

He has been Alabama-Birmingham’s offensive line coach for the past four years and before that was offensive line coach at Gardner-Webb for two years. UAB’s head coach is Neil Callaway, a former offensive coordinator and offensive …

Continue reading Offensive line coach still looks Friend-ly; SEC East standings still look jumbled »

Sorting out the SEC East …

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The story on Georgia’s 66-60 loss to Kentucky — and the story basically was that Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie had dismal days — can be found by clicking here.

Elsewhere in the SEC on Saturday, things got pretty interesting, with the Eastern Division going 1-3 against the much maligned Western Division. Florida lost at Mississippi State. South Carolina lost by 15 points at home to Auburn, which previously was winless in the league. And Vanderbilt lost by 11 at home to Arkansas, the Commodores’ first home loss of the season. In the other East-vs.-West game, Tennessee won at Ole Miss.

The day’s results left the East closely bunched, with Florida still in first place and Georgia still in last. Here are the standings through Saturday:

Florida 5-2

Kentucky 4-2

Tennessee 4-2

South Carolina 3-3

Vanderbilt 3-3

Georgia 3-4

“I knew we would take our lumps in the conference because we have a great conference,” Thompkins said Saturday night.  “I’d definitely like to …

Continue reading Sorting out the SEC East … »

After tough times at home, Dogs hit road to a town where they’re 5-54

LEXINGTON, Ky. — After a homestand that fell short of expectations, the Georgia men’s basketball team faces a daunting stretch on the road.

The Bulldogs, who lost two of three games on their longest SEC homestand of the season, play five of their next seven conference games away from Athens. The stretch starts with a 4 p.m. game Saturday at Kentucky, where Georgia’s all-time record is 5-54.

The Bulldogs (14-5, 3-3 SEC) beat Kentucky (15-4, 3-2) in Athens in both teams’ league opener on Jan. 8, but that remains Georgia’s only win of the season against an SEC East opponent. The Dogs subsequently lost at Vanderbilt and at home to Tennessee and Florida, dropping into the cellar of the closely bunched division.

“We’ve just got to get back up,” guard Dustin Ware said, “and just keep working and just keep trying to improve, like we’ve done all season.”

Granted, the Bulldogs are only ½ game behind the four teams tied for second place in the SEC East and two games behind first-place …

Continue reading After tough times at home, Dogs hit road to a town where they’re 5-54 »

Georgia basketball is drawing a crowd; big game vs. Gators on Tuesday

Drawing its biggest basketball crowds in eight years, Georgia expects a fourth consecutive sellout at Stegeman Coliseum for Tuesday night’s game against Florida.

And just as the fans have responded to the team’s improved play, the team has taken note of the fans’ increased interest.

“When we look up in the stands, it’s a very packed crowd and we see a lot of red and black,” senior forward Chris Barnes said. “It’s not like previous years, when we look up and we see other teams have got more fans than us.”

The fans have “definitely been giving us that extra edge, giving us extra energy that we need,” guard Dustin Ware said. “That’s a big part of college basketball, and it’s something we’ve been taking advantage of here lately.”

The Stegeman crowd might be even more charged Tuesday night, when Georgia (9-1 at home, 14-4 overall, 3-2 in the SEC) will be playing on ESPN for a share of first place in the SEC East against the rival Gators. Florida (15-4 overall, 4-1 SEC) enters the …

Continue reading Georgia basketball is drawing a crowd; big game vs. Gators on Tuesday »

Georgia-Tennessee preview: Can Dogs repeat last year’s big win in Athens?

Previewing Georgia vs. Tennessee basketball:

The basics

  • When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: Stegeman Coliseum, Athens
  • TV: ESPNU

Records

  • Georgia: 13-3 (2-1 SEC)
  • Tennessee: 11-6 (1-2 SEC)

Three storylines

  • 1. Home sweet home. The Bulldogs, who finally made it back to Athens on Saturday night after last week’s snow and ice kept them on the road for five days, open a three-game homestand. Following Tuesday’s game against Tennessee, Georgia plays Mississippi State on Saturday and Florida on Jan. 25.
  • 2. An encore vs. the Vols? On Tennessee’s last visit to Stegeman Coliseum, the Bulldogs made a statement with perhaps their biggest victory under coach Mark Fox. They soundly defeated the Vols — ranked No. 8 in the nation at the time — 78-63 on Jan. 23, 2010, before a sellout crowd to end a 10-game Georgia losing streak vs. Tennessee. The Vols won last season’s  rematch in Knoxville on Feb. 17.
  • 3. No Pearl on the trip. The Vols will be without head coach Bruce Pearl, who didn’t …

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