I’m excited to finally be back in Fort Stegeman again to watch the Dawgs take on #14 Ole Miss. Georgia comes off a big win against Georgia Tech and a tough loss to Kentucky including many Travis “The Trampoline” Leslie posterizations. Ole Miss lost their first SEC game to Mississippi St, 75-80. Both teams are looking to win their first SEC games.
Before you continue on, here are some links you need to check out. Here’s Connor Nolte’s “Gameday Trick Shot” that he started a couple of games ago. These two are by far the best and feature @ConnorNolte and @Bucklin12 http://bit.ly/6FCcXP. This is Leslie’s last dunk against Kentucky http://bit.ly/7IJ2sW. When the announcer says, “I don’t think anyone in the building saw that coming,” he was technically correct because I was not in the building but I called it on twitter before the game.
On a personal note, this game brings back high school memories in the form of Trevor Gaskins. He played for my high school, Milton, our junior year before bailing to our crosstown rival for his senior year. For his return, we had shirts printed saying 3 Years, 3 Schools, 0 Respect. (Yes, I am wearing it now) It was an epic game in which Georgia’s own Connor Nolte drained a 3 as time expired allowing Milton to win in overtime. Instant classic.
Chris Barnes was out shooting early and drained his last shot: a three from the corner. Gotta be a good sign, right?
Ok, there’s about 50 minutes until game time and I need to throw down some grub. I’ll be back with much, much more.
Dustin “Dimes” Ware
Travis “The Trampoline” Leslie
Trey “So Icey” Thompkins
Albert “Stonewall” Jackson
Can the Dawgs get a win on Coach Fox’s birthday? We’re about to find out.
Update 15:07 The Dawgs win the tip and Trey puts in a quick two. Travis Leslie pokes away a steal and the entire place rose to see what he would do. Just a layup, makes the free throw. This appears to be the biggest crowd of the season, certainly the loudest. Ole Miss answer with a three but Dustin “Dimes” Ware fires in a pass in the lane to Trey who slams it home unguarded. Ole Miss is putting a lot of pressure on the ball handlers which is causing problems for the Dawgs but is also leaving guys open. It’s caused a couple of transition buckets for Ole Miss but also lead to easy baskets for Georgia. Even gamble so far. Jackson and Thompkins are having their way on the glass. Georgia leads 9-7.
Update 11:47 The Dawgs come out in a zone to slow down this high paced Rebel offense. It works and Trey is in for another layup after cutting in the lane. Georgia is moving well, cutting well and executing quick passes inside. Chris Barnes with a PowerSlam and Leslie gets to the line and makes 1/2. The zone is effectively slowing down Ole Miss though the Rebels did hit a 3. More slick passing after a failed Ole Miss press gets Chris Barnes 2 from the line and believe it or not, he drains both. Told you that early 3 was a good sign. Dawgs up 16-13.
Update 7:51 Trey Thompkins is absolutely on fire and hits a three from the corner. Some wild athletic moves from Leslie get Trey an open look down low for 2. Ole Miss have his two threes in a row. I will not tell you who hit them. Leslie with another bucket inside AND THE FOUL. Ole Miss is getting abused inside. He drains the charity shot. Georgia are running a zone-press and falling back into the zone which is limiting Ole Miss to threes. Unfortunately they’re falling, but they won’t be able to live and die by the three for long. Ole Miss is also utilizing a zone-press and when Georgia breaks it, it’s for easy points and when they don’t, it’s a disaster. Jackson hits a nice hook shot AND 1. Georgia continues the domination in the paint. I think we have 5 points outside of the lane. Ole Miss are keeping it close with good shooting, mainly by He Who Must Not Be Named, but the Dawgs lead by 3, 26-23.
Update 3:53 Ole Miss’ pressure is working and they’ve scored 4 easy buckets. This isn’t helped much by the fact that Vince Williams, Jeremy Price and Drazen Zlavoric are in the game… Dustin comes in and the turnovers stop. Ricky McThree hits a corner facial on Rebels’ Zac Graham but give up another quick layup. Georgia has to sprint back to keep Ole Miss from breaking as they hit another quick layup. Gaskins shows his true colors and picks up a T after arguing an obvious foul on Dustin Ware. Kid has always been a hot head. I once witnessed him curse out a Rec-League ref after a close loss. There’s a lot wrong with that last statement but it is 100% true. Anyway, Georgia is up 35-34 with Ricky McPhee heading to the line to shoot his technicals and Ware heading to the line as Ole Miss has 10 fouls.
Update Half Ricky hits one and Dustin drains both. Georgia slows the pace, gets the ball inside and Jeremy “The Big Dawg” Price lays it in. When I post the rebounding and paint points at halftime, don’t be shocked at the margin. It will be huge. Ole Miss found a cure to stop Georgia in the paint! The rim. Jeremy Price hits the bottom of the rim on a layup attempt after breezing past his man. He then travels giving the ball to Ole Miss who take the lead on another 3. McThree answers with a deep bomb. After Ole Miss hit 1 free throw, Dustin hauls up a prayer with 4 seconds left leaving Ole Miss a chance to haul up another prayer. Rare that you see two prayers for one buzzer, but get this: Ole Miss are called for the travel and Georgia has .7 seconds to haul up another one! Trey can’t convert and Georgia go into the half leading by 1, 43-42.
Halftime Update Georgia has 16 points in the paint to Ole Miss’ 12, so not as big as I thought but all those fastbreak/transition buckets count for Ole Miss. The big number is in second-chance opportunities: Georgia with 10 to Ole Miss’ 1. Trey is 6/7 and leads all scorers with 13. Offensively, Georgia needs to keep the pace slow and continue to pound the paint. Ole Miss is scoring on turnovers, fast breaks and threes. I don’t think they can continue the torrid 3 point shooting pace (7/11) so if Georgia can get back and limit the fast breaks, they will be in good shape for the second half.
Update 15:49 Apparently Ole Miss also has a mid-range game. They reel off three consecutive mid-range jumpers to take a 5-point lead. Georgia looks asleep defensively. Hopefully the massive alley-oop/THUNDERDUNK to Travis Leslie will wake them up. Apparently not. Georgia down 47-52.
Update 11:57 After some inept offense, Fox is forced to call a timeout. Georgia play a bit of volleyball on the offensive glass and finally get on the board for the second half. Georgia allow Ole Miss a second chance opportunity by failing to box out but McPhee re-energizes the crowd, who haven’t had much to cheer about, with another deep 3. Dustin Ware hits a three off an inbounds pass but Georgia has fouled on consecutive plays enabling Ole Miss to keep the lead, 55-57.
Update 7:59 Every time Georgia shows some semblance of offense, Ole Miss is able to quickly counter and silence the crowd. Turnovers have killed the Dawgs all season and it’s not much different tonight. But this team just has a look like they’re going to pull it together. Or am I just being a homer? Who knows. But I can feel it. Ole Miss have committed 3 quick fouls. They should have picked up a 4th as Barnes was called for a charge when it appeared his defender was under the rim. That could be the final motivator that gets Georgia going. Ole Miss chuck up a poor shot and Dustin is fouled. He makes both giving Georgia the lead again for the first time this half. Stegeman erupts. The run is coming. Ole Miss score but Leslie is fouled and makes both. Dawgs up 63-62
Update 3:45 Ole Miss hit a couple free throws and a jumper to take the lead but Thompkins answers with a dunk inside. Georgia was able to get away with stealing some minutes but the core 4 have returned and are likely to stay (Thompkins, Ware, McPhee, Leslie). Ole Miss score but Dustin Ware gets a steal on easy layup off a pretty fake to give Georgia the lead. Ole Miss call a timeout as Stegeman once again erupts. If Georgia can finally seize this momentum, they’ll take the game. (Which is, of course, why Andy Kennedy took a timeout.) Ole Miss are already in the bonus and McPhee hits a free throw. But once again, Ole Miss come storming back. Their zone is haunting Georgia and they hit a layup and a 3 to take a five point lead. Aaaarrgghh. Georgia head to the line for 2 down 70-75.
Update 55.7 After Trey hits two FTs, Ole Miss and Georgia trade buckets. Travis heads to the line for 2 and drains them bringing Georgia within one. Stegeman rises and a rattled Polynice double dribbles giving Georgia a chance to take the lead with 2 minutes remaining. Fox wisely takes a 30-second timeout. Trey barely misses a runner and Price was even closer on the tip in but it won’t fall. Thompkins commits a foul and Ole Miss miss BOTH!!! McPhee comes painfully close on a 3 ball and Price again barely misses the put back in traffic. He then commits a foul (”Price is the MASTER of committing dumb fouls” – Anon from press row). Ole Miss hit 1 giving them a 78-76 lead with 55 seconds left and Fox takes another timeout.
Final Update Another three goes begging and Ole Miss pull it down. How close can we get without actually taking the lead? Ole Miss take a timeout with 16 on the shotclock and 26 on the gameclock. Heartbreak in Stegeman. McPhee strips the driving player and it goes out of bounds but the ref inexcusably says that Trey touched it on the way out. Ole Miss then inbound the ball of an unsuspecting Leslie’s back and make a layup to take a four point lead with 11 seconds left. Price gets fouled but can’t convert. Not that it really mattered. Ole Miss take the game, 80-76.