If the season ended today, Georgia would all alone on the night of the Big Dance. Luckily for the ‘Dawgs, its not the end of the season, and it’s only the beginning on February and the midway point of conference play. Georgia’s resume is hardly impressive, with its best and only impressive win was over #11 Kentucky on January 8th. Since then, Kentucky has slipped to #14, but Georgia fails to improve, only decline. Georgia’s RPI win breakdown is as follows: #8 Kentucky, #38 UAB, #85 Mississippi, #95 Colorado, #148 Georgia Tech, #167 Mississippi St., #175 St. Louis, and the remaining 7 teams rank #204, #221, #234, #248, #256, #268, and #306. Now 64 teams make the tournament in March, and if the teams made the dance based on the top 64 RPIs, UGA would be 2-6 against tournament teams. Including 1-5 against teams ranking 1-25. Georgia’s losses include Kentucky, Tennessee at home, Florida at home, Vanderbilt, Temple, and Notre Dame, all teams planning on dancing with the exception of Vanderbilt perhaps. Georgia has had the chance to put themselves in a good position entering March with early non-conference wins, however, key mistakes like missed free throws and lack of rebounding has left the ‘Dawgs short in a few games. And Trey Thompkins continues to struggle with his shooting this year, down in all categories, for example, field goals, 3-pt field goals, and most importantly free throws. Georgia is predicted as a 8 or 9 seed this year, however I predict the ‘Dawgs will enter the dance as a 10-seed after the SEC tournament in Atlanta. The ‘Dawgs have an excellent chance to improve their quality wins with another game against Florida, Vanderbilt at home, Xavier at home, and Tennessee. Hopefully the ‘Dawgs can find their streak and turn it on before March because expectations are high this year in Athens.
Last season, when Trey Thompkins didn’t play well, neither did Georgia. This year, due to the additions of Gerald Robinson, Marcus Thornton and improved play from Jeremy Price, Chris Barnes and Dustin Ware, the offense wasn’t dependent on Thompkins.
But when Thompkins was forced to the bench early in the first half with two fouls, Georgia reverted back to last seasons swoon looking completely lost and out of rhythm without their Preseason All-SEC player, shooting a meagre 7-21 from the field including 0-4 from range. Georgia’s defense wasn’t much better, as the Cat’s shot over 51% from the field including 6-12 from deep. When you factor in 8 turnovers and getting out-rebounded, albeit by one rebound, the 39-24 lead for Kentucky was very reflective of the action on the court.
However, the second half showed much more of the rhythm and fight Georgia fans have come to expect from Fox’s Bulldogs. Despite a very poor night from Leslie, who went 0-7 from the field, and Thompkins, who was battling a shin injury, Dustin Ware’s composure and confidence kept Georgia in the game. Ware’s brilliant display offensively cut the lead down to six with two minutes to play. Georgia had a few opportunities to cut the lead further, and really test the patience of the restless Rupp crowd, but Thompkins’ poor shooting down the stretch didn’t allow the team to capitalize and Kentucky came away with a 66-60 victory.
Coach Fox called the game “a hard-fought conference game” and gave credit to Kentucky for withstanding Georgia’s second-half run. Fox said he was worried about his team’s energy after their double-overtime loss to Florida, and his fears were confirmed before the first official timeout, as Fox burned a timeout early to refocus the team.
At halftime it appeared Georgia found that focus and the Bulldogs came out concentrating on defense and rebounding. Guards Gerald Robinson and Ware got into a groove in the second half and combined for half of the teams 60. Fox was pleased with the tandem for overcoming the poor night from their top-two scorers but added, “We need more guys completing plays for us to be good.”
Late in the game, Georgia had several opportunities to bring the game to a one-possession contest but fell short. “We got within striking distance but we just couldn’t strike,” Fox said.
Part of that was due to Thompkins’ off night shooting. Though Thompkins denied his injury playing any role is his poor shooting night, just 2-10 from the field, his shot seemed to be falling short especially late in the game. Ware agreed with Thompkins’ assessment of his injury, saying a tough guy like Thompkins won’t let something like that effect him.
Though Georgia sit at just 3-4 in the SEC, they’re scheule has been one of the toughest in the conference. With several slumping SEC West teams coming up on the schedule, as well as two contests against South Carolina, Georgia will have plenty of time to put games like this behind them and get on a roll for the spring.
Georgia will be hoping that the second half of this game was a sign of things to come for the second half of the SEC schedule.
Georgia 91, Florida 104: FINAL
Florida wins the top and gets out to a two-point lead. After a Georgia turnover, Florida extends its lead to four. After another turnover, a three by Chandler Parsons makes it a seven point game with three minutes left. Parsons drives the lane after another turnover and Florida has a nine point lead.
Leslie with a three-point play and it is a six point game with two minutes left. Parsons scores his seventh straight point and the Gators have an eight point lead. Georgia calls a timeout with 1:39 left. After another Georgia turnover they are forced to foul Florida. Parsons make one, and Florida gets the rebound and Georgia is forced to foul again. Three by Brantley makes it an eight point game with one 54.5 seconds left, Georgia fouls the Gators.
Walker makes both free throws and the Gators are up 10. Georgia can’t answer and the Gators are to the line again with a 10-point lead with 42.2 seconds left. This game is over. Tough loss for Georgia and they’ll have to get re-focused for their next game which won’t be any easier. They have to go to Lexington to face the Kentucky Wildcats. More postgame commentary in a bit, off to the coaches’ press conferences.
Georgia 85, Florida 85: End of First Overtime
What a game this is. Florida wins the tip but comes up empty. Jermey Price with a slam and then a three by Florida makes it 76-75 Gators. Three for Georgia rims in and out, Leslie with the block on the other end and answers with a put back and the Dawgs lead 77-76. Timeout Georgia. The whole place is standing, I have never seen Stegeman like this before.
Macklin with the putback, Gators lead by one. Another three by Ware rims in and out. Great drive by Robinson gives Georgia a one-point lead. Florida answers right back. What a game. Great move by Price gives Georgia a one-point edge at 81-80. Florida timeout with 1:05 left. Dustin Ware fouls out and Florida is at the line with 49.9 seconds left. Florida holds a one-point edge after making both free throws. Sherrard Brantley to the line shooting 1-and-1. Makes the first one to tie it, and makes the second to give the Dawgs the edge.
Florida comes up empty and they are forced to foul Georgia. Thompkins to the line shooting 1-and-1 with 23.1 seconds left. Thompkins misses the first, Florida calls a timeout, and they are down 83-82 with 20.4 seconds left. Florida turns it over and fouls Georgia. Jeremy Price to the line with 6.7 seconds left. What did I say at halftime, you HAVE to make these free-throws. Sinks the first one, Florida without a timeout. Makes the second one, Florida with the three with one-second left to tie it up. Georgia timeout. Off to the second overtime, and at least five more minutes to this thriller.
Georgia 73, Florida 73: End of Regulation
Two Free throws by Dustin Ware make it a four-point game. One minute remaining. Down four, the Dawgs are running out of time. Florida up four, and at the free-throw line with 35.8 seconds left shooting 1-and-1. Missed the first one and Georgia calls a timeout, 28.0 seconds left. Huge three by Robinson makes it a one point game with 21.3 seconds left, Florida at the line after a Georgia foul shooting 1-and-1. Makes the first one and Georgia is without a timeout. Second one is no good, Dawgs only need two. Put back by Thompkins as time expires puts this game into overtime. Five minutes left in this thriller. (more…)
2:27 UGA 83 Miss St.62
Well folks, the internet was down until about three minutes left in the game, but Georgia has continued to dominate Mississippi St. mostly due to their hustle on the boards, out rebounding Miss St. 44-21 and 14-2 in second chance points. Besides Bost, Ravern Johnson and Sidney Travis, the Bulldogs had very little help from the bench with only 3 points. Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson lead the way with 17 a piece. Dee Bost leads Miss St. with 20.
Halftime UGA 42 Miss St. 29
Solid first half performance by Georgia, they haven’t trailed since the opening basket and have been leading by double digits most of the game. Georgia’s dynamic duo, Leslie and Thompkins are having a good game with 8 points a piece. Jeremy Price also has 8. Dee Bost leads Miss St. with 12. The story of the game so far has been Georgia’s rebounding (26 to 10), giving them 12 2nd chance points compared to 2 for Miss St.
4:43 UGA 35, Miss St. 19
Beautiful alley oop from Bost to Ravern Johnson, howeeeeeva Miss St. still trails by 15. The crowds hcnat is now USA! USA! USA!, the only reason I can think of is a front-row fan wearing an American flag robe. Dee Bost leading all scorers with 12
7:35 UGA 31, Miss St. 14
Georgia out rebounding Miss St. 14-8. Jeremy Price is having a nice half with 8 points and 4 rebounds.
Jon Wertheim from Sports Illustrated joins the show to talk Australian Open tennis and his new book Scorecasting.
Dave Miller from the Commercial Dispatch joins the Friday Pregame show to discuss Mississippi State basketball.
Click on the link to read my analysis about which conference is more dominant?
The Atlanta Falcons ended the 2010 campaign with a disappointing end with a blow-out loss to the Green Bay Packers.
But looking forward, the Atlanta Falcons have to decide what to do with the 15 free agents that they have. Some of these should be no-brainers, like Tony Gonzalez and Brent Grimes, but others will be tough to decide.
Three starters on the offensive line are going to free agency and I think that the Falcons need to go after all three of them. I am a strict believer that you win games in the trenches and it is imperative that the Falcons return their offensive line starters.
Other offensive players include running backs Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood, along with wide receiver Brian Finneran.
But the biggest question mark will be whether the best tight end in the history of football returns. Tony Gonzalez will either retire or return for the Falcons in 2011. The Falcons, if they want to make a serious run at a Super Bowl, will need to sign Gonzalez. (more…)
SATIRE — Recently, I have come under attack because I can only write negative articles about Auburn University.
Apparently, people took my last article way too seriously when I wrote about the reasons I love Auburn, which you can read here.
The fact is, I attend the University of Georgia, and I bleed red and black.
I called Auburn out on integrity, honor, character and credibility. The truth of the matter is that almost every single college athletic program lacks those characteristics.
The bottom line is that college athletics, college football in particular, is a very corrupt business.
So, I decided to write a similar type article about why I love the Georgia Bulldogs.
Why do I love Georgia? (more…)
Through the playoffs I have provided articles ranking the possible Super Bowl matchups, but today I will take another approach on this subject.
Instead of ranking the top four Super Bowl matchups, I will rank the most likely Super Bowl outcomes, but if I were to rank them it would be:
1. Steelers vs. Packers; 2. Steelers vs. Bears; 3. Jets vs. Packers; 4. Jets vs. Bears
The bottom line is that regardless of who is in the Super Bowl it will be a great matchup featuring two of these four teams. And I don’t find it necessary to write an entire article ranking these four games.
What I did for this piece is rank the potential Super Bowl outcomes in regards to who I see winning the actual game.
Unlike my last piece, this isn’t a ranking of the games or even outcomes that we want to see. This is my personal opinion on how I see the results of these four potential games.
Mark Sanchez and the Jets, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, or Jay Cutler of the Bears will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in Dallas on February 6.
Each matchup will take up two slides because each game can have two results. In the first slide, I will explain what to look for in this matchup, but in the second slide I will explain why the team will win that game.
So who has the best chance of doing that? (more…)