Travis Leslie averaged 14.0 pts & 8.0 rebounds last week in games against St. Louis and Virginia Tech, thus earning him the prestigious “Hoop Dawg Player of the Week” award (Travis has not been notified yet, but the hardware is in the mail).
He is actually ranking second on the team in both of those categories behind Trey Thompkins…however, Leslie is a 6’4″ guard so the fact that he is averaging 6.0 reb/game is very solid (although having a 45″ vertical certainly helps).
Leslie has established himself as a scorer this year, and is really doing a great job of attacking the rim. He is also shooting a John Stockton-like 82.1% from the free throw line (up from 57.5% last year).
He had 2 monster dunks (one a tomahawk & the other an alley-oop) against Virginia Tech and is quietly building a case for the nickname, “Human Highlight Film, Jr”.
Trey Thompkins did not have a single field goal in the game.
You wouldn’t even need the box score to know that UGA most likely lost the game…and they did. Matter of fact, they never even held the lead once.
What was amazing was that even though leading-scorer Thompkins failed to convert a bucket (he did make 5 free throws) the Dawgs were actually in the game with 6 minutes to play. The score was actually tied 18-18 in the first half, but then the Hokies went on a 10-point run and finished the half up 9. Georgia closed the gap to 6 in the second half with a little over 8 minutes to play.
Then Mark Fox did something very interesting & creative – he implemented a “Box and One” defense with the one being on Malcolm Delaney (who is totally unstoppable and punished the Dawgs with 31 points). I personally have never heard/seen this defense actually run in a major college game…It seemed to work on the first possession, forcing the Hokies to swing the ball out to guard Terrell Bell with 2 seconds on the shot clock…unfortunately for Georgia, Bell hit the 3-pointer (more unfortunate is that Bell is a 20% 3pt shooter). The next trip down the court Jeremy Price turned the ball over and then committed an intentional foul on the Hokie player who made the steal. After the free throws and possession, Virginia Tech was now up by 13 and wouldn’t look back.
I know the cliché, “There are no moral victories”, but there were some good things to take away from the game:
- I do think this Va Tech team could make the NCAA Tournament, and the fact that Georgia was able to travel to Cassell Coliseum and give them a fight with their leading scorer not scoring shows that this team does have potential.
- Travis Leslie has become a baller! Leslie continues to improve each game and today was no different as he dropped in 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. I was listening to the game on the radio, and that was unfortunate because Leslie had two dunks that sounded like they would have been very nice to see. Hopefully he can keep up the aggressiveness on the offensive end.
- Freshman guard Vincent Williams played a solid 12 minutes – scoring 5 points in the first half when the Dawgs were struggling for offense
- Other than his intentional foul, Jeremy Price played a pretty good game – 10 points, 7 rebounds. He continues to get open underneath on the offside block, and has a nice touch around the basket.
One final nugget: Former UGA Center Dave Bliss was in attendance in Blacksburg. He is currently a Graduate Assistant for East Carolina University, and he apparently will attend UGA road games that are within driving distance….the announcers said he drove 6 hours! He is from Wisconsin so maybe driving distances are relative…