The University of Georgia student section is fostering an atmosphere of eccentricity, with one student seemingly trying to out-do the next.
First, there was the “Rocky” fan (who is now the most normal of them all) – he usually does a run up the stairs during a timeout in the second half with music and clips from the heralded “Rocky” movie playing in the background.
Today, there was a very jumpy young man who had his entire body painted in what looked like a red and black business suit (I have my suspicions that this could have been the infamous “Peanut Butter Man” but I would need the Athens Clarke-County forensics team’s help to prove it).
Finally, a new character has entered this kooky arena – Swimmer Man. This student dons nothing but a USA Speedo and a swimmers cap. He sits behind the basket, and when the opposing team shoots free throws, everyone makes way so that he can jump up and down and present his Speedo through a series of pelvic thrusts to the player at the line.
Whatever these crazy fans are doing, the Georgia basketball team likes it as they are now 11-3 at home.
The Dawgs went on a 21-7 run in the game’s final 6 minutes to pull out the 66-61 win over the Gamecocks.
With 5:49 left, Devan Downey knocked down a shot that put Carolina up 54-45…Georgia was in a tough spot.
But a couple of Dustin Ware three-pointers, and some big buckets from Trey Thompkins and Jeremy Price and the Dawgs prevailed. Thompkins was a leader through and through, scoring 9 of his 21 points in the game’s final 5 minutes and snaring a game-high 10 rebounds.
Defensively, the Dawgs played a lot of a 1-2-2 and 1-3-1 zone for most of the contest (I would have liked to have seen some man but I guess it all worked out), and seemingly held Devan Downey in check. Downey ended up with 18 points on 6-22 shooting from the field.
As a team, South Carolina only hit 36.9% from the field and 28.1% from three-point range (they hoisted up 32 shots from beyond the arc!).
Jeremy Price played maybe his best game ever as a Bulldog. Price finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds, and was a big part of the offense in the game’s final minutes (he had 5 points in the last 2 minutes). He gave the Dawgs a great inside presence, and I loved the way he was attacking the basket and drawing fouls.
Travis Leslie had a nice line – 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Leslie’s passing game is getting better and better, and he is doing a great job of opening up his teammates for good looks when he attacks the rim. Coming into this game, Leslie was actually averaging 3.56 assists a game in SEC Play (9th in the conference).
Georgia is now 3-7 in the SEC this season. It was great to see the team enjoy this win on the court after the game – Price and Thompkins were clearly happy as they celebrated with a barrage of chest-bumps.
I’m about to head out to dinner in the Classic City and enjoy it myself!