There isn’t a game for 9 days so I don’t have a whole lot to talk about today…
However, I did want to mention that I am loving all the comments I have gotten so far! It is so refreshing to know that there are others out there that support the basketball team and watch/listen/attend games…keep them coming!
I did find a link to some highlights from the game last night – UGA-St. John’s highlights. If you like watching highlights that are totally dedicated to only showing your team scoring on offense than you will really enjoy this (although it is certainly not a great representation of the game since it doesn’t show St. John’s scoring a single basket). If you are pressed for time, just fast forward ahead to the 2:19 mark on the clip so you can see the alley-oop to Travis Leslie that I mentioned last night (this is the main reason I posted the link).
As I mentioned yesterday, the Dawgs next game is against Illinois on Dec. 19th at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth, GA. If you need tickets you can purchase them online for $18 here – http://www.gwinnettcenter.com/Event-Info.66.0.html?&tx_calendar_pi1[f1]=155. If you live near Duluth, you can also buy tickets at the box office of the Arena and avoid paying Ticketmaster’s silly processing fees.
According to the “Show Details” for this event as posted by the Gwinnett Arena, strollers are not allowed and children over 2 years old must have a ticket (seems a little steep to charge a 3-year old $18 to watch a game)…so you may want to get a babysitter and leave the kiddies at home for this one.
First off, I want to say that this team plays hard and doesn’t quit. I know that there aren’t “moral victories”, but it was encouraging to see this team fight all the way until the end against St. John’s Tuesday night.
Georgia started out down 9-3 early in the first half before going on a 9-3 run of their own to tie the game at 12-12 with 11:11 left in the first half. The Dawgs were playing great defense and limiting St. John’s to only one shot – their leading scorer, DJ Kennedy, only scored 2 points in the first half. Trey Thompkins came out of the gates on fire and finished the first half with 11 points…Ricky McPhee even had a massive block (meaning he blocked the shot) which may or may not have been the first of his life. At the break, Georgia trailed the Red Storm 28-25.
At the start of the second half, St. John’s started playing with a lot more intensity and Georgia couldn’t match it. The Red Storm really extended their man defense and started challenging the ball with a lot of tenacity. Georgia’s offense got pushed away from the bucket, and this resulted in several bad possessions. UGA’s defense (match-up zone) was somewhat sloppy, and St. John’s was able to knock down some big 3 pointers to build up a 10 point gap that the Dawgs were unable to close.
A couple of key statistics:
- St. John’s shot 48.1% from the field while Georgia shot an icy 37.5%.
- The Johnnies shot 81.8% FT; UGA only 66.7%
Trey Thompkins played a very good game offensively scoring 19 points and grabbing 6 rebounds…he looked unstoppable when he was able to get in one-on-one situations.
Travis Leslie had another solid outing with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. He continued to play very aggressively on the offensive end, and also finished an amazing alley-oop in the second half (it looked like his head might hit the rim) that may show up on ESPN’s “Top Ten” highlights tomorrow.
Dustin Ware had a tough night, shooting 1 for 5 from the field while scoring only 6 points. He also committed 4 turnovers with only 1 assist to match. The Dawgs must get more consistent play from Dustin going forward to be successful offensively.
The team is off for exams next week and won’t play again until December 19 when they take on Illinois in Duluth, GA.
Anybody have any other thoughts/comments from the game against St. John’s?
We all know that the University of Georgia is a football school, and will always be a football school. However, UGA also participates in a number of other collegiate athletics and this blog is going to be dedicated to one of them – Men’s Basketball.
I know, I know…why would anyone (even a UGA grad or fan) give two thoughts to the UGA Men’s basketball team? Besides a miraculous SEC Tournament Championship two years ago (which can be mostly attributed to the tornado that ripped through Atlanta, GA and rendered the Georgia Dome unsuitable for the remainder of the tournament – the final 2 rounds of the tournament were played in Georgia Tech’s gym with only family & friends present), the state of affairs of the basketball team has been in meddling in mediocrity since the Jim Harrick meltdown.
I am a University of Georgia graduate (2001) and a HUGE sports fan. I love UGA football (by “love” I mean I wake up on Gameday Saturdays with the same nerves that I remember having before high school basketball games), but I am also part of a rare breed of Dawgs fans that actually cares/follows the basketball team as well. That is why I started this blog – hopefully I can help build interest and support (or the “brand” as UGA Athletics Director Damon Evans likes to say) amongst my fellow Dawgs fans for the UGA basketball team.
With this blog I hope to try to talk about the team, analyze some aspects of the games and the opponents and maybe make a few more people turn on Comcast Channel number 7 every now and then to watch the Hoop Dawgs on Peachtree TV. I was a decent high school basketball player (good shooter, bad dribbler) that only gained minimal interest from a handful of D-II & D-III schools, so I am by no means the Jay Bilas of the basketball media…but I do think that I understood the game pretty well when I played, and that I still understand most of it now – except for the shift away from the black ankle socks made popular by Michigan’s Fab Five…I loved those!
Here is a link to the Dawgs schedule this year – I suggest you memorize it (or at least print it out?).
Here are some things I like about this years team:
- Mark Fox – the Dawgs desperately needed a breath of fresh air at coach and I think Fox will be just that. In five years at Nevada, he took his team to the NCAA tournament three times. He is used to succeeding without too much depth, which is exactly what he has inherited in this year’s team
- Trey Thompkins – great shooter that now has an inside game after a summer of hitting the weights and bulking up…look for him to be one of the premier forwards in the SEC.
- Chris Barnes – this guy is going to be one of the bigger bruisers in the conference. I anticipate that Barnes averages 8 rebounds a game and maybe even 8 or 9 points as well.
There is a game Tuesday night in Athens, GA at “The Steg” against the Saint Louis Billikens…check back tomorrow for the unveiling of the definition of the word “Billiken”.