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April 16, 2014

Maybe this will slow down the Joe T haters

Maybe. As a part of the NCAA decisions to stop limits on food given to athletes, they snuck this in there:

Requiring strength and conditioning coaches to be certified by a nationally accredited certification organization.
If approved, the proposals, except the one regarding strength and conditioning coaches, would take effect Aug. 1. The committee has recommended giving strength and conditioning coaches until Aug. 1, 2015, to complete their certifications.
I'm not sure if he is already certified, but at least one complain from the message boards has been met. Now, if we can get him to give up medicine balls.
TD

No Kool-aid for you!

I read this last night and was stunned:
"Well first of all I didn't want to give any awards," Pruitt said. "But that's what they've been doing here at Georgia, so that's what we did."
As excited as I am over a coach calling it like it is, this is....different. I posted the awards yesterday, but Pruitt wasn't in the mood to discuss how Wilson and Green did in the Spring:
Pruitt was asked about Ramik Wilson being named the defensive MVP, and J.J. Green winning the hustle award."To me, those awards are spring awards," Pruitt said. "I mean those two guys may end up being starters, leaders or whatever, or they may not play. That'll be up to them until they end up in fall camp."
Even coach Richt is picking up this a bit with his comments about Tray Matthews' hamstring. It looks like a brave new world in Athens. Now, if Will Friend will only come clean about the offensive line....

TD

New York Times on the Jameis Winston investigation (Hint: It ain't good)

Go read this.

I'm not saying he did, I'm not saying he didn't, but it is clear that Tallahassee PD and Florida State University took an extremely laissez faire attitude about sexual assaults.
TD

April 15, 2014

Cuonzo Martin to take California job

After flirting with Marquette, he decides to go to Cal.

UT fans are thoroughly convinced that Gregg Marshall and/or Brad Stevens will be the next coach. I'm more worried about Tommy Amaker, if I'm being honest.
TD

UGA Spring Football Awards

From Georgiadogs.com:

True Grit Award - Xzavier Ward, OL, Moultrie, Ga.
OFFENSE:
MVP - David Andrews, C, John's Creek, Ga.
Coffee County Hustle Award - Chris Conley, WR, Dallas, Ga.
Most Improved Player - Greg Pyke, OG, Baltimore, Md.
Hugh Hendrix Memorial Award* - Hutson Mason, QB, Marietta, Ga.
Outstanding Walk-On - Kenneth Towns, WR, Albany, Ga.

DEFENSE:
MVP - Ramik Wilson, ILB, Tampa, Fla.
Coffee County Hustle Award - J.J. Green, DB, Kingsland, Ga.
Most Improved Player - James DeLoach, OLB, Millen, Ga.
Hugh Hendrix Memorial Award* - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Eastman, Ga.
Outstanding Walk-On - Aaron Davis, DB, Locust Grove, Ga.
* player who most strains his potential
A couple of things to note. First, Aaron Davis as the defensive Outstanding Walk-On should surprise no one. He looks to be in a position to compete for a starting job. Given his back story, if he stays healthy, it wouldn't surprise me to see him win it. Ramik winning defensive MVP surprised me a bit, as he seemed to be having a quiet spring. Good to see him leading the D.
Second, David Andrews as offensive MVP? Wow. That's great. Same goes for Greg Pyke being most improved. It seemed for a long time the Baltimore, MD product was going to languish as a third option off the bench for his career. Now he looks to start against Clemson.
TD

2Hole, but Number 1 in our Hearts: The Dan Uggla Story

Time to make amends. In case you missed it, Dan Uggla hit a 9th inning grand slam to give the Braves the win in Philadelphia last night. This was after the Braves gave up a four run lead in the 8th to fall behind by a run. Hey, that's good on him, because Lord knows Uggla has struggled mightily this season in Atlanta.

I've given Dan Uggla plenty of grief over the past couple of years. I'll not justify it with stats and stuff, because he gave us this:


Seriously, go view the whole video in the link above. Props to Tim Burke for the production. Just beautiful. 
TD

April 14, 2014

Meanwhile, in Clemson....

Things got funky during their Spring game, when one of the QBs in line to replace Tahj Boyd, Chad Kelly, got benched in the second half.

He showed his ass wasn't happy.

Then Saturday night, he apparently got into more trouble, resulting in him getting kicked off the team, complete with him getting escorted out of practice today by police. Since Kelly doesn't play in Athens where announcements about arrests come before the actual crimes happen, we may never know what the infraction was. Still, it looks like Dabo avoided a QB controversy and got rid of a problem in one fell swoop.

And y'all think he can't coach much.
TD

April 13, 2014

GDay Recapping

A couple of thoughts...

Offensive tempo: Several times, both offenses picked up the pace. I'm not sure if we are toying with pressing tempo like we used to in the early Richt years, or if we were just challenging the defense to see how Pruitt's charges would handle the new substitution rules HUNH. The thing I was most intrigued by was the offense actually getting to the line quickly and running the play, as opposed to hurrying up, then waiting for a play to be called. I'd call the experiment a mixed bag on both accounts.

Offensive line: So much for a regular rotation.

Michael Bennett and Chris Conley: If Mason is going to have anything resembling a decent season, Bennett and Conley will be a big part of that. Bennett consistently helped Mason out with incredible catches. Conley consistently provided a sideline target for Mason.

Mason's consistency: Not sure why, it felt like Hutson was forcing the ball, even to open receivers. Especially early. Like at Tech. And Nebraska. Bobo has got some coaching to do. It was good to see some throws to RBs.

Hicks at TE: He had at least one good catch over the middle. He missed another at the goal line where he could have been more aggressive trying to get to the ball. It looked like he did a good job blocking. Still a work in progress.

Defense: I thought we did a better job in coverage, especially out of the linebackers. The DBs are still a work in progress. Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins had good games up front. Beyond that, it was hard to see much with all the rotating players and whatnot.

It was notable that there was far more rotating in the defensive backfield than up front. Another thing to watch is walk-on Aaron Davis and converted TB JJ Green (who was out with an injury yesterday) getting reps back there. Not saying it is time to panic, but considering our issues covering receivers last year, it is some thing to watch for.

Anything catch your eye?

TD

April 12, 2014

Granthamball

951 yards, 11 touchdowns.

That is really not all you need to know about Louisville's offensive performance in their Spring game last night. As their presumptive starting quarterback put it:
"When guys are wide open, you can't miss them," Gardner said. "I just put the ball where I can and they make the plays."
No information was posted as to how many of those were wheel routes.

There were some decidedly pro-offensive ground rules, most importantly no pressuring the quarterback, but still:
"Sometimes they may know what to do, but they're second-guessing themselves," Rankins said. "With the spring, everything's thrown at us so fast. … With the summer and time to dissect the playbook, coming out for camp and the first game, we'll be fine."
That sound all too familiar, right? Petrino's going to need all the points he can get.

TD

GDay or How I learned to love Spring tailgating

I know it's been quiet time here. No excuses outside of work, kids, work, work, and work. And kids.

Also, while I'm interested in GDay proper, I'm as blah about what actually happens today as I've been in a long time. There are a lot of reasons for that, but the biggest is the two and a half game sneak peek we got from Hutson Mason back in the fall. Yes, I'm interested in seeing Ramsey sling the ball down field. I'm interested in seeing how the RBs look, especially Gurley. I'm interested in seeing how Pruitt's approach differs from Grantham's. I'm interested in seeing Quayvon Hicks at TE.

From recent past experience, we'll have one or two guys on defense stand out, with one of them doing something stupid and being forced into rumored that he has a one or two game suspension that will be announced at kickoff against Clemson. We'll either have a score fest or will struggle to score, either causing the message boards to melt down. We'll either make all the FGs or miss several....

GDay is fun, but it is just a glorified open scrimmage that ends up having no real bearing on what we'll see in the fall (and a cool reason to meet on campus for food and drink, but I digress).

Still, there are two things I'm looking for:

  1. The defense, both the #1 and #2 units, to look like they are where they are supposed to be. Thinking back to the past two GDays, the confusion that was one of the most frustrating things about Grantham's tenure here was on display. We keep hearing about Pruitt's approach and how it is more intuitive/simple. I want to see that.
  2. The offensive line to look competent and consistent. Blutarsky hit on something that I've been frustrated with for two seasons, the lack of a regular bunch playing up front. It looks like Theus, Andrews, Pyke, and Houston have locked up spots. Putting aside the inconsistent play from the guys in this bunch, I think getting a regular bunch and having them work together all summer and into fall will be beneficial. Especially to my psyche. Also, I'd think any of the three (Kublanow, DeBell, and Beard) still fighting for the right guard have the ability to play any of the other line spots but center, so we'll have solid backups.
Bring your canned goods. Show up and have some chicken. Visit with old friends. It's GDay, y'all.

Go Dawgs.
TD

April 6, 2014

Master's Week

"That shit gets you religious."

You better believe it will. If you've never been to Augusta National, you are missing out. Last year I had a chance to be there on Wednesday, which was awesome.



Saturday's tailgating will honor the food heritage of Augusta National. 'Cause it'll get you religious.
TD

April 2, 2014

UGA extends Fox's contract

What does that mean?

Well, the devil is in the details. They haven't been released yet (and likely won't be for a few more days; more on that in a minute), but what we know is Fox gets two more years added to his contract. And specific direction from his boss to kick it up a notch:
“I think the program should be just like any other program that we sponsor,” McGarity said in a 15-minute meeting with reporters at Georgia’s Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall complex. “We want to be competitive in the SEC and usually if you’re competitive in the SEC then you’re competitive on a national level. Every sport we have with 15 different head coaches - our goal is to all be competing in the NCAA Championship for whatever sport that may be. If you look at our goals as a department, that’s one of our goals – that every team competes in their national championship. Basketball should be treated just as other sports and as far as expectations.”
Yes, we finished second in the conference, tied with a Final Four team. However, only three teams got into the NCAA tourney. The SEC isn't currently a premier basketball league. And we have a long way to go to be competing for NCAA Championships.

And that is what McGarity is saying when you read between the lines:
“If you ask anybody that follows our program, if you ask our teams or our coaches, absolutely, that’s our ultimate goal, to get in the show,” McGarity said. “And if that wasn’t our objective why are we even playing the game? … Is that the final determining factor? There’s a lot of things that come into play. So you never go to a coach and say ‘this has to happen or else you’re gone.’ You can’t have that conversation. There are so many factors to go into decisions. And I think it pretty much handcuffs a coach, too. It’s just very difficult to work in an environment if you put out those kinds of demands before the season.”
Coach Fox is on the way to Dallas for the Final Four and coaches' conference.  If you ask me, McGarity and Fox have 'agreed to terms' but haven't signed the contract, which makes the contract terms secret for now. And they probably won't be released until Fox gets back.

And that is a good thing. Hopefully, McGarity was able to work around the 100% buyout that he gave Fox after the NCAA tourney season in 2011. Under the old contract, Fox would be owed 100% of the remainder of his contract ($3.4M this year). If McGarity gets that to a one year guaranteed or a much smaller percentage of the contract, then you know McGarity is serious.

If Fox is now under contract for four more years, got a raise, and is guaranteed 100% of his remaining contract (think $2M/year x 3yrs if he is fired after next year), basically McGarity's tough talk is just that. Because we won't pay a guy $6M to leave, no matter how next season goes.
TD

March 26, 2014

But we *are* spending money on basketball

I get what Schlabach is saying to UGA fans. But I'd say that the UGA fans complaining are the ones spending money on basketball. While I'm glad we didn't finish where I thought we would, I've also been very clear on looking at the NIT as some sort of win.

As for institutional $$, how's that $92M Auburn spent for a new arena working out for Tony Barbee?

TD

See also
-UGA Hoops: "Playing the AAU Game" and Georgia's Basketball Recruiting
-UGA's Financial Commitment to Basketball

March 19, 2014

Profiles in Hope: Hoops Personnel and Schedule

The schedule will be dramatically tougher next year for Coach Fox's team in the non-conference as we mentioned the other day.  We get Colorado (home), Preseason NIT (2 home/2 neutral), Seton Hall at home, GT on the road and UTC on the road.

I believe we'll probably go around 10-3 against that slate.  That's a loss to Colorado at home, a loss to Tech (because that's what Fox does) and a loss in the preseason NIT.  That's a net improvement of about 4 wins the non-conference slate.

Part of that optimism revolves around the emergence of Marcus Thornton.  Consider Marcus' stats before and after SEC play this year.

Marcus Thornton Minutes PointsReb Blocks
SEC Games 28.1 8.9 7.1 1.7
OCC Games 21.5 6.7 4.6 0.8

Also, consider Kenny Gaines before and after SEC play started with particular emphasis on the final nine SEC games (including the tournament).

Kenny Gaines Minutes Points Reb T.O.
Final 9 SEC Games 28.5 17.2 1.8 0.8
SEC Games 29.6 14.5 2.5 1.1
OCC Games 25.8 11.5 2.2 1.2
Charles Mann also improved as did JJ Frazier.  It seemed like Nemi regressed a bit, but I don't think it's something to worry about.

In SEC play, we should get UF, UT and UK at home; however, we'll have to face at least one of them more than once next year.  Regardless, we have the chance to win 10-11 games in SEC play next year.

If we end up at 20-22 wins in the regular season, we'll be on the NCAA bubble going into the SEC tourney. If Fox wants more than that, he's going to need to find a legit post player to replace Donte Williams.

Interestingly, Temple's starting big man Anthony Lee (6'9" and 250 lbs) has announced he is leaving Temple for his senior year and will be eligible immediately elsewhere (aka the Russell Wilson rule).  He averaged almost 14 points and 9 rebounds per game for Temple last season.  That kind of presence would revolutionize our roster.  We are reportedly pursuing him, and we apparently recruited him out of high school.  However, we're a long shot.  Half the teams in Div 1 need a guy of his skill set and size.

Still...something to watch.

PWD


March 18, 2014

Blerg!

At some point, it just becomes comedy....
Yes, you got that right. Four players thought that depositing a check via moble app, then going to Perry's to cash it would go unnoticed. The kicker?

So you know we aren't cheating, so we've got that going for us, right?
TD
 
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