Georgia Sports Blog FanShop



Nike Georgia Bulldogs Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Red

Georgia Bulldogs Slider Coaches Short Sleeve Pullover Jacket - Gray

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Performance 2013 Coaches Polo - Black

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Performance 2013 Coaches Polo - Red

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Performance 2013 Coaches Polo - White

April 3, 2009

From the Press Conference

Mark Fox (Image: Georgiadogs.com. Click to Enlarge)

I watched the Mark Fox introductory press conference live on GXtra, and I'm lousy at taking detailed notes. However, here's my best shot at the sound bites that most interested me. I paraphrased a few lines, but you'll get the idea. I got as close as I could without a replay button.

Q: When did you first become aware of the UGA position?
A: "My interest in Georgia goes way back. I talked to a search firm a few years ago about another job. They wanted me to consider it, and I replied 'It's not like it's Georgia.'"

Q: How are you going to compete with the great coaches in the SEC?
A: "Well...Billy Donovan is a great coach, but Billy Donovan and I aren't playing one on one. Which is good because he's a better player than I am. Now, Calipari and his bad hip, I could probably take him."

Q: How do you get the local talent pipeline going:
A: "First, you have to let recruits know that their dreams can come true at this institution. Every young kid wants to play in the NBA, and every kid needs to realize that he'll have to work for 3 or 4 decades after basketball. We can help do both." (This is a heavy paraphrase. If I butchered the line, you'll see a better quote from the beat writers. But I liked what he said.)

Q: Are you going to get a local assistant?
A: "We will hire someone who is familiar with this area. That's not something we take lightly."

Q: Are you close with Trent Johnson?
A: "Trent Johnson and I are very close. He introduced me to my wife. 99 days out of 100 I thank him for that."

Q: What are your Offensive and Defensive philosophies?
A: "You can't always control what situations you get yourself into so you have to be flexible. Offensively, we want to play as fast as we can play well. Everything starts with defense and rebounding. Defensively, we're mainly a man to man team. You can't rebound if the other guy is making all of his shots. Offensively, we put a premium on shot selection, and we have to execute in the half court."

Overall, he was saying that it would depend on our talent level as to what the systems would look like initially vs. eventually.

Q: Are you bringing any assistants with you?
A: PWD NOTE: He's bringing two assistants one assistant. The most senior assistant will likely become head coach at Nevada. The one assistant he did name was Kwanza Johnson.

Johnson played for Tubby Smith at Tulsa. The guy has a Bachelor's degree in economics and a law degree from Tulsa. Fox said, "Johnson is a shooting star assistant in this profession. I'm thrilled to have him." He was a senior on Tubby's last team there and went to two consecutive Sweet 16s. He was Team Captain and an all conference defensive player at Tulsa. When you start your college career as a JUCO and walk away with an economics degree and a law degree, you are most certainly an overachiever. He's exactly the type of coach we need on the recruiting trail and setting an example for the player in terms of work ethic. (Note: that's me talking...not Fox)

Overall, I was impressed. He has a comfortable presence in front of the camera, and a strong dry wit. He wasn't doing slapstick on the podium, but he was disarmingly charming. When you compare a Dennis Felton press conference / filibuster to this it's night and day. He didn't need notes or a script. He just talked comfortably about the situation.

I'm encouraged.

PWD


(BTW -- He had the God given sense to wear what looked like a gray suit with a red and black tie. Thankfully)

50 comments:

blackertai said...

"They wanted me to consider it, and I replied 'It's not like it's Georgia."

Now, I love UGA and all, but I almost choked when he said this. SURE YOU TOLD THEM THAT. SURE.

dawgnotdog said...

Paul,

What color suit and tie did he wear?

Paul Westerdawg said...

He wore a gray suit and a red and black tie. He's no dummy.

dawgnotdog said...

Good to hear....we have had coaches before who didn't understand that simple fact.

Spartanburg Dawg said...

Yeah, I know Bradley has to stir the pot a bit and sell some newspapers, but his column today makes him sound like a real *ick.

And an ill-informed one, at that.

I’d challenge him to name one guy on our “B” list - and, admittedly, we aimed high and struck out, but the same can be said for Arizona, can it not? – more qualified than this guy. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but did Donovan or Pearl have some kind of strong recruiting ties in our region that I’m simply not aware of?

It seems pretty disingenuous to criticize Fox for a lack of recruiting ties to the region, given that the two most successful coaches in the SEC today are a Jew from Milwaukee via Boston (Pearl) and an Irish-Catholic kid from Long Island via Providence College (Donovan). Yes, Donovan was an assistant at UK in the early 90s, but that hardly makes him an authority on recruiting the Deep South. He’s a Yankee to the core.

I think Bradley is pissed we didn’t hire Grant. But, let’s face it, if Donovan bolts Florida, then Grant is going to be on the first plane to Gainesville. How embarrassing would that be, losing a coach to your most hated rival? Why risk that slap in the face?

Anonymous said...

Now if we could just get him to throw out the first pitch at the game tonight...

dawgnotdog said...

YOu know....that first pitch is a hell of an idea.

If he is staying in town, someone should suggest this to our Sports Info Department.

Bernie said...

An offense that plays as fast as it can play well. Sounds great!

Everything starts with defense and rebounding. Sounds greater!

I hope the (true) fanbase is patient as he develops the bench.

Thanks for the wrap up.

Up and Down said...

Spartanburg Dawg-

Had we hired Grant and he had gotten things rolling here, I doubt he would have left for Florida because it would have been a lateral move. Georgia produces more high school basketball talent per capita than Florida and the few times Georgia basketball has had a couple of years of success the fan support has been good.

I thought Bradley's column a couple of weeks about how Damon should get on a plane and go hire Grant was wrong when I first read it. But given how things have played out, seeing the excitement Grant has brought to Alabama, and having now watched the "meh" of a press conference we just had for Fox (there was NO ENERGY in the room and the conference ended with textbook scattered applause), I now think MB was right. I hope Fox turns out to be a superior hire, but as things stand today, I think Grant would have been a better fit for us.

Anonymous said...

Up and Down,

Yeah, you're right. If Grant had come here and we'd won two national championships moving to UF would definitely be a lateral move...

You can't be serious.

Anonymous said...

Mark Richt was in the audienceof the press conference sitting next to ABH's David Ching.

Anonymous said...

Bradley's upset the new hire has nothing to do with Florida. Per Mark, only UF produces anything of worth. I'm surprised he didn't write a column saying how much better the NIT was than the NCAAs, seeing how the Gators didn't make the dance (again).

Anonymous said...

Was it just me, or did it look like Mark was wearing the same tie as Damon? Damon was probably like, "Hey man, put this on real quick..."

Anonymous said...

Unrelated to the story, but something to make every dawg fan smile...Percy Harvin just failed his first NFL drug test! Tested positive for weed.

stick jackson said...

It's a press conference, not a pep rally. I care a lot more about Fox's number of wins over high majors than I do about someone's perception of how much buzz there was at the press conference.

The last week has been a massive dose of reality therapy for the real fanbase, tiny though it is. Most of us, certainly I, had used our current total irrelevance as an excuse to indulge in fantasies about our *theoretical* relevance. Well, that's out the window now. No one can doubt that UGA hoops is a severely degraded brand among sophisticated insiders -- coaches and agents. We aren't talking about some guy on website, or hillbilly UK or UT fans, we're talking about people who make large amounts of money knowing what is really going on and acting accordingly. They think we are total bottom feeders. They don't think we have potential.

I think DE was really caught off guard here, too. Like me, he thought there was an answer for everything. But the smart guys chose not to accept his answers. They chose to go with the 50 years of mostly sucking over the Powerpoint.

Given that, whoever we hired, they were going to have to be really strong to win. In every way -- Xs and Os, recruiting (especially recruiting), media relations and program management. So either we got that guy, or we didn't. Maybe we did.

Is Grant better? As Mark Bradley demonstrated last night in a negative way, there is precious little data to support that.

We'll see.

Up and Down said...

Anon 12:48:

My poorly articulated point simply was that if Grant had come to Georgia and done well there would have been no reason for him to go to Florida, so I don't find the "he'd just leave for Florida" argument to be persuasive.

stick jackson-

I think the press conference matters because Georgia very much needs to create some sort of forward momentum for the program. As you well put it, Georgia basketball is a severely degraded brand among the sort of people who can influence recruits. Simply put, we need as much good press as we can get in order to help our coaches sell the program to in-state kids who are currently going everywhere but UGA.

HiAltDawg said...

Report from Reno.

I started getting calls last night @ my Library about the hire. It ran as the lead story in today's paper. They bitterly put a quote about Coach Fox being in Northern Nevader for a long, long time after nevader beat VCU in the bracket buster game. They really like him out here but he constantly apologized for getting a raise to $400K for turning down the job @ Kansas st a couple years ago. One positive, he coaches big men well. Nick Fazekas (sp?) played a rather historic career out here. His numbers resembled Bird’s and Havilcek’s, I know it’s the wac but few players anywhere post those numbers. Coach Fox beat UGA in Reno in ’05 in front of the first sell-out in years. I believe they passed an anti-Fox rule in the wac because he went ballistic on some officials (w/ a public apology of some sort I believe). A good hire ,but I think it’s like Donnan w/ better politicin’ and turns the program around over a few years before UGA upgrades. If UGA cares about being a bball power.

The Watch Dawg said...

Mark Bradley is a dick.

C. Paul said...

Stick Jackson +1 - I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. It will be all about the W&L.

The Watch Dawg +100

Dubbayoo said...

I know it's basketball season but I just have to point out Percy Harvin, to go along with his Wonderlic score of 12, failed the Combine drug test. I mean, really....

Anonymous said...

Mark Bradley is a University of Kentucky graduate.

Why would he want to see Georgia hire the right guy?

dawgnotdog said...

He should want to see Georgia win so the AJC can sell more papers in Athens after big basketball wins...

oh, wait....

all school said...

PWD, if Coach Fox can make us a consistent winner, I don't care if he comes to press conferences and games in orange and blue MC Hammer pants. Although, it would be better if it didn't come to that, wouldn't it?

I find myself cautiously optimistic about this hire. Perhaps Coach Fox will be able to generate a sense that there is, in fact, a plan at UGA, and the plan has a chance to succeed.

WHM said...

PWD,
Any info on Trey III's reaction? Do you think he stays in Athens?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody that keeps bitching about Coach Fox not having ties to the region care at all that Nevada's roster has three kids from Texas (Dallas and Houston...not Amarillo and El Paso), one kid from New Orleans via Hargrave, and one kid from Charlotte, NC...and that the best pro Nevada has produced so far, Ramon Sessions, is from Myrtle Beach?

I'm not a geologist or a map maker, but that seems like more ties to the region than most people are giving him credit for. At the very least it shows he isn't tied to a 90 mile radius to recruit.

Anyway, Grant always gets 'props' for having ties in the region. Noah was from France via NYC, Horford from the DR via Michigan...Green was from Boca Raton, which is farther away from Tuscaloosa than Milwaukee, WI...Grant is from Miami, which ain't close to T-town either.

PS Bradley is a dolt. Javale McGee is a solid player on a bad Wizards team. Ramon Sessions is a very nice point guard with the Bucks...yes, Fazekus is in Europe, but only after being a lottery pick.

Anonymous said...

TOTALLY agree with Stick Jackson. Give the man a chance. He's HAS to be better than Felton.

Anonymous said...

You're right. He may not be any better Coach than Felton - but at least he seems interested in being at UGA. I have yet to figure out what Felton did with those 6 years.

dawgnotdog said...

Man, if Urban lowered his standards to just the top 2 percebnot of the top 1 percent, there would REALLY be some thugs in Gainesville.

Go ahead anonymous Gator....I know, I know....we're just jealous.

Anonymous said...

I rise to gradulate Percy Harvey for proving that the Gator not only have low acaldemic standard, but also the low moral.

Anonymous said...

One, two, fee, fo, five - Percy done smoke that jive.

Perhaps Corrine prepped Percy for the test.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read the comments by Nevada fans? They all seem to be generally grateful to be rid of coach Fox. That concerns me.

dawgnotdog said...

I have not gotten that impression at all.

Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't the fans SOUND like they are greatful? The are the jilted lover at this point. You know good riddance. We didn't need you to average more than 20 wins per season.

Dubbayoo said...

Anon - that sounds like typical revisionist "I never liked her anyway" whining after a girl decides to go to the prom with someone else. They have to spin it positively somehow.

skidawg1985 said...

http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/97791-georgia-fans-scratching-heads-over-fox-hire

What others are saying.

Maybe the fans from Nevada who are glad to see him go are just angry that he left.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe the Nevada fans are actually glad to see him go.

Anonymous said...

curious...what's the deal about his suit. did Felton not wear team colors on his tie?

Paul Westerdawg said...

If you want to have a debate about race start your own blog or find somewhere else.

This isn't the place for that.

Paul Westerdawg said...

The more Felton lost the more he seemed to embrace our team colors. lol.

But it took a lot of losses for the light to come on.

matt b. said...

felton was an odd fellow, wasn't he?

skidawg1985 said...

Are there people on the Nevada site arguing about how great of a place Reno is? How it is a great place to go to college? How he should have stayed because he was winning conference titles and going to the postseason?

Anonymous said...

Well he wont win conference titles here. Fox is just another Jirsa! But I am sure fans have to spin it some way.

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

I left a comment for you last night at rivals but the thread was deleted for being too long. I generally like your posts and blog, but in arguing against Stegman being the source of our problem, you really went way too far by attacking Hugh Durham's work ethic. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You must not know the guy because if you did, lazy would not be a word you'd EVER use for him. An incredible work ethic. You can knock the results -- that's fine, though some might not agree. You can even argue he didn't recruit well enough. But don't assume it had anything to do with work ethic, because it didn't. I don't claim to know much about the inner-workings of today's bball program and am sure you are much more schooled. But I know a lot about the situation when Hugh was there, and reading your comment, I was really disappointed to see you disparage Hugh in that manner. I know that may not have been your intent, but it was nonetheless blatantly wrong. We all, however, are guilty of inferring facts that aren't there at times, or of relying on the words of those who don't really know what is going on to draw conclusions. But your conclusion here was way off.

S.E. Dawg said...

I think coach Mark Richt showed some real class by attending the PC. He's been in those shoes and knowns this new coach needs every bit of support he can get. Him being there let coach Fox know that he's behind him all the way.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Like I said. If you want to talk about the merit of race in sport. Get your own blog.

Mike In Valdosta said...

I just hope the interest level for Goergia basketball is this high in February. We are going to go through some serious growing pains. Very glad Fox got a 6 year deal. This will allow him the breathing room to build this program the right way.

Anonymous said...

PWD- Racist comments?? Either I'm missing something here or you're just overly sensitive.

The Watch Dawg said...

He deleted the racist comments, duhhhhh.

skidawg1985 said...

UGA now has an assistant coach named "Kwanza".

At the risk of being called a racist, were there strange names before "Roots"?

Anonymous said...

Those mad about this hire ,are the same ones upset about the CMR hire .What exactly has Grant done w/out CBD ?A high octane offense is a huge change.Coach K or PItino wouldn't please some people.

 
Copyright 2009 Georgia Sports Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan