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January 13, 2013

Those that cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it

In 2008, Paul posted an article about Dennis Felton's road record through 4.5 seasons. It was a pitiful 5-30. After reading his postings and those of others from circa 2008, I know why I feel the way I feel about Georgia under Mark Fox: we are reliving a nearly exact scenario.

For example:
Georgia road wins under Fox
2009-10 - Auburn
2010-11 - St. Louis, Georgia Tech, Mercer, Ole Miss, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee
2011-12 - Southern Cal, Mississippi State
2012-13 -

Now, road wins are not the end all and be all of basketball excellence. You do have to win some to get places, as was illustrated in '10-11 when we won seven and still was a bubble team into the NCAA tourney. We are going to have to get very lucky to notch a road win this year. In fact, I don't see us winning more than three more games total, if we are lucky. And next year isn't looking any better.

I'll grant Fox had a good season in 2010-11 and lost his two best players. It is notable that both of those players were recruited by Felton. We can quibble about what Felton's issues were, and they were many, but do you think recruiting has gotten better? Air Force Dawg has put together some telling stats on Dawg Run that put our recruiting in fairly clear focus.  Yes, we have an extremely good player in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. We have other very good players on the team. However, there isn't any potential signee that is going to make the math of this equation any better.

I had all the faith in the world that we had a chance to become the program that was consistently in the NCAA tourney after 2010-11, despite the loss of those two players. We had a 5 star recruiting coup and won some games in '11-12 that gave us some reasons to think we had something working. All of that momentum, and then some, is gone. We are regressing offensively, haven't improved defensively, and continue to look less and less able to play any phase of the game with competence.

We are going the wrong direction. Even if we were holding steady, which we aren't, it wouldn't be the right direction. I'll not list all the programs that have been where we were (the best example is Baylor) ten years ago. The only thing in 2006 holding us back was a bad hire. That was 2006 when we were struggling back from the non-sense of the end of Harrick's tenure.

What is holding us back now? The inertia of low expectations?

Georgia has a terrific athletic program. The basketball facilities are comparable with most of those in the conference nation. We have a student body that is passionate about sports generally. We sit 60 miles East of three of most prolific amateur basketball programs in the nation. We have plenty of money to devote to putting our programs in successful positions.

Greg McGarity has publicly stated that he expects his programs to compete for championships in all sports. He let go encouraged the resignation of the hand picked successor of the most successful head coach in Georgia athletic history when that coach merely got the program to the national championships, instead of competing for them. If we set those types of expectations for men's basketball, I am confident we can consistently be an NCAA tournament team, and one that can expect to make runs in the NCAA tournament sometimes.

If Mr. McGarity truly wants Georgia men's basketball to compete for championships or even be merely competent, the time has come to show that.



Anonymous said...

Damn good post. GATA TD.

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