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February 13, 2006

UGA Hoops: If I Only Knew How to Quit You

Georgia Hoops is a dark forbidden love. A passion that many will never know or understand. A little beyond normal, loving our Dawgs as they play with a non-ovalish sphere can be too much.
Dear Georgia: "I only wish I knew how to quit you." - Paul
More than a forbidden love, UGA hoops is closer to an abusive relationship.
1960s: "Don't worry momma, Daddy loves you. Daddy needs you. I won't treat you bad. Those days of playing in front of 500 in the old gym with the pool downstairs are over. We've got a new stadium (SLAP). It's for rodeos.

(not what Naismith had in mind)

1980s: Come back fine lady. We'll build a great program together. Remember how good that Final Four felt? Remember beating Michael Jordan? Those were good times. (SLAP). Have you met Jan Kemp?

Admissions vs. Athletics

Early 90s: I'll get help, can't you see and feel my love? Remember that SEC Championship? The look on Dale Brown's face as he had Shaq, Chris Jackson and Stanley Roberts, but we won anyway. You know daddy loves you and won't treat you...(SLAP) Hang another NIT Banner woman.

Rick says, the NIT is what you deserve and you'll like it.

Late 90s: Baby, I have the fire in my soul for you. Tubby is here now. This Sweet 16 is as sweet as your lips. We'll be on top forever. (SLAP) Have you met Ron Jirsa?

Friggin Tony Cole

2000s: Darlin, you know that Ron Jirsa was an accident. You know I'd never hurt you on purpose. Here's Jim Harrick. He's WON IT ALL before. Help me learn to make you love me again (SLAP) Have you met Tony Cole?
Every time we start to try to put our dysfunctional relationship with basketball behind us and develop a stable, healthy program, we implode the whole thing again.

No other school has seen the highs that UGA has seen followed so quickly by the unbelievable lows...only to build back to shaky unstable highs. What other program has beaten Kentucky 4 out of 6 times sandwiched between 10 win or less seasons?

That's why it's so frustrating for me as a fan to have listened to Felton last week complain about fan and administration support. His apology/clarification didn't make sense to me. All he said was that he never complained about the fans who actually ATTEND the games.

Well...duh. Who said he did?

He has to win to get us to sellout every home game because we've been burned before. We've seen greatness at a much more "special" level than anything he's produced so far. Only to see that flame out quickly and leave us mourning.

This will help soooooo much.

I sincerely like his building for the long term approach. His recruiting combined with the new $32 million practice facility is giving us a foundation from which the program can have a more stable future regardless of what he does professionally in the future.

The Jim "Tell Us How Lucky We Are To Have Such Mediocre Results" Donnan Approach(TM) for program building where you point to the failures of the past in an attempt to build up your own legacy doesn't work. And as Mike Floyd pointed out, Felton is dangerously close to embracing that view. Hell, even Terence Moore agrees that crapping on your boss and fans is the wrong approach to program building.

The proven model of program building that works is the Mark Richt, Bob Stoops and Steve Spurrier model. The model where you ignore everything bad that ever happened and you focus all of your efforts in talking about the positives of the past. No matter how limited those positives are. And if that's too limited than you just talk about the present or future.

And this program has HUGE upside because:
1. We have a deep, deep in state talent pool.
2. We are in a power conference.
3. We have proved under 3 different coaches that you can take this thing to very high level quickly even without quality facilities.
4. We are making a massive investment in facilities.
5. When packed, Stegeman rocks and rolls as well as any stadium in America.

That's our positive message. We need to beat it like a drum.

Dooley used to fire people in his Rose Garden. Damon ponders a good location

Felton made nice with the fans in UT comments. Smart move, and I was glad to see it. But if he continues to crap on the administration, his leash will get shorter and shorter. And right now he needs a LONG leash.

Or, as my brother said..."If he isn't be careful, he'll end up having to sleep with Don Leeburn to keep his job."
I can’t quit you, baby,
So I’m gonna put you down for awhile.
I can’t quit you, baby,
I guess I gotta put you down for awhile.
Said you messed up my happy home,
Made me mistreat my only child.
Yessir, you did!
I can't quit you baby.
- Zeppelin -



Anonymous said...

Great post, Paul. I honestly can't think of another program/franchise that it would be more frustrating to care about. So much potential (i.e. a great recruiting base), so many false dawns (you actually left out two, Ken "Carolina Magic" Roseman in the early 70s and John Guthrie, who recruited like a champ later in the decade), so little sustained success.

Who has had a worse run? Florida football in the Dark Ages between when Spurrier left as a player and retuned as a coach is the only one I can think of.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people have had worse runs. But few have been so up and down. The UF '67-'90 football analogy is probably a pretty good one. But our highs were higher in '83 and '90 than anything they experienced in that period.

Although we never got as low as they did in '79 when they went 1-10 or something.


Anonymous said...

If Coach Felton wants to be the Ike Turner of UGA basketball, he shouldn't be too surprised when we all figure out he's not irreplaceable.

I think he's done a good job under pretty tough circumstances, but his inability to handle the PR requirements of the job suggest that he's either a bit immature, or he's an anal retentive control freak who's liable to blow, or bail, at any time.

Man up, Dennis. UGA basketball wasnt invented by you, and thought the history of it is spotty, you wont be the first coach to win an SEC title, make it to the tournament, or even get to a Final Four.

Love the intensity, but the paranoia? Not so much. If this is Felton laying the track for a jump to someplace where the fans appreciate "how special" he is, then dont let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Anonymous said...

An Ike & Tina or Bobby & Whitney metaphor would have been funny. You be Tina or Whitney, btw.

But I feel your pain - I have been a Falcons fan and was a Braves fan for 20 years before 1991, and that is the good news - it can turn around. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

By "worse" I mean "more frustrating" (so I guess that's what I should have said).

As you note, plenty of teams have been really awful for a long time. But who has had comparable unrealised potential and manic-depressive highs and lows? I really can't think of anyone.

Nathan said...

Just as Richt has made life much harder for Gailey, Felton's biggest problem is that up the road Hewitt has several huge advantages and he's making use of them (not the least of which is just playing in the ACC - it's a giant recruiting advantage in and of itself).

While the Ga. talent pool is very deep, just taking Tech's leftovers probably isn't going to get it done. Felton is going to have to somehow convince the elite in-state players like Gani Lawal to come to Athens instead.

Unfortunately, every advantage UGa has in football recruiting is reversed in basketball (inner city v. more rural, acc v. sec, facilities, coaching, fan support, etc).

I like Felton, I think he's done a decent job in Athens - but a lot is going to have to change that is probably out of his control for UGa to be a consistent NCAA tournament team.

Anonymous said...

Nathan, you're a bit off base there.

Felton's recruiting in state has actually been pretty good. Hewitt's is going to OBVIOUSLY be better given that he's been there longer.

But the Gailey analogy doesn't hold given that Felton is 2-1 vs. Hewitt.

Last season Felton signed Mercer and Williams two of the top 4 players in state. Granted, Williams went elsewhere, but it's a start. The upcoming 2006 class we had 1 ship to give and we elected to use it on a guy that UK and Michigan State wanted out of state.

The 2007 class has verbals from 3 kids and 2 are from GA. Including Jeremy Price the #4 player in State and a Top 5 man at his position per We're still in it for Martavius Adams. #5 man in state.

Lawal is a huge pickup for you.

But recruiting isn't our main issue right now. And we certainly aren't taking GT's leftovers.

Lewis Clinch was UGA leftover. You got on him late. We couldn't go after him b/c we had Louis Williams who it didn't look like was going pro until mid-season AND we didn't have the 13th scholarship available at the time.

Not that he wouldn't committed to us, but we never even pursued him seriousl b/c of the Williams situation.


C. Paul said...


I was thinking the same thing about that post - how can he be 2-1 against Hewitt and it be a valid comparison like football.

I think the real dilemna is with Hewitt. Save the Final 4 season - he's really had an inconsistent run (record wise). Now, I'll grant you he's a good man and puts a great face on their program; but there always seems to be some excuses about why the W/L record isn't as consistent as it should be given his repuation.

I like what Felton is building and if he could just keep his mouth shut we'd be ok.

Great work as always-

Anonymous said...

Felton just wasn't here for the previous 4-5-6 years prior for all of the negativity which clouded this program, seemingly cancelling all the good that occured. In addition to all PWD enumerated, I was wondering how many more failed recruiting classes, rape allegations, etc. I could take. I think some people are hesitant to come back yet, at least until they have a real reason to anyway.

BTW, Zeppelin gave plenty of credit for I Can't Quit You Willie Dixon, who is the one who actually wrote the song. And as was typical of them, they created a much better version.

Anonymous said...

Felton's problem is that he's at a disadvantage compared to Hew?tt?

Pardon me while I laugh uproariously. He might have to give the nod to Hew?tt in a fashion show, but Coach Corvoisier has had one pretty good season (a trip to the Final Four) and a pile of pretty mediocre ones. Here he is in year 6 of his reign, and they seem to be going backwards quickly.

The Felton is Gailey analogy is just silly, unless you're comparing personalities. Hew?tt could be Richt, if he dominated his in-state rival (he hasn't), if he'd been in 3 conference championships his first 5 years (nope) and won 2 conference titles (also nope).

If I was a GTU fan, I'd be worried about whether Hew?tt feels the need to bail out of there when the new AD arrives (not that he's really been much better than Gailey, save for one year). If Felton will get his behind off his shoulder and keep worrying about what happens on the floor, UGA will be just fine.

Nathan said...

Hewitt's been to 3 NCAA tournaments in 5 years, a Final Four (National Championship game) and an ACC Championship game. Yes, I'd like the program to be a bit more consistent - but that'd basically mean we'd become equal with the traditional basketball powerhouses.

As for recruiting, yes - it is an issue. Hewitt has 3 5* kids from the state of Georgia that will make it to campus in the past 3 classes (Clinch, Crittenton and Lawal) and UGa has had 0. What is happening is that Hewitt has made GT in the public eye to become the clear destination to play big time college basketball in the state of Georgia - wins and losses beside the point. This is very similar to the public perception that UGa is the superior football school which helps in recruiting so much ("you don't want to go to Tech when you could play for the 'dawgs, now do you?")

As for head to head, it's basketball ... nutty stuff happens. I'm pretty sure you'd trade your '03 win for our trip to the NC game that year - it's a bit different than football in that regard and I'm not it's entirely relevant to a conversation on building a program. Tech basketball is measured against UNC and Duke, UGa is measured against Kentucky ... the Tech v. UGa game each year is really just a minor sideshow (unfortunately).

Anonymous said...

I dunno, Nathan. You assert that Tech is the place to be, but Mike Mercer and Jeremy Price thought otherwise. It is true that Hewitt has a leg up at a time when our program has hit bottom and only recently stopped digging. It would be shocking if it were otherwise. When (OK, it's UGA hoops -- if) we start winning consistently, things will look very different.

You do make interesting points about how the conference and -- shall we say -- *lifestyle* factors cut the other way than in football. But look, here's the real point: Gailey is what he is, and in some ways, it ain't much. Felton may not be the second coming of John Wooden, but if you think it's a sure thing that all hes ever going to be is Chantastic, you're just kidding yourself. You can hope that, and I can worry about it, but neither of us knows. That's where the analogy really breaks down.

Anonymous said...

ah, Nathan, you wacky nerd. Your enthusiasm for GTU basketball is obvious. And unrealistic.

Let's see: GTU only needs to be "a bit more consistent" to be right there with the traditional basketball powerhouses. Sure thing. I'm sure Duke and UNC are wetting their collective pants worrying about the sleeping giant that is GTU basketball. This is a program that lost to IUPUI more recently than it's won an ACC championship. GTU basketball IS consistent. Consistenly mediocre.

It's a hoot listening to you brag about GTU's 5 star recruits, and I quote, "wins and losses beside the point." Tell me how GTU is "The clear destination for big time basketball in this state" when it cant even crack .500 against poor old UGA. No wonder you nerds were terrified to play Georgia State when Lefty was there. You all keep signing the "5 star" players, and we'll be happy to keep kicking your ass.

It's not "very similar to the public perception that UGA is the superior football school"...By any objective measure, UGA is the superior football school, and has been for about 40 years now. We win more games. We beat you over 70% of the time, head up. We play in better bowls. Our recruits are not only more highly rated than yours, they kick your recruits asses when they actually play. Have you, by any chance, been at a UGA-GTU game any time since, oh, say.....1991? Compare that to hoops. Of course, if you consider wins and losses beside the point, then maybe GTU IS our equal in football. Maybe the fact that Hew?tt has a losing record against us doesnt matter.

as for the bravado that "GTU basketball is measured against Duke and UNC"...well, how's THAT working out for you? Unless wins and losses are beside the point there, too, it looks like GTU is coming up wayyyyyyyy short by comparison.

GTU people have an amusing conceit. They think they're a lot better than their number would indicate, but maybe that's because they choose to ignore the numbers that really matter. Wins. Championships. Head to head.

GTU people still think it's 1954. Wake up and smell the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Typical angry Tech fan who is upset that his football team looked pathetic against Utah and his hoops team has only won two ACC conference games. Oh yeah, Tech has also lost 5 straight to UGA in football and Felton has taken 2 of 3 from Tech. Georgia was the thorn in Tech's side during the Nerds run to the National Championship game in 2004, where they got put into their place by UCONN. Georgia is recruiting better in football and hoops than Tech, which is always a GOOD thing.
Responding to the blog post, I'm not so concerned about getting talent in Georgia to come to UGA, but rather getting the best talent that we can get in the nation. Our team is pretty diverse now. We have players from Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Georgia, New York, Wisconsin, Morocco, and Australia. We are recruiting guys that our fit our system from Kentucky and Alabama. As long as the guys are elite players and fit with the Felton system, I'm okay with it.

Dan said...

Hooray for Steve in winning the most retarded statement in a thread full of retarded statements.

"Georgia is recruiting better in football and hoops than Tech, which is always a GOOD thing."

What the hell have you been smoking to say this? Maybe if Louis Williams had showed up on campus this year that would be true. But thus far we have beat in recruiting for 2004, 2005, and 2006. I will concede your 2004 class whupped the crap out of our 2004 class this year. So recruiting rankings still don't pan out into results. But to say that UGA is out recruiting Tech in hoops is possibly the most asinine statement I have ever seen. And I hang out on the Hive a lot, so that's saying something.

Anonymous said...

no steve - Tech does indeed suck and Hewitt is indeed overrated. But they are in fact out recruiting us in hoops and Dungeons and Dragons. They've got a 5 star gnome over there that apparently can roll a 12 sided dice like nobody's business.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I assume you are getting your recruiting information from
How do you assume Tech's 2005 class was better than UGA's 2005? According to Scout, Tech had a 5 star, a 4, and a 2 (They don't even list Paco Diaw). UGA had a 4 star and four 3 stars.
Now, if you go by Rivals, Tech had a 4 star, two 3 stars and a "NR". UGA had a 5 star and four 3 stars.
That all being said (and of course there are many problems comparing hoops classes to one another), it seems UGA's 2005 class is better (ranking wise) to Tech's, and it seems UGA's 2004 class "whupped the crap out of" Tech's 2004 class. The 2006 classes aren't here yet (e.g. UGA's Louis Williams class looked awesome a year out).
Tech may be outrecruiting UGA, but maybe you just might be a little confused on what is retarded or asinine?

Dan said...

12 siders are passe' Paul, the 20 sider is the new hotness.

Ruteger, you had more numbers, but in terms of final rankings (which I'll note UGA holds over our heads for football every year) Tech was ranked ahead of UGA for the 2005 class. Had Williams gotten sound advice from those in his life, I have no doubt that class would have been ranked ahead of ours. Do I think they give an unecessary preponderance of weight to 5 star recruits in the class ranking? Yes I do, but that's the way the game is played.

As for 2006, the LOI's are signed and nobody can go to the NBA. So for everyone there is a bigger collective sigh of relief that kids will at least show up on campus. They can go to the NBDL, but I doubt that route will be taken considering the NCAA's gives them much more national publicity.

And don't take my problems with Steve's statements as saying your recruits are bad. Felton is doing a solid job especially considering the program he was left with by the Harrick clan. But I don't think anybody on the outside giving a remotely objective analysis could say UGA has remotely outrecruited Tech. Especially in light of the new NBA rules and who Tech has in coming years.

I mentioned to Paul in an email that I hope the playing field gets level in both sports. As the two upset basketball games were much more enjoyable as a fan than the two mudhole stomping games. The same applies to football.

I'll also mention, sorry Nathan, that I consider the Felton=Gailey statement to be one of the retarded\asinine statements in the thread. Felton has UGA moving on an upward trend which is much more than I can say for Gailey.

I do, however, wonder if you guys can keep him. It just seems like you have some bad basketball karma whenever the program is going in a positive direction. I wouldn't be shocked if he leaves for perceived greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

Good response Dan.
I think the Scout rankings you're going by are flawed in that they give Tech credit for signing Austin Jackson, who if I'm not mistaken went in the MLB draft (either way isn't on the team). So it seems a little unfair to not give UGA credit for Louis but give Tech credit for Jackson. When you take Jackson away and replace him with unranked Paco Diaw, Tech's ranking is probably going to go down - below UGA's. Anyway, this is too much time splitting hairs.
Also, I think it is a little early still to count the 2006 class, as if there is one thing UGA fans have learned, it's never to count a basketball signee until he's on campus running laps...even with the new rules. That being said, Hewitt seems to be making the most of the ACC/National Championship game appearance angle. '06 and '07 look impressive.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that in 2006, we only can get one recruit and for 2007, we got 3 recruits. I'm fairly confident in the recruits that we have committed. Remember, just because the experts say that the player is whatever they say they are, it doesn't mean it will translate onto the court/field. Good example, Brock Berlin. He was the #1 prospect in the country and he sucked. Felton so far has proven to have a good eye for talent despite the stigma that is starting to clear from the Harrick debacle. If you told me that the Dawgs would have won two road games this year, I would have laughed in your face.

Anonymous said...

Steve - read what you wrote.

You sound like a Tech football fan.

They are out recruiting us. It just is what it is. And Hewitt has a losing record vs. UGA.

So a lot of good it has done them.

Dan said...

Sorry, I have responded sooner as I had to fly to the frozen tundra of St. Paul\Minneapolis this afternoon.

Ruteger, believe me I'm a Tech nerd so I don't like to speak in absolutes. I agree that there isn't 100% assurance anybody shows up on campus. The Austin Jackson situation proved that, but I figured most of the one and dones will try to get their Carmelo\Jordan style glory with a college team instead of taking the NBDL option. It's not a guarantee, but for most it would be the logical course of action.

And the '07 UGA class isn't looking too bad either. Bell and Price look to be pretty damn solid.

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