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December 9, 2007

Hoop Dawgs Clobber Wake Forest

Felton's guys overcame a sluggish first 6 minutes and 18 first half turnovers to completely demolish Wake Forest 72-50. I think it was the best the basketball team has looked since the win over Gonzaga last December.

In some ways, it's hard to know what to make of this game. Wake was predicted to finish 11th in the ACC by some pre-season publications, but they scored 80 points vs. Vandy a few nights earlier in a close loss. Personally, my optimism comes from the way Georgia looked more than the quality of the opponent.

The box score shows 18 assists on our 29 field goals. Ball and player movement (or lack thereof) has been my chief complaint during the Felton era. When you have that many makes off of assists, that's an excellent sign. It's also a good sign when you out rebound any ACC opponent 41-28.

The Positives:
-- The entire team played really well. Jeremy Price, Sundiata Gaines, Terrence Woodbury and Billy Humphrey all stood out to me.

-- Albert Jackson was back in action after his academic suspension. Albert was hurt for much of his freshman year so we really never got to see what he's made of. He picked up three turnovers and four fouls in nine minutes during this one, but it's still impressive to see the way he moves. We haven't had a guy with the size (6'10"), strength, agility and hand eye coordination since Terrell Bell in the early 90s. He's still raw, but it's promising seeing him move around.

The Negatives:
-- Singleton still hasn't completely learned what his thumbs are for, and he's an offensive train wreck. However, he continues to improve as a defender / shot altering force around the basket. The guy benches 355 pounds. To have arms as long as he does and bench that much weight means you're a STRONG, STRONG dude. He's probably put on 60 pounds of muscle since enrolling at UGA. If he ever learns how to use his body, watch out.

-- The crowd wasn't impressive at all. The students in particular were absent. I realize that it's the week before exams, and this is the first non-football weekend in a while (many fans watched football last weekend as if we were playing). But still. We have to do better when we book an ACC team at home.

The win was televised. I haven't sensed much optimism around the hoops program since the suspensions began this September. Squeaking by Div II Augusta State and playing a series of tomato cans at home also doesn't do much to fuel fan excitement, hope or interest. Fans WANT to support a winner, but fans NEED to have hope.

This win was hope inspiring against a name opponent on television. Felton couldn't ask for more.

The rest of the non-conference schedule is reasonable. We head to Hawaii next for a three game tourney (the pre-Sugar Bowl build up will make that a hostile environment), and then we face Gonzaga in Seattle. There's another jobber squeezed in there somewhere before closing the non-conference schedule in Athens against a Georgia Tech that is struggling badly.

We should roll into the Tech game at 9-3 or 10-2. I think/hope school will be back in session so it should be a weeknight sellout. Win that game and the fans will have their hope / optimism restored entering the SEC schedule. Then all the team has to do is win some games to keep butts in the seats.

Who knows what this season holds for basketball. We won't beat many SEC teams committing 26 turnovers, and we're painfully young / inexperienced on the blocks. But...anything can happen.

Random Schedule Tidbit:
-- UGA has apparently scheduled Illinois for a two game neutral site contract in basketball. We play at Chicago in 2008 and in Atlanta in 2009. Nice scheduling by Coach Hermann and Felton. (ht - ssb)

See Also
-- Blowout feeds confidence - AJC
-- Gaines is a warrior - Terrence Moore
-- Georgia seizes control - Macon Telegraph



Anonymous said...

I was very impressed with our play yesterday. Once Jackson got into the game you could sense our guys taking it to another level. Even though he didn't put up big numbers he is explosive. We need a guy like that in the post now because Singleton just isn't cutting it. We have a lot of time off coming up (just 4 games over 26 days) so maybe that will help us going into the SEC.

Anonymous said...

I am glad we won and won so convincingly, but the first 20 minutes of that game set organized basketball back 50 years.

Wake is just a terrible team and I am afraid that this win will be as impressive as the Okie St. win was for the football team.

We will get crushed by any quality opponent if we play the way we did yesterday.

Anonymous said...

I won't support a team coached by Felton. The guy is a complete douche.

blackertai said...

Good for them. With feelings around campus understandably low, hopefully a win like this will generate some hope from students. Most of my friends were resigned to another subpar year from the basketball team, but maybe, just maybe, Felton might get some magic out of these guys this year. I mean, I don't expect an NCAA title or anything, but we might be a hard team to get rid of at times if we play this type of hard defense all season long.

Anonymous said...

I think you have a pot/kettle problem, Joe. Say what you will about Dennis Felton as a coach, recruiter, disciplinarian... But he is a very nice guy.

Anonymous said...

This was the first game I could attend. Some thoughts:

Troy Brewer looks 3rd World country skinny. Very smooth shot, though.

Nice job to whoever put together the pre-game video montage. I thought it was funny how over the top and superhero'ish it was, but it was cool nonetheless.

Solid win over Wake Forest. I don't care if Wake isn't projected to be that good this year. They are a good team from a top basketball conference. I was pessimistic about the team after the departure of Brown and Mercer. However, I liked the new look of this team (Price and Swansey in paticular).

Anonymous said...

Joe said...
I (ridiculous drivel deleted) is a complete douche.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that Felton books opponents based on where his players are from. For instance, Felton booked Wisconsin for Dave Bliss and he tried to book MSG for Yata (against Dook). However, Yata may get to face a team just down Utopia Tpke... St. John's at the Rainbow Classic. Felton booked for Billy Humphrey, Illinois, so that he can play in front of his hometown in Chicago. I think for next year, I would not be surprised if we booked Virginia, Virginia Tech, or James Madison for Woodbury. I think it is a unique and nice gesture to say thanks to his players that are from out of state.

Anonymous said...

Students start class the monday before Tech. I guarantee it'll be packed...for god's sakes South Carolina and Vandy were packed last year because there was absolutely nothing else for students to do on a Wednesday night the first two weeks of class.

Keep in mind we had reading day friday, so a lot of kids went home thursday for an extended weekend. I, however, said screw home, Go dawgs.

Anonymous said...

"Squeaking by Div II Augusta State "

Yes, they are a Division II team, but they are a D-II power, much like GSU used to be. Considering when we played them with all the suspensions and other distractions, a win of any kind isn't that bad. I am actually beginning to think we can compete. I know this: we might not miss T. Brown as much as I thought we would at first. The Price kid can play, and both Woodbury and Jackson are getting better.

Anonymous said...

I went into this game with low to no a win is very positive, especially winning convincingly, even it was very,very ugly.
I just have one question/comment after watching the game though: I know we are 6-1 now, but realistically we are not that good of a basketball team. When did Wake Forest become so ridiculously awful? Does anyone in the know know if all their recruits decommitted after Prosser passed away?

Anonymous said...

Great to see us schedule Illinois. I still remember them beating us in the 2R of the NCAA tourney at the Omni in 1985. They beat us solidly, but if we had gotten by them, we would've played Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16 with a chance to play Georgetown in the Great 8.

Anonymous said...

For this season, please support this team and hope for the best.

Next season, watch out! (unless we suspend our starting 5 or 4 or whatever...)

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the "watch out for next season" quote has been used quite a lot during the Felton era (and UGA basketball for that matter)

Anonymous said...


Hawaii will not be a "hostile environment" for your basketball team. You will be welcomed here. We have no rivalry or dislike for Georgia players or fans just because we are going to play you in the Sugar Bowl in football.

Kailua Mom

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