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March 19, 2009

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

You put your release form in.
You pull your release form out.
You put your release form in,
And you call West Paducah State.
You do the "Do You Want Me"
And you shop yourself around.
That's what it's all about.

Troy Brewer confirms what was expected and then denied and now done. UGA has officially confirmed that he asked to leave the basketball team.

Speaking of in state high school basketball players that aren't playing in Athens because we have scholarships tied up with out of state kids who didn't contribute in a meaningful way.

The AJC reported yesterday that at least 40 kids who played high school basketball in Georgia are participating in the NCAA Tourney. Is that a bunch? Well, consider that around 700 total scholarship players are participating in the tourney. The 40 discussed in the article only make up 5.7 percent of the total players.

If you assume an even spread of talent across all 50 states, we should have 2 percent. Weighting for population, you might come to the conclusion that 5.7 percent is within the margin for error for how many kids should be in the tourney from GA. Until you consider this....UGA, GT, GSU, Georgia State, Mercer, Kennesaw and Savannah State aren't in the tourney.

To have 5.7 percent of the players in the NCAA Tourney from Georgia, and not include the 50-60 players from our own colleges is a jump off the page stat.

At one point this season, FSU had three starters from Georgia high schools. As FSU's coach Leonard Hamilton said:
“We like to have a presence [in Georgia] because it’s kind of like football in the state of Florida,” he said. “It’s a great football state. It seems every great program in the country, they have stars from Florida. It’s almost getting that way with basketball in Georgia. They have so many outstanding basketball players, they’re kind of distributed all over the country.”
If you're wondering why the UGA job has so much potential, this is it. We don't have to build a fence around Georgia or Atlanta to be exceptional in basketball. We just have to get our fair share.

If we could consistently recruit and retain one of the Top 3-4 players per year in state plus two more Top 5-15 players in state, we could consistently compete for the SEC title and the Sweet 16.

For perspective. The coaching staff apparently had to choose between Drazen Zlovaric (Tennessee by way of Serbia and several US high schools) and Tanner Smith of Norcross last year. Draz participated in 17 games and went 1 for 7 in SEC play for UGA.

Tanner Smith, who's mother is a UGA graduate, played in 31 games, averaged 13 minutes and 4 points while shooting 36% from three point line for the Top 25 ranked Clemson Tigers.

This is a good job. If we just take advantage of the abundant and painfully obvious resources at our disposal.


(BTW - If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm extremely bullish on the future of Georgia Basketball. It's simply a question of 'when." Not "if.")


Anonymous said...

This has always been my argument against any coach that cannot win at UGA. There is simply too much talent. Tubby proved it in spades. Our coach can recruit from Macon, Atlanta, and Albany and field a terrific team.

We are a sleeping giant in bball. All we need is the right coach.

Anonymous said...

Anon, it's even easier than that. Recruit from Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb, and you win huge consistently.

Gwinnett County is becoming to high school basketball what Cobb is to baseball.

It's a freaking GOLDMINE of talent.

the tri guy said...

Maybe our basketball program is akin to UF's football program circa 1989. There's no reason we can't be successful, we just need the right coach with the right attitude.

Bernie said...

Great analogy Tri Guy that only made me slightly quesy...

This is going to be a very interesting hiring process. As a result I'm more excited than usual about this year's tournament.

Anonymous said...

I'm not 100% where they are now but don't pass on da high (sav high) and beach down in savannah.

Anonymous said...

beach is a good one anon 11:47, there are tons of quality players across the state. Atlanta seems to be the center of it all, but there are still quality players in other parts of the state, especially below the fall line.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Darren (who rock?) Hancock can make a return in the red and black. Granted, he played for Griffin in the late 80's, but was the best player I've ever seen, in person. He and Dontonio Wingfield from Westover.

Of course, neither would have qualified, but that would have been a helluva combo.

Anonymous said...

But guys here is the difference the in Florida in 1989 analogy. UF was always able to sign good players from their state. They just did not have the coaching but they got their fair share of players.

Once Spurrier became the Head Ball Coach at UF, the Gators' recruiting had an even further uptick.

You cannot say the same about UGA - EVER. It is not just Felton who could not recruit in-state, it was Harrick too. To a certain extent it was Tubby and Jirsa. Hugh Durham missed out on way more than he signed.

Unfortunately, I do not know how to reverse this. I hope Damon does. I am skeptical that the answer is to bring in another up and comer from a mid-major program.

I think we should go after a more established coach who views this as his final destination like Lute Olson and Arizona. A place where an established coach can stay for 7-15+ years and win.

Today I am thinking Calipari.

Anonymous said...

You damn UGA people just need to accept your insignificant roles in men's sports and rely on your dominance in women's olympic sports.

Kevin said...

Don't you mean:

nificants role in men sport?

Dubbayoo said...

There have been some GREAT basketball players from Cobb County over the years too - Wheeler, Marietta plus south Fulton.

Anonymous said...

It only takes three very good players, two pretty good ones and three average players to win big in basketball.

And why compare UGA basketball to UF football? UF sucked then and they suck now. Geez. Their women walk around with poop stains on their legs. Just because they've won a lot of games doesn't me they don't suck.

MikeInValdosta said...

Got a pretty good tourney buzz going and then I read this. Flat out sobering.

We are gonna get this thing turned around, unlike east lake hartwell, who is getting throttled like all orange wearing teams should.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it again - Felton did more to screw up the basketball program at Georgia than Harrick and Jersa did combined!

MikeInValdosta said...

Anon, I must defend Jim Harrick. When I was but a student we had an academic "scandal" with our football team and the football program really did suffer for a few years afterwards. Nobody blamed our demise on Coach Dooley. Rightly or wrongly, we laid blame at the feat of Jan Kemp. I may be right, I am usually wrong, but I fault Tony Cole and not Jim Harrick for what the mess Felton inherited. And yes, Felton Obama'd it.

Harrick, prior to the whole sh_t storm, had made UGA basketball very relevant. I miss those days. I realize I am in the minority. I say, bleh.

What happened to the non-athlete students that attended the "basketball class"? Legitimate question, I really do not know. But I bet it was nothing compared to what happened to the players.

MikeInValdosta said...

East Hartwell just lost, that is one coach available for interviews

Anonymous said...

I went to UNC and grew up following UGA, and still do just not as much, and the situation with UGA basketball is very similar to UNC football.

There were always a good bit of football talent in NC always leaving the state. With Butch Davis UNC has been able to keep the ones in State, for the most part, that they want.

GA has tons of basketball talent. Getting a big name, or even a coach from a big school, to draw the talent in.

I don't know what kind of recruits it will take to get UGA back towards the top of the SEC, because my views of basketball recruiting are skewed. At UNC they are disappointed when they get kids out of the top 50, and rarely do they ever go after a kid outside the top 100. I think we currently have 2 kids from outside the top 100 and they were added in the summer to fill out roster spots.

Regardless, good luck with the search.

ralf said...

with 11.6 to go... I don't care if VCU wins or not. Anthony Grant has my vote. Evans should offer him the job as soon as this is over

ralf said...

offer him the job now.

Anonymous said...

We can do better than Anthony Grant. Nothing really bothers me about him, but he hasn't won an NCAA tourney game with his kids. Much like Dennis Felton at WKU and UGA. Not trying to dump on anyone, but if we are going to put up 2 mil for a basketball coach, we could do a lot better. When VCU beat Duke 2 years ago those were all capel's kids.

Anonymous said...

A no to Anthony "Fools Gold" Grant.
Might be a nice guy, and in time, a solid coach, but he shouldn't be our coach. There is very little beyond hype and PR that substantively suggests he can be the guy that turns us around. He's ridden Billy Donovan's coattails and Eric Maynor his whole coaching career and now he should be our coach, no questions asked? Results be damned? If he sticks around and takes VCU to the tournament next year, then we'll talk.

Anonymous said...

Man, I was really on the Anthony Grant bandwagon until watching that game last night.

It was amazing to see the stark contrast between the UCLA kids who has ZERO tattoos and the VCU kids who were all inked up. I know it seems like a small thing, but when you have kids like Billy Humphrey, who show up with no tatts at all and then seem to accrue a new one almost daily, it makes you question how much "discipline" the coach is really instilling.

Also, VCU ran no offense. They literally just had Maynor drive to the basket every play. It was way too similar to us with Sundiata.

Also, VCU could not hit a free throw. If they had made the front of their 1-and-1's from the 10 minute mark, they would have won the game.

I did not like the way the VCU kids constantly complained after every call.

Anyway, I was really excited about Grant until last night, and I stayed up and watched the entire game. There are just entirely too many similarities to Dennis Felton for me to be excited about him.

MikeInValdosta said...

Wow, I saw a lot of contrast between Felton and Grant. The biggest difference being Felton would have had a coronary, Grant was as kewl as ice.

He was playing a superior opponent and made the most of what he had.

I cannot argue with the comments about winning with Capel's players and losing with his own, but from what I saw, he would be a definite upgrade. Recruiting is the question.

Anonymous said...

I hate tattoos. They look like shit. Please hire a coach that will not let his players have tattoos.

In addition, please do not hire a coach that sucks.

So to recap, please hire a coach that wins alot of games and does not let his players have tattoos.

Anonymous said...

I hate tattoos. They look like sh*t. Please hire a coach that will not let his players have tattoos.

In addition, please do not hire a coach that sucks.

So to recap, please hire a coach that wins alot of games and does not let his players have tattoos.

MikeInValdosta said...

You sound like Adolf Rupp before the Texas Western game.

Or Bear Bryant before the UCS Rose Bowl.

These kids have tats before they take the SATs.

C'mon, while I do not, nor will I ever, have a tattoo, look at how many of our football players have them.

To me a tatto is just another example of


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