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Entries in Coach Mark Fox (19)

Wednesday
Nov172010

Hoop Dawgs provide Cardio Workout

The Hoop Dawgs win again, now 2-0 in the early season. In the win over the Colorado Buffalos (83-74), we are left with a single phrase.

 

FREE THROWS

 

Last year, we made great strides and won games because of our free throw shooting improvements. This time the dawgs won despite free throws. Shooting 62% will not win you many games, period. 

So in two games, we have had issues with REBOUNDS and now FREE THROWS. At least we are having these in different games. I know Coach Fox will fix these or the players will feel the pain.

On a different note, Watch out for Connor Nolte, Gerald Robinson and Jeremy Price. Connor isn't the best player, but wow he is all over the place. Last night he led the team in Minutes. Gerald will be just fun to watch. He made some great passes and moves, something we haven't seen in a while. Finally JP, well he is slowly becoming a leader on the floor. He will have to maintain his control, which I could see him losing last night. 

Finally a word on Trey. What the TV won't show and many miss, is how much he is coaching during the games. He was doing one on ones during timeouts and when the game had stops. This was more of the on the court players going over to him than him calling out. He is going to be great when he gets back. My take is, he should not come back until late December. 

I think we can beat Tech and some others without Trey and no need to take a chance on his injury. Lets just save him for SEC play with a warm up with the late December games.

GOOOOOO Dawgs. 

Monday
Nov082010

The Hounds in Year Two

We are now entering year two of the Mark Fox Era at Georgia and the Bandwagon is filling up quickly. This past week I attended the now annual Meet the Team event and it had almost triple the number of persons and season ticket orders are up 30%. 

ESPN and the like are getting on the bandwagon. Georgia is now getting listed by the media as missing on players. Hell, two years ago we weren't even on the list. So everyone, sit back, enjoy, but also keep things in perspective. 

We are in year two of the building of Georgia Basketball. Yes we have had teams in the past. Some that were pretty good, but we have had far more that were just bad. Either at the coaching level or the talent level. To show you how far the excitement in Georgia Basketball has come, we had more people at an exhibition game than we had at some of the early games last year and a lot more than we had during some of the Felton Years. 

So what did I hear and see at the Meet the Team and Exhibition Game

 

  • Jeremy Price is looking fit having lost a good deal of weight or at least turning it into muscle. So look for big minutes and production here. Oh I wish he would have been under Coach Fox for four years. He could have been a great player.
  • Trey Thompkins, is well Trey. He was out with a bum ankle and we are not sure when he will return, but when he does, expect lower minutes until SEC play. 
  • We actually have a bench this year. With Connor Nolte, Gerald Robinson, Marcus and the crew, we may be able to have a second team come in and play and score.
  • In the exhibition game, we turned the ball over way too much and didn't have enough assists or rebounds to make me happy. Hoping this improves with some actual game play. 
  • Defense is a big factor this year and Coach Fox has made it a priority. The problem he says is the number of fouls coming out of the Man Defense. So don't be surprised by some early man followed by zone when the foul count goes up. 
  • The Stegeman renovations are looking great. This place will be fabulous when completed. Arthur Johnson says by the 18th of November all the graphics will be in place. 

 

I expect some nice things from the hoop dawgs this year, but I ask each of you to keep a level head. Yes we have two players that could go pro. But remember, before Fox, I don't think either would have gone pro unless it was in the D-League. We are still learning as a team. So yes, I think we will make the NCAA tourney this year. I would even go as far as sayign we might win the first game. 

Do I think we are a Sweet Sixteen team, doubtful. But not ruling this out. But I do think we are a First round win team. Now if we made a run and made the Sweet Sixteen, would I be shocked, no. But remember, this team didn't win a road game last year, and then only one a game on a neutral court. As the saying goes, it can take some time to turn a ship around. And I think we are about half way there. 

So come out if you can and support the hoop dawgs. I know I'll be there for each home game. 

You can find some of my Meet the team pics here on flickr

Saturday
Apr172010

Pope a Deacon

Normally when you hear of an assistant coach or team personnel leaving a program, it's normally not for the good. It's usually because of a bad season and the head coach has to make a change or he'll be gone. Well this time, it's because of the right things. At least that is how I see it. 

Word has it, Mark Pope is moving up to Wake Forest to become an assistant coach. Coach Pope, left medical school at Columbia to come work with Coach Fox and because of NCAA rules on the number of coaches, he became the Operations Coordinator, but he got to work with Coach Fox and learn how it's done from the bench. 

This is a good thing in the overall scope of things. It goes to show that Coach Fox is doing it right and that other have confidence in hiring persons that worked with him. You can see how much our team learned from Coach within the NCAA guidelines, so imagine how much each of the coaches improved during this time. 

I want to wish Mark Pope the best of luck and if the Dawgs ever play the Deacons, I don't wish him any luck. Well some luck, just not enough to beat us. 

Now the other coaches and schools, STAY AWAY. But I wish all of our coaches the best when they leave under their terms. 

Thursday
Apr152010

Thompkins Says No

WashingtonPost/APWell Trey Thompkins said no and this is the one no we were all hoping for. Trey has decided to return to UGA next year. Now granted he has until May 8th to change his mind, but I think he is set, based on his comments. 

I believe this is in his best interest to return to school and get another year in the Coach Fox program. He grew so much as a player in one year, I can't wait to see what next year brings. 

And with Trey and Travis returning next year and our current group of new players, we may actually have a bench to call on. This would be a big step in the right direction for this team. 

So this is how I see our starting line-up, just based on what we all know to date : (In the basic setting and this will most likely change as the season goes on)

PG - Dustin Ware

SG - Sherrard Brantley or Gerald Robinson

SF - Travis Leslie

PF - Trey Thompkins

C - Jeremy Price

Our bench now looks pretty good. Now the new players we'll have to see how fast they pick up the offense, defense and the school work, but today I see some depth compared to last year. This is even with DeMario and Drazen leaving the team. So hows it stack up :

Sherrard/Gerald, Vincent Williams, Chris Barnes, Connor Nolte, Donte Williams and Cady Lalanne all with possible minutes and like last year, we will have to develop the numbers, but this lot is a lot easier to look at and not wonder how we can survive with the starters on the bench. Last year for the most part, it was about killing minutes. We did have some big nights from the bench, but overall, nothing to write home about. Now we should be able to have fresher legs later in the season. We should also be able to get those 15 points or more from our bench. 

I know we have to get through the grueling baseball season and then the new look Dawgs on the Gridiron, but I'm excited to see what Coach Fox and the team can do next year.

Monday
Mar152010

Basketball Rebirth

bg As we enter March Madness without the Dawgs (14-17), it draws us to the end of year one of the Mark Fox era. When the year started many didn’t know what to expect, including myself. When he was hired, I searched around for some video of his offense and how his teams at Nevada played. Now the issue was, none of our players had played in such a system. So we didn’t know how they would adapt to the system or to the new staff. As it turns out, after a little encouragement the team did seem to get it. I got my first glimpse of the team at the preseason practice/meet and greet.  Here I saw a team that was buying into the system and believing in the coach and staff. I didn’t get to see the defensive practice, but in the offensive runs, I saw some hope. In past years, we would run a play and then stop. We would stand around for 20 seconds doing nothing. That night I saw a team moving for the entire shot clock. Also, and I didn’t get it at the time, but the team shot free throws having to make their 10 before they could leave. I understood that we were practicing free throws, but didn’t realize the impact it would make in the end. Through these efforts we raised our percentage made from year to year by 8%. (63 to 71%). At one point this year, we were near 80% made. We even won a few games from the line and finished second in the league to Vandy. The little things do matter. As the year went on we all noticed that we were competitive against the big boys and not just the New Orleans’ of the world. Now we ended up losing a few of these games we should have won (Wofford), but even though we may have lost, we improved. This will be the last year that this is allowed. Yes you can learn from losing, but we need to learn after winning, which comes right after learning how to win. And there, we made great strides having won a few games that many thought we would not win. We also need to learn to win away from home. But that will come. When it comes to the players, I saw true grit showing up as the season went along. I saw the attitudes change. This was what we needed to see happen. This was not the year to win the conference, this was a year to win the players and the fans. This I believe was done. So what did I see in some of our players.

  • Jeremy Price – After a bust out freshman year, JP put on weight and played well under what he was capable of in his sophomore year. So going in, you could tell he was going to require a lot of riding by the staff and the team in his 3rd year. This started even at the preseason meet and greet. Coach was riding him about his weight and during the season, you could see the fire that was being lit under JP. Well it paid off. He dropped a lot of weight, his output increased and he stopped dragging up and down the floor. There were times last year and some this year, where I thought he would just leave. His attitude looked terrible. But if you look at the last 5 games or so, you saw the player that should have a great Senior year.
  • Travis Leslie – After some academic issues his freshman year and sitting out the end of the season, Travis came on strong in year 2. He became a nightly highlight on ESPN and moved his way up as the most improved sophomore scorer going from 6.3 to 14.8 points again. He also saw a greatly increase role in the offense and defense. I expect the same next year as he moves more into the guard role from the forward role. This should help him make the move to the next level. I also look for more games like his last, where he went for 34 points and 6 boards.
  • Trey Thompkins – His play was more expected, Was the second leading scorer in the conference and made a 5 point increase in scoring from year to year. We are now in a waiting period to see if he turns pro, but I think he would best be served by one more year under coach Fox. The improvements in his game in one year were outstanding, so one more could move him up the draft boards. So what would he need to improve on, Foul Trouble, Inside work against bigger guys, he can get bumped around more than we would like. If he goes, I wish him the best, but hope he stays.
  • Connor Nolte – For someone that never saw playing time while sitting out a transfer year, he was like a on man PR machine for the Dawgs. I’m betting he was the one that got more Dawgs on Twitter (which is great PR for the team, I know I got to interact with many members). Connor also had his website Passer’s Remorse. On his site he started a “Gameday trick Shot” and got players, coaches and even Charles Barkley to participate. They even ended up on ESPN, so from a PR perspective, this was great. He spread the word on Georgia and the Dawgs. So now maybe a kid will remember this when it comes time to start looking at schools. Can’t wait to see what Connor brings to the hardwood next year, as he will help build out our scoring threats.
I would also like to say once more thanks to our seniors, Ricky, Tyler and Albert. Thanks for the minutes, the sweat and the desired that you showed as your time as Dawgs. So where do we go next year. That’s a tough call. We know what we will have, but we are only now getting some of the players Coach Fox and the staff have gone after. Even then, it maybe the next year before we get those kids that his true recruits. To me, if we win the games we should win and a couple that we shouldn’t then we will be heading in the right directions. Because as we move forward, we will have more and more games that fall into the “Should Win” category. So looking at our schedule from this past year, if I apply just some what if’s based on more experience and a slightly deeper bench, this is what we could see next year. I can see us winning 18 or 19 games and on the bubble. But would probably end up in the NIT. This is assuming we don’t have a sophomore slump. You may look at 18-19 wins as a lot, but look at this past year at the games we blew because we didn’t know how to win. We were really not in but a few games and I imagine next year we will run into a team or two that we just don’t match up with and it will not even be close. But liek I have said, those types of games will slowly drop from the schedule as we improve. I hate that the season is over when we were really starting to get things going even when we weren’t winning. So I can’t wait until the next season and I may have some blog surprises by then. So I will have a busy off-season as well. Also, follow the Dawgs on Twitter. I’ll update my lists as players signup. So enjoy your March Madness, as I hope this is the last without the Dawgs.

Thursday
Mar042010

Wildcat Downer on Senior Night

Well things don’t always go as planned. This was the case against the Wildcats. The dawgs came but in the end, didn’t have the legs to finish. A 12-0 run by the Wildcats to start the second half didn’t help matters at all. This was also not the way you would want to send out the seniors. As I wrote yesterday, they have played and practiced and made the start to what many think is a move in the right direction.

Some highlights and lowlights. 

  • I got my picture made with Charles “The Round Mound of Rebound” Barkley
  • We saw a sellout crowd, granted I would say there were several thousand fans in blue. This has to change.
  • We saw a breakout game by Jeremy Price (20 minutes - 7-11 FG, 5-5 FT, 6 Reb, 19 points)
  • We saw the fire in the eyes of Coach Fox when Travis got hurt and the refs wouldn’t stop play. 
  • We saw a team in Kentucky that had to fight to get this win.
  • We had an off night by Trey and Travis (This is never a god thing for the Dawgs.)
  • We saw the drain of a season of fighting for 40 minutes a night catch up to the dawgs. 
  • I meet Ryan from Bulldawg Illustrated as well. 
  • Coach Calipari gave some props to the Georgia Team and Coach Fox.

Bernie had a good write up of the events last night, so I’ll leave the rest to him. 

I’ll close with a few images from last night.

Me and Chuck

Tip-Off Mark Pope

 

The Seniors

 

Halftime with the Dance Dawgs and the UGA Drumline

 

Wednesday
Mar032010

A Senior Sweep

As the Dawgs prepare to battle the Wildcats tonight, we are experiencing two special occasions. The first is Senior Night. We will pay tribute to those players that are completing their time playing for the dawgs. The Second is only accomplished with a victory. That would be a sweep of the SEC East Teams at Home. Yes, I know that is not that big a deal, but compared to where we have been, this would be a great step forward. 

First the Seniors. 

I have watched each of these players as either walk-ons, transfers or enter as freshman. I have watched with joy, excitement and heartbreak as these players made their mark on the program. Some played more than others, but each gave it their all to help better the program. To them I say Thanks.

 

  • Albert Jackson - A force inside with a fun attitude. He will be missed both on and off the court. He provide leadership during the coaching change and has proved to be a valuable member of the team. 
  • Ricky McPhee - The transfer that once dropped 21 on UNC in his first game with Garner-Webb. He is deadly from the 3 and provides a pretty good defensive stand. 
  • Tyler Whatley - A local from my area who started his career at Wofford, then saw the light and came to the Dawgs. His playing time has not been great, but his efforts in practice I'm sure have helped the dawgs become better on the floor.

 

So give a clap for these Damn Good Dawgs and give them thanks for their time with the dawgs.

The next part of tonight will be a bit harder to complete. The dawgs take on the Wildcats that are coming in pissed off after a loss to the Vols this past weekend. This Wildcat team is better than the one we played in Lexington to start SEC play, but the Dawgs are better too. The final score of the first meeting, 76-68, does not show how close it really was. Here was my take back then

Now that you are caught up, we can not have 26 turnovers and commit 25 fouls again. If we do, I do not expect a good outcome. If we stay sharp and focused, I do see a victory and a home sweep against the SEC East. The home crowd will be a factor and sadly this game usually brings in a large number of Kentucky fans. Hopefully as time marches forward, those seats will not be available to the Wildcat fans. 

So if you are at the game or watching at home, I want you to scream and yell and jump up and down for these dawgs. We need them and more importantly, they need us, as fans, to do what we do best. We need to be the 6th man. We need to show the support that has been building all year. Coach Fox has done his part, now it is time for the fans to do theirs. 

So GOOOOOOOO Dawgs

Georgia Bulldogs (13-14, 5-9) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (27-2, 12-2)
Date / Time Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Location Stegeman Coliseum | Athens, Ga.
Television Live regional coverage on the SEC Network (Dave Neal and Joe Dean, Jr.)
Radio Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network (Atlanta: 750AM, Athens: 100.1 FM & 960 AM)
Internet Live audio on GXtra (subscription required), Live video on ESPN360.com
Satellite The majority of Georgia basketball games in 2009-10 can be heard on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Tonight’s game is available on XM Channel 201. Full Schedule