Saturday, January 29, 2011

Recruiting Roundup - 4 Days til NSD

Please stand, and welcome our 23rd commit...Ray Drew.

For more video footage out this outstanding kid, check out Chad Simmons' one on one ($$) with Drew. Just don't tell him the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.

Maybe you're with me now...Jenkins and Crowell are ours! To me the question marks become Turene, Robinson and Pagan. And I'd be surprised if we lose even one of those. More on that to come.

For now, the Wednesday NSD Live Blog is ready to go. Come back tomorrow for details on how to be ready for it!

I can almost smell the Dream Team as well as the doughnuts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tony Parker's Living Room

Was a little surprised at the groaning directed at Coach Fox about the hardwood loss the other night. Surprised that the honeymoon is over so quick...and surprised that we've built ourselves so quickly into a fanbase that expects basketball wins so quickly.

Don't get me wrong, I think both are good. As true Dawgs we should expect to win every game, and that's a feeling that hasn't come frequently in relation to men's basketball.

That being said, if you are yet to be completely sold on Coach Mark Fox you have certainly reached for the wallet. If not, I question your sanity. Why? Just take a look at the recruits that are entertaining him and his staff in their own living rooms. Felton wouldn't have made it past Marcus Thornton's mailbox last spring. Fox is sitting on the same cushions as the likes of Matta, Calhoun, Williams, Pitino, Calipari and Mike friggin' Krzyzewski.

Fletcher Page ran a piece the other day on Miller Grove's Tony Parker. He's a 6'9" 265 lb stud who loves the game of basketball and has helped his team to two state championships. He described himself to Page as "wide open" in terms of recruiting. Normally these caliber state kids aren't considering the Athens zip codes even when they're this wide open. 
While Parker is a national recruit, he has spent time visiting home state schools. He took a trip to Athens to see Georgia knock off Kentucky Jan. 8.
“It was good. I liked it. It was nice,” Parker said. “They had a good matchup with Kentucky. They played really hard and got a good win… I’ve been knowing Georgia since (former head coach Dennis) Felton.”
Felton actually offered Parker while he was still just an eighth grader. Once Mark Fox took over in 2009, he let Parker know he was a top target.
“He’s a real good coach,” Parker said of Fox. “He’s cool. He’s making his program known, and that’s good for Georgia.”
When Parker narrows his list down this Fall, if Georgia is still on it I'll admit that I'd be shocked. But only because this is unfamiliar territory for me as a UGA hoops fan. Sure, we've recruited and signed kids like Parker before. But if it becomes a habitual occurrence, we'll know he's doing more than wiping his feet off at the door.

And now for something much more trivial...

#ThursdaysRTrivial is coming up right after this PSA: We interrupt this hiatus and take you back to your regularly scheduled awesomeness.

#ThursdaysRTrivial episode 65 "Tony Parker's Living Room". We're back! And we're just as bad as ever. It's the weekly Twivia Show that crawls through those tangly interwebs just to clog up your Twitter Feed. REPLY back your answer for a chance at a fabulous prize! Tony Parker is a star at Miller Grove HS and a big in state target for Coach Mark Fox. What team did Georgia play at Stegeman during Parker's last visit to Athens?

A Twitter trivia show can evidently go on hiatus, but that doesn't mean that Shan's trivial knowledge and ability to make Google bow to his supremacy takes a break. Even when the Twitlonger servers buckled at the weight of #ThursdaysRTrivial's url requests, he powered through and came back with the winning answer: Kentucky. He takes home the Parker family's old remote found under a seat cushion, so now he doesn't have to even stand up to change the channel, much less walk twenty feet to turn the dial. Ally was close and had the right answer, so she gets one of those sofa arm rest cover thingies. The Parkers tell me the stain is not from Pitino, so enjoy!

Last but not least, Mike and Blake both chimed in with Missy State. That might sound bizarro, but an educated guess is better than none at all. So you both get the loose change that fell out of Calipari's pocket into Mr. Parker's La-Z-Boy. I think there's enough there to buy a blue-chipper!

And before we leave episode 65, I did some digging into the #ThursdaysRTrivial archives with the intention of finding the top three episodes pre-hiatus. I was mostly successful and wanted to share.

3. At number 3 is one of my personal favorites. Frequent BDB commenter Olllddude happened to have family ties near a spot we used as a spring vacation last year, St. Augustine. With the help of modern technological devices and navigation systems we were able to do a drive by tourist style and snap a pic. It reminded me of my grandmother's old house. Plus, I love a good pirate story involving treasure. Scott grabbed the top prize.

2. The second most impressive answer comes from none other than Kit Kitchens. I can't find the post, but I found myself in traffic around the Atlanta airport one Thursday early in the series. So for episode 4 I snapped a picture of a sign outside of the west terminal as I dropped the wife off for some girls' trip. Unbelievably, LudaKit recognized it rather easily.

1. And the most impressive answer in the series came in episode 5. I would have to say I made this one pretty difficult to find, as close to google proof as I've been able to manage. Yet, John not only proved to be a reader of Jeff Owens' blog back when #95 was still on campus, but also remembered from a post there that Clint Boling's favorite dessert was Mama's Apple Pie. It's also one of the most calorie rich episodes we'll likely ever have.

Stay tuned in for next week's episode when we cast a shadow on a groundhog!

Recruiting Roundup - 5 Days til NSD - UPDATED

Listen...Uncle Mo's clearing his throat...

UPDATE: Reverend Drew took the pulpit...and preached ALL DAWG!!!

Jeoffrey Pagan and Clemson have officially divorced over irreconcilable differences. The main difference was they wanted his signature Wednesday and he didn't like their stationery. Although we were never officially out of the running, we're now in a two man race with Alabama. And I think we're about to piss on Saban's elevated shoes.

Which brings up the question...what about our "commits"? Are any gonna da-prick us? In a word, no. Seriously, Coach Richt and staff are putting on a clinic for how to recruit the southeast. They've had their commits locked down and sealed tight. And don't worry about Justin Scott-Wesley announcing late, he's already using Twitter to decide what jersey number he'll be at UGA.'s the day...the day we officially ($$) get Ray Drew's word. He's scheduled to announce about 10:15am. If you are reading this post before that time, head on over to From Hedges to Hardwood where they're live blogging the event. If you are reading this afterwards, then I've probably already updated the official decision at the top ^ ^ ^ ^ .

No question really, that the Thomas Co DE is a long as Bobo pays for breakfast. And once Drew breaks all those Auburn hearts, I wonder what all of his BookFace stalkers will do in their spare time? If you are one of them, careful what you type. You just might be working against you're own self-obsessed goal.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who's Casting a Shadow, Murray or Bray?

This already seems to be an off season topic du jour: who is the better QB, Georgia's Aaron Murray or Tennessee's Tyler Bray?

In his SEC Showdown piece, I think Jon over at SaturdayDownSouth hits on all sides of the argument, but doesn't drive home the real point - Murray has the more definitive body of work, based largely on the fact that he entered the 2010 season a year ahead and the natural successor at quarterback. Murray played in just four more games, but had a whole extra year to absorb the offense.

No, I'm not trying to make an argument for the HillBilly. Just saying his hill was steeper from the start with a change in coaches while he was unpacking his dorm boxes and only 8 months to prepare versus Murray's twenty.

Regardless, I wanted some more numbers to look at, so I went to cfbstats and grabbed these to stir into the argument.

Total Offense
GRush YardsPass YardsPlaysTotal YardsYards/PlayYards/G

Aaron Murray

Total Offense
GRush YardsPass YardsPlaysTotal YardsYards/PlayYards/G

So to make matters worse for Bray, Jon inflated Murray's rushing stats more than a bit, 358 yards as opposed to the actual 167. So when I saw the discrepancy between the piece and cfbstats I checked another source and came up with 167 rushing yards as well.

Anyway, these two SEC signal callers are ultimately going to be judged by their success on the field which depends on their arms more than their feet. And I agree that Murray has a slight edge in these statistical areas: yards/attempt, yards/game, rating and perhaps most importantly the TD/INT ratio. Murray had 3 touchdown passes to each interception while Bray only had 1.8.

Roughly speaking, I think you can use the yards/att and yards/game to determine how well each is reading the field while the rating gives an indication of overall performance. Murray rates slightly to fairly significantly better in each. But when push comes to shove, the TD/INT ratio is the best indication of a quarterback's decision making. And this is especially important with freshman quarterbacks. A nearly 2 to 1 advantage is nothing to sneeze at.

Overall, both are great QBs with great skills and are well coached. Murray rated out better during their freshman campaigns. But looking forward, it will ultimately be the players around them that determine who comes out on top each Fall.

Dawg Bloggers Podcast

Had the pleasure of a Dawg chat with ecdawg, Mike, KensingtonDawg and the great Patrick Garbin last night. Here's what came out of it.

- Posted using BlogPress from Bernie's iPhone

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recruiting Roundup - 7 Days til NSD

Frequent Flyer Mile Edition

In exactly 7 days, 0 hours and 0 minutes (as of the time of this posting) we will know for sure where Isaiah Crowell is going to play football this fall. Alabama, where he can be one of 54 incoming freshmen. Or Georgia, where he can be a part of Coach Richt's Dream Team.

Kent Turene may not be a USC Trojan
This week has been a week of follow ups so far for the Georgia coaches. Hope the wives and kids are managing okay, because the coaches have been all over the southeast ($$) visiting with players who just visited them as well as a few prospective recruits for this class and next.

Kent Turene remains one to watch closely and he hosted UGA coaches yesterday. And Antonio Richardson is in the same boat as he will get a visit Friday. Turene may be an easier target, but both players are getting the full court press. Chad Simmons also adds his thoughts ($$on whether Turene might sway his good friend Marcus Robertson to giving Georgia a look.

Jeoffrey Pagan is reconsidering his commitment to Clemson. Here's what his coach Danny Wilkins had to say:
"He is looking at Clemson, Georgia, and Alabama. He keeps changing his mind so we'll see what happens...I really don't know what he is going to do."
It's purely a gut feeling but I think it comes down to Georgia and Bama for Pagan, especially if we're able to get one last in-home visit as we're expected to. 

The next two days are huge with coaches expected to visit both Crowell and Jenkins Thursday and Ray Drew breaking WDE hearts on Friday.

Buckle up tight. Let's hope there's no turbulence. Go Dawgs!

Foul Play

6.7 ticks left, up three points in the first overtime...what do you do?
“We have always trusted our defense,” Fox said. “In that situation, especially the way the rebounding was going the second half, I didn’t feel like we were going to need it.”
By "it" coach is referring to fouling. This morning it's easy to look back and think we would've had that thing if we had sent them to the line. Rolled the dice. But to his credit, Coach's defense that he trusts forced a 30 foot jumper from a guy who had not hit from behind the arc much all night (1-7). 

It's certainly a healthy debate, to foul in that situation or to play defense. I'll trust the coach. Just wish that damn shot had rimmed out.

Some other thoughts:
  • I've admired the Stegeman renovations from the outside, but this was my first time inside. It's like a brand new arena. Walking in, if there hadn't been so much Dawg on the walls I would've thought I was at an away game.
  • Great crowd despite nasty weather. I gave the students some grief during football season about empty seats, some of which is really out of their control. But currently they seem to be putting the lower bowl alumni to shame in the Steg. Just saying.
  • Thanks to those of you who joined in the live blog. Definitely have some things to iron out before signing day and moving forward. But overall I thought it worked pretty well. Stay tuned.
  • Gerald Robinson is a difference maker. But he played tight last night and his quick fouls and turnovers hurt. We need him to find his SEC groove.
  • Clearly the highlight of the night was Florida's Chandler Parsons hitting a three from the corner, start running down the court and gets racked by one of his own coaches. He really needed that timeout. 
  • I know Trey logged something like 47 total minutes, but he spent about twice that talking to the refs about certain fouls that were somehow non-fouls.
  • I thought overall the players really rose to the challenge of playing a top team on a big stage. And I'll admit when I looked at Price about 27 feet away with just 6 or so seconds left in regulation I thought we were officially done. He thought the same thing, but briefly. Then he, Ware and Thompkins found a way to get it done.
  • And that's why this is such a kick in the gut. We have to win ones like this.
Like Coach says, they'll use the agony as fuel.

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gameday Live Blog

Price rebounds. Robinson dishes. Leslie dunks. Bernie blogs.

Sounds like a winning combination. Unfortunately, I probably have a lot of kinks to iron out to make this successful. So this is kind of a test post to see how well I can access it on my phone this afternoon, then I can make any necessary adjustments before I leave for Athens.

I will NOT take my laptop into Stegeman!! I may embrace technology, but I'm not an engiNerd.

So you may see this post come and go (deleted) briefly as I test it out. But regardless I'll have it up and ready prior to tip off. If all goes well, well before tipoff. So come back for some fun and hopefully a win over the hated gators.

Go Dawgs!

Also, one last thing. If you're on twitter and would rather your updates stream directly to this live blog, let me know on Twitter as a mention or a DM. This should allow me to do that.

Recruiting Roundup - 8 Days til NSD

Xzavier Ward became Georgia's 22nd commitment yesterday and it's 6th OL commit. Last week we considered the possibility of a grayshirt for Ward. Now he's set to join the Dawgs in June
“He’s only played two years of high school football at that position.” Colquitt County coach Rush Propst said. “He was good for us, he took us to the state championship game, but I think his best football is ahead of him now.”
The question will be how far ahead of him. Ward is 6'6" and about 270 lbs. The quick comparisons are to Dennis Roland and Josh Davis. Both tackles, they came into Athens tall and in need of bulk. Davis just finished a good career in Athens and Roland is still with the Bengals the last I heard. Despite numerous knee injuries Roland is slowly building a respectable professional career with 24 overall starts the last two seasons.

Back to Ward, he's about to be redshirted in just his third year of football. But there seems to be tremendous upside. If he's going to protect Murray's blindside during the quarterback's junior season...he's also going to need to block for Crowell, right? 

Regardless, welcome aboard Ward! As far as other offensive looks like Gadbois is out. Antonio Richardson is still a possibility but doesn't seem likely.

Next, to clarify on Jenkins from yesterday, he's in classes at Gulf Coast all week and wants to be at home in Connecticut when he signs. So news from him likely comes the Friday or Saturday after NSD. There might be a chance he makes a decision public after his visit to Gainesville this weekend. But all signs point to next weekend right now.

And last, Kent Turene had a great time in Athens over the weekend, but not enough to change his verbal from USC. Can Georgia coaches change his mind here in the final week? They'll return the favor with a visit to him today. I'm liking our chances more and more.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Recruiting Roundup - 9 Days til NSD

Some of you people need to sit down front here and repeat after me: I will NOT stalk 17 year olds' facebook posts.

Ray Drew announces his decision on Friday. Some grown men who follow recruiting in the southeast may not make it 'til then. And those who do still have another 5 days until whatever he decides becomes official. My best guesstimate is on record, I think he's a Dawg. But it's not something I'm going to sweat over.

In today's world, recruiting is a roller coaster. Has been building toward that ever since Coach Cavan camped out at Herschel's mailbox with nothing more than a tent and a winter's ration of hardtack. The word commitment is not a bond in many cases so much as it's a tool used to solidify a spot, get a better offer or just slow things down some until a kid can actually wrap his brain around everything that is going on. Do I like that? No. But that's the way it is. And to take it a step further, it's really their prerogative if they want to handle it that way.

But it's my prerogative how much I buy in. So in short, I don't mind a trip around the track. I just choose to step off periodically so as my head doesn't spin too much.

Another issue that's hard to wrap your head around is available spots in this year's class. This isn't something to worry too much about either I don't think. But it will certainly come into play here more as we head down the stretch. And I thought ecdawg did a good job (LINK FIXED, sorry) explaining things.

The main thing right now is that we have room for the targets that are still on the board - Jenkins, Crowell and Drew - and a couple more who wanna join us late. If Drew takes the 22nd spot Friday and then a couple more fill up by close of business Wednesday February 2nd, we just gotta make sure there's still room for John Jenkins when he officially signs with a school a couple days later.

Which brings me to my last point. Part of the fun in this is trying to read coaches and how they are reacting to what we are reading on message boreds, twitter and what we're hearing from our brother's neighbor's girlfriend who dated that coach back in high school. It's amusing to us, but it's ultimately the life of a young man and his decision. Let's not get overly caught up in it.

Monday's Meatloaf - a Clueless Slumber

Pardon me if my words kind of jumble together today. I recently survived an attack and I'm still somewhat shaken.

They descended upon our residence on Friday, disguised as nine year old pre-teens. But by the time they had all left Saturday my wife and I had somehow endured endless screaming, running, jumping. some Taylor Swift rumor mongering and probably two full years worth of "likes". You know - Like...I mean like, she is like...SOOOO, like pretty!

Worse, I suspect it was my own daughter Conner that helped them gain entry. They ate our pizza, drank incessantly, consumed nearly an entire sheet cake and then the real chaos commenced. When I envisioned a slumber party prior to Friday evening, I saw them all cuddled up in the play room watching Disney movies until falling asleep somewhere in the neighborhood of ten o'clock. And every time I thought they were upstairs for good they'd come bounding down again screaming to decibels not meant for households in countries where muzzles on kids are frowned upon. 

I just kept looking at our chocolate lab Munson and apologizing with my eyes. By the time they finished their ice cream he stopped acknowledging me altogether. And when I fell asleep sometime very early Saturday morning Taylor Swift was still single, but the playroom smelled like finger nail lacquer and the intruders were starting another movie...refusing to give in, determined to ruin my entire weekend.

By 7am the next morning the madness ensued once again. If Ms. Swift is so Fearless, I'd like to see her host of these thigs. Perhaps by the time Conner's 10 and they all return with their sleeping bags (that are used for God knows what cuz it ain't the intended purpose for sure) and fuzzy slippers, Munson will acknowledge me again.

Today's Ingredients
  • Dawgola Tesla wrote in his preview that he thought Fox's Dawgs were up for a rebound game. And it certainly was, in more ways than one. Bizarro dogs outboarded 43-21.
  • Great story on Dustin Ware by the AJCs Steve Hummer (h/t Daugman). If you were at UGA when I was, it will bring back some meningitis memories.
  • Dawg Stephen saw a lot of progress in Saturday's hardcourt win.
  • And HoopDawg is impressed by the character of the win, following up both SEC losses with blowout wins.
  • Calipari could probably coach Auburn's defense with that kind of language. Nice Exile. Well done sir.
  • The GymDogs beat Auburn Friday night with some very young faces.
  • Yesterday the Lady Dawgs remained unbeaten by pounding MSU as well.
  • Some of you younguns, if you only know the name Pulpwood as the foul mouthed chimp that previews need to give Garbin's latest post a good read.
  • BullDawg Josh doesn't understand the ebb of hate towards Coach Richt, in the flow of love for Coach Searels.
  • Chad Simmons updates us on John Jenkins' visit ($$).
  • Two download links for you Drive By Truckers fans: 1) deluxe edition of their new release (2/15) Go-Go Boots on iTunes and 2) a special Amazon deal for their The Big To-Do album, five bucks!
  • Lastly, be sure and tune in Tuesday evening for Georgia/Florida - an indoor hardwood party. I'll be live blogging from Stegeman!
Luckily the weekend wasn't a total loss. Don't get me wrong, it was great seeing Conner laugh with her friends and act like the world was 100% carefree for several (very long) hours. But it was just as great when she got Clue as one of her gifts. 

That's right, underneath the tissue paper and finger nail polish and other pink crap was a board game full of mystery and intrigue. Some of the rules and rooms have changed (there's a Theater now...huh!), but Professor Plum is just as book smart as he ever was and Mrs. White looks as guilty as ever.

With today's pop icons safe from the falsehoods of magazine covers, we spent the rest of the weekend spreading rumors about foul play. I was sure Ms. Scarlet had used the rope in the Conservatory, but it turned out to be Mrs. White with the vile of poison.

Ah the humanity! I need a nap yet am afraid Col. Mustard might use his revolver with bad intentions. It even has a silencer now. What a novel concept...keeping something quiet so as not to disturb others within earshot. But let's hope Mustard never tries to catch a movie in the Theater with a herd of nine year old girls hopped up on cake icing and Sprite. Even with all of his military training, he wouldn't stand a chance.

Here's your fork, now go have a great Monday Reader. Don't spend the whole day clueless.