Saturday, March 12, 2011

Glass half full, still thirsty

Yesterday sucked. Should we have won? Yup. Was it an inexcusable loss? Absolutely. Was the fallout a sign that things are on the rise? Of course it was.

If you're currently calling for Coach Fox's head, I applaud your allegiance, but you should probably take an hour or so off from the twelve ounce curls.

Really. Step away, take it all in.
  • We're about to make the NCAA Tourney. 
  • Am I sure? Pretty much. I suppose it's possible we don't make it. But I'd be just as shocked at that as I was when there wasn't a whistle at the end of regulation against Tennessee in Athens.
  • We're back in the serious discussion among AAU hoops around Atlanta and beyond. To react dramatically is to embrace the idea of starting all of that over again. Remember that guy named...Felton?
  • Fox has yet to stock the roster. If When we make the tourney tomorrow we'll be a small part of every water cooler discussion on Monday morning. Everyone takes notice of that, especially big BIG recruits around Atlanta.
Yes, it wasn't a great second half for Coach Fox as he was upstaged and outcoached by Anthony Grant. I didn't see it live, but later watched the replay in near entirety. I'm baffled by his reluctance, er stubborness...?? call a timeout that late. And then when he did we hit the winning shot after the whistle.


But he's got the wheels moving in the right direction. It's just that right now the seat belt is needed much too often.

- Weiszer's notebook
- Exile's initial reaction
- currently, Lunardi has us as a First Four game in Chicago

Tamburo to transfer

Former  North Gwinnett star Michael Tamburo is transferring from Boise State to UGA. He will be a preferred walk-on.
"I could have gone other places," Tamburo said, "but I just felt UGA was the right place for me. This decision was not all about football. I wanted to also major in business, and Georgia has a great business program. I didn't really look at depth charts either. I just wanted a fresh start.
"I have always had a ton of respect for Mark Richt and Mike Bobo. I mean, it is Georgia, and it is the SEC. I’m ready to get there."
Tamburo threw for 6,598 yards and 57 touchdowns during three years as the starter for Bob Sphire at North Gwinnett, but has not been able to crack the depth chart during his two seasons at Boise State.
The chances of Tamburo cracking the depth chart under center are just north of slim. But he's a gifted athlete that is looking forward to being closer to home. Glad he gets the chance to study in Athens. Both academically and athletically.

Call it sCam Envy

I suppose amateur football doesn't pay as well on the plains as suspected.
According to the five victims present, three black males entered the residence with one displaying a handgun.  Personal property was stolen during the incident.  No injuries were reported.  A patrolman responding to the area observed what he believed to be the suspect vehicle based on a description he was given.  Officers stopped the vehicle in the 1200 block of Wire Road and four suspects were taken into custody.  A pistol and the stolen property was recovered at the scene.  Goodwin, Kitchens,McNeil, and Mosley were transported to the Lee County Detention Center where each is currently being held on a $511,000 bond.
All four players were immediately suspended by Coach Chizik. No word on if they are still eligible at Ohio State.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dome Music

Beat Bama today and the melodies coming from the Georgia Dome will really be something we can dance to. I tend to think we're playing NCAA ball next week regardless, but it'd be nice to see Fox's Hounds have a more successful business-like performance than Saturday's against the Crimson Tide.

I didn't get a chance to watch a single minute yesterday. I caught the last 100 ticks of Scott Howard's voice on the radio. Promised Exile I'd follow the same exercise today...tomorrow...even Sunday if necessary.

So the ball is in Thompkins and Co.'s court. Two words - rinse, repeat.

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Spring Practice Day!

Don't feel like you need to stretch too hard. We get more than a week off starting tomorrow.

Some reading to start the spring off - Chris Low has a summary piece up on where the Dawgs stand heading into spring. Check it out if you haven't already. I think it hits on most all of the questions heading into spring. Here's a couple highlights that especially intrigue me:

  • Really glad to hear that Ealey and King are working hard off the field. We're desperately thin and inexperienced at RB without both of them.
  • Leadership: “We’re holding each other accountable and have the right kind of attitude,” Robinson said. “I think we’ve eliminated some people maybe that were cancerous, whether it was people who graduated or might not be here anymore. We’ve become a team of guys that want to be here and want to do well for Georgia.”  - Christian Robinson ladies and gents, #45 in your program.
  • Sanders Commings...eager to see where he ends up. I personally would like to see him be able to stay at corner. For that to happen we have to have the current safety depth chart step up.
A couple of things I would add:

  • New assistants. How well do Friend and Olivadotti adjust to Woodruff Field?
  • Murray's ankle. He should be a full go by the time Spring Break is over. I want the younger guys to get lots of reps, but hope it's not out of necessity.
  • Bulking up, up front. Low has some nice quotes on the S&C front. But the battles in the trenches will be a focus this spring.
  • And along that notion, nose tackle. Who's ready to compete with Jenkins?

Lastly, I don't think I mentioned in any previous posts, but Boykin has tweeted once or twice about his new blog. Check it out

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Johnathan Taylor Update

In case you hadn't heard, Taylor's surgery went as planned. But there's no news...which is a good thing really. It will take a while before they can make any type of prognosis going forward. In the mean time, you can visit his Caring Bridge site and leave him some well wishes if you have not done so already. (h/t Streit) Although it's impossible to imagine what Johnathan and his loved ones are going through right now, I'm sure the supportive words of the Dawg Nation are much, much appreciated.

Quite an emotional win last night in Macon for the Diamond Dawgs. The black jerseys were worn and Cone wore #2. Great write up here by Weiszer to catch you up. Go Dawgs!

As for tonight, the rain's not really expected to start tapering off until well after first pitch is scheduled. In short, it doesn't look good for baseball tonight in Gwinnett. I would offer to host a soggy tailgate in the parking lot regardless...but Mother Nature would just drink all the beer and belch in our faces anyway. *sigh*

Stay tuned.

One wacky Professor running the asylum

There's a lot in the OSU story saga that can turn the stomach. And I'm not sure that what's coming to light now is all that uglier than the NCAA and tOSC officials allowing their tatt'd up players to play in the Sugar Bowl despite the improper benefits.

For now we have the coach failing to admit he was wrong after being caught in a lie. Coach Tressel knew nearly a year ago that his players were given the tattoos and lied to his bosses about it. Yet he's still pretty comfortable in his own skin.
On Tuesday night, we learned Tressel isn't any different from a lot of coaches in college football. He's apparently more concerned about winning games and championships than following rules and doing things the right way.
In fact, Tressel might be even worse than other coaches who are corrupting college athletics. He won't admit he's wrong even after he has been caught.
Facing the biggest crisis of his career, Tressel never once apologized for knowingly breaking NCAA rules during a news conference on the Ohio State campus on Tuesday night. Worse, Tressel never owned up to not telling his bosses or NCAA investigators that he was aware that at least two of his players might have accepted improper benefits from the owner of a tattoo parlor in Columbus, Ohio.
When Tressel was asked if he was worried the scandal would tarnish his reputation, he said he's always been his biggest critic.
"I don't think less of myself at this moment," Tressel said.
Whatever. I didn't fall off the college football turnip truck yesterday. I realize most of these coaches feel they're entitled to have respect, even when their own actions continually strip that down to nothing.

But it's easy to see why the sweater vest  has this pompous attitude when the campus brass can't stop browning their own noses.
Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee said he never considered firing Tressel.
"No, are you kidding me?" Gee said. "Let me be very clear. I'm just hoping the coach doesn't dismiss me."
That's insanity folks. Plain and simple. No matter what a Georgia coach does in the arena, I never want him running the show. No one should be above the rules. And they should never be above the institution.

Thompkins - 1st teamer

Trey Thompkins became the first player since Jarvis Hayes to land consecutive mentions as a first team SEC player.

Thompkins was the presason SEC Player of the Year after being a unanimous first-team All-SEC pick last season, but he missed the first three games of the season with a high ankle sprain and has also dealt with a shin injury and an in-grown toenail.
“He has not been as powerful because his lower body hasn’t been healthy,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said on his radio show Monday night. “Hopefully we can continue to try and make him a little bit better every day so we can go into the postseason here with as good a chance to play well as we can.”
Travis Leslie was named to the 2nd team. The Dawgs take on Auburn tomorrow at 1pm in the GA Dome.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dawgs and Bama, PING!

Gwinnett Baseball Classic Preview

As of this posting, the weather doesn't look like it will cooperate much Wednesday evening. Hopefully the rain blows through before first pitch. And of course there's also some heavy hearts in and around Athens this week as we all send thoughts and prayers to Jonathan. Sounds like the surgery went well and he will be moved to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta later this week. 

And it wouldn't be very hospitable of me to not have some sort of preview to this game. So here it is. Hope you make it out if you are able to. It's a great place to watch a game and there's never a bad time to bark like a Dawg!

First, the teams:

Georgia Update

Overall the 2011 season has been disappointing at best. Perno’s squad has limped to a 3-8 mark with inexplicable losses to some smaller programs. However, the weekend series against FSU showed some promise. It may have only produced one win, but it displayed some signs of life in the team after getting blanked by Furman last Wednesday 3-0. The Diamond Dawgs kept each game against the Seminoles close against one of the nation’s top ranked teams.

Chase Davidson leads all Georgia batters with a .350 average, followed closely by Levi Hyams and Zach Cone. Not entirely sure who will start on the mound, but Chase Hawkins started last week's mid week game against the Paladins and did well until getting roughed up in the 5th. We may know more after tonight's game against Mercer. As a whole, the pitching staff should feel pretty good after holding the Seminoles to 15 total runs in the weekend series.

Player  avg gp-gs ab 2b 3b hr rbi tb slg% bb hbp so gdp ob% sf sh sb-att po fld% 
Chase Davidson  .350 11-11 40 14 23 .575 11 .422 1-1 .000 
Levi Hyams  .326 11-10 43 14 20 .465 .383 1-2 16 28 .917 
Zach Cone .316 11-11 38 12 13 .342 .366 2-2 32 1.000 
Curt Powell .294 11-10 34 10 10 .294 .351 0-0 21 1.000 
Jonathan Hester  .275 11-11 40 11 16 .400 .293 0-0 96 .990 
Kyle Farmer  .263 11-11 38 10 14 .368 .333 0-0 13 31 .898 
Johnathan Taylor  .182 11-10 33 .182 .263 1-1 18 1.000 
Peter Verdin  .172 11-9 29 .276 .250 1-1 17 1.000 
Joey Delmonico .333 9-7 21 .381 .318 0-0 32 .944 
Austin Wheeler  .333 2-0 .333 .333 0-0 .000 
Conor Welton  .250 5-0 .250 .400 0-0 1.000 
Brandon Stephens  .214 11-4 14 .286 .250 0-0 39 .978 
Lance Martin  .200 6-0 .200 .333 0-0 1.000 
Colby May .176 6-4 17 .235 .300 0-0 1.000 
Kevin Ruiz .000 2-1 .000 .000 0-0 1.000 
Carson Schilling  .000 2-0 .000 .000 0-0 1.000 
Totals  .269 11-11 368 45 99 17 39 130 .353 24 11 66 .328 6-7 285 115 15 .964 
Opponents  .291 11-11 378 68 110 15 59 140 .370 47 73 .376 22-26 288 115 11 .97

Alabama Update
Bama has a game at home today against Troy before travelling to Gwinnett. They're 7-4 heading into today's matchup after sweeping Northwestern State over the weekend. The good news is we aren't likely to see ace Tucker Hawley after he pitched a complete game shutout Sunday. My guess is we'll see Adam Morgan or Taylor Wolfe, whichever doesn't start tonight's game.

Offensively the Crimson Tide is led by junior Jared Reaves who has a .447 batting average and already has 16 RBIs on the young season. But if you can get around the top of the order the Tide as a whole are only batting marginally better than the Dawg thus far.

Coolray Field
Parking is plentiful, especially for this event. Unless this game is different, the cost to park is usually just a few bucks. Don't go cheap and park at Publix and walk down the highway, unless you're wearing a scripted A on your cap.

Tailgating is permitted, but don't expect to do anything similar to a Saturday in the Fall with your grill.

The dimensions are larger than Foley of course. It's 400 feet to dead center and 350 to right. However, it's only 335 to left here so that is a bit shorter than Foley.

All of the tickets are general admission that I've seen, but don't feel like there's a rush to get there real early. There's not a bad seat in the stadium. So just make sure you're there for first pitch.

Local Fare
When you get to Gwinnett, please spend money. Here’s some ways to do so:

If you’re not planning to chow down on food at the park (where there are plenty of options btw), there’s plenty of dining options for you. You have the standard mall locations just on the other side of I-85 at the Mall of GA (Chili’s, Longhorn’s, Chick-Fil-A, On the Border, etc..). But if you’re looking for something different than those cookie cutter places try Monterrey’s Mexican Restaurant just past Coolray Field in the Publix shopping center. Good food, family friendly and very close to the park. Extra bonus in that you don’t have to deal with mall traffic.

If you are in the mood for Italian, I highly recommend Parma. It’s just past the Mall of GA on the left. It’s small (so look for Five Guys and you’ll be close) and the food is excellent. The parmesan fries are sinful and the menu has everything from delicious entrees to pizza and sandwiches. Another bonus, good selection of beers for a small Italian restaurant.

Unfortunately, our Tilted Kilt doesn't open until St. Patty's Day.

If you’re a Bama fan, there’s a decent Burger King across from the mall. When you’re done with your value meal, head north towards Buford until you hot I-985 then take that to Gainesville. The ball park is somewhere around there.

If the lady isn't interested in sitting in a soggy seat, leave the Mall of GA that is. Plenty of stores inside and outside to keep her busy while you watch some baseball. And the mall parking lot is about 4.67 roided up Barry Bonds deep shots from the third base dugout.

I doubt it's much cheaper around these parts, but there's a Quik Trip and a RaceTrac just off the interstate. Why risk an empty tank?

Hope it's a good (dry) game. And I hope everyone, especially Dawg fans, have a great time. Remember to choose a designated driver if necessary. And if you see a guy in a Chance Veazey cap and wearing red....say Hey! You're the guy with the crappy blog!

Go Dawgs!