Saturday, March 10, 2012

The 'dore closes on the hoops season

Nice run to finish the season falls short last night in New Orleans.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Five Reasons to Watch the Hoop Dawgs tonight

My 5am alarm was a pain in the ass this morning after a late night of double dosing on Montenegrin expressos. My reward...toothpicks to hold my eyelids open tonight during the second round against the 'Dores.

And I couldn't be happier. Here's why:
Georgia guard Gerald Robinson (22) shoots past Mississippi State forward Renardo Sidney (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Thursday, March 8, 2012.
AP photo
  1. Granted it's taken longer than we had hoped, but this team is playing well together. Real well. There will be matchup issues against the top tier talent of course. But Neme, GRjr and Donte Williams are really shining through. It's not just an offense that passes a couple times and hopes KCP can hit the jumper.

  2. Coach Fox. There are definite lingering doubts about recruiting at a level to compete yearly, but the guy has proven he can coach. Real well. He has his team prepared, win or lose. I won't be surprised should we lose to the #3 seed tonight. But more importantly, I wouldn't be surprised if we won either.

  3. Yet another rare chance to feed your intense dislike for Vanderbilt in hopes that it continues to grow into an intense hatred. Bigger d-bag, Kevin Stallings or James Franklin? Discuss.

  4. Let's face it, basketball teams (actually any kind of team for that matter) that are in sync are more fun to watch. And the Hoop Dawgs are working the hardwood regardless of substitutions, foul trouble and the like. 
    “We’re finally comfortable,” Fox said. “We have got a rotation that guys are used to and I think we understand the roles that we’re playing.”

  5. If you didn't see his first one last night, you might see Neme's second career DUNK!!! tonight. Go Dawgs!
If you need a better reason than those, I can't help you. Hand your pants back to your wife, cuddle up with her on the sofa and lemme know how Matthew McConnahey is doing.

BONUS: from @BassinDawg... Pope Montenegro.

DOUBLE BONUS: courtesy of DevereauxDawg....a 6th reason to watch - Dustin Ware has 997 career points. I have a hunch he'll surpass that tonight.

Orson arrested for DUI

Damn son. Just damn.
Orson Reuben Charles, a junior tight end on the Georgia football team who declared his intentions to enter the NFL Draft next month, was arrested Friday morning on charges of DUI Alcohol and driving minimum speed.
Charles was arrested by the Athens-Clarke County Police and booked into the ACC Jail at 4:31 a.m., according to the ACC jail booking log.

Hoop Dawgs send bizarros packing

Rick Stansbury can take his magnificent comb and his zone defense back to Starkville. Or wherever.

Coach Fox's Dawgs continued to ride the wave that was Neme Djurisic (11 points and 11 boards) and Gerald Robinson Jr. (23 points) as they dispensed with MSU 71-61. Once Dustin Ware (13 points, all in the second stanza) got hot from outside and around the arc, the cowbell clan just couldn't keep up.

On the left are the highlights. On the right is Coach Fox's presser.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

SEC Tourney prep

Coach Fox and players discuss the opening of the SEC Tournament in New Orleans. Video on the left has a quick question on shooting for Caldwell-Pope and GRjr. The one on the right has some more from Fox on prepping for MSU and the new alignment this season.

Game against Missy State is tonight at 10:00. Nearly a month ago the Hoop Dawgs pulled away from Starkville with the overtime upset, 70-68. Should be a good first round matchup. Go Dawgs!

Continuing to count the reasons I hate conference realignment

Yesterday Kevin alluded to a possible way Clemson would reconfigure their 2013-2014 schedules should the ACC add Pitt and Syracuse sooner rather than later AND adopt the 9 game conference schedule.
But with West Virginia’s early exit from the Big East, it’s very likely that Pittsburgh and Syracuse will join the ACC in 2013 rather than 2014. That creates a problem for a few ACC schools that already have four non-conference games scheduled.
Speaking of $$, 60 yards...MONEY!!
Clemson is one of those schools. The Tigers have four non-ACC games slated for both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. If the ACC begins a nine-game slate in 2013, Clemson will need to drop one game in both 2013 and 2014.
  • 2013 – Georgia (8/31); Kent State (9/14); The Citadel (11/23); at South Carolina (11/30)
  • 2014 – at Georgia (8/30); Coastal Carolina (9/6); Central Michigan (10/4); South Carolina (11/29)
When you look at those games, you might think it’s easier to cancel home games against Kent State, The Citadel, Coastal Carolina or Central Michigan. But buyouts for those games could range in the low-to-mid six-figures. Plus there would be the lost revenue from home games.
Canceling the Georgia-Clemson series won’t be cheap either. According to the contract obtained by last year, Clemson will owe Georgia $500,000 if they cancel, unless it’s by mutual consent.
Georgia and Clemson, which are only about 75 miles apart, agreed to the home-and-home series back in 2005. The two schools haven’t met since the Bulldogs rolled over the Tigers 30-0 in 2003. Georgia leads the overall series 41-17-4.
Many will look at that overall record, pair it with the ass kicking Richt's 2003 team gave the Tigers in the shadow of Howard's Rock and conclude that Clemson is just avoiding the Dawgs. But Kevin is right. As with everything associated with conference expansion/realignment, it's all about the money.

Ordinarily I would be hopeful the home and home of the once proud rivalry could be salvaged. But nowadays I'm getting used to just simply expecting the worst.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pro Day comparison: Charles and White

Much like the guys at S&G, I love the NFL draft. It's always intriguing to me. In many ways it is like signing day for NCAA football, only with more structure and a lot more money on the line. You're looking at which players are the best fit at certain picks while also taking into account what positions are critical for certain teams. Fascinating stuff if you ask me.

Anyway, I was reading late Monday about how our guys did at Georgia's Pro Day and the tight ends really stuck out to me. Orson Charles came into Monday needing to only solidify scouts' beliefs that he is worthy of a top 1st day pick. It's unlikely that he falls further than mid-3rd given his athleticism. He's considered top tier TE talent for this year's draft along with Stanford's Coby Fleener and Clemson's Dwayne Allen. Charles ran the 40 (4.75), had a vertical jump of 30.5", had a long jump of 9.5 feet, a 4.75 shuttle and a 4.29 cone drill. Orson had previously decided not to run the 40 at the NFL combine last week so his 40 time Monday was important, but was hindered by the windy conditions.

Aron White on the other hand came into Monday needing a strong showing. Reports say he was noticeably bigger, maybe as much as 10 pounds of muscle. He wasn't among those invited to the combine in Indianapolis of course. So his performance Monday was especially critical since his numbers last year were modest (9 receptions for 101 yards and 4 TDs). And he made the most of it: 4.63 40, benched 225 22 times, 33.75 vertical, 9' 8" broad jump, a 7.13 second cone drill and a 4.1 second shuttle. So receiving drills aside, White bested his former teammate in all but the cone drill.

In the end I don't think Orson did anything to hurt himself Monday. Most all of those 40 times we saw will be tossed out or taken into consideration with great scrutiny. However, he could've used a strong showing to prove himself a better pick than the "traditional" tight ends he's up against. In other words, what makes OC stand out is also what makes him different. He'll end up no worse than an early 2nd day selection, but hopefully eases into a 1st round pick with a team ready to utlilize his unique skillset.

White won't be drafted ahead of Charles, but there were 30 NFL teams represented Monday that saw a guy that works hard and really wants an opportunity. It's clear his work the last couple months with Ryan Goldin and his staff has really paid off. Next up would be individual workouts with teams who are interested. I believe Charles already has one scheduled with Philadelphia. Both of these guys are Damn Good Dawgs! Would love to watch them represent the G on Sundays. 

Some more reading/thoughts:

  • Fletcher Page looks more closely at Aron White's big day ($$)
  • Marc Weiszer's recap of Pro Day
  • David Ching's quick observations
  • a lot was made of Justin Houston returning to Athens Monday, but I also noticed Clint Boling was mentioned among those former Dawgs in attendance. Boling is back at UGA to finish his degree. Awesome!

Diamond Dawgs win one for Kasyn

Great game last night at Coolray Field in Gwinnett. Here's Kyle's recap. My two penny summary is that Kennesaw State used about their entire pitching staff and nearly stole the W. We took advantage of a couple errors and manufactured a win.

But as always, the real winner is Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Here's a couple pics.

Sorry I didn't get this one from a closer angle, but that's little Kasyn Olivadotti throwing out the
 first pitch, with Coach O standing beside her. She's as cute as a button.
Last scene from Coolray after Kyle Farmer's heroics. He hit a rope down the left field
line with the bases loaded and then got mobbed. 3-2, DAWGS WIN!!

Humpday Hilarity - Marital Bliss

Finally a magazine for all of the guys that have no pants. Be sure to check out the section on new ways to sleep on the couch. It explains how to do this comfortably even without a spine.

Good stuff.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Diamond Dawgs invade Gwinnett

Coach Perno's Diamond Dawgs come to Coolray Field tonight to take on Kennesaw State at 7pm. It's the second annual Gwinnett Baseball Classic to benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, specifically the Kasyn Cares Fund at the AFLAC Cancer Center. You'll remember that this is where Kasyn Olivadotti was treated for leukemia.

Since this event is in my backyard practically I feel more than obligated to endorse it. Last saw a struggling squad of Diamond Dawgs battle rain and Alabama. In truth the Crimson Tide was ready to call the game off but Coach Perno stuck to his guns. Mather Nature and his team rewarded him for the faith with enough of a window in the rain clouds to get a 6-3 victory. It came on the heels of Jonathan Taylor's injury and helped spark the beginning of an impressive road trip. The Dawgs travelled to LA and beat UCLA, USC and St. Mary's.

This is a great event for an even better cause. Make your way out to see the Dawgs in action. You'll have a great time at Coolray, I promise. What follows is my preview from last year in case you are coming out this way and have never been.

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.

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.

If you’re a Kennesaw State 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 hit I-985 then take that to Gainesville. The ball park is somewhere around there.

If the lady isn't interested in coming out, 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 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!

On the air with Coach Fox

Coach Mark Fox looks back at the regular season and talks about going to New Orleans for the SEC Tournament.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday's Meatloaf - of forecasts and pansies

As the calendar turns...February rain brings more March showers. Prophetic right? Stand back, I'm just warming up.

Soccer? In the RAIN?!?
Let me forewarn you Reader that this prose has the word soccer in it. For my non-Westernized friends visiting today that is a word that means futbol here in the USA, or in other words the game y'all go and watch before the rioting. The rest of you either recognize it as a sport or cast a self-righteous smirk at its mere mention. Either way, the meaning of this rambling goes well beyond that.

You see, I have fond memories of playing soccer as a kid and teenager. The best of which were in the rain, which made it acceptable to come home with muddy socks and a severe case of the sniffles. You could slide better when the pitch* was wet and overall the game just had a controlled chaos feeling to it. It was awesome.

Fast forward to 2012 and the club my daughter belongs to closes the field when it rains. Closing the fields means no practice, no fun. Furthermore it means no dribbling, passing and further development of skills. Sure, the admins need to protect the fields from too many cleats when the grass is wet and vulnerable. But don't we also need to give the youngsters a chance to learn the game under all of the elements Mother Nature can throw at them? Don't we have a greater responsibility to raise our kids to be able to overcome the odds?

How's it going to reflect on America in the years ahead when we send our Olympic teams to compete for futbol GOLD, it begins to rain and suddenly our strikers turn tail and head to the locker room? In the words of King Julian, we go from physically fit to just a bunch of pansies!!
* pitch - part of soccer nomenclature meaning field, or area designed for competition

Today's Ingredients
Now back to the weather...
No cloud, no practice
And putting Katie's general life outlook aside, life isn't always filled with sunshine. When storm clouds approach the clock doesn't stop. Life goes on. And if life goes on the game must go on. Just as we can't let Glenn Burns scare us into buying up every carton of milk at Kroger at the very mention of "snow", we also can't let a little rain drive our kids indoors to sit in front of the rain streaked window wondering how many goals they were going to score before the clouds began to cool and water droplets began to form and subsequently begin their descent towards Earth. More specifically the soccer fields.

Did Mia Hamm's team take their ball and go home whenever it started to rain?

Isn't it bad enough that we already have a large hordes of human drivers (in the Atlanta area at least) that can no more drive safely and with sound logic when it rains than they can split the atom with a Gillette razor and a 10th grade chemistry book? How's my little girl going to make the Olympic team if she gets the afternoon off whenever it gets cloudy? Hell, they even canceled practices Thursday when it was 70 degrees and sunny! She used her cleats to help aerate the yard instead of learning to leg tackle without losing her hair bow. It's ridiculous. If I wanted to raise a house full of wimpy fair weather kids I woulda gone to school in the Athletically Challenged Conference.

Next thing you know we'll cancel birthday parties because of fire hazards. Ugh. Here's your fork Reader. And an umbrella in case it clouds up. Enjoy your Monday.


Pro Day for many Dawgs

Georgia will host a Pro Day today for many former players looking to get drafted next month by the NFL. There's a lot on the line for guys like Ben Jones, Justin Anderson, Bruce Figgins, Aron White, Deangelo Tyson, former Dawg Jon Knox and kickers Drew Butler, Brandon Bogatay and Blair Walsh. Cordy Glenn and Orson Charles will also be on hand after putting in impressive workouts last week at the combine in Indianapolis. Brandon Boykin will also be there but isn't expected to workout until he hosts his own Pro Day after recovering from a leg fracture during the Senior Bowl.

Not sure if there's any live coverage. But a number of media will likely be on hand with their Twitter. Here's a list of their accounts.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Highlights of Hoop Dawgs eating mor chickin

Great day for the seniors after all their hard work as the Hoop Dawgs take down South Carolina 67-55.