- Friday, 15 November 2013 05:10
- Author: Rob Sherrell
Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report.
It’s like Return of the Jedi, if by Jedi you mean Snotty’Nosed Nerds from North Avenue. It’s our first article of the year and we are raring to go just as the Dawgs are. We’ve got Teck tonight and they’ve won two straight against us. We cannot let this continue. That school should beat us in nothing but bridge building. So we’ve got to get this Red and Black train back on the track. We got the new season off to a good start last Friday with a pummeling of Wofford. While they may not be any good this year and, I must admit I really don’t know, they did beat us in 2010. So a 20-point win is a good thing. Plus, the game score was closer than the game and it was literally over by halftime. Neme Djurisic led us with 12 points. Donte Williams had 11 and 9 boards, and Kenny Gaines chipped in 10. It was a good way to start the season.
As far as how good Teck is, who knows and who cares. They’re Teck. They should lose to us. But whether we’re playing Tek or whomever, we’ve got to play as a team this year. The loss of KCP leaves a huge scoring void, especially late in games where he was nearly unstoppable. Former UGA player and NCAA coaching legend Mark Slonnaker told me KCP shot around 60% from the field and 95% from the stripe last year in the final 5 minutes of games. That’s sick. That’s also why you leave to become a lottery pick. This year we don’t have that. However, we have some talent. We’ve got three or four guys that can all average eight to twelve points a game. They would be Djurisic, Gaines, Morris, and possibly Williams. Morris didn’t play versus Wofford and there was no mention of injury, for what that’s worth. We’ve got a point guard in Charles Mann that’s in his second year. While he did turn it over more than you’d want last year, he was a freshman. They tend to make mistakes. However, as the year progressed, so did he. By the end of the season, not only was he doing a much better job of handling the ball, he was also our second best option at the free throw line. Plus, he’s going to get to the line a lot because of his size and aggressiveness. We also have a healthy Marcus Thornton who should be an immovable object down low this year. Add in Williams’ shot-blocking ability and you’ve got six solid contributors that can play a little defense.
After your first six guys, there’s a lot more questions than answers. Tim Dixon is the only other player on the team that averaged more than nine minutes a game last year. While he’s got some height, he was very limited offensively. So we can’t rely on him for a lot of scoring. John Cannon showed some flashes a couple of times last year, but I’m not convinced we can expect that every night. It looks like to me our next best options are Cameron Forte, Juwan Parker, and JJ Frazier. Forte is a space eater down low that you never have to run a play for. He’ll get his in the paint with offensive rebounds. Parker is 6’4” swing man. Hopefully he’ll be able to score from anywhere on the floor. JJ Frazier is a small point guard with lots of upside. After that, there are some guys you could get some minutes out of, but I’m not certain you could expect a lot of points. Kenny Paul Geno is a little bit of a wildcard and we’ll need to see a little more of him before we know what we’ve got. Houston Kessler also will have a chance to get some PT. As far as what he does with it remains to be seen.
Coach Fox has some talent though he doesn’t have a superstar. He’s got to find a way to win with no KCP. After the top two or three teams in the SEC, everyone’s beatable on any given day. If we stay healthy and can get out of our out-of-schedule with no embarrassing losses, this team has a shot at the NIT. We’re going to miss our lottery pick at crunch time. No doubt about that. He was a go-to guy with the game on the line and he didn’t miss much in those situations. However, we may be a better overall team than we were last year with the progression of last year’s freshman class and the overall health of the team.
So there you go. You now know we’ve got a shot at the post-season. You also know we’re playing Teck Friday night in Athens. That means you need to change your plans and get Stegeman. Let’s show these guys some support. I know most of you are fair weathered and won’t show up until we start winning. You’ll also sit around and bitch about a team you’ve never seen play a game or supported. So how ’bout a warm glass of shut the hell up until you see them? Who knows, maybe actually going to the game and showing the team some love is better that crying like a baby about something you know very little of? See you at the Stegasaurus!