Daily Dawg Thread: February 06, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: February 06, 2024

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MTennis: No. 20 Georgia vs. Georgia Tech Today

The No. 20 Georgia men’s tennis team will host Georgia Tech for its annual rivalry match on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. 

Time: 2 p.m. ET





Location: Athens, Ga.

Venue: Dan Magill Tennis Complex

Promotion: The first 150 fans receive a Georgia beanie






Live Stats + Video: https://gado.gs/8mk

Georgia Season Stats: https://gado.gs/b9y

Georgia Tech Season Stats: https://gado.gs/bbx


Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate: Tuesday’s match between in-state rivals No. 20 Georgia and Georgia Tech will mark the 91st meeting in the series history, with Georgia owning a 72-18 record against its in-state rival. The Bulldogs have won 12 straight matches against Georgia Tech dating back to 2011, including a 36-1 mark in the last 37 meetings since 1989. Nine of Georgia Tech’s 18 wins came before the 1963 season. Since then, Georgia has dominated the series 66-9. Further, 22 of Georgia’s 72 wins have come by sweeping Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have swept the Bulldogs just once – on May 2, 1956.

The First Serve: The Bulldogs are led on court one in singles by No. 41 Thomas Paulsell, who has played in just five dual matches before the start of the 2024 season. The junior, who has started the year 2-1 in the top spot, currently holds a career-best singles ranking after earning his best win on Nov. 3, 2023, at the Georgia Tech Invitational against Mississippi St.’s No. 46 Nemanja Malesevic.

Ryan Colby is currently the highest-ranked singles player on the team with a personal-best No. 36 ranking. The Southern California transfer is 12-6 on the year with an impressive 5-1 mark against ranked opponents. 

In doubles, freshmen Freddy Blaydes and Niels Ratiu have been Georgia’s choice on court one, where they are 2-0 and earned the point-clinching win in the team’s opening match ITA Kickoff Weekend, where they beat Louisiana’s Vasil Dimitrov and Mason Landreth by a 6-4 score.

New Year, New Niels: Freshman Ratiu began 2024 in impressive fashion, going undefeated in all 10 of his completed singles and doubles matches in January. The freshman began his win streak at the Gamecock Kickoff, where he won three singles matches and three doubles matches, all with different partners, across the event’s three days. Ratiu continued his winning ways by picking up two victories in both competitions since the start of the dual match season. The Liège, Belgium native won both singles matches in the doubleheader against Eastern Kentucky on Jan. 22 and two doubles matches on court one, including a point-clinching win with Blaydes against Louisiana.

Last Time Out: The Georgia men’s tennis team split its matches during the ITA Kickoff Weekend Athens regional, sweeping Louisiana in its first match before falling to No. 18 Texas A&M in the final, 4-2.

The Bulldogs won their match against the Ragin’ Cajuns 4-0 on Jan. 28, with the contest being played at the Duckworth Family Indoor Tennis Facility in Clemson, S.C. due to weather in the Athens area. No. 41 Paulsell earned his second match-clinching win of the season and third of his career in a thrilling straight-set victory, falling behind two breaks early in the first set before rallying to win 12 of the final 16 games, taking the victory. 

Despite winning the doubles point against the Aggies, Georgia was unable to earn the three wins it needed in singles to take the championship match. No. 36 Colby picked up his fifth-ranked singles win of the season on court two, with four of the remaining five matches going into third sets.

Dawgs in the Rankings: Georgia enters the week ranked No. 20 nationally by the ITA. The Bulldogs are one of seven teams in the Southeastern Conference ranked in the top 25 to begin the season, joined by No. 2 South Carolina, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 16 Kentucky, No. 21 Alabama and No. 22 Mississippi St. 

Georgia’s successes in the fall put four athletes in the ITA singles rankings and a pair in the doubles poll. After a trio of ranked wins in Austin, Texas, junior Colby leads the team with a No. 36 ranking. He is closely followed by No. 41 Paulsell, who picked up his highest-ranked win against No. 46 Nemanja Malesevic (Miss. St.) at the Georgia Tech Invitational, and No. 43 Perez Peña. Freshman No. 112 Mahjoob, a semifinalist at the ITA Southeast Regional, closed out the ranked Bulldogs in singles. In doubles, No. 42 Colby and Ratiu, the lone ranked tandem at the ITA Kickoff Athens regional, are currently 8-3 together. 

Scouting the Yellow Jackets: Georgia Tech will come to Athens holding a 6-1 record, with its lone loss coming against Pepperdine in the opening round of its ITA Kickoff Weekend regional. Most recently, the Yellow Jackets beat Georgia St. by a 6-1 score on Friday, Feb. 2.

Georgia Tech has two players ranked in singles – No. 67 Gabrielle Brancatelli and No. 85 Richard Biagiotti. No. 67 Brancatelli is 8-5 this year with two wins on court three, while No. 85 Biagiotti owns a pair of wins on court four. While not ranked due to not playing in the fall, Andres Martin and Keshav Chopra have started the spring season on a seven-match win streak, playing on courts one and two, respectively. 

New-Look Bulldogs: Georgia’s 2023-24 roster includes six freshmen and a transfer. The team has enrolled five-stars Mahjoob and Davis Taylor, four stars Parker Jacques and Parker Mariencheck as well as Belgium-native Raitu. The Bulldogs also signed USC transfer Colby, a former blue-chip prospect and All-Pac 12 honoree. Blaydes, who has a career-high International Tennis Federation World Juniors ranking of No. 117 and signed with the program in September, joined the team ahead of the Gamecock Kickoff.

Juniors Paulsell, Perez Peña and redshirt sophomore Filipe Costa are the only three players from the 2023 SEC regular season championship team still on the roster. Five of the remaining six used their final year of eligibility last season while Ethan Quinn opted to begin his professional career after winning the NCAA singles national championship in May.

Diaz Enters 36th Season: Manuel Diaz – the SEC’s all-time wins leader with 769 career victories – begins his 36th season as the Georgia men’s tennis coach. Diaz led the Bulldogs to another conference championship and a deep run in the NCAA tournament in 2023. 

The United States Tennis Association Southern Tennis Hall of Fame coach has guided Georgia to 29 SEC championships, four NCAA national titles (1999, 2001, 2007 and 2008) and two Intercollegiate Tennis Association Team Indoor National Championships in 36 years. He has been named SEC Coach of the Year on seven occasions and the ITA National Coach of the Year three times. 

Hoop Dawgs in the Pros – February 06, 2024

Anthony Edwards

At the midpoint of the NBA regular season, three former Bulldogs are continuing to star in crucial role for their respective squads while one Georgia basketball alumnus is raising eyebrows in the NBA G League. Further, 10 other former Bulldogs are keeping rhythm in their respective professional leagues abroad. Notably, J.J. Frazier has led his team in Turkey, Bornova, back from a 2-8 start to an 8-4 record over its last dozen games and ascended from 16th to ninth in the league standings.

The Denver Nuggets and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have kept pace near the top of the Western Conference standings after 47 games played as the club is just half a game back from joint conference leaders, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves. In Caldwell-Pope’s last six games, the forward has accounted for 55 points (9.2 ppg), 19 rebounds (3.2 rpg), eight assists (1.3 apg) and five steals. The forward has averaged 32.3 minutes per game this season, second-most in the side behind former league MVP Nikola Jokic, while also leading the team with 63 steals (1.4 spg). With 35 games left to play in the regular season, Caldwell-Pope will look to add on to his 10.0 points per game, with 2.3 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists per game. 

In Nic Claxton’s last six contests for the Brooklyn Nets, the center has scored 84 points (14.0 ppg), while also contributing 73 rebounds (12.2 rpg), 13 assists (2.2 rpg), nine blocks (1.5 bpg) and 10 steals (1.7 spg). In the January 23 matchup with the New York Knicks, Claxton collected 17 boards, good for his season high. After 45 games played, the Nets sit just south of the NBA playoffs Play-In Tournament in 11th place in Eastern Conference standings with an 18-27 record. On the season, the 2019 second-round pick has totaled 435 points (12.4 ppg), 364 rebounds (10.4 rpg), 65 assists (1.9 apg), 76 blocks (2.2 bpg) and 25 steals (0.7 spg). 

Back in the Western Conference, Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves have relinquished their sole claim on the number one seed in the conference to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the last seven games for the Minnesota outfit, Edwards scored in double digits in six of the contests, and in the most recent game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 27, the standout guard tallied a season-high 12 assists. Edwards is leading his squad in both points per game and total points this season. With 36 games remaining in the regular season, the Timberwolves will look to reclaim sole possession of the one seed in the conference.

Through 11 games played in the NBA G League season, Terry Roberts is finding his footing and impressing with 6.5 points per game, 1.0 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game and 0.9 steals per game. In his first professional season, Roberts has helped the Long Island Nets, G-League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, to an 8-5 record, good for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Updates on 10 former Bulldogs still in action in their respective professional leagues overseas is compiled below:

Aaron Cook, playing for Bremerhaven in the German Pro A League, scored 20 points in his last two games, while also adding on three rebounds and 12 assists (6.0 apg). Joining the outfit midway through the season, Cook’s addition to the squad has helped spark a 7-4 record in the last 11 games, improving on the squad’s 2-6 start to the season. In a Bremerhaven jersey, the guard has scored 147 points (13.4 ppg) with 31 rebounds (2.6 rpg), 61 assists (5.5 apg) and 12 steals (1.1 spg). 

In the Polish OBL, Nemanja Djurisic, playing for Stal, has split the last two contests. In those outings, the Montenegro native has scored 20 points (10.0 ppg) while also tacking on 14 rebounds (7.0 rpg), six assists (3.0 apg) and four steals – all four coming in his most recent matchup on January 26 and matching his season high. The forward’s 182 points (11.4 ppg), 96 rebounds (6.0 rpg), 43 assists (2.7 apg) and 15 steals (0.9 spg) have helped Stal to an 11-8 record, good for fourth place in league standings.

John Florveus is seven games in to his career with his new Bulgarian National Basketball League squad, Rilski. Since his transfer from Levski, Florveus has accounted for 65 points (9.3 ppg), 42 rebounds (6.0 rpg), four steals and helped his new outfit to second place in league standings with a 14-5 record. For both Levski and Rilski, the center has tallied 246 points (12.9 ppg), 145 rebounds (7.6 rpg), 13 blocked shots (0.7 bpg) and five steals in 19 total games. 

J.J. Frazier’s offensive clinic has continued in the Turkish Basketball League for Bornova, and after 16 games played in the league, the side has climbed to ninth place in league standings with a 10-11 record. In his last two games, Frazier has exploded for 47 points (23.5 ppg) while staying steady with seven rebounds in each contest and 13 total assists during the two-game stretch. Interestingly, the guard has scored in double-digits in every game for Bornova this season and boasts 338 points (21.1 ppg), 116 rebounds (7.3 rpg), 119 assists (7.4 apg) and 32 steals (2.0 spg) this season.

In the VTB United League, Rayshaun Hammonds has had a busy January playing six games already this month. After kicking off the month with a season-high 29 points against Nizhny Novgorod, Hammonds has averaged 15.7 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, 0.7 assists per game and 0.8 steals per game. Avtodor sit in 11th  place in league standings with a 9-16 record.  

In Belgium, Jordan Harris has played one game in the last two weeks for Circus Brussels Basketball in the BNXT League. Against fellow Belgian club Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen, Harris impressed on the stat line with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals helping push his side to 9-8 on the season and fourth place in league standings. So far this season, Harris has scored 184 points (11.5 ppg), adding 73 rebounds (4.6 rpg), 31 assists (1.9 apg) and 32 steals (2.0 spg). 

The duo of Yante Maten and Terrance Woodbury, still competing in the Japanese B1 and B2 League, respectively, are deep into their seasons for their outfits. Maten, with San-en NP, played seven games during the month of January, and in his last five matchups he has scored 68 points (13.6 ppg) with 34 rebounds (6.8 rpg), 11 assists (1.2 apg) and 12 blocked shots (2.4 bpg). His efforts have helped San-en NP to a 29-4 record, and the club sits atop the B1 League Central Division standings. The Kumamoto Volters in the B2 League are having an equally strong season and boast a 24-10 record, good for second place in the West Division. In Woodbury’s last two matchups, he has contributed 18 points (9.0 ppg), eight boards (4.0 rpg), two assists and a steal. On the season, Woodbury has accounted for 615 points (19.8 ppg), 129 rebounds (4.2 rpg), 86 assists (2.8 apg) and 34 steals (1.1 spg). 

Derek Ogbeide, competing for Pistoia in the Italian Serie A, scored 25 points (12.5 ppg) in his last two games for the outfit while also tacking on 10 rebounds (5.0 rpg), two blocks and an assist. Ogbeide’s 199 points (11.1 ppg), 147 rebounds (8.2 rpg), 19 assists (1.1 apg) and 16 blocked shots (0.9 bpg) this season has helped his outfit to an even 9-9 record and eighth place in league standings. Also sitting at 9-9 and one place above Pistoia in the league standings is Gerald Robinson and his side Scafati. In Robinson’s most recent contest on January 27, the guard posted 24 points, four rebounds, four assists and a season-high two blocked shots. Shooting at a 44.2-percent clip this season, Robinson has amassed 170 points (10.6 ppg), 35 rebounds (2.2 rpg), 82 assists (5.1 apg) and 21 steals (1.3 spg) – a team high – this season. 

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

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