Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report. It’s like alligator hunting with a bazooka. There may not be much left to eat or mount on the wall, but you don’t have to worry about taking any prisoners either. The Dawgs sit at 7-3 currently and are now in Gainesville to face the once mighty Gators. But while UF doesn’t have a the star power equal to the teams that won back to back titles a decade ago nor do they have the sweaty version of Eddie Munster running the team, they do enjoy home court advantage that has given the Dawgs a lot of trouble the last 15 years. So it won’t be easy.
I was down there in 2002 for the instant classic we lost 70-67 at the buzzer and it’s a little different than the The Steg. Their arena is full one hour before tipoff on most all nights. It’s loud and, like their old coach, sweaty. However, for the first time since 2003, the Dawgs do have the more talented roster. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s talk about our early week victory against Robert Morris.
Yadda, Yadda, Yadda! That’s about all we can say. Played a little lethargic. Charles Mann appeared fatigued or sick. Kenny Gaines was a little off as well. It looked like it was a game against an inferior opponent after Christmas break while looking ahead to SEC play. Oh wait a minute, that’s what it was! J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten provided enough offense for the Dawgs to coast past RMU. However, it was a seven point game late in the second before the Dawgs started imposing their will. Really nothing to celebrate here except the victory. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kenny Paul Geno. This guy is playing about 24 minutes a game this year. He’s not asking for attempts or taking forced shots. He’s diving to the floor for loose balls, playing defense, getting rebounds and finding open teammates. He’s not filling up any stat sheets, but he’s the kind of player that makes a decent team a lot better. And you need a guy like this to advance late in the year. It may not show up in the box score, but his hustle will win a couple of games this year.
SEC play is here. While the Dawgs have the better team this year, we still should be a healthy underdog. We are probably going to be catching five to seven points. If I recommended playing this, I’d say take the Dawgs on the money line. I personally think our odds of winning are almost as good as our odds of covering. Though I must admit I’ve not spent a lot of time analyzing the Gators. I can’t even tell you their coach’s name. This is strictly one of those trending plays, or a changing of the guard play if you will. We know UF is down from what they were. We know UGA’s roster is the best it’s been in a decade. Last year’s UF team was not good at all. We throttled them in Athens. And we’re better now than we were then. I don’t know how they’re better without Sweaty Eddie. However, life on the road in SEC can be unkind. From delayed travel to home cooking, things seem to happen. When I flew with the team in 2002, the runway lights at Ben Epps wouldn’t come on. FAA wouldn’t let us take off until sunup. So we had to fly out at 7 a.m. for a 3 p.m. tip. Stuff like that happens all the time. But all external factors aside, the Dawgs have a golden opportunity to open 2016 in style.
See you later 2015. It was another disappointing year for most of the Bulldawg Nation. We use to win two of three National titles every year. The last five years they’ve been few and far between. Our flagship program fired it’s coach. However, UGA has top tier coaches in most every sport. For instance did you know our swim coach Jack Bauerle is considered internationally as the best swim coach in the world? Chis Haack and Manuel Diaz are very well respected and both have multiple Nattys. But the last five years the sport that keeps improving year after year is one no one seems to an interest in. It’s almost seems as the UGA basketball program is there for people to bitch about but not show any interest in. Coach Fox has been put down for a number of misinformed reasons. Generally, it’s because people think he can’t recruit. You try to tell a Five Star with offers from UNC, Duke, UK, Kansas, etc that he should come play in arena with an average attendance of 4000 a game as opposed to an arena that sold out every night. TV and AAU killed the “you play for you home state” mantra. Fox is doing above average in recruiting. The more he wins, the better his recruiting will get. I promise that. So let’s just sit back and watch him work. He’s going for his third straight 20 win season. While that may be tough to do, I do think we still look good to make the Big Dance. We can rehash things in March and you can let me know if I’m going wrong. Until then … Go DAWGS!