As August 13th gets closer and summer for the University of Georgia winds down, Georgia Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Tom Crean, and company are just beginning their 2018-19 basketball season. Three weeks remain of summer practices, and according to Coach Crean the team is improving and adapting to the new system very smoothly. Along with Coach Crean, assistant coaches Amir Abdur-Rahim, Chad Dollar, and Joe Scott each spoke to the press regarding the team and where they stand now along with the season ahead of them.
Coach Crean was full of energy and itching to get to practice following the press conference. When asked about the team’s improvement as a whole, he was cautiously optimistic saying, “A lot of togetherness. A lot of helping each other through the work. Not necessarily when they’re all dead tired, which is another step we’ve got to take, but we’re working towards it.” He also spoke on the new “Dawg of the week belt.” From what it seems like, the belt is the basketball version of the savage pads. Coach stated, “I was certainly aware of what kind of attachment they can get to that, how important it is to win it, and the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes from it. That was Sean Hayes’ idea. He showed me the design and I liked it, so he got it done.”
Next spoke assistant coach, Joe Scott. He left his former head coaching job at Princeton this past April when UGA and Coach Crean hired him as an assistant. His offensive scheme ran at Princeton was very similar to Coach Crean’s at Indiana and essentially Marquette, so the media asked him how his and Crean’s offensive strategy works. He answered, “You watch Golden State, and all they do is pass and cut. The amazing thing is that they’ve got the best guys in the world doing it, so you get the best players to move, cut, and move the basketball that’s all. The Princeton offense was five guys who knew how to dribble pass and shoot.
Following Coach Scott, assistant coach, Amir Abdur-Rahim, talked to the media. Coach Abdur-Rahim is an in-state guy with many connections to the Peach State as he graduated from Wheeler High School in Marrietta, GA. Along with him stands assistant coach, Chad Dollar, who is also an Atlanta native that shares connections with many Georgians. These two will create a strong in-state recruiting threat that could potentially pull some of the biggest talents in the state. When asked about his Georgia connections, Abdur-Rahim answered, “Just because doors open, doesn’t mean that we can just have the best player in the state, but we are going to be able to recruit that guy because they know Coach Crean and his pedigree. They’ve seen what he can do with guys like Dwayne Wade and Victor Oladipo.”
Assistant coach Chad Dollar:
Coach Crean closed out his press conference with the phrase he’s been telling the guys since the day he was hired, “Start fast. Finish Strong.” Crean seems to be making a strong impact on our beloved Georgia Men’s Basketball program, and hopefully we will be seeing major improvements.