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Georgia Bulldogs. 2012 SEC East and state champions.



Updated: 2017-05-23T23:35:11-04:00

 



And now for some good news: Yante Maten to return for senior season

2017-05-23T23:35:11-04:00

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We interrupt your spring filled with football decommitments, tennis teams getting eliminated from title contention, and player arrests (both actual and impending) to bring you some good news: Bulldog forward Yante Maten has announced that he will withdraw from the NBA draft and return to Athens for his senior season.

It’s excellent news for Mark Fox, who gets a first team All-SEC standout who averaged 18.2 points per game back in the fold. Maten also led the ‘Dawgs with 43 blocked shots on the season and chipped in 6.8 rebounds per game in 2016-17. The 6’8 Michigander is as complete a big man as UGA has had in some time.

With a host of talented young players set to make a contribution in 2017-18, Maten could be the glue who helps hold things together. The Hoop Hounds will now return nine of their top ten scorers from last season’s NIT squad, adding a solid four man recruiting class. While I hesitate to say the upcoming season is a make or break campaign for Fox, having the dominant big man back and healthy would deprive him of any excuse for not taking a step forward. Until later....

Go ‘Dawgs!!!




Beyond the Hedges isn’t done yet.

2017-05-22T12:30:02-04:00

School is out for summer, for most folks at least. But the UGA athletic calendar is yet to be finalized as a few teams are still finishing up their seasons. One of which will be looking to earn their way to the NCAA Championship in Athens this afternoon. TENNIS Country Club U has been sludging through the bad news (not including the fact that the perennial home of the NCAA Tennis Championships won’t be hosting this event for at least the next five year). The women fell early to Pepperdine, with Florida and Vandy squaring off in one semifinal this afternoon alonng with Ohio State and Stanford in the other. Both will get going at 4, on the Dan Magill Courts in Athens. Juniors Ellen Perez and Kennedy Shaffer, along with freshman Elena Christofi are in the individual singles championships later this week, with Perez and senior Caroline Brinson joining the Christofi/Shaffer duo in the doubles bracket. Brinson is currently listed as an alternate for the individual bracket that will be released tomorrow. The men are still active, and by active I mean like as I type. They upset Southern Cal and UCLA over the weekend, and are playing catch up on North Carolina in the semifinals on their home courts. Virginia is leading Ohio St for the chance to face the winner tomorrow at 1. ESPN U will televise both the men’s and women’s final matches, with the ladies starting at 5 following the men. GOLF Like the ladies, the men failed to make it out of their NCAA regional, putting an end to their 2017 campaign. SOFTBALL The Lady Diamond Dawgs saw their season come to a close as well, dropping the final game to host Florida State at their NCAA regional on Sunday. BASEBALL The Diamond Dawgs are still going, with an opening round matchup in the SEC Tournament with 18th-ranked Mississippi St tomorrow at 9 p.m. The SEC Network will air all the action from Hoover, Alabama, with Scott Stricklin’s pups getting hot at just the right time. They’ve won series over highly ranked Kentucky, Mississippi St, and now South Carolina over the last three weekends, with two of the three coming on the road. TRACK AND FIELD Nate McBride, Tray Bishop, and other future performers between the hedges had a great day at the GHSA state track meet, coming home loaded with gold. Those currently donning the red and black will be in Lexington, Ky starting Thursday for the NCAA East Prelims, looking to earn the shot for an NCAA title at the Championships next month in Oregon. BASKETBALL And to end on a dour note, Mark Fox is looking for some help as former assistant Yasir Rosemond is taking his talents to Tuscaloosa. And as always, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS! [...]



Can Georgia snag this talented Tennessee tailback?

2017-05-19T13:10:02-04:00

There’s been a lot of buzz in recruiting circles recently around Murfreesboro, TN (Blackman HS) junior tailback Master Teague, III. Teague earned offers this spring from not only Georgia, but also Auburn, the home state Vols, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt. Those offers came after an exceptionally productive junior season in which the 5’11, 210 pound standout ran for 2031 yards on only 242 carries (an 8.4 ypc average), also tallying 24 rushing touchdowns. 247Sports ranks Teague the 25th best running back in the 2018 cycle, and Rivals ranks him 28th at his position. Both services label him a three star recruit. While those rankings don’t sound that impressive, Teague looks set to become a priority for the Bulldog staff over the coming months, for reasons that make sense once you watch his junior highlights: src="https://www.hudl.com/embed/video/3/4708272/57a15b02051e322f0084dfdc" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> I would caution against drawing too many conclusions from this tape. Teague is a big back, bigger in fact than most of the defenders trying to tackle him. I’d like to see what he does against slightly stiffer competition. But what I do see is very encouraging. Teague runs with decent pad level and has a low center of gravity. He has good feet in traffic. He is patient, waiting for the blocking to develop then explodes through the hole without hesitation. That’s one of those things that is hard to teach if a guy doesn’t just have it. Teague is also a physical back, willing to drive through contact for extra yardage. That's something the Bulldog coaches really love. Again, it’s a little hard to tell because I don’t see a lot of elite speed on the field with him, but Teague appears to have very good straight line speed for his size. As I like to say, he’s usually faster than whoever is chasing him. I don’t know that he has the elite cutting ability of a Sony Michel or a pre-injury Keith Marshall. But he does have really good instincts and is a smooth runner, not wasting a lot of time jitterbugging laterally when he could be getting upfield for useful yardage. If I had to draw a parallel with a recent Bulldog tailback, I’d say Teague reminds me a little of Washaun Ealey, though I cannot say from this film that he has Ealey’s exceptional balance. I suspect he may be a little faster in the open field, and I think he’ll ultimately get a little bigger than Ealey. Georgia’s main target at tailback for 2018 remains North Carolina blue chipper Zamir White. While Clemson and others continue to push hard for him, the Bulldogs appear to be in good shape for the consensus top running back in the country. You might think signing a guy like White would scare off other backs at his position, but in college football today you just don’t see a lot of “feature backs” who get 30 touches a game. And high school players aren’t looking for that, either. They know that the best way to get to the NFL is to be a part of a platoon of running backs who can take turns punishing defenses, and provide options when one of them is beat up. UGA running back coach Dell McGee has stressed this in recruiting several running backs. His pitch was effective enough last season to land D’Andre Swift out of Pennsylvania and Toneil Carter out of Texas, two consensus top ten backs. Had a numbers crunch not forced the ‘Dawgs to let Carter walk, the Bulldog backfield would be even more loaded. I wouldn’t bet against McGee signing a talented pair of backs in 2018. Georgia also continues to recruit Bainbridge tailback Dameon Pierce, who decommitted from Alabama last night. To run the type of pro-style offense for which Kirby Smart has expressed a preference, you really need five tailbacks at a minimum. Six would be ideal. With Nick Chubb and Sony Michel leaving after 2017 Georgia will likely find itself with thr[...]



Bulldog commit Nate McBride shows out at state track meet

2017-05-18T12:55:10-04:00

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If you follow football recruiting you already knew that Georgia linebacker signee Nate McBride is pretty fast. But at this past weekend’s GHSA state track meet the 6’1, 230 pound standout put on an absolute clinic.

McBride was a part of the Vidalia Indians’ winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, and won the 200 meters and 100 meter final himself, the latter with a solid 10.77. It was enough for the boys from Toombs County to take home the AA team title, with McBride having a hand in over half the team’s point total. I cannot confirm whether he also mixed the Powerade before the meet or drove the bus home.

Longtime Dawg Sports reader Arisdogle attended the meet and was kind enough to share some photos of McBride From the weekend:

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I continue to worry a little that McBride’s straight line speed may not translate well to coverage. But there's no doubt he's got the ability to get sideline to sideline from the middle of the field in a hurry. I don't know that I'd expect him to get a lot bigger, but he's already SEC-sized anyhow.

I'd expect him to be among a group of young linebackers who get an early look in 2017 in anticipation of vying for a starting spot in 2018. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!




2 + 2 = Bad news?

2017-05-16T11:15:02-04:00

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As you may have read yesterday, the men’s and women’s tennis programs are pretty busy right now competing for NCAA titles with their round of 16 matchups coming up Thursday and Friday afternoons in Athens. But that’s not the only news buzzing around the program, as assistant coaches for the men’s and women’s program are currently on indefinite suspension.

The suspension’s had curious timing, with the NCAA Championships underway, and the fact that Bo Hodge for the men, and Drake Bernstein for the women were suspended also added to the confusion.

Today, multiple media outlets are doing the math on men’s head coach Manuel Diaz reporting the theft of prescription medication earlier this month, and tying it to the suspension. Obviously there is enough smoke here that many are assuming fire. Though it must be said that neither Hodge or Bernstein are named as suspects in the possible felony in spite of the speculation.

We will update this story further as developments require.




Basketball assistant Yasir Rosemond to Alabama

2017-05-16T11:00:03-04:00

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For the last three seasons, UGA men’s basketball has had a remarkably stable staff with Mark Fox calling the shots alongside assistants Philip Pearson, Jonas Hayes, and Yasir Rosemond.

Well, Fox is now in the market for a new assistant with the expectation Rosemond will be joining Avery Johnson’s staff at Alabama. Noted for his recruiting prowess, Rosemond has also helped work with guards like JJ Frazier, the position the Atlanta native played while at the University of Oregon.

Georgia has recently completed their 2017 signing class, but has yet to get a commitment in the highly regarded 2018 class. It remains to be seen how this will impact critical targets like Pebblebrook guard Drue Drinnon, Liberty County’s Will Richardson, or elite wing Khavon Moore out of Macon, among others Fox and friends are pursuing.

Fox will likely need to move quickly to replace Rosemond, although the NCAA doesn’t allow coaches back in to summer events until July if I’m not mistaken.




Beyond the Hedges is still seeking titles

2017-05-15T12:30:01-04:00

It’s been a busy, and somewhat confusing weekend in Athens. Why so? Well, let me explain. BASEBALL With a lot of youth peppering his roster, Scott Stricklin’s Diamond Dawgs have had some ups and downs all season. The early season was rough, with losses to a lot of smaller schools, followed by several subpar series once SEC play started. But since the calendar turned to May, a 5-2 record has included completing a season sweep of Georgia Tech in Sun Trust Park, and winning a pair of series against top 10 foes. Last weekend saw Georgia winning two of three at the home of formerly SEC East-leading Kentucky, and this weekend a top 5-ranked Mississippi St fell in both weekend games after taking Friday night. Furman will be in town tomorrow, with first pitch at 6 p.m., before the Diamond Dawgs look to close out their season strong in South Carolina. They’ll need at least one win to feel comfortable about making the SEC Tournament next week as the 12 seed, with Tennessee nipping at our heels for the final spot in Hoover. SOFTBALL The Lady Diamond Dawgs will begin their Women’s College World Series chase this weekend, starting Friday afternoon at 4:30. ESPN2 will carry their opening NCAA regional game in Tallahassee with Ohio Valley champ Jacksonville St. Host school FSU takes on Princeton in the night cap of the four-team double elimination style bracket. Winners of the 16 regionals will square off in the Super Regionals next week for the chance to be one of the eight at the World Series in Oklahoma City. TRACK AND FIELD The run and throw Dawgs finished a diasppointing fourth (women) and fifth (men) at the SEC Championships this past weekend in Columbia, South Carolina. But they didn’t come home empty handed, thanks to a sweep of SEC Champs in the hammer throw (Denzel Comenentia, a sophomore from the Netherlands, and true freshman Beatrice Llano of Norway), and Kentucky native and sophomore Keenon Laine taking the SEC title in the men’s high jump. The final day of events saw Georgia more than double that number of individual champions with another four coming home in the hands of junior Tatiana Gusin, of Moldova, in the women’s high jump, Comenentia adding a second SEC crown of his own in the shot put, as well as Marietta and Kell High School graduate and senior Devon Williams winning the decathlon. Last, but certainly not least of our seven individual SEC Championships came from New Jersey native and junior Keturah Orji as she continued her ownership of the triple jump. Since enrolling at UGA, Orji has now won both the indoor and outdoor SEC crowns in the triple jump each of her three seasons making it 6 for 6 in that regard. She’s also won the NCAA title the last five times it’s been decided, with her only miss being the indoor triple jump title as a freshman. The NCAA East Prelims will be in Kentucky later this month, before the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon begin on June 7th. Anyone want to bet against her? GOLF The ladies looked strong coming in to the NCAAs, but failed to make it out of their home regional last week. The men hit the course today in College Grove, TN with hopes of a little better finish than that, as finishing among the top 5 schools there will allow them to continue on to the NCAA Championships in Sugar Grove, IL later this month. The Player’s Championship was also held this past weekend for our PGA Dawgs, with Chris Kirk the highest finishing Georgia grad at 12th. TENNIS Both the men and women hosted NCAA regionals in Athens this past weekend. And both advanced. The men took out Florida A&M, and then South Florida to punch their ticket. The women defeated South Carolina St and North Carolina St to earn their continued chance at an NCAA title. Athens plays host to teams and individuals from all over the country these next two weeks, as first the final 16 teams in each of the men’[...]



‘Dawgs on Tour: No Man Is An Island

2017-05-11T11:45:01-04:00

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Touted as the best field in golf, the PGA Tour holds its annual Players Championship at the famed TPC Sawgrass course.

Tournament: The Players Championship, May 11-14

Course: TPC Sawgrass, Stadium Course, 7,189 yards, par 72 (Ponte Vedra, FL just outside Jacksonville)

Purse: $10,500,000.

Defending Champion: Jason Day. The Aussie-turned-Ohioan was the best player in the world at the time, and showed it winning by 4 strokes.

Fun Fact: 415 acres of wetlands on which the club is located was purchased for $1 back in the early 1970’s. Something tells me that this would sell for a lot more money today.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 1-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, noon-2 p.m. (GC), 2-7 p.m. (NBC). Since the PGA Tour owns this tournament outright, and it is considered the “fifth major”, you get serious extended coverage.

Former 'Dawgs in the Field (Seven): Russell Henley, Harris English, Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk, Hudson Swafford, Brian Harman, Bubba Watson.

This tournament is The Players Championship, both as a proper noun and a common noun. The PGA Tour, which is professional golfers who compete for money, created this tournament. It differs from the other bodies in golf such as the PGA, representing certified teaching professionals and club golf; and the USGA which represents the game of golf in the US. We will discuss those later in the season.

It is the 2nd week in May, and that means we head to Ponte Vedra, Florida and PGA Tour headquarters. TPC Sawgrass was designed in the late 70’s and ushered in the modern golf course era - ones designed for fans and players alike. Raised areas around greens, good view lines between holes, easy access to the course... these were all incorporated with ticket-holders in mind. Of course most people know this course for the famed par 3 17th and its island green. The shortest hole on the course (technically 137 yards from the small tee area) causes the most stress, as the green is in the middle of a lake, and only accessed by a very thin causeway from the back left.

The course underwent some pretty significant renovations, and if you tune in to the broadcast you will undoubtedly hear it in detail. All I know is that they shortened the 12th hole into a driveable par 4, which usually adds excitement.

I’ll forego the usual breakdown of our favorite golfers, but if you want to know something, just ask in the comments and I will try to answer. Sorry for the brevity, but life got in the way.

Still and always...

GO ‘DAWGS!!!