2017-02-25T00:25:58-05:00An up and down night for the UGA Gymnastics team meant that we couldn’t hang with the best team in the country. Welcome back, Gym Dog fans! After an unfortunate week-long hiatus for your favorite UGA Gymnastics blogger at Dawg Sports, we return to your regularly-scheduled Gym Dogs regular season meet recap. Tonight, for the second week in a row, the Gym Dogs faced off against the newest perennial powerhouse in college gymnastics, the #1-ranked Oklahoma Gym Sooners. (Gymooners? Gym ‘Ners? Whatever.) And unfortunately, for the second week in a row, the national champions from 2 of the past 3 seasons put on a clinical display to drive home the fact that, even on a “down night” for the #1 team in the country, our UGA squad just hasn’t yet climbed back to the very top tier of the college gymnastics world. But I suppose I shouldn’t get too dour. There were some extremely positive points on the night, and some... well, not so positive ones. So let’s get to the rotation recap. Rotation 1: Uneven Bars - 49.125 Morgan Reynolds - 9.85Hayley Sanders - 9.725Lauren Johnson - 9.80Sydney Snead - 9.85Rachel Dickson - 9.75Rachel Schick - 9.875 First off, as a reminder, to ensure we make the Super Six at the end of the year, our goal is to be scoring in the mid 197’s range consistently. In order to do that, we need to put up a rotation score of 49.300 or better in every single rotation. (49.300 in every rotation would be 197.200, which is not exactly mid 197’s, but which would still be a season-high score for us at this point.) So, by that metric, you can see that we fell well short of that goal. By comparison, Oklahoma put up 49.400 in their first rotation on vault. And not only that, but it was the same problems that keep hitting us so regularly on bars: handstands and dismounts. Our handstands were just not consistently vertical, and we stuck far too few of our landings on the dismount. That’s an issue you’d think could be resolved with coaching and repetition in practice, but we’re sitting here with just 2 meets left in the regular season. It’s not the time to be coaching ‘em up, it’s the time to be putting the final polishes on your form. And our drop scores need to be the ones in the 9.80 range, not a 9.725. I love Hayley Sanders, and she has a fierce fighter’s heart, but she absolutely must be more consistent here. Rachel Dickson basically had one off night with a bad release move and dismount, so you can pretty much excuse that, but Hayley needs to be consistently in that 9.8 range again. Rotation 2: Vault - 49.175 Ashlyn Broussard - 9.825Beth Roberts - 9.80Lauren Johnson - 9.75Gigi Marino - 9.75Rachel Dickson - 9.85Sydney Snead - 9.95 Once again, we fell short of the 49.300 goal as a team. (Oklahoma pulled further ahead here by carding a huge 49.500 on bars during this rotation.) But Sydney Snead did have a magnificent vault, nearly flawlessly executing her Yurchenko 1.5 vault. And I’ll give Gigi Marino a one-time pass, as well, since she tried the 1.5Y tonight, and hopefully she’ll have it tightened up even more by next week. The Yurchenko 1.5 vault is notable because it has a 10.0 start value. All of our other gymnasts do a Yurchenko full (with 1 full twist, not 1.5), which has a 9.95 start value. And as I’ve covered in previous recaps, the 9.95 start value isn’t terrible, if you can absolutely nail the vault. It just makes it a lot harder to consistently get those 9.9-level scores, because your vault has to be that much more perfect... and ours aren’t. So, it’s concerning that we can’t consistently stick our landings and get 9.85’s or better across the board here. Because that’s where we need to be. Rotation 3: Floor Exercise - 49.300 Morgan Reynolds - 9.80Beth Roberts - 9.80Vivi Babalis - 9.80Sabrina Vega - 9.875Rachel Dickson - 9.875Gigi Marino - 9.95 We did hit the 49.300 goal on floor tonight, in spite of a slow start from our first 3 gymnasts. All 3 of our final gymnasts really brought a great performance, though, and Gigi Marino’s epic work was undeni[...]
Rising junior defensive lineman Trenton Thompson was hospitalized overnight in relation to an ongoing medical issue which has now forced him to withdraw from classes according to a University statement:
Based upon recent events, Trenton Thompson’s family has authorized UGAAA to release the following information. Trenton has been dealing with a significant medical issue which required emergency hospitalization and extended hospital stay. Trenton was recently discharged from the hospital and remains under close medical care. With respect to last night’s incident, the physical appearance and behavior described in the UGA PD report is solely related to an adverse reaction to medications prescribed specifically for his medical condition. The adverse reaction required emergency transport to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released. Toxicology tests performed at the hospital were negative for OxyContin. We cannot release any further information at this time due to federal privacy laws. Due to the medical issues, Trenton is withdrawing from classes this semester, and his family requests privacy during this time.
If you’re curious about the UGA Police Report referenced you can certainly send an Open Records Request, or get a general idea from the publicly available daily logs. Suffice it to say that speculating about what issues Thompson is dealing with is at best unproductive and, at worst, just plain wrong. There have been unconfirmed reports that Thompson recently underwent shoulder surgery, which might explain the medication he was taking and the reference to screening for OxyContin. I just hope that a really nice young man gets better in a hurry and stays that way.
In terms of the impact on Georgia football, well, it’s entirely too early to say. Thompson is obviously not participating in spring practice if he’s not enrolled. Assuming that he’s made sufficient academic progress in his first two years in Athens that won’t necessarily imperil his participation during 2017.
Thompson led all Georgia interior defensive linemen in 2016 with 56 tackles and was seen by many as the veteran leader of a unit expected to be among the team’s strengths in 2017. He also tallied 5 QB sacks, making him one of the primary inside pass rushers for a defense that often needed that rush badly to make up for inconsistent play on the back end.
If there’s good news from a football perspective, it’s that John Atkins, DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle, Julian Rochester, Michail Carter, and Tyler Clark provide a solid nucleus in the middle if Thompson isn’t in a position to return immediately.
Well, this one will be something new. Georgia enters tonight’s 7 p.m. affair at Alabama with a squad that will be unlike any they’ve had all season. That’s because junior big man Yante Maten is sidelined due to a sprained knee and unlikely to appear again before the SEC Tournament, if not next season.
ESPN 2 will be airing the game, a repeat of one the Dawgs looked extremely poor in when the two faced off in Stegeman Coliseum a month ago. G JJ Frazier will need to provide a strong scoring punch, while sophomore Derek Ogbeidge looks to grow in to the void left alongside him in the paint. Juwan Parker will start somewhere as well, and probably sophomore E’Torrion Wilridge has staked his claim to be a fixture in the first five the rest of the way. Whether Wilridge is on the wing with Parker, or inside with Ogbeide, we can find out together.
Sophomore big man Mike Edwards or PG Turtle Jackson could get the nod, or freshmen guards Tyree Crump or Jordan Harris, or maybe senior Houston Kessler. Junior Pape Diatta will also get some work, and would provide an interesting positionless style trio with Parker and Wilridge, as would Harris if Mark Fox opted for either of them in the starting lineup tonight. Basically, the man has options, so the creative side can come out as he attempts to cover for missing one of the SEC’s best. There will also likely be plenty of mixing and matching during the first half as Fox looks for the right fit without his star.
The Tide are sitting on a bubble, and could use a quality home win to help finish the season strong. We’re followed by four more winnable games, which could solidify their NCAA hopes. They play a physical, half court style led by freshman wings Braxton Key and Dazon Ingram. Junior wing Riley Norris adds a third versatile and long threat, with Donta Hall and Bola Oyaniyan inside. Avery Johnson Jr and Corban Collins provided a little extra PG play off the bench, Ar’mond Davis adds another wing, and Jimmie Taylor gives them some length.
This game provides a lot of opportunity, both good and bad for the Dawgs. So it’ll be interesting to see what we get in the final five games of 2016-2017’s regular season. Next week Stegeman hosts LSU on Saturday and Auburn Wednesday.
It’s the start of the Florida Swing. The PGA Tour has left the wrong coast for the right one, and hangs out in The Peninsula of Hell for a while. Read on to see who is playing in this week’s Honda Classic.
Tournament: Honda Classic, February 23-26, 2017
Course: PGA National (Champion), 7,140 yards, par 70.
Defending Champion: Adam Scott. Scott came in hot, and left with a 1 stroke victory over Sergio Garcia. This was Scott’s first win using a more traditional length putter and stroke (the USGA/R&A ban on “anchored” putting strokes having gone into effect just a few weeks before).
Fun Fact: Holes 15-17 are known as “The Bear Trap”, due to the difficulty of the holes in the face of normal Florida breezes and lots of water. There is actually a statue of a large angry, amorous, disease-ridden bear right at #15 to greet the players. The “bear” is because Jack Nicklaus (aka “Golden Bear”) redesigned the course several years ago.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6:30 p.m. (CBS). **Caveat: I’m not positive these are the correct times, but for a “normal” PGA Tour event, this is the typical schedule and networks. It might actually be NBC this week - I dunno.
Former 'Dawgs in the Field (Five): Brian Harman, Harris English, Hudson Swafford, Kevin Kisner, Russell Henley.
Ima gunna keep this one short, as a few personal items have kept me from my normal appointed rounds (pun-ny). If you can tell from the article title, I’m just going all stream of consciousness here.
But the Tour players are certainly giving this course their full attention. I’ve mentioned above “The Bear Trap”, but there are some difficult stretches elsewhere on the course. Specifically 5-7, which are a very difficult par four sandwiched by 200+ yard par threes. The course has always had a good reputation, having hosted a Ryder Cup in the 80’s, and at least one major (the 1987 PGA Championship). But it had grown stale, and the PGA Tour left, until Jack Nicklaus came in and gave it some longer teeth.
As you can see above, we have five UGA alums entered, and it’s a mixed bag. Kisner is probably playing the best, but Harman has been very steady. Swafford won his first Tour event a few weeks ago, but missed his last 2 cuts. Henley is all over the place, but is only 3 years removed from winning this very tourney on this very course. Any of these guys can make noise, but the field is pretty strong and a lot of Europeans play here because it’s the first time the PGA Tour is in the Eastern Time Zone, which is a lot easier travel from Heathrow or other cities across the pond.
The UGA men’s golf team finished their first tournament of 2017 this week, capturing a 2nd place finish at The Puerto Rico Classic. Clemson lapped the field, but at least we finished ahead of third place Georgia Tech (who themselves have a lot of Tour pros at the moment). Tye Waller paced the Bulldogs with a 7th place individual finish, but our normally stalwart seniors (Greyson Sigg and Jaime Lopez Rivarola) did not do much to contribute.
Any questions on this week or on whatever, just drop them in the comments below.
And as always….
‘Dawgs up against Clemson, Bama and UNC.
Surprise, surprise, Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs are in the running to land the highest-rated running back in the class of 2018.
Five-star RB Zamir White released his top four Monday night, including Alabama, Clemson and UNC along with Georgia.
Top 4— Zeus34 (@zeus1_34) February 21, 2017
4. North Carolina
Nolan Smith, a rising junior at Florida’s IMG Academy (by way of Savannah’s Calvary Baptist) impressed at this weekend’s Orlando regional for Nike’s The Opening prospect camp before even stepping on the field. Listed by most recruiting services at 6’2 and 190 pounds before the event, the outside linebacker prospect measured an eye-popping 6’3 and 223 pounds. That’s a pretty healthy growth spurt for a player whose only major criticism from scouts had been his size. As if that wasn’t enough, Smith showed tremendous athleticism for a guy that size, turning in a 4.60 forty yard dash, a 4.35 agility shuttle, and a very impressive 40.6” vertical jump. Smith’s overall SPARQ score, which combines the results of a battery of speed/strength/agility testing, was 129.75, good for second best at the event behind Cocoa, Florida slot receiver Javian Hawkins and an exceptional score for a guy who has another 23 months +/- before he signs.
As a point of comparison Derrick Henry scored a 138.03 after his junior season. Smith’s score equals the one put up by current Bulldog Lorenzo Carter before his senior season. It is only within shouting distance of Nick Chubb’s 143.91 at The Opening 2013, which is just shy of the 145.00 which indicates you belong not on a football field but in a Marvel comic book.
I anticipate that Smith’s measurable are only likely to improve now that he’ll be training at IMG. And while there’s a big difference between being a combine warrior and an SEC MVP, it’s clear that Georgia appears to be getting a truly elite athlete in Smith.
Georgia (15-11, 6-7 SEC) took #13 Kentucky to overtime in Rupp Arena on January 31st before (stop me if you’ve heard this one before . . .) losing a heartbreaker. They look to avenge that defeat and shore up their resume for an NIT bid when the ‘Dawgs tip off against the Wildcats tonight at 6:00 back home in Stegeman Coliseum (TV: ESPN, radio: Bulldog Radio Network).
Georgia has beaten Kentucky only twice since John Calipari took over the ‘Cats. Both have been in Athens. When Georgia took Kentucky the distance in Lexington last month they did a couple of very important things they’ll also need to do tonight if they want to tame the Wildcats. For one, they forced 14 Wildcat turnovers, above the Wildcats season average (and the 12.2/game average the Hoop Hounds have forced this season). They also got a phenomenal game from sophomore Derek Ogbeide, whose 18 points and 13 rebounds against Kentucky were both career highs. Ogbeide’s 7.27 rebounds per game now leads the team.
It also wouldn’t hurt for the Bulldogs to stay out of foul trouble down the stretch and to avoid bad turnovers, two failings that have dogged them in recent conference losses. It would also help to contain Kentucky’s Malik Monk, who went absolutely out of his mind late in that January game, finishing with 37 points on the night. But containing Monk is easier said than done- he’s gone for 20 points or more in 15 of Kentucky’s 26 games this season.
Barring a stretch run for the ages, Georgia played itself out of tournament contention over the past month. But a win at home against a quality opponent like Kentucky would go a long way to assuring Bulldog fans that this season which began with such high expectations isn’t a total loss. Until later . . .
It began with such promise. Yante Maten returned as a scoring presence on the inside, J.J. Frazier as a veteran leader in the backcourt. Juwan Parker was returning from an injury that cost him the better part of two seasons, and Derek Ogbeide returned from a promising freshman campaign. Highly regarded guard prospect Tyree Crump joined the team as a presumed immediate impact player. Coming off three straight twenty win seasons, it looked like this could be the year for Mark Fox and crew to take it to the next level. Maybe not only make it to the Big Dance, but make something happen in the Big Dance.
If by next level one meant “the next level of frustration” 2016-17 has been a resounding success. At 15-11 overall and 6-7 in the SEC, the Dawgs’ streak of 20 win campaigns is in peril. And during a disastrous late January/early February they managed to play themselves firmly off the NCAA Tournament bubble with a series of hard-headed/hard luck losses in conference play.
Georgia could still make the NIT once again, and is a dangerous enough team to advance past the first round once again. Crump recently earned his first start of the season against Tennessee, and his fellow freshman Jordan Harris actually moved into the starting lineup for much of the season. There’s some reason for optimism in the future for Georgia basketball.
My question to you is, with five regular season games left, is it too early to crown Georgia’s once-promising 2016-17 a disappointment? If not, what does Georgia have to do down the stretch to avoid that label?