Basketball Season Under Way

Han Vance of Big Hairy Blawg has joined as a regular contributor to The Georgia Playbook, an all-sports UGA online magazine with monthly issues available to view at www.thegeorgiaplaybook.com – here is a basketball preview for the Nov. issue:

Senior Guards Lead Young Hoop Hounds (by Han Vance):

As UGA clawed to an NCAA berth in Mark Fox’s second year at the helm of the men’s basketball program, interchangeable dual scoring point guards distributed to star forwards Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins. With both primary weapons gone as early NBA entrants – awaiting an end to a prolonged professional labor dispute as teammates on the Los Angeles Clippers – more of the scoring load falls to the senior backcourt tandem of Gerald Robinson Jr. and Dustin Ware. Very little differentiates these two from one another in skill sets as both can run, dribble, shoot, dish assists and pressure the ball. Fox plans to go more up-tempo as he plays to the strengths of the only two returning players with extensive game experience.

Top recruit Kentavious Caldwell-Pope moves out to the wing to replace Leslie and will immediately be asked to potentially lead the team in scoring while defending more physically mature SEC competition. Sophomore forward Marcus Thornton probably gets a bulk of minutes in the post, but at only 6-7 he will need help from a trio of tall newcomers, two freshmen (Cannon and Dixon) and a J.C. transfer (the 7-footer, Florveus). Footballers Nick Marshall and Jay Rome should add quality depth once bowl season ends. Until then look for Connor Nolte, a guard/forward, to be first off the bench. Year 3 of Fox era is a bit of a rebuilding campaign with so much young talent.