Monday, September 27, 2010

Hair of the Dawg: Mas Cow Bell

I can only imagine you're thinking one thing after the events of this weekend.

"So when does basketball season start?"

I'll be more than obliged to tell you it begins Thursday, November, 4th at 7:00 p.m. The Hoop Dawgs will be playing an exhibition against the Jaguars of Augusta State. Notwithstanding the recent developments around Mark Richt's squad, this has to be the most excited I've been in quite a long time about basketball. We return a bevy of talent and there will also be some exciting new faces to see for the first time.

I won't completely ignore what happened this weekend, as I think it's important to point out a few things.
  • There are some systemic issues that have to be addressed. Many armchair coaches will point to coaching, players, attitude, etc., etc., but I am honestly tired of pointing out what I or anyone else think is wrong. We aren't scoring more points than the other team and that's not good enough.
  • Despite CMR's approach, a lot of student athletes still don't get it. For some reason they don't know how to be a good citizen and steward of the program. It is mostly just pathetic. (More on this one in a second.)
  • For those guys out there who have no quit in them and appreciate what they've been blessed with,  THANK YOU! I'd point them out, but I'm sure most of you know to whom I'm referring. 
  • Our defense quit. I hope they're as embarrassed with the effort as I was. 
There are many other things to point out, but at this point it's beating a post-cremation horse. We're a very bad 1-3 football team and there isn't a lot of substance to at least some of the guys on the field. It's very unfortunate, considering what they have been given. I'm still not ready to give up on them, however. I'll still be in the stands on October 9th and I hope you can say the same. 

Back to what I mentioned earlier. Andy Katz had an interesting article on the Hoop Dawgs Friday. Mark Fox makes a very blunt comment regarding his players:

"The mentality is different here... They are now functioning like successful people. We don't have to baby-sit academics or behavior. We can focus on basketball, and we've got more pieces to the puzzle."

Considering the recent troubles in the football program, this is curious. I know Fox wouldn't blatantly call out Richt, but this would serve as an opportunity to say his program doesn't deserve to be lumped with football. Basically his chance to say, "Well, we have taught these guys how to carry themselves. Because of that, they have respect for their own person and there are no distractions." Because Fox has established rules and has garnered respect amongst his players (if you weren't aware, the team is banned from social media during certain times amid other restrictions), he doesn't feel that he should endlessly police them. This is a very refreshing way of doing things, if you ask me.

I know that seems to be a stretch, but I would certainly understand Fox's motive behind it, IF that was what he meant. This, among other things, is why I have become a HUGE Mark Fox fan. He seems to say and do all of the right things. Oh, and he lets his emotion show every once in a while, which isn't a crime by the way.

Also of note in that article was a little blip on Jeremy Price, who I think could be a huge boost this year:

" ...And if preseason workouts are any indication, forward Jeremy Price will have an impact, as well, after averaging seven points a game last season."\

Jeremy is a big body that has a better offensive game than what he has shown. He hasn't been motivated or in shape in his 3 years in Athens. After year one he was talking about transferring, but with Mark Fox he seems to have been somewhat invigorated. I'll be very surprised if JP doesn't play some very big minutes for the Dawgs this season. 

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