Thursday, April 14, 2011

Recap From the Hoops Banquet

Van Dawgin and I had the pleasure of attending the Tip-Off Club end of season Banquet at the Athens Country Club last night. It was only an hour drive so we figured what the heck. We had the pleasure of sitting beside Travis Leslie's and Jeremy Price's families. All in all it was an entertaining night as we had a steak dinner, player awards were given out, Barnes and Price gave a little speech, and Coach Fox talked about the team. There was also the usual season highlight video accompanied by some nice words from Chuck Dowdle, the host.

When the awards were given out, the usual suspects got the predicted awards -- Thompkins was MVP, Ware/Robinson Assists leader, etc. But what was also interesting is an award Fox gave out which was called the "Rock" Award (basically the guy who holds the team together), which was won by Dustin Ware. I thought this really showed who the players on the team look up to the most, and for a guy who caught a lot of crap over his career (especially by me during the 09-10 season), he has certainly earned it by his improved play.

Reading between the lines, I sensed that the players -- especially Price and Barnes -- really had a great respect and a healthy off-the-court relationship with CMF. I don't think this was always the case when Felton was here. When I attended UGA, I lived right next door to four basketball players in the dorms, and I always got a VERY lukewarm feeling from them about their opinion of Felton. Not saying he was a completely horrible person, but I do think players will play harder for coaches they respect. Now...hopefully we can get really good players who also happen to like the coach.

***As an addendum to what Dawgola has so eloquently stated (sorry to hijack your article DT), this was a very nice event to attend. I was taken back by how much Fox thought of these kids and how important their character was to this team. I can't say enough about each one of these guys and the parents that were also in attendance. I really felt bad for saying anything bad about any of them. They look like all you could ask for in a group of kids.VERY IMPRESSED.

Also we didn't get any audio or video, as we wanted to clear it with Sports Information first. Tim Hicks was kind enough to talk with us a bit and give us some advice to that end- very nice guy. Suffice to say, if you wanna know what else goes down at the hoops banquet, you'll just have to go next year. I would highly recommend it.***

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