2008-2009 GEORGIA BULLDOGS BASKETBALL
If you are looking for our Current Georgia Bulldogs Basketball page, check out 2011 Georgia Bulldogs Basketball.
UGA fired head basketball coach Dennis Felton after the Bulldogs dropped to 9-11 and 0-5 in the SEC. They had just lost to rival Florida by 26 points. Still, it doesn't seem fair given that Felton led the Bulldogs through an amazing 4 game run in last year's SEC Tournament -- winning the Championship. Assistant Coach Pete Hermann will serve as acting coach the reast of this season.
Georgia Bulldogs basketball enters the 2008-9 season in an intriguing predicament. After a sensational run to close the 2007-8 season in which the team won the SEC Tournament and checked their ticket to the NCAA Tournament as a result, the team enters the new season with somewhat of a bulls eye on their backs, but without, necessarily, the star power to match. As a result, this team will be challenged, and it will be interesting to see whether the team can step up to it.
The first thing that the Bulldogs will have to overcome is the loss of 2 of its 5 starters. Both the talented Sundiata Gaines as well as big man Dave Bliss have departed, and their losses will most definitely be felt. Gaines will be leaving with his 14.8 ppg, 6 rpg, and 4.2 apg, and his three-headed approach will undoubtedly be difficult to replace. Bliss, while not a star, provided a presence in the middle that will be up to some of last season's bench players to fill.
Georgia has a number of talented veteran players coming back this season, however, none have been relied on to shoulder the burden to date, and that could provide problematic unless one of the group steps up. Senior guard Billy Humphrey may be the player most likely to try to fill the offensive void. His 12.2 ppg mark from 2007-8 needs to improve to closer to 15 ppg in order to shore up the Bulldogs offense. Another player who needs to step up offensively is senior guard Terrance Woodbury, who averaged 11.1 ppg in 2007-8. Returning junior Albert Jackson needs to help provide some of the inside presence that is being lost with the departure of Bliss.
The Bulldogs boast a good recruiting class, although a class that does not necessarily possess any sure thing "can't miss" type talents. The closest to that are probably the talented but raw Trey Thompkins, who also could help provide some presence in the inside, if he is able to develop his game over the course of the season, as well as Travis Leslie, a youngster who ultimately chose Georgia over cross state rival Georgia Tech, and who is expected to make a bigger impact in 2009-10 than over the course of the upcoming season.
All told, the Georgia Bulldogs will more than likely have another solid season, although the possibility of similar postseason heroics would depend heavily on how well this new team comes together over the course of the season. Our inclination is to think that the Bulldogs will have a more even season. They should again win 20-22 games, and should have a record of .500 or just below in the conference, and should sneak into the NCAA Tournament as a lower seed.
If you haven't read it yet, check out our Dennis Felton Biography. You can read more about last year's Georgia basketball team at 2007-2008 Georgia Basketball Team and 2009-2010 Georgia Bulldogs Basketball page.
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