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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Not-So-Fond Farewell

Covered the final hoops game of the regular season today. Not pretty.

A few numbers of interest (and interest is a term I use loosely)...

-- UGA shot 27.3 percent for the game.

-- Dawgs were 4-of-22 from 3, including 1-of-11 in the first half.

-- Georgia went eight minutes in the middle of the second half making just one field goal.

-- Terrance Woodbury finished 4-of-22 shooting, including 0-of-7 from 3.

-- Trey Thompkins was 4-of-12 shooting and had four turnovers.

-- Overall the Dawgs had 19 turnovers in the game.

-- Chris Barnes and Thompkins led UGA with 10 points each. The development of Barnes and Dustin Ware (who sat much of the first half with three fouls) has really been one of the few bright spots looking ahead to 2009-10.

Anyway, none of those numbers are all that surprising, I suppose, after the season they have had. Still, after toppling Kentucky in Rupp just four days ago, you might have thought the Dawgs had a better performance in them today.

The worst part, however, was the crowd. By the end, the arena was half South Carolina fans, and a "Game-Cocks" chant midway through the second half was by far the loudest Stegeman got all game.

Granted, this wasn't a season in which there was much to cheer for, but even as an objective observer, I have to admit -- from the scoreboard, to their individual performances, to the energy in the building -- it was a little sad to see Woodbury and fellow senior Corey Butler go out that way.

Georgia was already (obviously) locked into the East sixth seed for the SEC tourney -- the same place they were this time last year. They'll play the winner of the Mississippi State-Ole Miss game in round 1 on Wednesday. UGA lost to both teams this season -- Ole Miss on the road and MSU at home, although they played rather well in the second half against MSU.

On a bright note, however, last I checked Georgia's baseball team was up 19-1 -- the ninth time in 11 games they have topped 10 runs. The Diamond Dogs will move to 11-0, furthering their best start in program history. So you've got that going for you... which is nice.

In case you're interested, here are a few quotes from Woodbury and Butler following their final home games...

Butler on having nerves before the game...
"I think me and Wood, we had some jitters, but it actually felt good to get out there and play. After this I'm just going to be a normal student walking around campus."

Butler on this season...

"It was one of the toughest seasons that any college athlete can go through losing your head coach, having a terrible record but we just continued to go out there every day and play. That just shows persistence."

Butler on the SEC tourney...
"It's a new life, a new season. You can start off fresh no matter how your regular season went. If you can just go undefeated for four games, you're at the top of the conference just like that. Just like last year."

Woodbury on his awful shooting...
"It comes down to making shots, and nobody could make shots. I got a lot of wide-open shots that wouldn't go down. I got a lot of lay-ups that I couldn't finish. Free throws, I'm supposed to knock them down, and I couldn't hit those. It was just an off night."

Woodbury on the team's attitude going into the tourney...

"It was a struggle, but we persevered. We could have quit a long time ago, but to do what we've done the last two weeks as far as winning games, I feel like that's going to carry us into the SEC tournament."

Pete Herrmann on talking to Woodbury before the game...
"I tried to tell him before the game to just relax, but he was so pumped to do well in front of everybody. But he's been a credit to this program for four years and a wonderful person to coach."

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