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Thursday, March 12, 2009

UGA-MSU Live Blog

UPDATE: Here's my game story from today's season-ending loss. Some interesting stuff from Zac Swansey and Albert Jackson, and the great Corey Butler ends things on a typically classy note.

Greetings from Tampa, Fla., where I just ate the worst tater tots of my life. How do you screw up tater tots?

Anyway, a few pregame notes:

-- Georgia's assistants and managers are wearing some sweet sweater vests for the game. That can only be a good sign for the Dawgs.

-- Kentucky won the tourney's opening game, 71-58 over Ole Miss. Two things on this: 1.) Kentucky really didn't look that good until late in the second half, and 2.) I hope this gives Ole Miss coach Randy Kennedy the time he needs to get things sorted out at home.

-- They really should have played the UK game later because that's the only group of fans in town for this tournament. We're approaching tip off and I'd say the arena is 10 percent full, at most.

-- Spread on this game is UGA +9. What do you think? I say they cover.

-- The starters from today's game for UGA: Terrance Woodbury, Trey Thompkins, Albert Jackson, Corey Butler and Dustin Ware.

-- In Georgia's game notes, here's the blurbs for Zac Swansey and Jeremy Price:

Swansey: "Role has diminished greatly for this 17-game starter."
Price: "10-game starter played 42 total minutes in last 9 games."

Can't they come up with anything nicer to say than that? If I were those guys, I'd have them just put personal notes in like, "Swansey has a cat named Mittens" and "Price once met Kenny G in a hotel elevator."

-- Mississippi State comes out with a four-guard lineup. Apparently they just don't respect Albert Jackson to take the game over in the low post. Shocking.

-- We're two minutes in and still no score. Here's my prediction for the final: Mississippi State 17, Georgia 14.

-- Barry Stewart drains two free throws for MSU's first points at the 17:38 mark. Barry Stewart sounds like a crappy lounge singer. I'd like to remind everyone that Barry Stewart will be back with his second set of smooth jazz sounds at 7:30. Don't forget to tip your waitresses.

-- Ravern Johnson hits a 3 to give MSU a 5-4 lead. He racked up 21 in the first half in the first meeting between these two teams, then went scoreless in the second half. That's so Ravern.

-- Trey Thompkins answers with a 3 of his own. I'd like to point out that Trey made the SEC's All-Freshmen team. Had UGA sent out a release about that, I would totally have let you know before now, but happy to pass it along now.

-- Current fan estimate: Approximately 1,100 Kentucky fans still hanging around. About 300 UGA fans taking in the ballgame. Both of the Mississippi State fans just got up to go to the bathroom.

-- I'm really digging these sweater vests. Although, everyone on the team is wearing a dark suit with the red sweater vest except Pete Herrmann and Dave Bliss, who are rocking tan suits. Those two are such non-conformists.

-- Fan favorite Ricky McPhee about to enter the game. You can just feel the excitement.

-- MSU and Georgia exchanged 3s to put the score at 17-15 with 11:00 to go in the first half. I've been to funerals that were more lively than this.

-- I know the socio-political topic du jour in college sports is a lack of diversity in the coaching ranks of college football, but trust me when I tell you it's worse in the press box. There are currently more white players on the court than black reporters on press row.

-- Woodbury hits his first shot of the game. He's now 5-of-25 in his last two games. And he's still Georgia's best scorer.

-- Ladies and gentlemen, Zac Swansey is in the ballgame. "Swansey has an extensive collection of stamps from around the world."

-- Barry Stewart back in the game for MSU. His latest solo album was just not that good. He never should have left his gig as the sax player for Electric Light Orchestra.

-- Mississippi State is on a 13-2 run after Ravern Johnson drains another 3. Georgia timeout with the score 30-17 with 5:46 left to play in the half.

-- Thompkins finishes a fast break to break the MSU run and pull Georgia to within 11. Swansey is now out of the game though. As you may have heard, the role has diminished greatly for that 17-game starter. "Swansey voted for the past six American Idol winners, a UGA record."

-- Georgia Tech is up 12 points midway through the second half. Do you realize that if neither the Jackets nor Dawgs pull off a miracle tourney run, that North Dakota will have more teams in the NCAA tournament than Georgia will?

-- Corey Butler misses two free throws. Georgia is down 11 with 3:27 to play in the half. On the bright side, I'm gonna get some more awful tater tots as soon as this game is over.

-- It must be so frustrating to play beer pong with Terrance Woodbury as your partner.

-- Trey Thompkins hit another 3 to pull Georgia to within 10. It's probably not good when your 6-7 forward is your best outside shooter. Worse yet, I think he's gotten a little too happy hiking up those shots.

-- And we're at halftime with your score Mississippi State 40, Georgia 26. I may technically be considered unconscious right now I'm so bored.

-- Shandon Anderson is receiving Georgia's legend award at halftime. If only he still had some eligibility left.

-- Georgia's men's golf team is headed to Vegas. I wish I covered golf.

-- Some halftime stats of note: MSU is shooting 51.7% from the field, compared to 40.7 for UGA. MSU also is 5-of-6 from the FT line, while Georgia is 1-of-4. Beyond that, the numbers are remarkably similar. Rebounds, MSU 18, UGA 14. Second chance pts: UGA 8, MSU 6. Turnovers: MSU 7, UGA 6. Pts in the paint: MSU 16, UGA 14. Minutes: UGA 100, MSU 100... oh, right.

-- A handful of coaches from the South Carolina staff are sitting a row in front of me watching the game. They have to be stoked to play either of these teams tomorrow.

-- Some individual performances of note: MSU's Kodi Augustus played just 10 minutes, but is 3-of-4 shooting, including two 3-pointers. He's got 10 points, as do Jarvis Varnado and Ravern Johnson. Terrance Woodbury is just 1-of-5 for UGA, which is currently being paced by Trey Thompkins, who has 10. Jeremy Price has yet to play. "Price's favorite Bill Murray movie is Caddyshack."

-- It's official. Tech tops Clemson 86-81. Usually you have to wait til the NCAAs for Clemson to choke, but it's nice to see they're getting an early start this year.

-- Given Ohio State's recent bowl history, I think Georgia should have reconsidered the sweater vests.

-- Fan favorite Ricky McPhee is back in the game. Get out your umbrellas, it's about to start raining 3s.

-- McPhee hits a long 3 to pull UGA within 10. And boom goes the dynamite.

-- McPhee kind of looks like those kids on that Disney Channel show about the two annoying kids who for some reason live in a penthouse with no parental supervision. Not that I watch it or anything.

-- Woodbury hits a 3 with 14:44 left to pull to within 5. Georgia is on a 12-2 run. This is why you keep Woodbury on your beer pong team.

-- Brett Jensen of TotalUGA apparently just accidentally walked in on the MSU dance team changing clothes while he was trying to find a place to make a phone call. I use the term "accidentally" very loosely. At least he got to see something entertaining during this game though.

-- Barry Stewart hits a 3 to put the lead back at 10, followed by another UGA turnover, followed by another 3 by MSU. Mississippi State 55, Georgia 42. Warm up the bus.

-- Four possessions, four turnovers for Georgia. Where is Zac Swansey when you need him. Interestingly enough though, "Swansey is the proud owner of Barry Stewart's Greatest Hits album."

-- What percentage of the reporters on press row would you guess are currently checking their Facebook pages instead of working? It's at least 5.

-- Another 3 by Barry Stewart. MSU leads by 14. Georgia's actually shooting 50 percent from the field and is 5-of-9 from 3, and they're still being blown out. Not good.

-- I'd just like to point out to my commenter that I think Zac Swansey is a good guy who has made some big shots in his time at UGA, all of which would have made for a better blurb in the press notes than what the school decided to include. It was really more a joke about the press notes than Swansey. "Swansey can fit 603 skittles in his mouth at one time, second most among UGA's backcourt."

-- Nine more minutes until the unofficial start of the Jeff Capel era in Athens.

-- MSU now up 20. Both of their fans in attendance are really going to party tonight.

-- Zac Swansey is checking in. "Swansey played a big role in Georgia's run to the SEC tournament title last year, and his game-ending 3 against Wofford helped the Bulldogs to their fourth-best win of the season." There, is that better?

-- Just a quick programming note: We're 118 hours away from the start of spring practice. Although, I can't say I agree with Mark Richt's decision to start practice on St. Patty's Day.

-- Hey, Jeremy Price is in the game. "Price once spent an entire night in a haunted house in order to inherit a large sum of money from a distant relative."

-- A 3 by Swansey! They really shouldn't have diminished his role so greatly.

-- Timeout with 2:38 to play and MSU up 77-58. The announced attendance for today's game was 11,071. I can only assume they were counting some of the heftier Tennessee fans numerous times.

-- Drazen Zlovaric and Ricky McPhee about to check into the game. Zlovaric's note is "Sixteen of his 21 pts this season came vs. MVSU" and McPhee's note is "He and his twin brother are constantly causing trouble for that uptight Mr. Moseby."

-- Fan favorite Matt Bucklin is now in the game, too. I need coffee.

-- Things I'll miss about this basketball season: Pete Herrmann's always pleasant demeanor, having plenty of time to peruse the Internet between baskets, the guy with the red and black checkered sweater who does random jumping jacks during the game, watching the Gym Dogs practice while waiting to do hoops interviews... yeah, that's about it.

-- Well that does it, folks. No defense of last year's title this year. Final score, MSU 79, UGA 60. It's been real. Let's not do this again next year.


Brian said...

"-- Ladies and gentlemen, Zac Swansey is in the ballgame."

two posts later:

"--Mississippi State is on a 13-2 run after Ravern Johnson drains another 3. "

Not a coincidence, I'm sure.

iheartzac said...

Why do you hate Zac S.? If it weren't for him, UGA wouldn't be the defending SEC champion!!

Anonymous said...

Hahaha David I LOVE the guy in the red and black sweater that does jumping jacks. He is at EVERY game that I've ever been to. I've always wondered who he was and why he was such a big fan. Someone should do a story on him or something...

Billy Barou said...


Anonymous said...

Brett Jensen is kind of a creep IMO...