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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Searels & Thompkins: UGA's Two Best Big Men

Just finished up at basketball practice, but the real show had little to do with the UGA hoopsters.

Georgia's assistant football coaches were playing a pick-up basketball game in the practice gym -- going the width of the court rather than length-wise -- and I would have happily paid admission to watch that -- and make a few jokes about it.

The star? That would be Stacy Searels, who not surprisingly played like Bill Liambeer -- throwing elbows, sweating profusely and occasionally draining a shot from the perimeter you wouldn't have expected him to hit.

Mike Bobo played the point and did so with a new-look goatee. Or perhaps that was Mike Bobo's evil twin. Either way, John Lilly was no match for him.

But the real bummer here was that there was no appearance by Scott Lakatos, who should have been stepping in to represent the Big East. (And note, there was no Todd Grantham or Mark Richt either, despite Richt's penchant for the trick shot.)

And the quote of the day comes from Mark Fox: "I told them if they wanted to keep playing here they had to start going the long way and not the short court."

A few other hoops notes:

-- Talked to Fox about playing at Vandy, where the benches are on the baselines instead of the sidelines. He said the team has practiced that, but added, "I don't know how much they listen to me during the games anyway."

-- Fox also said he has never coached in Vandy's gym before, but it was one of the places he was looking forward to going when he took the job. Added Trey Thompkins: "It's one of those places you can tell it was used for something else before it was a gym." That's exactly how I feel about places that used to be IHOPs.

-- Fox said he's fine with playing Thursday-Saturday this week, which is part of the deal with the new SEC Network agreement. He said that's what he did every week while at Nevada, so he's used to it.

-- Talked to Trey a bit about his NBA future. Here's what he had to say...

On whether he considered the NBA last year...
"I didn't think about it because I knew personally I wasn't ready. I just wanted to come back to school. I became a much better player, and with the coaching change, it didn't slow that process down at all. ... Coach Fox let me know things individually that I had to improve, and I think I've become a better player."

On whether he considered transferring after last year...
"Every now and then, but when Coach Fox came in, we had our meeting, I talked to him about it, we settled it, and obviously I'm still here."

On whether he gives much thought to people writing about him and Travis Leslie being potential lottery picks in 2011...
"Not at all. We take it one day at a time and play basketball. If that's what people say, that's what people say. We just try to stay within our team and stay focused on the task at hand."

On what it's like playing alongside another player being talked about as a lottery pick...
"It's a blessing because Travis is a great player. He's showing the world what he can do and it makes our team so much better."

On whether he has thought about leaving for the NBA after this year...
"I haven't really thought about it just because I want to take care of this season before I let anything else come to my mind."

On what he wants to work on as a player before heading to the NBA...
"Being more of a vocal leader and taking care of the ball. Those are two things I need a lot more improvement on."

On whether the team's turnaround makes his decision harder now than it would have been...
"Yeah, because I want to be known as a guy who helped the program go from where it was to where it will be."


VAdawg said...

Thompkins is a pure class act. Love that kid.

BigMuddyDawg said...

Absolutely. Sounds like a fine young man and I'm glad we have guys like him wearing the red and black.