Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Watching the Georgia hoops seniors lead the team to a big win….

Sunday January 4, 2004

Is like seeing the Pips go off and record a hit album.

For three years (or whatever), these guys were the role players, the steady contributors, the sixth men, the rythym section and backup singers of a great band.

They developed into very good players at what we asked them to do, but what we asked them to do was usually rebound, defend, and help guys like Layne, Williams, and Jarvis Hayes shine.

It’s not that we never asked any of them to be the man or that they never stood out here and there…it’s just that what we’re asking them to do every night is so different from what we’ve asked them to do in the past (especially Rashad, Jonas, and Damien). The road adjusting to these new roles obviously hasn’t been smooth, but it’s encouraging to see the response. Rashad stepped out first with some big shooting early on. Chris – jeez…just pencil in the double-double. Now we’re seeing the team recognize how to use Jonas and, as Felton noted, Damien looked much, much more patient.

If those things we saw from the seniors were a one-game flash, then the Tech win is useless except a feel-good to keep the fans off Felton’s back (for this week anyway). When you’ve worked three years getting really good at doing something and then are told that your role must be different because of the team’s “challenges” (to use Felton’s word), it can be hard to accept. I hope the win serves to show the players that these are the roles they can win with this year. I also hope the coach realizes the flexibility these “backup singers” are showing in finding their way as the frontmen and will scheme to make the best use of what they’re doing. Keep feeding Jonas. Keep encouraging Damien that his best role is going to the basket and being deadly from the stripe. Get Rashad the chance for open looks or isolation to blow past his guy.

It looked like the players and coach are buying into each other a bit more – I hope it’s not just one game…that would be a bigger shame than losing that Tech game.

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