Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Grand Larceny

Monday January 9, 2006

There are athletes who make names for themselves by excelling in statistics other than scoring. Dennis Rodman made an NBA career out of the rebound. Tim Duncan differentiated himself in college by blocking every shot taken in his ZIP code. There have been dozens of great point guards, but no one was a better assists man than John Stockton.

A steal in basketball is a sign of individual defensive effort. You must have yourself in position, be alert and react instantly to the opportunity, and you must intercept or tip the ball away without creating contact and fouling the opponent. The reward is usually a transition opportunity and often easy points – defense creating offense. In a pressing or trapping defense, a steals specialist can help fuel game-changing runs or get that crucial late-game defensive stop.

Last Thursday, Sherill Baker became the career steals leader for Georgia womens basketball. Baker passed by Teresa Edwards – one of the biggest names in the history of the sport. It was very cool that Edwards was on hand Sunday to present the Ole Miss game ball to Baker during player introductions. Though she doesn’t seek out the spotlight, this was a very well-deserved moment in the sun for Baker, and kudos to Georgia for coming up with a unique and memorable way to recognize her achievement.

In typical Sherill style, she responded by stealing the ball in Florida’s first two possessions, setting the tone for a good team defensive outing that led to a rout of the Gators. It seems silly that Tasha Humphrey’s 26 points and 15 rebounds are considered another day at the office, but it’s her 20th double-double in a season and a half in Athens. Just incredible. After dominating inside, she stepped out to the left wing during the second half and knocked down three-pointers on consecutive possessions almost just to show she could.

Oh, Baker isn’t doing so poorly in the scoring column either. She reached 20 points against Florida – the third time in four games she’s reached 20 points.

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