Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Three Lady Dogs honored

Wednesday March 1, 2006

Tasha Humphrey and Sherill Baker were named first team All-SEC, and Cori Chambers was named to the second team. Baker was also named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year. All three are very deserving of the recognition.

I hope it never becomes old to point out how good Tasha Humphrey is. She WAS the Georgia frontcourt this season. She faced double-teams all year, and she also usually played against taller girls. Importantly, she had to learn how to play smart ball and avoid fouls to remain in the game. Her conditioning after off-season foot surgery got a serious test this season, and she has passed.

Baker has shed the “defensive specialist” label to become much more of a complete player. Though she has stepped up the defense, she is now much more assertive and effective on the offensive end than ever. Though her outside shot is still spotty and the only real weakness of her game, she is devastating inside of 17 feet. Baker has likely earned a first-round WNBA selection with her all-around improvement.

I might be most pleased with the recognition for Chambers. Baker got press for her steals record, and Humphrey is a superstar. But Chambers was the critical piece of this year’s team. Inconsistent outside shooting hurt the Lady Dogs several times in the 2005 season, and they didn’t have the frontcourt to compensate. Chambers hasn’t only been consistent from outside this year – she’s been outstanding. During a three-game stretch in the heart of the SEC schedule, Chambers was hitting nearly 60% from outside. When she is on, and she usually is, defenses must extend, and lots of things open up around the basket for other players.

Only six players on this team generally get more than five minutes a game. Half of them are all-SEC honorees. That’s how a team with such serious depth issues can continue to operate at a very high level.

Though they didn’t make All-SEC, Darrah, Kendrick, and Hardrick all had huge roles during this season. Case in point – Alexis Kendrick was injured during the Arkansas game. Janese Hardrick has come off the bench to score around 20 points per game in the final two games of the regular season right when the team needed an offensive shot in the arm.

PS…I really disagree with the selection of Mickie DeMoss as Coach of the Year. That’s basically an award for beating Tennessee. Landers’ job with the personnel he had was far more impressive.

Comments are closed.