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Post Hoops update: One of the lowest weeks I can remember

Monday February 4, 2008

It’s a melodramatic title, but when you consider the week that the Georgia men and women had, it rings true. It was a crappy week to be a coach, player, or fan of either Georgia basketball team.

The men’s Wednesday loss at South Carolina wasn’t televised, but a lot more people got a look at the Dawgs on Saturday. Say what you will about Dennis Felton (and this is apparently the time for even the media to start taking gratuitous shots), but Georgia was in great position to beat Kentucky and had dozens of good looks at the basket, even down the stretch. If an open perimeter jumpshot isn’t a quality shot for a starting wing or guard in the SEC, it’s time to cash in the chips.

No, I’m not thrilled with the decision to bench Price. Kentucky did have more success when a post other than Bliss was in the game, and Price probably could have helped that situation. Sundiata Gaines’ comments about Price’s attitude show that Felton isn’t being capricious, but at some point these guys have to enjoy playing the game and coming to work on the court. The team has taken enough hits this year with attrition and injuries to have a player vs. coach stare-off add to the drama.

A Vanderbilt team that struggled to beat Auburn in Nashville limps into Athens this Wednesday. Vandy played great ball to start the season, and they have quality players in the post and on the perimeter. But with a trip to Florida waiting this weekend, Vandy is Georgia’s best chance to stop the losing streak until South Carolina comes to town next week.

SEC Men Power Ranking

1. Tennessee: Tough to win in Starkville, and they did.
2. Florida: Back down to earth after a trip to Arkansas.
3. Kentucky: First road win of the year didn’t come easy.
4. Mississippi State: 2 straight losses, but they host Alabama next.
5. Arkansas: Pelphrey’s team finding their stride.
6. Vanderbilt: Got a shaky win over Auburn to end two-week losing streak.
7. Ole Miss: Say goodbye to the Top 25.
8. South Carolina: Two wins in a row after an upset in Oxford.
9. Georgia: Missed two good chances for wins.
10. Auburn: Upset of Ole Miss looking less impressive by the day.
11. Alabama: Hanging on above LSU.
12. LSU: Only SEC team with just one win.

Lady Dogs

Only Tennessee has more NCAA Tournament appearances than the Lady Dogs, but it became clear over the past week that earning even that annual birthright will be a struggle for this year’s team. Two conference losses leave Georgia at 3-4 halfway through the conference schedule. Without an improbable upset of LSU or Tennessee, 8-6 is the best case SEC finish for the Lady Dogs. That assumes they’re able to win on the road at Arkansas, a team ranked earlier in the season, and win a rematch with Auburn, a team that blew Georgia out by 30 last month.

Arkansas this Thursday is a key game in the season. The Lady ‘Backs were ranked earlier in the year but have struggled to a 2-5 SEC mark, most recently giving South Carolina their first conference win. LSU is waiting for Georgia next Sunday in Baton Rouge. Andy Landers has had only three 3-game losing streaks in his 30 years of coaching, but right now it looks as if they must beat Arkansas to avoid an unprecedented 5-game slide.

SEC Women Power Ranking

1. Tennessee: Win at Duke just another feather in their cap.
2. LSU: Rolling. Defensively dominant.
3. Vanderbilt: Control their own destiny for 3rd place.
4. Kentucky: Big win over Georgia, but still must play LSU and Vandy.
5. Auburn: Hanging in there around .500.
6. Georgia: Reeling, and the SEC is showing no mercy.
7. Florida: Could be a bubble team if they can land a good win.
8. Ole Miss: Win over Bama ends 3-game losing streak.
9. Arkansas: Bad loss to SC drops them to 2-5.
10. Mississipppi State: Best of the bottom group.
11. South Carolina: Recorded their first SEC win.
12. Alabama: Now that South Carolina has a win, Bama’s back in the basement.

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