Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Building on Georgia’s run

Thursday March 20, 2008

As the impact of "this week in basketball" for Georgia continues to sink in, I think a message board post I saw put it best: the ghost of Jim Harrick got sucked up by a tornado.

Five years ago, Georgia was a pariah. "All Ronnie Gaines knew of Georgia was that the school had NCAA sanctions on the way," according to an account of Sundiata Gaines’ recruitment. The school, thanks to an academic scandal within the basketball program, was a punchline. As recently as this year, Dennis Felton’s disciplinary actions implied a program out of control.

The swing in perception has been the biggest boon from the past week. Win or lose, Georgia was everybody’s underdawg. Xavier found themselves pulling for the Dawgs during the SEC Tournament. They were a "national inspiration." this New York Times article from Thursday morning (h/t pwd) sums it up.

While Georgia finished 4-12 in conference, think back to how many of those games hinged on a play or two down the stretch. I can think of four or five without trying. The difference last weekend might have been as small as those handful of plays going Georgia’s way for once. Thanks to those results, Dennis Felton is now able to go into living rooms with a new sense of legitimacy, a tangible accomplishment, and, best of all, a positive national perception for the first time in years.

As those few extra plays made the difference in an SEC Tournament title, getting that one extra player in recruiting can make all the difference for a team’s success. With this incredible story to tell, a glistening practice facility, and a nice returning cast, Georgia has become a whole lot more attractive for basketball prospects.

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