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Post 2015 ticket cutoffs announced

Wednesday August 26, 2015

Georgia released its final ticket cutoffs for 2015. What’s surprising is that some of the biggest games away from Sanford Stadium didn’t require an additional cutoff. All Hartman Fund donors requesting Tennessee, Auburn, and Florida tickets will receive them.

That doesn’t mean that any donor could request those tickets: each game had a minimum cumulative score required just to place an order. Florida required 9,000 points. Tennessee required 12,000 points, and Auburn required 20,000 points. In practice, those were the cutoffs. Often though there is a higher limit depending on demand.

For context, these are still fairly low cutoffs. Auburn has gradually decreased from 25,850 in 2008 to 22,501 in 2012 to 20,000 in 2013 and 2015. Tennessee decreased from 22,200 in 2007 to 21,950 in 2009 to 15,000 in 2013 to 12,000 this season. Florida cutoffs have been more erratic: 9,200 in 2009 to 8,401 in 2011 to 8,000 in 2012 to 10,261 in 2013 to 9,633 last season and back down to 9,000 for 2015.

Are fans showing some sensitivity to price? While Georgia fans can buy a 7-game season slate of home tickets for $315, it’ll cost nearly that much just to attend the three games mentioned above. Auburn raised their single-game ticket price to $115 for Georgia and Alabama, up from $95 two years ago. Tennessee wants $95 for a Georgia ticket. The Florida game has seen a steady increase from $40 just over five years ago to $70 now. That’s $280 just for those three games.

Georgia fans aren’t the only ones weighing the decision to purchase expensive tickets. Hartman Fund donors received an e-mail on Tuesday with the news that South Carolina had returned a limited number of $80 tickets.


Post What now for Richt?

Wednesday August 26, 2015

We’ve heard a lot about changes in the Georgia program during the offseason. Nearly the entire staff has turned over in the past two years. The support staff has been filled out. Even little details like travel and the logistics of where to stay before home games have been scrutinized and addressed. It’s been an invigorating offseason that started shortly after the bowl game (that’s its own story), and there’s a momentum and enthusiasm that’s seen in both the 2015 preparations and the ongoing recruiting efforts.

About the only thing that hasn’t changed is the head coach. To me, that’s a good thing. There’s no confusion about what we get from Mark Richt as a man and figurehead of the program. That man has never been more empowered to succeed.

One effect of the offseason changes is to begin to abstract away things – call them excuses, deficiencies, obstacles, whatever – that reasonably could be seen to hold back the program. Richt the salesman/recruiter has to be happy with the resources at his disposal. Richt the CEO has to be pleased with the organizational and facility improvements required to compete at a high level. These developments are the source of the “no excuses” attitude (*) that I and several others have bought into this summer. But what about Richt as a coach of football?

(*) Speaking only for myself, this doesn’t necessarily mean to expect an SEC or national title in 2015. To begin with, some of the biggest recruiting coups aren’t even on campus yet. Others (Thompson) have just shown up. The defense is still reloading. A window is opening though in which the program should be expected to become more consistently successful.

We’ve had plenty of examples over 15 years to see Richt experiment and grow in his approach to the game. Right out of the gate he had to address clock management. We’ve seen different strategies in special teams – some worked, some didn’t. We’ve seen attempts to press tempo on offense. He read the tea leaves after 2009 and endorsed a change to the 3-4 defense. That change, whether due to coaches or personnel or the scheme itself, has had mixed results. The progress hasn’t been linear, but progress rarely is. So what’s next? What growth, if any, do we need to see from Richt himself in order to make the most of the new investment in the program?

Our nature is to file the decisions that work into the “correct” bucket and those that don’t into “failure.” It’s more complicated though – strategies can succeed or fail for any number of reasons, and all you can do is try to evaluate the thought process behind them. The spike/no-spike decision at the end of the 2012 SEC Championship is a good example. Things might have gone differently had Georgia clocked the ball, but the call itself was defensible. Other decisions have been less defensible.

If Georgia does have the opportunity to have a championship season at any level (divisional, conference, national), the season will almost surely feature a handful of decisions that rest on the head coach. Georgia will be in a position to compete for a title because of the recruiting, preparation, and all of the other work that leads up to the game. All of that will get us to those few moments of truth. That’s nothing new; we’ve seen these situations come up and go both ways for Richt dozens of times. You have the 4th down decisions that won the 2011 Florida game. You have the squib kick against Tech in 2014.

Richt’s way of doing things will be left to stand on its own. We can’t blame a lack of support anymore or point to advantages and resources other programs possess that Georgia does not. With so much progress off the field, I’m approaching the 2015 season looking forward to seeing if Richt can make comparable progress in his approach on the field. It will be how we end up evaluating this next phase of Georgia football.


Post Welcome to 2015

Tuesday August 4, 2015

Georgia’s 2015 football season begins today with the first practice of fall camp. There will be many questions to answer over the next month, and some of those might linger into the first game or beyond. It’s been a relatively quiet offseason, and we hope that trend continues into August and the daily injury reports.

Georgia fans won’t have to wait to get a look at this year’s team: Georgiadogs.com is hosting a live webcast of the first practice and will have content throughout the day from Coach Richt’s press conference live at 12:00 to the 3:00 webcast of practice.

The live webcast will be free for all fans to view. The video will be archived for fans that are unable to watch live.


Post 20 Years

Tuesday August 4, 2015

Late last year author W. Joseph Campbell published a book titled 1995: The Year the Future Began. He argues that 1995 was an especially significant year of cultural change: the O.J. Simpson trial popularized the 24-hour news cycle. The Clinton-Lewinski affair began. The Oklahoma City bombing brought home the reality of domestic terrorism. The rise of the Netscape browser brought the World Wide Web from an academic pursuit into widespread personal and commercial use.

1995 was also the year during which I graduated from the University of Georgia, began my first full-time job, and threw together a few web pages which would become this site. Somehow all of that was left out of Campbell’s book, but here we are 20 years later. Some of the old stuff still exists thanks to the Internet Archive. Those pages were cobbled together by hand and uploaded over an agonizingly slow dial-up connection that got cut off when someone called. Now these posts can be tapped out on my phone, pushed over a high-speed wireless network to a complex content management system, and broadcast to thousands of people in 140 characters or less.

Bulldog sports saw their own changes in 1995. It was the last campaign for Ray Goff, and his departure closed the book on the Vince Dooley era. The coaching change and the first spring under new coach Jim Donnan provided us with some of our first content. The basketball program was in transition after 17 years of Hugh Durham, and Tubby Smith would soon give us a brief taste of success. These were the first teams and coaches that would have to deal with the Internet, and it was fun to find our way along with them.

I did the retrospective for our 15th year, and not much has changed. The need for longer-form blog posts is less with Twitter and Instagram out there, but it’s still nice to have a place to write when the muse strikes. That’s the way I imagine things will continue. Blogs have become big business with nationwide networks hosting teams of authors. But there’s always going to be a place for the lone, unedited voice of the individual, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted from this site.

I want to echo what I said in 2010 – I’ve gotten far more out of having done this site than anything I could hope to give back. I’m grateful for the other writers out there keeping the conversation going, the professionals who give us something to talk about, and most of all for the readers and people I’ve had the privilege of meeting or just chatting with over these 20 years. I can’t imagine what things will look like in another 20 years, but I can’t wait to find out.


Post Let the second-guessing begin

Thursday July 30, 2015

It’s unavoidable that Brian Schottenheimer will be compared with Mike Bobo. Hopefully the transition will go well, and we’ll only have to tune out the minority that is already hard at work dreaming up the clever equivalent of “Coach Booboo.” If things go less smoothly, you can already hear the Bulldog Hotline calls asking about this:


Post An unlikely key to Georgia’s offense

Thursday July 30, 2015

Which player on offense could Georgia least afford to lose this season?

Yes, the discussion pretty much starts and stops with Nick Chubb. I’d put Malcolm Mitchell up there too.

But in terms of Georgia’s offensive identity, the running back position is still fairly deep. Productivity would reasonably fall without Chubb (knock wood), but I could see the approach remaining the same. I’m thinking more in terms of which players the coaches need in order to run what they want to run.

We’ve read more this offseason about the possible role of the tight end in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense. The Dawgs targeted big, tall targets in the 2016 recruiting class including Garrett Walston and Charlie Woerner, and they might be back in the picture for the nation’s top HS tight end, Isaac Nauta. Georgia is placing an emphasis on the position in recruiting, and Schottenheimer won’t waste much time involving the current tight ends in his offense. With that in mind, I tend to focus in on Jay Rome.

Rome, now a senior, was as much a part of that heralded 2011 class as Malcolm Mitchell or Ray Drew. Rome made an impact right away as a freshman with 11 catches, 152 yards, and touchdowns against both Tech and Alabama. But that promising freshman campaign remains his most productive. Much like Mitchell, another key veteran in 2015, injuries have derailed Rome’s attempts to top that freshman season. And again like Mitchell, Rome is as healthy as he’s been. More important, Rome’s had time to regain the conditioning and strength that were missing last year in the wake of his injury.

With a healthy and conditioned Rome, Georgia is deep at tight end. He and Blazevich have starting experience. Jordan Davis has paid his dues and showed at G-Day that he won’t be lost in the new offense. Jackson Harris might be a true freshman, but he was an early enrollee who went through spring and was among the top 10 high school tight ends a year ago. Quayvon Hicks(*) is now in his second season at the position. It’s not hard to imagine some effective multiple TE combinations from that group.

Without Rome, the picture changes. The position becomes much younger. Though Hicks and Davis are upperclassmen, they’re very much unproven. Harris is a true freshman. Blazevich had a fantastic freshman season but is still only entering his second season. Can he carry a position from which much more is expected this season? There is still depth, but you start to wonder if the group behind Blazevich is ready for a multiple tight end look to be a regular and dependable part of Georgia’s offensive approach. With Rome, you’re much more comfortable with a younger or less-experienced player being used situationally.

For their own sakes, I really hope Rome, Mitchell, and also Keith Marshall can put their injuries and frustrations behind them and enjoy some personal success as seniors. If Georgia plans on using the tight end position to compensate for a thin group of receivers and a newcomer at quarterback, it would be much more difficult, if not impossible, without a healthy Jay Rome.

(*) – Hicks. Barrels of ink and enough bytes to fill a server farm were spilled last August with the news that Hicks was moving to H-back. Oh, the possibilities. I don’t think many of us expected he’d have fewer receptions as an H-back than he did in 2013 as a fullback. Maybe I’m still numb from his adventures on the kick return team, but Hicks is another player who can really change his legacy at Georgia with a productive senior year.


Post Preseason depth chart

Monday July 13, 2015

With SEC Media Days underway this week, news about the 2015 season is starting to trickle out.  Marc Weiszer has a photo of Georgia’s 2015 preseason depth chart.

Of note:

  • Of the freshmen and transfers, only the early enrollees are listed. So you’ll see Jackson Harris but not Trenton Thompson or Greyson Lambert.
  • Ramsey as the first quarterback listed (Weiszer noted that it was not co-#1s).
  • Kublanow starting at center, Wynn starting at guard.
  • Isaiah McKenzie as a starting WR.
  • Aaron Davis holding onto a starting CB spot. 

Not too many suprises – this is basically the post-spring depth chart and consistent with the little bit of news since then.  The newcomers haven’t shaken things up yet, and we know better than to chisel these things in stone before the season opener.  Still, it sets the pole position for some of the more interesting positional battles that will unfold over the next six weeks.   


Post Ruga Retirement

Monday July 13, 2015

It was mentioned almost as an afterthought at Saturday’s Countdown to Kickoff event in Athens: “Oh, yeah.  Uga IX will be retiring this year.  Here’s his likely successor.”

Details of the relatively low-key announcement were soon reported.  Uga IX, formerly known as Russ, will hand over mascot duties at some point during the 2015 season.  The successor hasn’t been determined yet, but there is a pool of three candidates.  At Saturday’s event, fans got to meet Que, a two-year-old grandson of Uga IX, and Que was observed to see how he’d handle crowds and the heat.  It wasn’t mentioned whether the other candidates would get a similar tryout, but Picture Day in August would be one possible opportunity.  

[Click here for a gallery of pictures of Que from UGASports.com]

At over 11 years of age, Uga IX has had some health issues and is in the later years of the lifespan of an average bulldog.  Russ served as an interim mascot beginning in 2009 between Uga VII and VIII, and he resumed interim duties after Uga VIII died in 2011.  He was promoted to Uga IX in 2012 and has served as mascot since.   

The date of the transition wasn’t announced either.  Sonny Seiler indicated that it would likely happen later in the season after the weather cools. But that brings up a very important question:


Post SEC Network Takeover on July 3rd

Wednesday July 1, 2015

The SEC Network is giving each school a day to take over the network, and Georgia’s turn will be on Friday July 3rd. Kick off the holiday weekend with 24 hours of nonstop Georgia programming.

Here’s the schedule.

There’s a lot of football of course but also a significant men’s and women’s basketball game. I would have liked to have seen some baseball (1990 CWS win? Keppinger’s Coastal Carolina game in 2001?), but they can only work with the video they can get. At any rate, the DVR will be busy on Friday.


Post What I meant to say…

Friday June 19, 2015

One of the first topics that came up during our roundtable discussion was our concerns for the upcoming season. “What keeps you up at night?” was the way the question was put. I went right for the familiar answers – quarterback, receiver, even defensive back (side note – is it me, or has the secondary kind of been lost in the shuffle?). When I had some time to think about it though, there’s something else that this team is going to have to work through that’s bigger than any one position.

What keeps me up at night? October.

It’s not just the schedule, though that’s a big part of it. October has not been kind to Georgia over the past couple of seasons. You can go back to the shocking implosion at South Carolina in 2012 setting off a couple of shaky weeks that threatened to derail the season until Shawn Williams spoke his mind. Georgia was riding high after the LSU win in 2013, but October brought injuries and losses to Missouri and Vanderbilt(!) that all but erased the momentum from two big wins in September. Last season of course we spent October dealing with the drama of the Gurley investigation and suspension, and the bombshell at the end of the month that the suspension would be four games rather than two was not the best way to head into the WLOCP.

So…October. A tough rematch with South Carolina is the biggest obstacle between Georgia and an undefeated September. But even if Georgia can navigate the first month of the season, they’ll then have a stretch of three weeks featuring:

  • The most hyped game in Athens since 2013 LSU (and probably another Gameday visit)
  • A trip to face Tennessee in a classic letdown situation
  • A return home to play the defending SEC East champs in front of a sleepy Homecoming crowd

That’s enough of a potential roller coaster even without the additional handicap of injuries or suspensions or whatever curveballs October has thrown at us lately. Top it off with a trip to Jacksonville with the unknown of a new Gator coach and the memory of last season’s horror still fresh, and it all makes for a lot of sleepless nights – and an exciting challenge.


Post Bulldog Bytes blogger roundtable

Friday June 19, 2015

Many thanks to Marc Weiszer and Fletcher Page of the Athens Banner-Herald for having me on the first summer installment of their Bulldog Bytes podcast blogger roundtable. Bernie and I talk about the upcoming season, our expectations for Mark Richt, and our thoughts on out-of-conference scheduling.

You can head over to Dawg Sports Radio to catch the podcast – and listen to other episodes too.

UPDATE: You can also catch Part 2 of the roundtable with the guys from the Georgia Sports Blog and Get the Picture.


Post The IPF location of the day

Thursday April 30, 2015

It’s become a bit like deciding where to place a sofa in the living room, but yet another location has emerged as the favored spot for the indoor practice facility. Speaking in Albany on Tuesday, athletic director Greg McGarity hinted that the facility might now be built on the upper grass practice fields adjacent to the Butts-Mehre building. McGarity noted that this location was the preferred choice “back in 1999 and 2000” when the idea was originally discussed. It would allow easy access from the football offices, locker room, and training facilities.

Mark Richt has been outspoken about his desire to avoid a location to which the team would have to bus, and that was the huge negative about a facility at the expansive South Milledge complex. The Hoke Smith complex emerged as a location that would be within walking distance but would also preserve the existing practice fields, but it would also require the relocation of academic services and the Cooperative Extension Service. McGarity stated that “we’re probably not going in that direction right now.”

The new location isn’t without its own compromises. McGarity has said in the past that “we don’t want to disturb that environment” of “the first-class practice facility we have here with two grass fields and two turf fields.” But building on those grass fields would leave the Bulldogs without a way to practice in the conditions they’re most likely to face during the season: outdoors on grass.

So if the IPF winds up replacing the grass practice fields, the question becomes whether or not those fields will be relocated elsewhere. The idea of converting one of the turf fields to grass seems plausible, but Georgia just spent $3 million on a project that included rehabilitating those turf fields. (But what’s $3 million between friends?) It might turn out that areas considered for the IPF (such as the Hoke Smith parking lot) end up as grass practice fields instead.

Blutarsky has a good observation: if the budget of $30 million doesn’t include relocation costs for the Hoke Smith buildings, that’s one heck of a price tag for just the facility. Of course there would be some expense involved with reconfiguring the site to get the most use out of the space (and possibly add more grass fields), but that’s still an impressive figure. If you look at comparable projects (Michigan) (Texas A&M), you see that the facilities included a lot of extras that were already addressed in the recent $40 million Butts-Mehre expansion.

To give you an idea of what $30 might get you, have a look at the Coliseum Training Facility behind Stegeman Coliseum. When it opened in 2007 at a cost of $30 million, it contained practice gyms, offices, locker rooms, and meeting space for three of Georgia’s major athletics programs. Eight years later, it’s still one of the best facilities of its kind in the nation. If that’s the bar set for the IPF, it should prove to be a very impressive showpiece for the football program.

The speculation should wind down soon: the athletic board will meet towards the end of May, and it’s likely that a site will be proposed and approved. The program hopes to begin construction as soon as the 2015 season (and postseason) wraps up, and the IPF should be ready in time for the 2016 season. With that timetable, decisions will need to be made soon, and the biggest decision – the location – could come within a month.


Post IPF timetable taking shape

Friday April 24, 2015

Construction could begin on Georgia’s indoor practice facility as soon as January and be ready in time for the 2016 football season. Speaking at UGA Day in Rome last night, UGA president Jere Morehead discussed a possible timetable for the facility. They don’t want construction to disrupt the 2015 season, and there’s still a ways to go before all of the necessary approvals, site selection, and design work are ready.

We’ve had a look at where the $30 million facility might go, and a location somewhere adjacent to or including the current practice fields still seems to be the preferred option. We can see how construction in that area would affect football practice. There will still be some compromise: a project of that magnitude beginning in January will surely have a significant impact on events and parking at Stegeman Colisuem, Foley Field, and elsewhere inside the Vince Dooley Athletic Complex.

We should learn more after the May athletic board meeting.


Post UGA-GT hoops game gets a later date

Friday April 24, 2015

For all of the success that Mark Fox has started to bring to the Georgia basketball program, the start of the season remains a thorn in the program’s side. November in particular has been unpleasant, and nothing illustrates that frustration better than the current four-game losing streak to Georgia Tech. Fox’s teams have been a combined 24-25 in November games or in games up through the Tech game. The program is 11-18 in those games during the past four seasons.

Of course there are always mitigating factors. Kenny Gaines started the past season recovering from an illness that had wiped him out. November usually features a holiday tournament with some fair-to-exceptional competition, so these losses aren’t coming (for the most part) against RPI killers. The Dawgs usually find their wind, and this season’s unbeaten December after a 3-3 start helped to launch the team into the NCAA Tournament.

Righting the Tech rivalry on the home Stegeman Coliseum court should be an important milestone in next season’s quest for a consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. To that end, next season’s game won’t take place until December 19th. Of course there’s nothing magical about the date. The Dawgs have lost to Tech in both November and December during the current losing streak. But it should at least give the Dawgs an opportunity to overcome any preseason issues and acclimate a new frontcourt before this very important nonconference game.

The last time Tech and Georgia played that late in the season was in January 2010 when Mark Fox’s first Georgia team upset a Tech team ranked #17 at the time. More significant than the date though is the coach: Tech’s Brian Gregory hasn’t taken a team to the postseason in his four seasons, but he’s a perfect 4-0 against Georgia. The Dawgs should have the roster, the home court, and now the favorable schedule to end that streak.


Post Joni Crenshaw introduced as new Lady Dogs head coach

Thursday April 16, 2015

After what athletic director Greg McGarity called a “national search,” he only had to look down the hall to find Andy Landers’ successor. Associate head coach Joni Crenshaw, a four-year member of the Lady Bulldogs staff, has been promoted to head coach.

At 36, Crenshaw is a grizzled veteran compared to when Andy Landers took the job at age 26. Crenshaw played her college ball at Alabama and has spent time as a key assistant and successful recruiter at, among other places, Alabama and LSU. She’s been with Georgia four seasons and was quickly promoted to associate head coach. She understands the standards set for the program and said that Georgia has the “resources, facilities, and support to do things on a national level.” Competing on a national level is exactly what’s expected of her.

For those who have been around the program during the past four seasons, this is a popular hire. Joni is well-liked, sharp, engaging, and exactly the energetic woman you’d want as the face of a program. She’s been impressive and a fan favorite breaking down opponents during the pregame “chalk talk” with boosters. She’s made many friends in Athens in her brief time at Georgia, and she has the relationships with other coaches and the media that you’d expect of the recruiting coordinator of a major program. We’ve heard that a bloc of Lady Dogs alumni were squarely in Crenshaw’s corner, and that’s a significant endorsement.

With that popularity in mind, it’s difficult to get an objective read on the promotion. Everyone is thrilled for her, and they should be. This is a tremendous opportunity and payoff for someone who has worked hard towards this moment. Both McGarity and Landers praised her “character” and “deep-rooted values and morals,” and those have become important traits for this program. Crenshaw called Georgia basketball a “people program,” and she has the personal foundation to keep it that way. Georgia fans can be confident that the emphasis on doing things the right way from the gym to the classroom will continue under Crenshaw.

The message implied by this promotion though is that the program was in good shape. Deputy athletic director and Lady Bulldog alum Carla Williams, a point person in the coaching search, said plainly, “The program’s not broken.” Andy Landers put things differently when he retired. “We weren’t doing what we built this thing to do,” he concluded.

True, a program two years removed from the Elite Eight isn’t a flaming wreck. If things were that bad, it would have been much easier to take action. What happened at Georgia was more gradual and prone to rationalization. Georgia hasn’t been to the Final Four since 1999, but they still made the tournament and occasionally advanced to the regionals. They didn’t have All-Americans but still had several quality all-conference candidates and occasionally had a WNBA draft pick. Georgia went from a title contender to, as Landers put it, “trying to figure out what we had to do to win a four-seed in the SEC.” Many teams would be happy with a fourth-place SEC finish, but it wasn’t what Landers had built and worked for. For better or worse, Crenshaw has been a part of that. It might be a positive that she’s had a front row seat to identify some of the issues, but she’ll also have the challenge of untangling herself from the inertia that led to the gradual decline of the program.

Some of that decline came in recruiting, and Crenshaw was brought on board in part to help shore up recruiting. She contributed to top 10 classes at both Alabama and LSU, but it’s been a while since Georgia has had a class like that. There has been some progress: the Lady Dogs signed two top-100 players a year ago and have another on the way in 2015. Still, Georgia has been on the outside looking in for some elite prospects in the state and region, and one of Crenshaw’s first tasks should be to reevaluate and rework the recruiting process in which she has played a major role.

To her credit, Crenshaw didn’t waste much time addressing one of the biggest recruiting deficiencies. “I want to talk directly to recruits in the state of Georgia,” she said in her opening statement. “You are our first priority.” With that stake in the ground, it will be interesting to see what actions take place beyond what the program was already doing. At the very least, there’s one opening on the staff with possibly more to come *. Crenshaw will have an early opportunity to make this a stronger staff and begin the tough job of marketing Georgia against some very stout competition.

* Though Crenshaw’s future husband is an accomplished assistant coach for a successful South Carolina program, do not expect him to join Georgia’s staff. Williams said such a possibility “wasn’t even asked about,” citing Georgia’s nepotism laws.

Promoting a program’s top assistant isn’t uncommon, but it’s often tough to follow a legend. Holly Warlick has managed several SEC regular season and tournament titles since replacing Pat Summitt, but even Warlick has faced criticism for a lack of Final Fours and national titles. Georgia has gone down this path several times whether it was with Ray Goff or Ron Jirsa or Jay Clark. While it’s unfair to project those results on Crenshaw, that’s the lens through which many Georgia fans will view this hire.

Crenshaw’s cultural fit is outstanding, and she has over a decade in the business to qualify her for the job. Whether she was the best candidate available or considered is another question with less clear answers. We don’t know who else was interviewed or even offered the job, though Williams confirmed that Georgia spoke with candidates participating in the Final Four. Notre Dame’s Niele Ivey was rumored to be a top candidate as well as Connecticut’s Shea Ralph and a couple of successful mid-major head coaches.

I really hope that this process didn’t come down to money. We’ve been through this with the football program, and the stinginess of the athletic department is a favorite hobby horse of Georgia bloggers. It was unlikely that Georgia was going to throw Dawn Staley money around and make that kind of a high-profile statement, though a major commitment to restore one of Georgia’s most successful programs wouldn’t have been beyond the pale. It would be more troubling though to learn that Georgia’s offer wasn’t even enough to attract assistant coaches from top programs, let alone successful head coaches.

It does Crenshaw no favors to compare her against hypothetical candidates. She was the best choice for the deal Georgia was willing to offer. It’s enough that she’ll be measured against the standards set by her predecessor. She’s correct that Georgia’s coach will have the “resources, facilities, and support” to get the job done in a state full of good basketball talent. Georgia’s returning roster is good enough to get her head coaching career off to a positive start, and a little early success will go a long way to raise her profile.