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It's Midnight Somewhere!

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You've heard of basketball teams holding Midnight Madness to kick off the season... well, Georgia is about to do the same thing, from 7-10 PM this Friday night in Stegeman Coliseum. It's not exactly "midnight," but it's still going to be a great event and we hope you'll join us for Basketbash! 

Information on the event, including can't-miss giveaways, can be found here

Also make sure you view the men's and women's season previews from the good folks at GTV.

For an unprecedented amount of updates on men's basketball, be sure you're following @UGABasketball on Twitter - seriously, you won't believe how many updates! And speaking of Twitter - wonder when @UGACoachLanders will start taking pictures of his cow and sharing them with us again. It doesn't get much better than that during WBB season.

It's Football's bye week so be sure you come out and support the Hoop Dawgs this Friday night! See you there!

Connor Nolte's Olympic Summer

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The following is a blog entry written by former UGA men's basketball player Connor Nolte, who is currently pursuing an internship with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in Colorado Springs, Colo.

By Connor Nolte, UGA '12

My name is Connor Nolte and I spent the last 3 years at UGA playing basketball for Coach Fox, but now it is time for me to enter the real world. I applied for an internship with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) during our season.  I remember having a phone interview on the day we flew to play LSU and finding out that I got the job while we were in New Orleans for the SEC tournament. 

The first 6 weeks of my internship have flown by.  I work in the digital media department at the USOC headquarters in downtown Colorado Springs and live ten minutes away at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) alongside world class athletes.

Its been extra busy here with the London 2012 games rapidly approaching but that means I've been able to work on some really cool projects. Here are some of the things I've been doing:

-Instagram: I made it a priority to help Team USA launch its Instagram account from Day 1. We launched it a week after I got here and, as of right now, we have 6500+ followers. You can check out the account here.

-YouTube: The USOC launched its YouTube Channel right when I arrived. I've been able to help out by occasionally uploading or tagging content we post.  One of my favorite parts of my job is related to YouTube; whenever producers come on campus to shoot videos with Olympians, I get to escort the production crews.  I've met some great people who have put together some great videos. I was on set for the filming of this video of Jordan Burroughs, a wrestler who has a great shot at winning the gold medal in London

-TeamUSA.orgMy department is responsible for Team USA's website. My fellow intern, Sarah Higgins (also a blogger), and I have been posting a good percentage of the content that goes up on the site. We receive the content from the writers and make sure it looks good when it gets up on the site. A major undertaking has been Athlete Biographies.  Every time an athlete qualifies, one of us adds him/her to the list of qualifiers. We are constantly working on the bios adding photos and updating the text. I do the photos, Sarah does the text. I'd say that the coolest part of my job was creating the bio for UGA's Shannon Vreeland who will be representing the USA in swimming.  


In case you're wondering, I haven't played too much basketball since our season ended. The one time that I did play basketball here was a pretty cool experience.  Coach Donovan from Florida was coaching the USA U18 team full of some of the best rising seniors/incoming freshmen in the country.  They were scrimmaging the Air Force Academy and Air Force needed an extra player in the second half.  I was a little rusty but went 2 for 2 from the floor for 4 points and did pretty well given the circumstances.


Like I said, it is a great time to be here with London 2012 approaching.  Last night there was a sendoff for USA Boxing. They were taking pictures with fans and signing posters. It was a cool experience to wish them luck in London. They are probably the nicest athletes out here. They have some amazing stories and I can't wait to watch them compete. I was there for most of the interviews used in this piece on 3-time Olympian Rau'Shee Warren's childhood.


We recently went over our plan for the games and it is going to be a busy but exciting time. Unfortunately, I will not be travelling to London. I will be in Colorado posting stories and watching the events on TV. There was a company-wide town hall meeting last week before everyone started heading to London to prepare. They started off showing a slide with all of the new employees. Patrick Sandusky, head of communications, picked my name out of a list of about 50 people and had me stand up and said, "Typically we have some of our interns sing their fight song when they're hired. Go ahead." I've never sung a single note in public before. It was fight or flight. I could either be a good sport and play along or be too cool and sit back down. I "sang" five words "Glory, Glory to ole Georgia", sat down, and turned bright red.  But if I have to sing anything in front of an entire company there are no other words I'd rather sing!

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Connor Nolte (left) with Rau'Shee Warren, three-time Olympian in boxing.

The Great Transformation

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It's always amazing to think about how many sporting events take place at UGA each week. But what most people don't realize is how many people it takes to make those events run smoothly, and how much time and energy is put into making sure our student-athletes and coaches are able to do their jobs without having to worry about any of the behind-the-scenes details. We're lucky here at Georgia to have some of the best and hardest working folks in the business, whether they've been here 30 years or 30 days. Everyone's role is important and together we're able to help our teams compete at the highest level each and every day.

One of the most striking examples of this, however, and something that doesn't get near the amount of attention it deserves is something I'll refer to as The Great Transformation. Ever stop to think about the fact that less than 24 after the Gym Dogs are through competing in Stegeman Coliseum, there are often basketball games? Or vice versa? There have been times when it had to go from basketball to gymnastics to basketball in a 3-day span, and the process of converting the building from one set-up to the other is amazing. 

After last Friday night's gymnastics meet vs. UCLA, we had the chance to catch up with facility manager Melvin Robinson, who spearheads The Great Transformation, and explained a little bit of the process that he and his crew go through dozens of times each winter/spring.

Robinson said his staff about 15-20 people usually take between 3 1/2 - 4 hours to both break down one set-up and assemble the other. 

"It's longer going from basketball to gymnastics because we have to make sure everything is right," Robinson explained. "[Assistant gymnastics coach] Doug [McAvinn] helps with making sure everything is set up properly, that the measurements are right, the weights are right, so that way takes a little more time. It's closer to four hours when we have to go that direction."

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"We just get in here, tear it all apart. Tonight, we'll move all the equipment, bring the rims back out, clean the floor. We're more efficient and effective with the process now, and I really enjoy it. I like to get after it, work hard and see the end result."

Robinson said he learned the set-up and break-down process from others on his staff who had been doing it before he got here, and once you watch it happen a few times you get it.

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Next time you watch a Gym Dogs meet and come back that same weekend to see a basketball game, don't forget to think about how that was possible!!

Be social!

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Good Thursday afternoon, Bulldog Nation!

Going to make this one quick, as we've all got to go home and take our naps before the big men's basketball game tonight at 9 PM ET! Georgia taking on Kentucky at the unforgiving Rupp Arena tonight on ESPN! On that note, though, I want to invite you all to participate in something really cool tied in with the game. The one and only Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) will be on hand in Lexington on a strictly social media mission. Jay is going to be faciliiating a conversation about the game using the hashtag #askbilas. Fans are encouraged to use that hashtag to talk about the game and ask Jay questions, and the best tweets will even make it to air! Please help support the Bulldogs and show them the love tonight on Twitter! 

Also in the world of social media, we've got something very new and exciting in the hopper for you. Starting now, we've embedded an ESPN3.com page on the left side of our official Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaBulldogs), where you'll be able to watch all the men's and women's basketball games as long as both teams are playing in their respective SEC tournaments. So log onto Facebook and click "ESPN3" on the sidebar to stay up to the minute with the action!

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On that note, we're signing off on Between The Hedges. But please continue your reading and viewing here on Georgiadogs.com... the folks at GTV and IMG have some great videos for you this week so please check them out!

Goodnight!

Hump Day Wrap-up

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The Georgia track & field teams are set to split up and go three different directions as they make their final preparations for the SEC Indoor Championships Feb. 24-26 in Lexington, Ky. This weekend the Bulldogs will compete at the Husky Classic in Seattle, the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C. 

Bulldog senior sprinter Torrin Lawrence, who has the second fastest 200-meter dash time (21.12) and the fourth fastest 400 time (46.89) in the SEC this season, is returning to a track in Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend where he has had immense success. He not only won a national 400 crown in 2010, but he also clocked the fourth (45.03), fifth (45.10) and seventh (45.23) fastest collegiate indoor 400 times in history in the facility. Lawrence is the three-time defending 400 champion at the Tyson Invitational and will be going for four straight this weekend.

Click here for a video preview of the meets courtesy of GTV.

In other UGAAA news, the Athletic Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting yesterday, and approved funding for three exciting facility upgrades as improvements continue to abound across campus. Read the full recap of the meeting here.

Last night the men's basketball team poured in 81 points in its win over Arkansas, good for the team's highest SEC output of the season and most points scored in a non-overtime game in 2011-12. The game inspired a lot of chatter on the @UGAAthletics and @UGABasketball Twitter accounts, including the following:

@MouthoftheLyon: @UGABasketball brought home the bacon #beatarkansas

@BulldogBrock: #Dawgs win 81-59! What a huge victory! Way to go @UGABasketball

@UGA_Problems: Proud to be a DAWG! Great job tonight guys! @UGABasketball

A very happy @CoachMarkFox met with the media after the game, saying he thought last night was the first time all season his players got to enjoy the "fruits of their labor."

And finally, something pretty cool was going on yesterday out at the UGA Golf Course. More on that tomorrow here at "Between The Hedges," but for now, here's a sneak preview of what went on on a beautiful February day!

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Until next time, GO DAWGS!
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