UGA Makes Strides in Many WaysYear One of the Mark Fox era at Georgia produced a 14-17 overall record, a 5-11 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Given the low expectations placed upon the 2010 Bulldogs, such records must be regarded as an unqualified success.
Georgia's 14 wins represented just a 2-game improvement from the 2009 season and its five league wins were a 3-game upgrade. However, the Bulldogs negotiated their way through a far more difficult schedule than the '09 slate. Eighteen of their 31 games were against teams that participated in the postseason, including 12 against NCAA Tournament teams. At season's end, the Georgia schedule was rated 16th most difficult in the country, ranking the top 10 for much of the season.
Bulldogs Topple Three Top 25 FoesHighlights of the 2010 campaign included wins over three teams that were ranked in the AP Top 25 at game time: #20 Georgia Tech, #8 Tennessee and #18 Vanderbilt. The Tennessee win -- played in front of the first sellout crowd at Stegeman Coliseum in three years -- was Georgia's first over a top 10 foe in six years.
Thompkins Named All-SEC 1st TeamGeorgia sophomore Trey Thompkins was named to both of the major All-SEC Conference first teams: Coaches' and Associated Press. He became the first UGA player since Jarvis Hayes in 2002 & 2003 to earn such a status. Thompkins was one of five players to be selected unanimously to the 8-man Coaches' team.
The 6-10 Lithonia native led Georgia in scoring, rebounding and blocks, and was its leader in FGs made and attempted. His SEC games-only averages of 18.8 points and 8.4 boards were actually higher than his overall numbers.
Leslie Vastly Improved as SophomoreGeorgia's improvement in 2010 was perhaps best illustrated by the play of sophomore Travis Leslie. After an insignificant freshman year, the 6-4 guard blossomed into a formidable No. 2 scorer and rebounder for the Bulldogs. In fact, his scoring & rebounding numbers (14.8 / 6.8) represented the highest second-year improvements by an player in the SEC.
In addition to his daily contributions, Leslie also parlayed his athleticism into countless highlight-reel plays. Five times during the season, his dunks were featured on ESPN's nightly "Top 10 Plays of the Day."
Ware Hits 100 Assists AgainSophomore point guard Dustin Ware was another Bulldog that displayed great improvement in 2010. He led the Southeastern Conference in assist/turnover ratio -- the all-important measuring stick for point guards -- during the 16-game league schedule (+2.7/1). In addition, he became the first Georgia player since Rashad Wright in 2001-02 to hand out at least 100 assists in each of his first two seasons.
Free Throws Like Night & DayFor 10 weeks during the 2010 season, Georgia led the SEC in free-throw percentage, and in the final rankings, the Bulldogs were second behind only Vanderbilt. No Georgia team has ever led the SEC in that category.
The Bulldogs' drastic improvement (they ranked 11th in the SEC in '09) was neither isolated nor accidental. Indeed, every single member of the regular rotation upped his percentage from the previous season, led by Travis Leslie's increase of 17.5 percent.
Close Games the Norm for 2010 DogsGeorgia certainly had more than its share of close games in 2010. Thirteen of the Bulldogs' 31 games can fall into such a category and Georgia was 5-8 in those contests. Seven of those 13 games were decided on the final possession, with Georgia winning three and dropping four.
Transfers Waiting in WingsGeorgia enjoyed quite an effective scout team during practices this season. That's primarily because this squad was led by a pair of transfer student-athletes who sat out the 2010 season as redshirts. Both will be eligible to participate in the 2010-11 season and will have two years' eligibility remaining.
Connor Nolte, a 6-7 swing player from Alpharetta, Ga., transferred from Furman University. He started 15 of 60 career games for the Paladins and averaged 5.5 points per game, including 70 three-pointers. Nolte, who was the first-ever Milton High School graduate to earn an NCAA Division I scholarship, is a walk-on with the Georgia program.
Gerald Robinson, Jr., is a 6-1 guard who transferred to Georgia after two stellar seasons at Tennessee State University. The Nashville native earned 2nd team All-OVC honors in 2009, when he averaged a team-high 17.8 points per contest for the Tigers. He scored 1,021 points in his two seasons there, already making him the highest career scorer in the Georgia program.
Georgia Basketball Signees for 2010Sherrard Brantley, Guard, 6-2, 170, Dublin, Ga. (Northwest Florida State College)...Played one season at NWFSC and will have three years of eligibility at Georgia...In his one season there, he averaged 13.7 points, shooting 43 percent in making 113 three-point shots...Was named Panhandle Conference Freshman of the Year...Was also a key member of 2009 Dublin HS class AA state championship team.
Cady Lalanne, Forward, 6-8, 215, Orlando, Fla. (Oak Ridge HS)...Signed with Georgia during the early signing period in November, 2009... averaged 20.9 points, 12.8 rebounds and shot 56 percent from the field to lead Oak Ridge High School to a 24-9 record and the 2010 state 4A championship game...Was named the state's Player of the Year in his classification.
Donte Williams, Forward, 6-9, 210, Ellenwood, Ga. (Miller Grove HS)... averaged 13.1 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks per game...Was named the state's 4A Player of the Year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution...A key part of Miller Grove's back-to-back class AAAA state championship teams, compiling a 56-9 record in 2009-10.