We interrupt your regularly scheduled football programing to bring you the startling news that Georgia is still fielding a men's basketball team. Not only that, but they're opening their 2008-09 campaign tonight against Loyola of Chicago in the Preseason NIT***, which is a lot like the postseason NIT except that it takes place before the season and is not a consolation prize. So, ultimately, I guess it's nothing like the Postseason NIT. Forget I said that.
At any rate, the 'Dawgs open the season minus last season's team leaders Sundiata Gaines and Dave Bliss. They're also without highly touted freshmen Trey Thompkins (sprained ankle) and Ebuka Anyaorah (stress fracture, left leg, out for the season). In true Feltonian form, the following players have missed time so far during exhibition play/preseason practice: senior Terrance Woodbury (ankle), Junior Albert Jackson (strained ligaments near his . . . ankle), and sophomore Jeremy Price (poked in the eye). No word yet on whether student manager Erasmus Wilkins (leprosy) or ballboy Ziggy "Bowlegs" Johnson (scurvy) will be able to suit up.
Peanut vendor Mordecai Gonzalez has been dismissed from the team for, as Felton put it "looking at me funny and not attending study hall." University H.R. personnel attributed this to Gonzalez having a glass left eye and not actuallty being a university student, but promised to take the matter up with Coach Felton and Mr. Gonzalez's legal team. We'll keep you posted.
Hopefully, Coach Felton and crew will be able to translate the positive momentum from last season's SEC Tournament win into a solid campaign. Mostly, I expect to see a team full of young guys who will get better over the course of the year and be on the tournament bubble come mid-February. But more on that another day. I'll hit on the Five Things from the Auburn game this evening. Until then . . .
***Totally incorrect. The Bulldogs actually already beat USC-Upstate 70-48 in Athens on Friday night in front of a rabid crowd of . . .pretty much nobody. Because everyone who would have come out was instead in Opelika or thereabouts. But I hear it was a heckuva effort.