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Beyond the Hedges 11/1/2012: Roundball's Here!

There's always lots going on off the gridiron, including (but not limited to) the start of the 2012-13 basketball season.

Chris Graythen

In case you hadn't noticed, we're getting serious about basketball, and we want to bring all our football fans with us. There's great men's basketball pre-season info from Mr. Sanchez, a compelling case for why we all should get behind UGA basketball from chuckdawg, and WOO FREE BASKETBALL FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE STEG! What better way to get that GO DAWGS! feeling started off right on Homecoming weekend than to holler over the squeak of the sneak on the hardwood? Friday night at 7:00 p.m. DO IT.

And your 2012-13 women's basketball team has been tapped No. 10 and No. 11 by the AP and Coaches polls, respectively. The Lady Bulldogs' season tips off 11 November against Rutgers in the first of five straight home games.

It's not really the extent of improvements that our baseball program needs and deserves, but they're giving Foley Field a few functional tweaks. Don't get excited.

It took the Kentucky five sets to defeat our volleyball team 3-2 (13-25, 26-24, 19-25, 25-23, 12-15). After falling prey to the Wildcats' aggressive offense in the first set, the Dawgs fought back strong to keep the remaining sets close. Jasmine Eatmon was named Freshman of the Week, sharing the honor with Florida's Živa Recek. This was Jasmine's second FOTW honor.

The men's cross country team placed second at the SEC meet in Nashville behind Arkansas. The Dawgs have never won the event and only once before, in 2003, placed as high as second. Our women's cross country team placed sixth.

Last Thursday, the men's and women's swimming and diving teams hosted Florida at the Gabrielsen Natatorium. The Lady Bulldogs stayed perfect on the season with a 188-110 win over the Gator women, but the men fell to 1-1 with a 192-104 loss to their Florida counterparts, notwithstanding strong showings from Nic Fink and Martin Grodzki, who won the 100 breastroke and 1,000 freestyle, respectively.

Soccer closed out the season in Knoxville, where the Dawgs tied the game twice before ultimately falling to the Lady Vols 3-2. Torri Allen was selected second-team All-SEC. Four starters are graduating, but a strong crop of athletes returns, including this season's top 5 scorers and Alexa Newfield and Laura Eddy, a pair of much-touted players who had to sit out this year with injuries.

I missed it last week, but we have a TV schedule for gymnastics. Eight meets will be televised, woot, but as usual, they are delayed broadcasts.

Sophomore Kylee Arbuckle of the equestrian team was named SEC Rider of the Month for her fine work in equitation on the flat. She's 2-0 in the contests against Texas A&M and Baylor, helping the team to its likewise perfect 2-0 record. Your national No. 1 team hosts No. 2 South Carolina tomorrow afternoon. The Gamecocks also are undefeated with wins over Oklahoma State and Auburn.

Fall came to a close Monday and Tuesday for the men's golf team at the Stanford Classic, held at the Cypress Point Club on the Monterey peninsula. The Dawgs were seeded fifth in the field of eight. Joining Georgia and host Stanford were Southern Cal, Washington, UCLA, Duke, Texas, and Michigan. It was a match play format with four-ball play and foursomes in Monday's first and second rounds and singles matches on Tuesday. UGA lost in the first round 8.5-3.5 to fourth-seeded UCLA in the four-ball match but took down eight-seed Michigan 8-4 in foursomes. In Tuesday's final round, the Dawgs dropped a 12.5-11.5 decision to Southern Cal.

Golf coach (and Director of Golf) Chris Haack will be inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America's Hall of Fame later this year. In his 17 years with Georgia, Coach Haack has led the program to 48 team titles, seven SEC championships, and two NCAA championships. Haack joins former longtime UGA golf coaches Howell T. Hollis and Dick Copas as Hall of Famers. That covers all three Georgia men's golf coaches going back to 1946 and, therefore, accounts for 27 of UGA's 28 SEC men's golf championships.

Earlier this month, UGA men's rugby took second place at the SEC Sevens Championships, defeating Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee, before falling to Texas A&M in the final match.

And now we're all a little more up to speed. If you have additional news or insights or requests, please share them in the comments.