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Beyond the Hedges: 1/10/2013

"To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June." -- Jean-Paul Sartre (Sartre obviously never spent time wallowing in musical selections inspired by last night's loss in men's basketball to the Gators; also, Sartre wrote a novel called Nausea.) But there is good news, if you'll just follow me ...

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UGA Sports Communications

Although the start to the men's basketball season was a disappointment embarrassment (but do check out the inspired musical selections in the wrapup's comments), the women's basketball team at least has won an SEC contest. The Lady Bulldogs are 1-1 in conference play (13-2 over all) after the opening weekend. Last Thursday night, Georgia scored 24 points off Mizzou turnovers and 40 points from the bench to beat the Eastern Division Tigers 77-46 in Stegeman. But even after the departure of legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, UGA came up short in Knoxville on Sunday, falling to Tennessee 79-66. The No. 10 ladies are on the road again tonight at 9 ET, facing Bama in Tuscaloosa (televised regionally on CSS), and return to Stegeman on Sunday to host South Carolina.

Georgia's swimming and diving teams saw action in two venues over the last week. The Tennessee Diving Invitational concluded this past Saturday where two Georgia women shone. Junior Laura Ryan took first-place honors in platform diving. Her score of 312.35 bested the field by a margin of greater than 24 points. Junior Ann-Perry Blank placed eighth in the three-meter dive. Complete results for the three-day event are available at While the divers were diving, the swimmers, both men and women, were in Savannah at the Chatham Aquatic Center in a tri-meet with North Carolina State and Savannah College of Art & Design. SCAD has a swim team. Georgia's teams swept the meet, including three wins by freshman Chase Kalisz in his UGA debut. Kalisz is so new, he hasn't made it onto the official site's roster page but made a splash by placing first in the 200 butterfly (1:50.33), the 200 breaststroke (1:59.58), and the 200 individual medley (1:48.61).

There was recognition out of Birmingham for UGA swimmers in the announcement of weekly conference honors. Sophomore Amber McDermott was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Week following a successful return to competition after a November wrist injury. Kalisz and Hali Flickinger were tapped SEC Male and Female Freshman of the week, respectively. The future looks bright, but we will miss seniors Kelsey Gaid, Megan Romano, Allison Schmitt, Martin Grodzki, and Brett Roberson, who will be recognized before the final home dual meet of the year, against Texas, on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. If you want to see some Olympic-caliber athletes competing, head over to Gabrielsen Natatorium. Admission is free.

Hoping to bounce back from a mostly strong but ultimately inadequate season opener, the gymnastics squad is headed to Fayetteville for the season's first SEC contest, 8 pm eastern, tomorrow.

In club sports news, the men's lacrosse team is set to open its 2013 slate against Wake Forest on 9 February, but it's never too early to take a look at what should be a challenging season as UGA tries to improve on its strong 13-3 showing from last year. The Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association fan site has a good comprehensive overview of what lies ahead for UGALAX. And if you want to see Dawgs on ice, head up to the IceForum in Duluth tomorrow night where Georgia will face Kennesaw State in hockey at 9:30.

And finally, in Bulldog alumni news, Bubba Watson finished fourth in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions that ended Tuesday, battling not only the fairways and greens but slowed by the flu. Now that 2012 is in the books, a couple of Bubba's cumulative stats for the year jump out: he finished the year second in greens in regulation (GIR) percentage at 69.9 and, surprising exactly no one, first in average drive distance at 315.5. (h/t chuckdawg)

And no, we can't forget football around here. Dawg Sports will be taking a look back and a look ahead at each position group, starting today with hailtogeorgia's breakdown of what was in 2012 and what will be in 2013 among the defensive backs. We also will continue to bring you the news, both bad and good, from all UGA sports. Is it tennis season yet? (one more week ...)