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    The Georgia Bulldogs figure to have one of the top baseball teams in the country this season, a year after posting a 46-17 record and 21-9 mark in SEC play. The Bulldogs ended the season as a national seed for the NCAA Tournament but lost twice to Florida State in the regionals. Georgia was ranked No. 7 by Baseball America to open the 2020 season, with only Vanderbilt at No. 1 and Florida at No. 4 having higher rankings among SEC teams. Vanderbilt is the defending national champion. Georgia was ranked No. 5 by D1baseball in its preseason rankings. The Bulldogs bring back seven starting position players from last season's team, led by shortstop Cam Sheppard. But the strength of the team once again figures to be the pitching staff, as Georgia boasts starters Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox. Both starters are expected to be first-round draft picks in the 2021 MLB Draft. The Bulldogs start their season on Feb. 14, as they host Richmond for a three-game series in Athens. Georgia begins SEC play on March 13 when it visits the Florida Gators. Another Preseason Top 10 #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/xTawFyTEzP Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) January 20, 2020 Gym Dawgs post season-best effort in win over Iowa State The Georgia Gym Dawgs posted one of the top scores of the season on Monday, as they scored a 197.325 to beat visiting Iowa State. Georgia is one of only eight teams to reach a score that high. With the win, Georgia now moves to 1-1 on the season. 'This meet definitely builds confidence,' head coach Courtney Kupets Carter said. 'They are a strong team. They need to stay within themselves, take it one event at a time, one routine at a time. They're really taking that to heart and you can see the difference in this team. I'm proud of them and now we have to carry this momentum into this weekend.' As a team, Georgia posted 49.200 on vault, a 49.275 on bars, a 49.400 on the balance beam and 49.450 on the floor routine. Georgia returns to action this coming Saturday, as it will travel to Fort Worth, Texas to compete in the Metroplex Challenge against Alabama, Oklahoma and Denver. When we win, we hit the studio! Studio 48 is named in honor of this, the 48th GymDog team in UGA history. #GloryGlory | #Studio48 | #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/viSQ23fpDH Georgia Gymnastics (@UGAGymnastics) January 20, 2020 Men's Tennis earns season-opening win over Kennesaw State The No. 19 Georgia men's tennis team picked up a win in its first dual match of the season, as the Bulldogs took down visiting Kennesaw State 8-1 on Monday. The Bulldogs won all four doubles matches to take the early lead before cruising to victory in the singles portion of the match. 'We played really well up and down the lineup today,' head coach Manuel Diaz said. 'Kennesaw State is a much improved team from last year and made us work hard. I thought our guys came out with great energy and intensity. This is a great group of guys. They make it a lot of fun, and I feel like they are getting better every single day.' Georgia's Phillip Henning, ranked No. 12 in the country, picked up an easy 6-2,6-0 win in singles on court three. No. 57 ranked Trent Bryde played on court one for Georgia and earned a three-set victory. The Bulldogs return to action on Jan. 25 when they play the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville, Miss., as a part of the ITA Kick-Off. Win #1 Now, ready for more #GoDawgs | #KeepBuilding pic.twitter.com/GkEFZPsmCL Georgia Tennis (@UGAtennis) January 20, 2020 More Georgia sports stories from around DawgNation Social media reacts to Georgia football landing 5-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff Kirby Smart orchestrates amazing reinvigoration of Georgia football Kirby Smart recognizes his offense needs to change after latest Georgia football coaching moves Georgia football adds offseason excitement, QB stars endorse Todd Monken Georgia football coach Kirby Smart hires Buster Faulkner to offensive staff Georgia football winners and losers following addition of offensive coordinator Todd Monken The post Georgia sports roundup: Baseball to begin season in top 10, Gymnastics posts season-best effort appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The “most important” part of the season may not begin until next Saturday, but Georgia men’s basketball will attempt to end its non-conference slate on the right note Sunday evening. Considering the Bulldogs face an opponent they lost to last season, the team’s final game of the 2018 calendar year against UMass is rather important too. In order to win, Georgia will be aiming for more activity on the defensive end. The Bulldogs (7-4) play the UMass Minutemen (7-5) at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens (TV: SEC Network). All season long, first-year coach Tom Crean has preached active defense. The No. 1 recipe to that is what he calls “deflections.” ”I was told a long time ago – and I don’t think you can say it any better – deflections are barometer of active defense,” Crean said following the victory against Sam Houston State. “It’s any type of activity on the ball. It’s a finger tip, a hand, blocked shots, chargers, a steal. That’s what we’re aiming for. I want our team at a deflection-to-turnover ratio of 3.5-to-1. To me, that is an optimal number.” The Bulldogs keep track of Crean’s created deflection stat, and like so many other important statistical categories, sophomore Nicolas Claxton leads the team with 105 deflections. Claxton also leads the Bulldogs in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game. UMass won the only previous meeting in this series, beating Georgia last season, 72-62, at Mullins Center in Amherst, MA. The Bulldogs enter Sunday having won four of their last five after losing their final two games of the Cayman Islands Classic. In their last game, the Bulldogs defeated in-state rival Georgia Tech, 70-59, at the McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta. Georgia is 5-1 at home this season. UMass also possesses seven victories in 2018-19, but the Minutemen have alternated wins and losses each of the last seven games. They edged Fairleigh Dickinson in their last game, 85-84, on Dec. 21. The Minutemen recently played Temple as well, losing to the Owls, 65-63. Georgia also lost to Temple, 81-77, in the second game of the season. That’s the only opponent Georgia and UMass have in common during the 2018-19 season. DawgNation Georgia basketball Georgia basketball’s Tom Crean: Through lends of friend and mentor Tom Izzo WATCH: Georgia basketball rising star Nicolas Claxton a gift that keeps giving WATCH: Tom Crean shares surprising Georgia basketball history, daunting challenges ahead Georgia basketball beats Georgia Tech 70-59, wins fourth straight in rivalry Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean embraces showdown at Georgia Tech WATCH: Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean preaches winning ways to Bulldogs UGA learns its lesson from Tom Crean, holds off Oakland rally Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start Georgia can’t hold 18-point lead, falls to Arizona State Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State The post Georgia basketball looking for more active defense in non-conference final against UMass appeared first on DawgNation.
  • EAST LANSING, Mich. — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean is no stranger to rebuilding programs, and no one knows that better than College Basketball Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo. Izzo, who has led Michigan State to a national championship along with seven Final Fours and 13 Big Ten titles, remembers making Crean his first hire when he took over the Spartans’ program 23 years ago. RELATED: Tom Crean shares shocking UGA history “Tom Crean helped me build this thing, he was phenomenal,” Izzo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and DawgNation in an exclusive interview. “I had gotten Time hired as a graduate assistant (1989, when Judd Heathcote was still ahead coach), and as soon as I got this job, he was the first guy I went after. “I knew he was a relentless worker, good recruiter, a very good Xs and Os guy, and he was driven.” Crean has show those qualities to Bulldogs fans already this season with Georgia off to a 7-4 start including last Saturday’s impressive 70-59 road win at Georgia Tech and the 76-74 near-miss against a Top 20-ranked Arizona State team earlier this month. RELATED: Georgia gets key road win at Georgia Tech Current situation Izzo has taken note of Crean’s early success after taking over a downtrodden Georgia basketball program that has been to the NCAA Tournament just once in the past seven years. “I’m glad he’s not in my conference, but I’m also glad he’s back in it,” Izzo said. “I think people there will enjoy him, and I think he’ll build it, they just have to give him a little time and let him get all the people in there he needs.” Izzo said Georgia can build a basketball program alongside its championship caliber football program, much like he has been able to do at Michigan State and Florida and Ohio State have done. “I think this is a football school 1A, and 1B, it’s a basketball school, Florida got to be the same,” Izzo said. “Ohio State is probably a little more football, but it’s a pretty good basketball school. “There’s no reason at Georgia you can’t do that. I know there’s players in the State of Georgia. Atlanta, it’s like Chicago an Detroit, lots of people recruiting the city, but the players are there.” Football background Crean, like Izzo, has an innate love of football that works to his advantage at the college level. “Tom is smart and he has a lot of good football friends, pro and college, and he uses football to help him in basketball,” Izzo said. “I think he’ll do that at Georgia, because I think he’ll get along with the football guys. “I don’t think there will be jealousy because he’s been brought up a football guy.” Indeed, Crean is married into the Harbaugh family, and maintains close relations with Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and Baltimore Ravens football coach John Harbaugh. Just as Izzo is a regular at Michigan State football games, driving through the parking lots on a golf cart and visiting with fans each Saturday of the Spartans’ home games in East Lansing, Crean has made himself available at the Bulldogs’ home football games. “I think why he’ll be successful there is he can coach, he’ll demand some things,” Izzo said, “but importantly, I think he’ll embrace football, where a lot of coaches get jealous of it.” Back then Izzo remembers the characteristics Crean help instill at Michigan State that have led to the Spartans becoming a national basketball power. “In football terms, he’s an incredible offensive coordinator, and he has a very good offensive mind,” Izzo said. But he has the base to be a great defensive coach, like he was here.” Izzo’s programs are known for their defensive prowess and physical rebounding nature. “Tom brought some of that rebounding here every bit as much as I did,” Izzo said. “This program was team built — Tom, BG (Brian Gregory) and Stan Heath. But Tom was absolutely instrumental in helping me build this thing. “That’s why I’ll always appreciate what he’s done for me.” Competing with Crean When Izzo says he’s glad Crean isn’t in the same conference, he’s referencing the rivalry the two coaches built after Crean took over and re-established Indiana basketball. “He did an unbelievable job at Indiana, and I think he had to rebuild it,” Izzo said. But in that state, it’s 19 years after Bob (Knight) was there, and there’s still people talking about him. There’s been a couple guys who have been there since Bob Knight, but nobody has really replaced him if you know what I mean, and Tom was the closest thing. “But it was ugly from Day One, he had to deal with the (NCAA) issues that were there, and then he had the wrath from the Bob Knight fans, so I think that was hard on Tom,” Izzo said. “That’s unfair for any coach, just like it will be unfair for the guy that follows Mike Krzyzewski.” Georgia, however, offers Crean a unique opportunity. “You know, even when he was at Marquette going to that Final Four, there were still some Al McQuire whispers around that program,” Izzo said. “Georgia, in a lot of ways he gets to build his own program, and the canvas blank there and he gets to paint his own portrait,” Izzo said, “ and he gets to put his mark on that program, because it’s not like he’s replacing a legend.” What’s next Izzo wants to see Crean do well at Georgia, because he believes he has earned it. “Here’s what I know for sure: I know he’s a phenomenal working recruiter,” Izzo said. “He’s a very good basketball coach, and he’s a very attention-to-detail guy.” “ Crean’s intensity is unmistakable, and he’s already made it clear he wants the Bulldogs basketball program on an accelerated path to success. Izzo believes the year Crean spent away from coaching will serve him well as he build his brand in Athens. “He did a great thing last year in that he got away, he visited a lot of programs, and he had a chance to sit back and evaluate,” Izzo said. “When you’re in this job, you’re on the treadmill and you never get off. But he got to sit back and say, ‘how did this guy handle that, or that guy handle this.’ He got to hear how other people think about other people and look at things constructively. “It gives you a better perception of who you are.” Izzo believes Crean was sometimes misunderstood at Indiana because of the ever-present pressure and speculation that comes with the Indiana job post-Knight. “I think now at Georgia, he has to take things one step further,” Izzo said. “He needs to let himself enjoy the people around him. “I’ll be shocked if he’s not very, very successful there.” DawgNation Georgia basketball Georgia wins 4th straight in Georgia Tech rivalry WATCH: Tom Crean preaches winning ways to UGA UGA learns its lesson from Tom Crean, holds off Oakland rally  Georgia’s Tom Crean makes quick history with Tech win Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start   Georgia can’t hold 18-point lead, falls to Arizona State Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic The post Georgia basketball’s Tom Crean: Through lens of friend and mentor Tom Izzo appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean knew he had something special in sophomore forward Nicolas Claxton just two practices into taking over as the Bulldogs head coach last March. “It’s the second workout and I’m watching him, and we’re starting to work on going with the other hand, and I thought ‘he can be really good with this,’ “Crean said after Claxton came off the bench to record his fifth double-double of the season and lead a 70-59 win over Georgia Tech. RELATED: Claxton steps up in clutch, leads win over Yellow Jackets ‘I was watching film and seeing what he was comfortable with, but also, what can we work on with him that’s gong to stretch his confidence, and to stretch his conference you’r going to stretch his game,” he said. “We started putting him on the perimeter more, working with his shooting, forcing him to go right, dropping his shoulder, having to guard guards.” Georgia has essentially created a monster, as the 6-foot-11 Claxton leads the SEC in rebounding (10.1 per game) and blocked shots (34), while also ranked amount league leaders in assists (17th), scoring (21st) and free-throw percentage (30th). Nicolas Claxton prepares to block shot/Photo courtesy UGA sports “I think Claxton is really good, he’s a pro,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “He hit a big shot today, and he’s long.” Claxton’s 6-foot-11 frame alone creates problems, but Crean notes how his skill and athleticism have him ascending quickly. “He’s got tremendous agility, he moves his feet extremely well,” Crean said. “We’re really comfortable with him guarding one to five, and he’s a shot maker. “He’s a joy to work with, and he’s really just scratching the surface.” Crean knows a pro when he sees one, having coached NBA stars Dwayne Wade at Marquette and Victor Oladipo and Yogi Ferral at Indiana. Claxton, a 3-star prospect out of Greenville, S.C., had a handful of offers before choosing Georgia. It’s clear he has clicked quickly with his new head coach and the Bulldogs uptempo scheme. “Coach Crean and the staff are very demanding, the pace is a lot faster,” Claxton said. “We’re still adjusting to it, and we’re enjoying it. Everybody is having a lot more fun out there. Games, practices, walk-throughs, everything, it’s always uptempo.” Claxton’s mere presence is a game changer on both ends of the floor, his skills and shooting range forcing teams to defend the Bulldogs differently, while on defense he alters shots around the rim. The son of former Georgia All-SEC performer and NBA draft pick Charles Claxton (7-foot, 265 pounds), Nicolas said he always believed he would grow into his game. “I knew I could do this, I feel I have more left in the tank, once I get my shots falling, just continue to stay confident working in the gym,” Nicolas Claxton said. “I’m trusting the process and enjoying it, day by day.” Nicolas Claxton in SEC basketball ranks (through 12-22-18) • 1st in blocks, 34 • 1st in rebounding, 10.1 per game • 17th in assists, 2.6 per   game • 21st in scoring, 12.6 points per game • 30th in free-throw percentage, 68.1 percent Georgia forward Nicolas Claxton DawgNation Georgia basketball Bulldogs make it 4 straight over Yellow Jackets Georgia makes surprising history with Georgia Tech win WATCH: Tom Crean preaches winning ways to UGA UGA learns its lesson from Tom Crean, holds off Oakland rally Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic         The post WATCH: Georgia basketball rising star Nicolas Claxton a gift that keeps giving appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean basked in the moment of historical significance Saturday afternoon, a statistic so sweet he kept it secret until after beating Georgia Tech. RELATED: Georgia basketball beats Georgia Tech, 70-59 “There was only four seniors in the 113 years of this rivalry that had swept the series, now we had five (today) to make that nine, that’s unbelievable,” Crean said. “Obviously we didn’t put that out, no sense giving anything to the bulletin board, right? “When I first heard that I said, ‘don’t tell anybody, let’s keep that secret.’ The players knew it, through.” The Georgia players played like it, too, staving off one Yellow Jackets rally after another, different players raising their games at different times, particularly sophomore Nicolas Claxton (13 points, 13 rebounds). Crean was proud of the entire time, noting how they battled back after dropping a heartbreaking 76-74 defeat to Arizona State after leading that game by 18 last Saturday. The Bulldogs (7-4) were up by as many as 16 on Georgia Tech (6-5) and didn’t trail throughout the action. Still, challenges are ahead for Georgia, with the Bulldogs getting a grueling draw to start the SEC season: at No. 3 Tennessee (Jan. 5) Vanderbilt (Jan. 9) at No. 7 Auburn (Jan. 12) No. 19 Kentucky (Jan. 15) Florida (Jan. 19) at LSU (Jan. 23) at Arkansas (Jan. 29) South Carolina (Feb. 2) at Alabama (Feb. 6) Ole Miss (Feb. 9) “The Ken Pom (ratings) have us going 0-10 to start the SEC, right?” Crean said. “I mean, when you base it on numbers, so what do I know?” Georgia ranked 113th in the Pomeroy Ratings (KenPom.com) following its win over Georgia Tech (103rd). The Bulldogs return to action at 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 against UMass (TV: SEC Network). The Minutemen are 7-5 and No. 140 in the Pomeroy Ratings. The five current Georgia seniors who have never lost to Georgia Tech — Derek Ogbeide, Mike Edwards, E’Torrion Wilridge, William “Turtle” Jackson and Connor O’Neill — joined the four before them: James Banks and Vern Fleming (1980-84) and Gerald Crosby and Richard Corhen (1981-85). Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean   DawgNation Georgia basketball WATCH: Tom Crean preaches winning ways to UGA UGA learns its lesson from Tom Crean, holds off Oakland rally Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start   Georgia can’t hold 18-point lead, falls to Arizona State Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic The post WATCH: Tom Crean shares surprising Georgia basketball history, daunting challenges ahead appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA —Georgia basketball made it four in a row over Georgia Tech on Saturday, pulling away for a 70-59 win. Nicolas Claxton recorded his fifth double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Teshaun Hightower (12), Rayshaun Hammonds (11) and Tyree Crump (10) also hit double figures in scoring for the Bulldogs (7-4). The Yellow Jackets (6-5) dropped to 5-2 at home with the loss in front of the sold-out crowd at McCamish Pavilion. RELATED: Georgia coach Tom Crean embraces rivalry with Georgia Tech The 6-foot-11 Claxton stepped up big in the clutch for Georgia, which never trailed in the game in evening its record to 1-1 in true road contests this season. Claxton threw down an authoritative follow-up dunk at the 3:26 mark to give the Bulldogs a 53-47 lead, and he followed up with a 3-point shot to make it 56-47 and send many fans to the exits. Georgia Tech trailed by 10 at halftime but rallied at the start of the second half with a 7-0 run, pulling to 29-26 on Moses Wright’s conventional 3-point play. The Yellow Jackets had it down to two at 34-32 with 14:47 left on a   pair of Jose Alverado free throws. Georgia held strong, however, as coach Tom Crean expertly turned to his bench. Amanze Ngumezo answered with a dunk for the Bulldogs, and E’Torrion Wilridge hit a pair of free throws. A pair of Claxton free throws at the 13:39 mark made it 40-33 and capped a much needed 6-1 run. The Bulldogs pulled away minutes later when a Claxton tip-in spurred a 6-0 run that pushed the lead to double-digits and triggered Tech coach Josh Pastner to call timeout with his team trailing 46-36 and 8:27 left. Georgia Tech had one last comeback in it, drawing to within four points with 3:59 left before Claxton took over. Georgia led by as many as 16 points in the first half before taking a 29-19 lead into the break. The Bulldogs were without Claxton most of the first half after he picked up his second foul and was pulled form the action at the 16:14 mark with the teams deadlocked 2-2. Crean re-entered Claxton at the 7:51 mark and Georgia caught fire, his presence appearing to open up the floor as the Bulldogs scored the next five baskets in the midst of a 13-0 run. A Hammonds’ 3-pointer made it 25-9 at the 3-minute mark, the Bulldogs in position to blow open the game. Georgia Tech came to life when Wright hit a baseline jumper and followed with a layup in transition after a Hightower turnover. Two more Bulldogs’ turnovers contributed to an 8-2 run that brought the Yellow Jackets to within 10 on Michael Devoe’s drive in the closing seconds. UGA won last season’s game in Athens by an 80-59 count, but Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 105-89. Georgia basketball returns to action at 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 at home against UMass before opening the SEC portion of the schedule at Tennessee on Jan. 5. DawgNation Georgia basketball WATCH: Tom Crean preaches winning ways to UGA UGA learns its lesson from Tom Crean, holds off Oakland rally Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start Georgia can’t hold 18-point lead, falls to Arizona State Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic The post Georgia basketball beats Georgia Tech 70-59, wins 4th straight in rivalry appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean has taken the approach to embrace the rivalry with Georgia Tech. Crean, unlike some coaches, makes no attempt to downplay the significance of rivalry games. “The most important thing in those types of (rivalry) games are they are obviously huge and circle in red,” Crean said on Friday. “The greatest fear as a coach is to not let your players get out of character in that game. “Everybody wants to be the hero in that game, and it doesn’t work that way.” The Bulldogs (6-4) play the Yellow Jackets (6-4) at noon on Saturday in McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta (TV:ESPNU). Both teams are coming off wins. Georgia beat Oakland 81-69 on Tuesday. Georgia Tech scored a 69-65 win at Arkansas on Wednesday. Crean has experience in several high-profile rivalries, from his days as Tom Izzo’s lead assistant in the Michigan State rivalry with Michigan, to his head coaching rivalries at Marquette (Wisconsin) and Indiana (Purdue). “You are aware what games mean more to the players and more importantly, the fans, (and) this is obviously one of them,” Crean said. “We have got to do a good job on lay them the right way, which is use loosely, but I mean what is the game giving us. “We want to run and get out and go, but if they want to create a more slower pace, then we’ve got to deal with that as well.” The Yellow Jackets are 5-1 at home this season. The game between the teams on Saturday is a sellout. The Bulldogs won last season’s game in Athens by an 80-59 count, led by since-departed star Yante Matey’s 24 points and six rebounds. Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 105-89, but Georgia has a 13-10 edge since the teams starting playing alternately on each other’s campuses in 1995-96. The Bulldogs have won the past three meetings, but prior to that the Yellow Jackets had won four in a row. DawgNation Georgia basketball WATCH: Tom Crean preaches winning ways to UGA UGA learns its lesson from Tom Crean, holds off Oakland rally Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start Georgia can’t hold 18-point lead, falls to Arizona State Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State   The post Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean embraces showdown at Georgia Tech appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Tom Crean is best known as a coach and teacher of basketball, but the philosophy he’s planting in his Georgia players is just as important as he looks to rebuild the program. One of Crean’s lessons was on display on Tuesday when his Bulldogs held off a late Oakland rally for an 81-69 win at Stegeman Coliseum on a night his team was running out of energy after to emotionally challenging practices. RELATED: Georgia basketball puts down its foot, holds off Oakland “Something I’ve always carried with me since I’ve heard it, from pastor Charles Stanley from Atlanta (First Baptist Church) … he said ‘disappointment is inevitable, but discouragement is a choice,” Crean said Tuesday night. “I was at Marquette when I first saw that, but I’ve always tried to apply that in my own life and with my team.” Georgia was a disappointed team after blowing an 18-point lead and losing to No. 18 Arizona State on Saturday, and Crean knew it. The former Marquette and Indiana coach also knew how to get his team over the defeat and ready to compete again. “The team was down the other night with that loss, they knew they had opportunities, and they’ve went at it the last two days, because we had to get it out of our system and get over it,” Crean said. “We got better … and the bottom line is we found a way tonight. “The game is always giving you something, and tonight it was the lane and the free-throw line.” Georgia (6-4) was 19-of-26 shooting at the line and out-scored Oakland 28-18 in the paint and 18-7 on second-chance points. Nicolas Claxton recorded his fourth double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Rayshawn Hammonds had his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. But it was guards William “Turtle” Jackson and Teshaun Hightower meeting with the media, both players explaining how the discipline and mindset Crean has brought made the difference. “We really just focused on what (Crean) was saying,” said Hightower, who ran the point much of the game and scored 16 points. “We just have to stick to the game plan and talk on defense.” Jackson, who hit four 3-pointers as UGA raced to a 27-10 lead, said it came down to following Gran’s plan. “We felt we brought a lot of energy, and we listened to Coach Crean and executed,” Jackson said, asked the difference between Saturday night’s meltdown and Tuesday night’s victory. The Bulldogs return to action at noon on Saturday at Georgia Tech (TV: ESPNU). Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean   DawgNation Georgia basketball UGA learns its lesson from Tom Crean, holds off Oakland rally Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start Georgia can’t hold 18-point lead, falls to Arizona State Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State The post WATCH: Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean preaches winning ways to Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The Georgia basketball team put its foot down Tuesday night, turning back Oakland’s comeback bid in the final minutes at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs (6-4) scored an 81-69 win over the Golden Grizzlies (4-8) before a small but spirited crowd. Georgia sophomore Nicolas Claxton recorded his fourth double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, helping the Bulldogs close out the win. Rayshawn Hammonds recorded the first double-double of his career with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulldogs led by as many as 17 points before Oakland rallied in the second half, cutting the lead to two points at the 4:57 mark. Coach Tom Crean watched intently from the bench down the stretch, surely recalling last Saturday night’s collapse against No. 18 Arizona State. The Bulldogs led the Sun Devils by 18 points before falling at home, 76-74.     “We’ve got to learn how to finish a team off,” Crean had said. “It’s got to get better, and we have to find a way to close.” Georgia found a way on Tuesday night thanks to Claxton’s stepped up play in the final minutes. The 6-foot-11 forward proved just as formidable guarding the rim in the clutch moments. Senior point guard William “Turtle” Jackson came out of his shell in the first half, pacing the Bulldogs with 12 points through the first 20 minutes as they took a 45-34 lead into the half. Jackson, who hadn’t scored more than seven points in a game this season, finished with 14. The senior from Athens Christian School drilled his first four attempts from beyond the arc. Jackson’s shooting helped Georgia solve Oakland’s 1-3-1 zone early on to build a 27-10 lead. The Bulldogs return to action at Georgia Tech (5-4) at noon Saturday (ESPNU). DawgNation Georgia basketball Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start Georgia can’t hold 18-point lead, falls to Arizona State Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic   Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State   The post Not this time: Georgia basketball holds off Oakland rally for 81-69 win appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball doesn’t take the court for another game until next Saturday, but when the Bulldogs do, you can bet junior Tyree Crump will be a focal point. Crump, a junior from Bainbridge, had a breakout game in Georgia’s 92-75 win over Texas Southern on Monday night, and more figures to be ahead for the Bulldogs’ long-distance sharpshooter. Georgia coach Tom Crean indicated Crump is precisely the sort of open floor player needed to make his uptempo game work. It didn’t take long for Crean to notice him. “I think early on when I got here you could tell there was a lot to his game that could improve,” Crean said. “There’s a lot of room for upside with him.” Crump might not have been the best fit for previous Coach Mark Fox’s deliberate style. But as much as Crean recognized Crump’s talents and abilities, Crump was immediately charged up by his new basketball coach. “He came in and he said ‘We want to play fast and we want to shoot three,’   and my eyes got big and my ears got big and I thought this is the perfect offense for me,” Crump said. “So we tried to listen to everything he said, and it’s carrying over into the season.” The Bulldogs will bring a 5-3 record into next Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game against No. 20 Arizona State in Stegeman Coliseum. The Sun Devils already have beaten one SEC team, winning at Mississippi State on Nov. 19 by a 72-67 count. Arizona State will put its perfect 7-0 record on the line on Saturday when it plays No. 6-ranked Nevada at noon. Crean indicated he’ll keep looking to get Crump free for more shots in the offense. “We want to move him, get him off screens, get him lost in the defense,” Crean said. “There becomes a comfort level that you have in a game like tonight, and he did a good job of playing through fatigue.” Crump is shooting 46.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc (18-of-39), significantly better than the next best player who has at least 10 attempts, Rayshaun Hmmonds (6-of-15). For all that Crean is trying to instill in Georgia basketball, it ultimately comes down to the time players are spending in the gym on their own to perfect their shot. It’s clear Crump is doing his work, and therefor he’ll be getting more opportunities moving forward. Here’s a look at others 3-point shooting percentage who have attempted 10 or more 3-point shots and how many minutes they average: Tyree Crump, 19.9 minutes, 18-of-39, 46.2 percent Rayshaun Hammonds, 24.5 minutes, 6-of-15, 40.0 percent Teshaun Hightower, 17.5 minutes, 7-of-25, 28.0 percent Nicolas Claxton, 27.5 minutes, 4-of-15, 26.7 percent William Jackson, 17.9 minutes, 4-of-17, 23.5 percent Georgia basketball’s Tyree Crump & Derek Ogbeide   DawgNation Georgia basketball Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State The post Georgia basketball guard Tyree Crump 3-point output leads Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • A pilot was killed Saturday morning when a small plane crashed into the side of a north Florida home, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. The family inside the home managed to escape the home without injury, the Sheriff’s Office said. A picture a viewer sent to Action News Jax shows the moment when a plane crashed into the front yard of the Lake City home.In the picture, a man in an orange shirt can be seen running across the yard to try to help the pilot, but he had to retreat because the flames were too extensive. Neighbors watched as a ball of fire flared up in their neighbor’s yard. Kristy Amato said she hears many small planes and often worries about them. “I was sitting on my couch watching a movie with my daughter, and I heard a plane take off like all of the planes take off,' Amato told Action News Jax. “Then I heard a backfire, then a loud kaboom, so I ran out front and there was a plane in my neighbor’s yard on fire.” Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Murray Smith told Action News Jax that after crews put the fire out, the pilot’s body was found underneath debris. “Shortly before 10, we received about 59 911 calls,” Smith told the television station. Smith said he believes the plane was a single-engine aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board is now working to find out where the Piper PA-32 was going and the name of the pilot who died. Officials believe he was the only person on the plane. “There is an airport nearby, but so many neighbors have come over and gave so many stories, so we’re just going to wait for NTSB to get all of the facts straight,” said Smith. The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating what caused the plane to crash, but the investigation likely won’t be complete for months.
  • Three people — including two teens — are in custody and police are looking for a fourth after an armed robbery at a Sandy Springs jewelry store.  Antonio Collier, 40, Antwan DeKarlos Robinson, 17, and a 16-year-old juvenile were arrested after the incident, which happened about 4:20 p.m. Saturday at a business on Abernathy Road near Roswell Road, officials said.  Witnesses to the robbery and the store owner were able to subdue two of the suspects until police arrived, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Three men walked into the business and tried to steal items from the display case, Sandy Springs police spokesman Sgt. Sam Worsham said.  “They had hammers and were breaking everything and grabbed Rolexes,” a witness told Channel 2.  The owner, who was returning from lunch, saw the robbery in progress, the news station reported. He told Channel 2 he hit the robbers over the head and in the face with a bag full of glass pickle jars.  Two bystanders then tackled one of the suspects, Worsham said.  Two other suspects drove off in a car, he said. The incident turned into a police chase that ended in a crash on Glenridge Road.  One of the suspects was arrested at the scene, and the fourth suspect ran away into a wooded area, Worsham said.  Collier, Robinson, and the juvenile are all charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, felony criminal damage to property, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, obstruction and two counts of battery.  Read the full story from Channel 2 Action News here.
  • Tamra Judge is leaving “The Real Housewives of Orange County” after 12 seasons, the star of the Bravo series said in an Instagram post Saturday. “It’s been a wild 12 years. But it’s time for me to move on,” Judge wrote on Instagram. “I’m sad to go but I’m very excited about my future.” Judge is currently the longest-running full-time cast member in “Housewives” history, People reported. She joined the show during its third season in 2007, according to the magazine. Judge’s announcement comes a day after fellow co-star Vicki Gunvalson also announced she was leaving the reality television show, E! Online reported. Judge said she was looking forward to life after the series. “It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras,” Judge told People. “I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms.” Judge has been part of the show’s most memorable moments, including the show’s first wine toss, People reported. She also starred in a three-episode spinoff of the series, “Tamra’s OC Wedding,” which documented her June 2013 wedding to Eddie Judge. “I want to thank all the fans who have offered me their support over the years,” she told People. “It’s meant a lot.”
  • Margaret Mackie is not a household name in the music industry, but she’s getting there in a hurry. The 83-year-old dementia patient from Scotland has gone viral on YouTube with her heart-melting duet of “My Way” with her caregiver, Jamie Lee Morley. The pair recorded a single of the song, with proceeds going to Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society. People with elderly parents will have a tough time avoiding the tissues after watching the sweet, sentimental ballad made famous by Frank Sinatra. But Mackie is not ready to face the final curtain just yet. She’s content to keep singing. Morley, a musician who works as a food server at the Northcare Suites Care Home in Edinburgh since it opened last fall, told The Washington Post he was walking past a lounge at the center when he heard a lovely voice singing Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Morley told the newspaper he thought someone had left the radio on, but then he saw Mackie singing the song in perfect pitch. “I was stunned,” Morley, 31, told the Post. “I’ve loved singing and music since I was a little lad, and I could just tell that Margaret did, too. Her voice is amazing.” Morley and Mackie sang “My Way” at the care home’s Christmas party in December, CBS News reported. A video of the duet was posted to YouTube and quickly went viral. “Every day in work we sing this song together and I do whatever I can to brighten her day and all the other residents,” Morley wrote on YouTube. 'For those close to me will know this was my Grandad’s funeral song who our family sadly lost to Alzheimer’s last year. I’ve never really sang this song, as it’s a classic, but I knew how much Margaret and her family would love it.” Mackie’s family attended the Christmas party and enjoyed the duet, CBS News reported. They are even more delighted with the response to the video. “It has brought her back to life. The dementia was taking a hold of her and she was getting sad with it, but this has given her a new lease of life,” Mackie’s daughter, Mairi Hunter, told the BBC. “It’s quite remarkable how she can remember the lyrics. It just seems to come back to her. “She wants everyone to be happy. People cry when they hear the song and she’ll say ‘No don’t cry, I want you to be happy.’” Meanwhile, the recording of “My Way” is No. 6 on the United Kingdom’s Amazon download chart and at one point reached No. 27 on iTunes’ Top 40 in the U.K., the Post reported. That’s ahead of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran, the newspaper reported. Morley filmed his excursion with Mackie to the recording studio and released the single and a music video to go with it Dec,. 28, CBS News reported. The music video has had nearly 200,000 views since its release. Mackie, a former whiskey distillery worker, rarely remembers one day from the next, the Post reported. She came to Northcare Suites in October from another care center, Jordan Simpson, manager of Northcare Suites, told the newspaper. While Mackie might be forgetful, she never forgets the lyrics to her favorite songs, Simpson said. “Singing is something that makes Margaret happy. She has a great singing voice,” Simpson told the Post. “And although she has dementia, she has a great memory for song lyrics. She and Jamie sing together most of the day.” Mackie said she wouldn’t mind recording another song, and joked about recording an entire album, the BBC reported. “It’s great seeing your face in all those newspapers,” Mackie told the BBC. “It’s nice to have a busy life like that, every now and then.” The single can be purchased on iTunes here.
  • A FedEx driver in upper Michigan went beyond the call of duty while delivering a package Thursday morning. The delivery man was dropping off a package for Jodi LaFreniere in Manistique around 11:42 a.m., WLUC reported. Instead of just leaving the package on the snowy stoop, the delivery man grabbed a shovel and cleared off the area, the television station reported. “Shout out to this guy! He shoveled my stoop while I was gone,” LaFreniere wrote on Facebook. LaFreniere, who is a kindergarten teacher, told WLUC she received an alert on her phone from her doorbell camera. When she checked the video, she saw the delivery man shoveling off her porch. “I was wondering who was at my house since my fiance was away in Alaska, teaching,” LaFreniere told CNN. LaFreniere hadn’t spoken to the delivery driver -- Melvin J. Marlett, who has worked for FedEx for 23 years -- but said her fiance, Rodney Riesland, has spoken with him since he is usually home when deliveries are made, CNN reported. “There are good people out there who do selfless acts,” LaFreniere told WLUC. LaFreniere decided to post the video to Facebook as a way of saying thanks. “FedEx is proud of the many contributions our team members make to the communities we serve every day,” FedEx spokeswoman Heather Wilson told CNN. “We commend our courier, Mel Marlett, who went above and beyond to help shovel snow for our customer while making a delivery.” Marlett told CNN he thought shoveling the snow was the right thing to do. “I would hope it’s something that anybody would have done,” Marlett told the cable network. “If you take care of your customers, they take care of you.”
  • Sophie Yazzie, the longest-living veteran in Arizona and a member of the Navajo Nation, died Saturday. She was 105. Yazzie died at her Tucson home, according to Facebook posts by Women Warriors and the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. Yazzie, who was born in Canyon de Chelly in 1914, enlisted in the Army when he was 28 and served during World War II, KPNX reported. She was a Women’s Army Corps Technician Grade 4 and was honorably discharged after the war, according to Navajo Times. Yazzie graduated from Wingate Boarding School in 1934, the website reported. She returned to her alma mater after the war and worked there until she retired at 70, KPNX reported. Wanda Wright, the director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, released a message of condolences, KNXV reported. “I am blessed to have met Sophie and hear about her service to our country. Last summer we were honored to be able to present Sophie with Governor Ducey’s Arizona Women Veteran’s Week proclamation,' Wright said. 'We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends, and will always remember her legacy.” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted a tribute to Yazzie on Saturday afternoon. She had four children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.