Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. In today’s edition, we discuss the possibility that Georgia plays in the V100 AdvoCare Texas Bowl in Houston. That’s a good enough reason as any to play “Int’l Players Anthem.”
If you wanna play in Texas
The week of never-ending bowl speculation continues. The latest news on that front Wednesday was the Texas Bowl’s apparent interest in Georgia. According to Seth Emerson of Dawg Nation, Texas Bowl executive director David Fletcher said of the possibility that Georgia appears in Houston on Dec. 28, “We’d welcome that opportunity if it presented it.”
“Yeah, we absolutely will do whatever the SEC thinks is best for our event, and for the conference,” Fletcher said. “It’s tough not to love Georgia. A national brand, a great history, had a fantastic season on the field, has a lot of young talent. As you’ve seen with coach (Kirby) Smart, Houston has become more important — and really Texas as a whole — has become a more important market to try and build a base in going forward.”
The Bulldogs haven’t played a bowl in Texas since the 1985 Sun Bowl. (Georgia tied Arizona 13-13). For many Georgia fans, especially those who live in the Lone Star State, a bowl in Texas has been far too long coming. While I’d love to get my hopes up for those fans in and around H-Town, the talk from Fletcher seems like bowl season chatter rather anything substantive. Georgia in the Texas Bowl just doesn’t seem likely.
The fact is, there’s a reason Georgia hasn’t been to a bowl in Texas in more than three decades. SEC-affiliated bowls in Texas are going to pick teams from the West because they are more likely to draw a crowd. The Texas Bowl has chosen teams from the West in both of its seasons affiliated with the SEC. The Cotton Bowl, the bowl in Texas traditionally associated with SEC, has only taken one team from the East in the last decade, and that was Missouri.
Based on how the rest of the bowls are likely to shake out, it seems Texas A&M is most likely to end up in Houston. Georgia is a more natural fit for Nashville or Birmingham. Perhaps the day again will come when Georgia plays a bowl there; I just don’t think it’s this year.
A note moving forward
Even though football season is winding down, “Good Day, UGA” will be continuing like normal every Monday through Friday. But since there will be less and less football to discuss as time goes by — although I’ll always be sure to include some — I’m going to start branching out into other UGA topics. As you’ll see below, I plan to include a hefty amount of Georgia hoops coverage. I’ll also include more recruiting as that heats up.
Otherwise, what is it you want to see in this space? Gym Dogs? Lady Dogs basketball? Golf? More random funkiness? Let me know what you’d like to see more of and I can try to fine-tune this so it’s something all Georgia fans want to read every morning. And thanks for reading.
With that said …
Let’s keep this party going
Georgia hoops beats Morehouse
Georgia basketball was in a strange situation for its game against Division II team Morehouse on Wednesday. Read more about it here, but the long and short of it is this game was technically an exhibition which will not count toward Georgia’s NCAA Tournament résumé. But the Bulldogs and the SEC will count it toward Georgia’s overall record. That record, by Georgia’s estimation, now stands at 5-2 after an 86-72 win at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia received a season-high 52 points off the bench in the win over Morehouse. #RaiseTheFlag
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) December 1, 2016
The third man
One of the positives to come out of this otherwise droll victory by the Bulldogs was the performance of the bench. Georgia’s offensive production has almost completely flowed through J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten. That much is expected and shouldn’t change that much. If the Dawgs are going to make March Madness, it will be on the back of Frazier and Maten. But you don’t won’t to be too dependent on a pair of players. If Maten or Fazier has an off night right now, it could easily mean a loss. So far this season, a viable third option hasn’t emerged, but the win over Morehouse resulted in some positive signs for the bench.
Players off the pine scored 52 of Georgia’s points against Morehouse. Specifically, Tyree Crump and Kenny Paul Geno shined, with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Although KPG can have his moments, I don’t see him being the viable third man as the season progresses. Freshman guard Crump, who didn’t miss a shot on Wednesday, seems to be a more likely candidate to fill that role in the long term. Although he only scored 7 points the entire season before Wednesday, Crump adds and extra long-range spot to the Bulldogs’ offensive arsenal. But while Crump may seem like the ideal player to take that third-scorer role, Mark Fox seems more committed to a solution by committee.
“We’re never going to have an assigned third scorer. That’s not something we’re going to try to do,” Fox said. “We’re going to try to get more guys to score the ball.”
That’s definitely the right attitude to take. As I said, the success of this team depends on Frazier and Maten, so the focus of the offense should be on them to give Georgia its best chance to win. That third option has to develop naturally, and the success of Georgia’s season could depend on whether that happens. If someone steps up to relieve the pressure off Maten and Frazier, allowing them to play a bit looser, Georgia should end the season dancing. If Maten and Frazier are the only ones really doing work, it’s easy to envision the Dawgs sitting at home come March.
A basketball blackout
Georgia hoops’ next game is a big one. The Bulldogs take on perennial power Marquette in a game that will probably have NCAA Tournament implications for UGA this Sunday in Athens. In an effort to get as rowdy a crowd as possible. Georgia is calling for a blackout at Stegeman.
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) December 1, 2016
- How the state of Georgia became a hotbed for high school quarterbacks (Josh Barnett, USA Today)
- Kirby Smart seeks to put a killer instinct back into UGA (Loran Smith, Dawg Nation)
- Regarding Mel Tucker and the Georgia State job (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- The latest on a pair of 4-star targets UGA has to sign in 2017 (Jeff Sentell, Dawg Nation)
- UGA’s losing streak vs. Georgia Tech without Mark Richt (Tim Tucker, AJC)
- Isaiah McKenzie up for SEC Network honor (Jake Rowe, Dawgs 247)
- Rodrigo Blankenship’s season stacks up well with other freshmen nationally (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
This good dog honestly has way more self-control than me.