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UGA sports pulled off a near-flawless weekend, winning competitions in six of the seven sports in which it competed.

From basketball to baseball and beyond, UGA sports had excellent weekend

Cy Brown

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UGA sports executed a near-flawless weekend

It’s always great to be a Georgia fan, but this weekend it was especially good. With the spring sports calendar kicking into full gear, UGA was in action in seven sports between Friday and Sunday (not including men’s golf, which began a three-day tourney on Sunday). The Dawgs came away with at least one win in six of those sports. And, all told, this weekend had pretty much everything a Dawgs fan could want, from openers and upsets to blowouts and titles. There’s even a Perfect 10 thrown in for good measure.

So let’s kick off the coming week on a good note with a recap of Georgia’s excellent weekend.

Men’s basketball — Mark Fox and the men’s hoops team secured consecutive victories for the first time since early January with a 73-62 upset of No. 18 Tennessee on Saturday in Athens, following  a win against Florida on Wednesday night in Gainesville. As things stand, with a 15-11 record and four regular-season games to go, Georgia’s NCAA Tournament chances are slim but still alive.

“We’re a good basketball team. We proved that this week,” senior forward Yante Maten said.

Baseball — The Diamond Dogs’ season-opening series with Georgia Southern was about as good as you can get without nabbing a sweep. Georgia went 2-1 against Southern, opening the 2018 campaign with a record-breaking 22-9 win Friday night at Foley Field. Following a loss on Saturday, the Dogs’ rebounded with a 4-3 walk-off win in the rubber match on Sunday.

Swimming — As usual, Georgia swimming did well in the SEC championship meet. Although neither the men’s nor women’s team was able to win an SEC team title — the women finished second and the men third — a few swimmers earned individual honors. Courtney Harnish is the SEC champion in the women’s 1,650-yard freestyle, and Javier Acevedo is champ in the men’s 100-yard backstroke.

Softball — Georgia softball advanced to 9-1 early in the 2018 season with a perfect 5-win performance at the Red & Black Showcase in Athens. The Bulldogs outscored their opposition 29-2 over five games with shutouts in four. Kyle Bass pitched 2 complete-game shutouts over the weekend stretch while allowing only 3 hits.

Equestrian — The top-ranked UGA equestrian team bounced back from its first loss of the season last week with a 12-7 victory over No. 12 South Carolina on the road.

“We handled things better today [compared to last week against Auburn],” coach Meghan Boenig said. “We’ve made great progress as we head into the rest of the season. There is no taking the foot off the gas.”

Gymnastics — Although the Gym Dogs lost to No. 9 Florida Friday night in Athens to drop to 3-4 on the season, there was plenty of reason to come away from the meet excited, led by Sydney Snead scoring a perfect 10 on her floor routine. It’s the first perfect 10 for a Georgia gymnast since 2016 and the first perfect 10 at Stegeman Coliseum since 2010. It’s the first time a Georgia gymnast scored a perfect 10 in the floor exercise since Courtney Kupets Carter, now coach, did it in 2009.

“I saw the crowd go crazy, and I was thinking maybe it was for my floor routine,” Snead said. “Then I saw the 10 turnaround and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I cannot believe this is real’.”

Men’s tennis — The men’s tennis team sinished the weekend with a losing record. The Bulldogs defeated Columbia 4-1 Friday at the ITA National Men’s Indoor Championship, but followed that with a 4-2 loss to Stanford Saturday and a 4-2 loss to Southern Cal on Sunday.

Bubba Watson — Former UGA golfer Bubba Watson even got in on the action with a 2-stroke win at the PGA Tour Genesis Open in Los Angeles. The victory snaps a two-year title drought for Watson.

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You get what you pay for

With the season Georgia football just had, major pay raises for assistants were inevitable. The question was just how much more money those coaches stand to earn. We now have an answer. Seth Emerson of DawgNation has the specifics on raises for Georgia’s assistants.

The highlights of the new salary pool for the 10 assistants, which is $6.42 million, up from $4.56 million:

  • Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has received a raise to $1.5 million, up from $900,000. Georgia’s defense was one of the best in the country last season.
  • Assistant coach James Coley, expected to move from receivers coach to another position, has been bumped to $850,000 from $450,000 last year. Coley turned down an offer from Texas A&M to become offensive coordinator.
  • Offensive line coach Sam Pittman now will earn $825,000 after earning $660,000 last year.
  • Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney received a $100,000 raise to $950,000.

Strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Sinclair also received a significant bump from $300,000 to $450,000 last year.

Now for the next question: If the assistants are earning raises this fat, how much more does Kirby Smart stand to make when his new contract goes through?

What’s the position battle to watch this spring?

According to Emerson, who ranked six of the teams’ most notable position battles, it’s right tackle.

1. Right tackle: The fact that Cade Mayes enrolled early makes this interesting right away. Isaiah Wilson could begin as the first-team player on the first day of spring, but he will get a run from Mays and perhaps others. [Ben] Cleveland is likely to stay at right guard, so could [Solomon] Kindley move over to compete here too? What about D’Marcus Hayes, Owen Condon or someone else from the pack?

Good dog

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