Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dribble Dawgs Open Tonight


Fox, Mark1Georgia fans will get their first full view of the 2010-11 Dawg basketball squad ­as well as the made-over-but-not-quite-finished Stegeman Coliseum -- when it plays host Thursday night to Augusta State in an exhibition contest.

"I think we're all excited about playing somebody else, about putting on the uniform and getting back into game-type situations,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We’ve worked hard these past three weeks and are anxious to play a game.”

Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. (EST) and there is no admission charge. Fans can also tune into free audio and video streams of the game by logging on to the following address:

Thus far in this young season, the Dawgs have staged a few controlled scrimmages against themselves, as well as a behind-closed-doors session with Clemson five days ago. Though Thursday's exhibition will not count in the won/loss ledger, it will nonetheless be a welcome change.

Thompkins, Trey1The Dawgs will face Augusta State without the services of All-SEC forward Trey Thompkins, whose sprained right ankle will keep him out of action for an undetermined period of time. Thompkins, a junior from Lithonia, is Georgia’s top returning scorer and rebounder from last season and has already received pre-season All-America mention.

“It’s a pretty severe sprain,” Fox said. “He will definitely not play on Thursday and I’d say the chances of him playing in the opener are slim.

Trey’s got a very bright future, and we won’t bring him back until his body is ready.

“Injuries are part of the game. We will rally the troops and keep them together.”

Fox also announced the addition of walk-on Elliott Long to the squad. Long, a 6-4 freshman wing from Atlanta, was a starting forward last season for the Spartans of Greater Atlanta Christian School, which won the Georgia AA state championship in 2010.

Hope and optimism have been abundant through the first three weeks of practice. For Georgia, which returns four starters from last year, the outlook is positively sunny for 2011. Not just because the Dawgs welcome back a handful of veterans, but also thanks to an additional influx of talent and a wave of good vibes that has blanketed the program.

It was just a short time ago that Georgia began Year One of the Fox Era amid low expectations. A string of “signature” wins, however, served notice that the battle in the SEC had been joined.

Georgia’s challenge, therefore, in 2011 is clear: to build upon the snowball of momentum generated by the success of 2010.

The Dawgs will tip off their 2010-11 regular season on Friday, Nov. 12 at home against Mississippi Valley State at 7:30 p.m.

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