georgia

Jaleel Laguins transferring from UGA

Just a day after offensive lineman Pat Allen announced his intention to transfer from UGA, another Georgia Bulldog has revealed his desire to leave Athens.

Jaleel Laguins tweeted Wednesday afternoon that he would “like to thank Dawg Nation” and that he “will be transferring from The University of Georgia…”

Laguins, a 6-2, 230-pound inside linebacker from Watkinsville, Georgia, signed with the Bulldogs in 2016. He played in six games in 2016 and then did not play in 2017, resulting in a redshirt season.

Georgia is now down to 86 scholarships, which is just one over the NCAA limit of 85. The commitment of graduate transfer Jay Hayes earlier today briefly brought that number back up to 87.

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Notre Dame graduate transfer Jay Hayes to play for UGA

The Georgia Bulldogs traveled to Notre Dame last season and returned to Athens with a 20-19 win over the Fighting Irish.

One of the Fighting Irish players that played in that game, defensive lineman Jay Hayes, has decided he wants to continue his career between the hedges.

Hayes announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he is heading to Athens this summer.

Hayes (6-3, 289) will be joining the Bulldogs as a graduate transfer. He played in three of four seasons in South Bend, recording 39 total tackles (16 solo, 23 assisted, four for loss) and one sack.

The majority of those stats were collected during his senior season in 2017 (27 total tackles; 13 solo, 14 assisted, and one sack).

Hayes was a four-star recruit in 2013, per the 247Sports Composite. He played high school football at Poly Prep Country Day in Brooklyn, New York, which is where current UGA offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson played.

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Junior offensive lineman Pat Allen to transfer from UGA

The Georgia Bulldogs wrapped up their Spring practice with the annual G-Day game on Saturday. It didn’t take long for the first player to announce his intention to leave the team.

On Tuesday, junior offensive lineman Pat Allen announced that he will transfer from UGA. Allen signed with the Bulldogs in February 2015 and then redshirted the 2015 season.

Allen leaves the program with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Anthony Dasher of UGASports.com first reported the possibility of Pat Allen transferring in a post on the Dawgvent on Monday. Dasher then posted a screenshot of Allen’s announcement after he tweeted it on Tuesday.

Allen started six games for the Bulldogs in 2017. But due to the influx of more highly ranked and skilled offensive linemen in Athens, Allen found himself behind on the depth chart.

It’s not currently known where Allen might end up. A native of Reisterstown, Maryland, Pat Allen can play in 2018 if he transfers to a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school. If he transfers to a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school, he will have to sit out a year.

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Tom Crean excites the fans at G-Day 2018

On Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs held their annual G-Day game, where the Black team defeated the Red team 21-13.

New UGA head basketball coach Tom Crean was on hand to take in the action. Hours before the game, Crean tweeted out a picture of himself with Uga X.

After speaking with SEC Network reporter and UGA alum Maria Taylor, Tom Crean grabbed the mic and gave a passionate speech to the Bulldog fans at halftime of the G-Day game.

Check out the video below, which resonated with Bulldog Nation!

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Black team prevails in G-Day game

ATHENS, Ga. – Freshman quarterback Justin Fields led the Black offense to a pair of touchdown drives and a 21-13 victory over the Red team in the annual G-Day intrasquad spring football game.

Today’s game was played before a crowd of 82,184 fans, the second-largest ever to witness a Georgia spring football game. ”First of all, what an awesome atmosphere,” said head coach Kirby Smart. ”I think we say that every year, but I certainly think that was an incredible atmosphere. I really just want to thank our fans for being out there that early. It was probably a little warmer than I anticipated, but I thought they were awesome. To see Sony (Michel) and Nick (Chubb) walk out before and to see the seniors honored for the season they had – I thought that was really cool and neat.”

Fields, an early enrollee this spring, finished the day with 207 passing yards on 18 completions and 33 attempts. His lone scoring pass came on a 15-yarder to redshirt freshman Matt Landers late in the third quarter, giving the Red squad a commanding 21-6 lead.

The Black squad opened scoring with a defensive tally, when senior Deandre Baker tipped a Jake Fromm pass, intercepted and returned it 32 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. Rodrigo Blankenship kicked two second-quarter field goals, from 41 and 35 yards, for the only Red scores in the first half.

Fields led the Black offense 70 yards in seven plays for a touchdown, a 2-yard plunge by Prather Hudson, to open the second half. The big play in the drive came when Fields connected with J.J. Holloman for 36 yards, converting a third-and-seven and putting the ball on the Red 2-yard line.

Fromm, who finished the game with 200 yards on 19-of-38 passing yards, completed scoring on the day with a 57-yard bomb to Riley Ridley with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Monty Rice led all tacklers with 14 total stops for the Red squad. Baker, Richard LeCounte, William Poole and KJ Smith all had interceptions.

”As far as the game, I thought there were parts of it that were sloppy,” Smart said. ”Some of that was by design. Everybody will ask me about the rushing yards and if we have a rushing problem. If you watched that game closely, you realize there was not an intent to rush the ball a bunch. We think we have the capabilities of doing that, but that is not the purpose of our Spring Game. It’s to throw the ball, catch the ball, gain confidence in our passing game. We will run it some. Our defense did a really good job of creating turnovers. Two of them were gifts, but we got more turnovers today than we had gotten really all spring. Some of the red guys started to bow their necks. I thought Monty (Rice) played good and did some good things defensively.”

G-Day represents the Bulldogs’ 15th and final session of the spring practice period. They’ll open the 2018 season on Sept. 1 at home against Austin Peay.

Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening statement…
“That was an incredible atmosphere. I tell you, the new pathway that we had to go through, our walk was really neat. It was in a lot more shaded area. We thought there were tons of people there lining it and I know our players really enjoyed it. I really just want to thank our fans for being out there that early. It’s probably a little warmer than I anticipated but I thought they were awesome. Great crowd. To see Nick walk out, to see the seniors, honors, for the season they had, I thought that was really cool and neat. As far as the game, thought there were parts of it that were sloppy. Some of that game was by design. I know y’all will never leave it. Everybody will be asking me about rushing yards or do we have a rushing problem, but if you didn’t watch that game closely, you will realize there was not an intent to rush the ball a bunch, in which we think we have the capabilities of doing that; that’s not the purpose of our spring game. It’s to throw the ball, catch the ball and gain confidence in the passing game. Defense did a really good job of creating turnovers. Two of them were gifts but we got more turnovers today than we got really all spring. Some of the Red guys, I thought Monty played good and did some good things defensively. But I’m really proud of the way the guys competed all spring. They came out in a great atmosphere today. We had some young guys busted up left and right and I’m almost so glad they did because now we’re getting to teach from it, and when we go back, and we have to do it for real the next time, they will have a little less butterflies. Suited up and played in front of a crowd like that — there are butterflies involved in that. Let’s get those butterflies out of the way. I thought they did a good job with that. Stetson came in and had some productive drives. We think Stetson is a competitive kid, brings a little different mobility in there and get out of the pocket and moves around and hit some good throws.”

On why the crowds for G-Day are so much bigger now…
“I just think that people like Georgia Football. I mean, why, when you have an opportunity, on this nice spring day to come to Athens, I know I would be dying to come if I lived anywhere in the state or in a five-hour radius. Get out of the house, get the kids out of the house, come see who the new faces are. I think some of it’s recruiting but I think people enjoy football in Georgia and want to come watch it. I’m glad they do because the impact it has on recruiting, I can’t tell you how many recruits are out there going, oh my gosh, I can’t believe it, I can’t get over it. It’s the norm here. It’s the way it should be. We have a great fan base and they turn out for it and we try to put a good product out there for them to make it a good, entertaining game. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.”

On his quarterbacks and receivers today…
“Sloppy at times, drops. I thought both quarterbacks, their receivers had some drops but we’re trying to gain confidence. We are trying to get those guys to get through those drops, push through those. It was big for Jayson Stanley to get some confidence catching the ball. He caught some and dropped some. Obviously Elijah had some. Several guys had a few of those. But that’s good for our DBs, getting the ball thrown over them. It’s really competitive out there and I enjoyed watching those guys compete. I thought both quarterbacks managed the huddle, that’s what I look or is what are they calling, are they calling the right signal, are they fixing guys that are broke, are they saying the right thing in the huddle and are they being positive when something bad happens. Elijah drops the ball, I’m mad at him, frustrated with him, but Jake — get the next one. It takes that to get a young player to go where you want him to go, I thought he and Justin did a good job of that.”

On the receivers who are entering their second year…
“What I saw most of spring ball. Every time I talk to y’all, I talk about the receivers being a little ahead and that showed really from the standpoint of those developing guys. I think Tyler Simmons this spring has managed a lot of strides and I think it comes from confidence in special teams. JJ has taken strides. It’s like those two guys, Matt Landers is a little bit — and I’ll throw Jayson in that. Jayson is not youthful like them but he gained confidence through special teams. So those wide outs gained confidence all spring and that was very typical of what happened in practice a lot of times. They are hungry. They want to play, so they go to get in front of me, Terry and Riley, what do I got to do. I got to go compete and catch the ball. I thought the guys did a good job of being competitive and doing that and they are probably a little bit ahead — our DBs are a little more drained.”

On replacing leadership…
“Yeah, you never stop with leadership. I mean, we lost a huge void, but it will never — even if we didn’t lose a huge void, we would be trying to replace leadership. Any time you have, you can lose leadership. These kids have embraced it. We are not where we need to be from a leadership standpoint. If you said, are we there? We are not even close. We have to develop that in May, summer, conditioning. We have to push the envelope with how are we going to get guys to confront and demand other guys. We are not where we need to be and you know what, we have to learn from some examples that other guys set because those other guys are remarkable when it comes to leadership. It made our job as coaches easier.”

On what the team’s goals were coming into the spring…
“We are targeting special teams, and getting special teams to not be complacent. We thought we were really good last year. We developed some more receivers that can play on teams for us. Next thing, defense, we wanted to make more negative plays and give more tackles for loss and we put some things in that we worked on in other practices, not today. Offensively we want to be more efficient with our RPOs. We want to have a little bit more package of plays than we showed today. We felt like we accomplished that, not necessarily today, but throughout spring, we were able to do that. The biggest thing that we didn’t do this spring is find out who we are and who are our leaders and I’m not sure we know exactly who those leaders are yet. We know who they are supposed to be, but are they willing to assume the role, because it’s going to be forced on them.”

On the performance by quarterback Justin Fields…
“He’s gotten better. He’s more comfortable with the offense. To be honest I never felt like he was like behind with the offense from day one. I mean, he’s done such a good job coming in and learning. It’s not like it’s been a growth process. He’s gotten more confident. He’s able to move around the pocket and create some things when things break down.

I think that you all were sitting here last year; said a lot of same things we’re saying right now, because the other guy was throwing against the 2 defense and he was throwing it pretty good. And Jake was in there throwing against the 1 defense, which at that time was really good. So it’s a lot of similarities between those two situations. I thought, like I said, both quarterbacks managed things really well and I learned a lot more about them being able to handle things on the field, with a crowd present and with a shot clock, coaching other players today, which I liked.”

On some leaders who have stepped up…
“I’ll say that there are guys — Ledbetter is really pushing, Terry is trying to be vocal when he gets an opportunity. We need more guys to step up and they are just not comfortable in that role and we have to manufacture. Lamont is trying to do some things. Andrew Thomas, a lot more guys on offense, that are close to what we want, than we do on defense.

#11 Sophomore QB Jake Fromm

On the difference between this year’s team and last year’s team…
“A lot of guys are still big, physical and running around making plays everywhere. I think guys are stepping up doing a good job, it’s very similar to last year’s team.”

On going against the first string defense all spring…
“The secondary played really well today and kind of kept us on our toes. They took away a lot of the deep stuff that we normally do, but I thought they played well and got after us a little bit. In practice we’ve gashed them and got some big plays on them during practice and today they definitely played a lot better and didn’t allow us to do that. So we tip our hat off to the defense.”

#4 Junior WR Mecole Hardman

On the competition this spring…
“Competition is key and we thrive off competition as players, and definitely other guys are trying to play and get some playing time this season.”

On the experience of the receivers…
“We have a lot of experience coming back. We have a lot of work to do and we are going to get better as it goes on and that’s our goal, to continue to get better.”

#53 Senior C Lamont Gaillard

On evaluating performance in the run game…
“[We] just [wanted] to come out and be physical and protect the quarterback. We’re going to move on to prepare and do better.”

On the defensive pressure the Black team applied…
“It’s disappointing, but it’s the thing with practice. Everybody’s coming out on their first day of really playing on the field, so you just have to come and get your nerves out of the way. Come next game, we’ll be alright.”

#15 Senior OLB D’Andre Walker

On the defensive pressure against the Red team offense…
“I feel like we as a whole did rush pretty well. We stayed in front of the quarterback a lot, and then towards the end it did kind of get sloppy. We’ve just got to go back to it and work on it in the offseason.”

On the defensive line…
“I feel like every day in practice, we’ve just got to keep bringing more energy and effort. We’ve got to get more depth at the d-line position as well, but like [coach Kirby Smart] said, it is a lot of improvement all around on the defense.”

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Joe Scott joins Bulldogs’ coaching staff

ATHENS, Ga. – Joe Scott, who sports 16 seasons of head coaching experience at three Division I schools, has joined the Georgia Basketball staff as an assistant coach, head coach Tom Crean announced on Thursday.

“I’m excited to welcome Joe, Leah, Ben and Jack to our Georgia Basketball family and the entire UGA community,” Crean said. “Joe is known nationally as someone who excels at coaching, teaching and competing. He has tremendous respect of his peers who have gone against him and those who have worked along side him. He will bring many different elements to our program, but overall and he will help our young men get better every day.”

“My family and I are extremely excited to be joining the Georgia family,” Scott said. “The University of Georgia is a special place. This is a tremendous opportunity to help Coach Crean implement his vision and make Georgia Basketball special. I cannot wait to get started coaching our players to develop and get better every day.”

Scott, who in 2013 was tabbed one of the nation’s top-20 “Xs & Os” coaches in a survey of his peers by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, was head coach at Air Force for four seasons, Princeton for three campaigns and Denver for nine seasons. He also has served as an assistant coach at Monmouth, Princeton and Holy Cross. All told, Scott sports 27 years of collegiate coaching experience.

Before breaking into the head coaching ranks, Scott was an assistant coach at Monmouth during the 1991-92 season and at Princeton from 1992-2000. While at Princeton, Scott helped the Tigers to five consecutive postseason appearances, with trips to the 1996, 1997 and 1998 NCAA Tournaments and the 1999 and 2000 NITs. The Tigers won three Ivy League titles from 1996-98, including perfect 14-0 records in the final two seasons. Princeton upset defending national champion UCLA in the 1996 NCAA Tournament and ranked as high as No. 7 nationally in 1998 en route to earning a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest ever for an Ivy League team.

Scott was head coach at Air Force from 2000-04 and led the Falcons to unprecedented success. He took over a program that had not produced a winning record in 22 years and four years later led the Falcons to a 22-7 finish, the Mountain West Conference regular-season title and their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 42 years. That same season, he was named MWC Coach of the Year, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 13 Coach of the Year and finished fourth in balloting for Associated Press National Coach of the Year.

Scott returned to Princeton, his alma mater, and served as head coach of the Tigers from 2004-07. Princeton finished first in the nation in scoring defense in 2006-07 after finishing second in Scott’s first two seasons.

Scott was head coach at Denver from 2007-16. He took over a program that ranked 335th (of 336 teams) in the NCAA RPI prior to his arrival and went on to produce a school-record Division I 22 victories in back-to-back campaigns in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, Scott was a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award as the top mid-major head coach in the nation. In 2013, Denver shared the Western Athletic Conference regular-season title, earned an NIT bid and secured the first postseason victory in school history.

Scott spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Holy Cross on the staff Bill Carmody. Carmody was an assistant coach for the Tigers when Scott was a four-year letterwinner from 1983-87. Scott also served as an assistant coach along with Carmody under the legendary Pete Carril and under Carmody after he succeeded Carril in 1996.

Scott was a three-year starter and two-time All-Ivy selection at point guard at Princeton. He secured second-team All-Ivy status in 1987 after being an honorable mention choice in 1986. As a freshman, Scott helped the Tigers win the Ivy League title and reach the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. He led Princeton in steals as a sophomore, junior and senior and still ranks No. 7 among the Tigers’ career leaders with 144. Scott connected on what was then a school-record 59 3-pointers as a senior. He scored 809 points in 99 career outings, an average of 8.2 ppg.

Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton in 1987 and then secured his law degree from University of Notre Dame in 1990. He worked for the Morristown, N.J., law firm of Ribis, Graham & Curtin before beginning his coaching career at Monmouth.

A native of Pelican Island, N.J., Scott was a three-sport star at Toms River High School East. He earned third-team all-state honors in basketball, first-team all-shore accolades in football and first-team all-county recognition in baseball.

Scott is married to the former Leah Spraragen, a 1992 Princeton graduate who was a four-year starter at point guard for the Tigers and was an assistant coach at Princeton, Dartmouth and Arizona State. The Scotts have two sons, Ben and Jack.

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UGA football releases Spring Ball video

UGA football has released a new video leading up to the 2018 G-Day game titled Spring Ball.

The video features scenes from the UGA campus, downtown Athens, and Georgia Bulldogs Spring practice.

Check out the video below. Go Dawgs!

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Georgia adds Indiana State to 2023 football schedule

The Georgia Bulldogs have added another Football Championship Subdivision opponent to their future football schedules.

Georgia will welcome the Indiana State Sycamores to Sanford Stadium in Athens on a date to be determined in 2023, I reported earlier today over at FBSchedules.com.

The two schools signed a Binding Memorandum of Understanding for the game back in late 2016 and then an amendment in late 2017. The amendment states that the two schools will agree to finalize a specific date for the game by May 1, 2018.

Georgia will pay Indiana State a $500,000 guarantee for playing the game, per the copy of the Binding Memorandum of Understanding.

Indiana State competes in the Missouri Valley Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Sycamores and Bulldogs have never met on the gridiron.

The Sycamores join a road game at Georgia Tech on the non-conference schedule for Georgia in 2023. The Bulldogs need two more opponents to complete their schedule that season.

Per the SEC schedule rotation, Georgia will host Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, and Ole Miss and travel to Auburn, Florida (in Jacksonville), Tennessee, and Vanderbilt in 2023.

The 2018 G-Day game is set for Saturday, April 21 at 4:00pm ET. Georgia opens the 2018 season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against the Austin Peay Governors.

Future UGA Football Schedules

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UGA Football: G-Day 2018 information

The 2018 UGA football G-Day game is set for Saturday, April 21 at 4:00pm ET and will be televised by ESPN. Gates open at 1:00pm ET and admission is free.

Due to construction on the West End Zone Complex, fans that enter the stadium will be issued a pass to sit in a certain section. Below is more info on that from UGA:

Entrance to the G-Day Game will be free of charge.  With expected high demand and temporarily reduced seating due to the construction on the new West End Zone complex, we will be implementing a pass system to ensure that each guest has an enjoyable experience.  Upon entrance, you will receive a commemorative pass with a seating section. We ask that you sit in this section to help us as we manage what we expect to be a near-capacity crowd. Gates 2-9 will be open as usual, but Gate 10 (Gate under the bridge/ next to the Tate Center) will be closed due to construction. To help reduce congestion and further improve ingress flow, please enter on the side of the stadium where your preferred seating location would be.  Additional pass/entry questions can be directed to facilitysupport@sports.uga.edu.

UGA’s clear bag policy will also be in effect for the G-Day Game.

Below is information on G-Day, including the schedule of events and links to parking information.

G-DAY 2018 SCHEDULE

Saturday, April 21
1:00 – 3:00pm – Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall Open
1:00pm – Sanford Stadium Gates Open (Pass Distribution Begins at Gates 2-9)
1:15pm – Alumni Flag Football Game
2:50pm – Dawg Walk (Between the Tate Center and the Miller Learning Center)
4:00pm – G-Day Game

G-DAY PARKING (MAP)

Parking for the 2018 G-Day game is the same as previous years.  Parking is available all over campus on a first come-first served basis.  There are no other Georgia athletic events scheduled for April 21st, so all lots are open.

G-DAY FOOD DRIVE

In lieu of bringing canned goods to the G-Day game, fans can donate to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia at the UnitedHealthcare display at Gate 7 inside Sanford Stadium from 1 p.m. until kick-off. The first 500 fans who donate on-site or are able to show proof of their donation to the Food Bank will receive a free t-shirt! Also, former UGA star David Greene will make a special appearance at the UnitedHealthcare display from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Come get in line and have your photo taken with David Greene ahead of the G-Day game.

Fans can also donate directly to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia by texting GDAY2018 to 91-999 or by clicking here.

2018 G-DAY AIRINGS

  • Sat., April 21 – 4pm, ESPN (Live)
  • Sun., April 22 – 3am, SECN (replay)
  • Mon., April 23 – 12am, SECN (replay)
  • Mon., April 23 – 1pm, SECN (replay)
  • Mon., April 23 – 9pm, ESPNU (replay)
  • Tue., April 24 – 10pm, SECN (replay)
  • Thu., April 26 – 4am, SECN (replay)
  • Sun., April 29 – 7pm, ESPNU (replay)

G-DAY 2018 LINKS

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Chad Dollar joins Georgia coaching staff

ATHENS, Ga. — Chad Dollar, an Atlanta native with more than two decades of college coaching experience, has been named an assistant coach for the Georgia Bulldogs, head coach Tom Crean announced on Wednesday.

“I’ve respected and admired Chad Dollar for a long time,” Crean said. “His coaching tree started in his own home and has progressed through his career with many great experiences. We’re excited to add Chad’s ability to lead young people and to teach the game and also the life skills that will serve them well. He brings a tenacity, not only to the court but to the recruiting trail and has helped recruit, mold and develop some outstanding players over his career. We’re excited to have him at the University of Georgia.”

Dollar comes to Georgia after spending last season on the staff at South Florida, where HE played during the 1990s. Dollar’s résumé includes stints within the SEC at LSU and Auburn.

“I’m excited to be coming back home to Georgia,” Dollar said. “I’m also excited to have the opportunity to work with Coach Crean, who I feel like is one of the best coaches in the country.”

The Dollar name is a familiar one within Georgia basketball circles. Chad’s father, Don, won more than 650 games and three state titles as a high school coach, primarily at Frederick Douglass High in Atlanta. Chad was an all-city performer in 1989 and a second-team all-state honoree in 1990. He and six of his Douglass High teammates went on to sign Division I scholarships.

“It’s a unbelievable situation for me, and I think it will be a rewarding experience,” Dollar said. “I’m looking forward to seeing my family on a regular basis and high school teammates and guys I competed against growing up and high school and AAU coaches who I know both from when I was playing and my career as a college coach.”

Dollar spent the 2016-17 season at Auburn, where the Tigers tallied their most wins (18) since 2008-09, and the the five seasons prior to that (2011-16) at Georgia Tech. Dollar was an assistant coach for his first three seasons with the Yellow Jackets before spending the final two as associate head coach.

Dollar was on the staff at Wichita State for the 2010-11 campaign when the Shockers won the NIT and finished 29-8. He spent three seasons as an assistant coach under John Brady, two at Arkansas State (2008-10) and one at LSU (2007-08). Dollar also coached at Murray State (2006-07), Georgia Southern (2002-06), Eastern Kentucky (2000-02) and Western Carolina (1998-2000).

Dollar began his coaching career at Gardner-Webb, serving as a volunteer assistant for one season and a graduate assistant for another. He then moved to the staff at Southern Miss for the 1996-97 season when the Golden Eagles finished 22-11 and reached the NIT.

Dollar also spent two summers coaching with Athletes in Action, assisting with selection of players and conducting of the team’s training camps. In 1997, Dollar traveled with AIA to Macedonia and Croatia, while in 2001 he ventured to the Ivory Coast.

Dollar was a three-year letterwinner at South Florida from 1990-93, including teams that reached the 1991 NIT and the 1992 NCAA Tournament. He completed his collegiate playing career at Milligan College (Tenn.). Dollar distributed a what was then school-record 194 assists during the 1994-95 season while helping lead the Buffaloes to a 24-12 finish and their first-ever appearance in the NAIA Tournament. Dollar earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Milligan in 1996.

Dollar’s younger brother, Cameron, played at UCLA and helped the Bruins to the 1995 NCAA Championship. He is currently an assistant coach at the University of Washington.

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Georgia Bulldogs to play in 2019 Maui Invitational

The Georgia Bulldogs will play in the 2019 Maui Jim Maui Invitational in Hawaii during Thanksgiving week, the school announced on Tuesday.

Georgia is one of eight teams in the tournament field, which also features four teams that made the NCAA Tournament in 2018. The other teams are BYU, Dayton, Kansas, Michigan State, UCLA, Virginia Tech, and tournament host Chaminade.

The tournament is set for Monday, Nov. 25 through Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii.

“I think any time you have an opportunity to play in the Maui Invitational it’s a great honor for your program,” UGA head coach Tom Crean said. “It will be exciting to take our Georgia program there and to have our fans in the Bulldog Nation be part of such a special event. Any time you’re in Maui, you know you are going to be severely tested three straight days. It’s an incredible opportunity for your team.”

“What you learn right away is that you’ve got to go in there with mid-season to late-season toughness, execution, perseverance and energy because that’s what everybody else has,” Crean said. “The atmosphere is second to none when it comes to the way the tournament is run, whether it’s the music, whether it’s the public address announcer or whether it’s the way the fans treat you. It prepares your team for so many things that you will see throughout the season. It is an absolute marathon inside of three days to see where your team can go.”

Last week, we learned that the Georgia Bulldogs will play in the 2018 Cayman Islands Classic. That tournament is set for Monday, Nov. 19 through Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 and also includes Clemson, Creighton, St. Bonaventure, Illinois State, Boise State, Akron, and one team to be announced.

From the UGA release:

Fans can immediately begin planning to catch all the action at the 2019 Maui Jim Maui Invitational. Log on to mauiinvitational.com/2019travel for details on travel package information or visit mauiinvitational.com/2019info and register to receive email alerts from the Tournament.

While this will be the Bulldogs’ first trip to Maui, Georgia has traveled to Hawaii on four previous occasions. The Bulldogs competed in tournaments in Honolulu in 1987, 1996, 2001 and 2007. Georgia compiled a 7-5 record in those events and won the 1996 Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic.

This will be Crean’s third time coaching in the Maui Invitational. He took Indiana to the island in 2015 and led Marquette to a runner-up finish in 2007.

Future UGA Basketball Opponents

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2018 UGA Football Spring Guide

The 2018 UGA Football Spring Guide is now available to view online (see below).

The preseason guide features 74 pages of Georgia Bulldogs football information, including the 2018 Spring roster, 2018 opponent information, Spring outlook, Spring notes, 2018 player bios, 2018 signee bios, and more.

Georgia began Spring practice on Monday, March 20. The 2018 G-Day Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 21 at 4pm ET and it will be televised by ESPN.

The Bulldogs kick off the 2018 season in Sanford Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 1 against the Austin Peay Governors (UGA Football Schedule).

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2018 UGA Football Spring roster released

The Georgia Bulldogs have released their 2018 Spring football roster.

Newcomers to the roster include several walk-ons and transfers, plus the nine early scholarship enrollees:

  • Brenton Cox (OLB)
  • Justin Fields (QB)
  • Warren Ericson (OL)
  • Trey Hill, (OL)
  • Kearis Jackson (WR)
  • Cade Mays (OL)
  • Zamir White (RB)
  • Divaad Wilson (DB)
  • DeVonte Wyatt (DT)

Walk-on’s and transfers added roster include Evan Arnold (TE), Patrick Bond (WR), Christian Dufrene (FB), Michael D’Angola (P), John Eager (LB), Trenton Fowler (WR), Joseph Hull (WR), Darius Jackson (DB), Christian Kerut (QB), Kyle Levell (RB), Cameron Moore (DB), Oren Morgan (SN), Hugh Nelson II (DB), Antonio Poole (NG), Reid Tulowitzky (WR), Bender Vaught (RB), and Mitchell Wentz (TE).

Check out the link to our complete roster below which also includes a printable version.

UGA Football Roster

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Smart, Bulldogs preview 2018 Spring practice

ATHENS, Ga. — University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart, along with several players, previewed the upcoming spring practice schedule with media on Tuesday.

Below are comments from Tuesday’s media availability.

Head coach Kirby Smart

Opening comments … 

“I’m excited to get started this spring practice. I’ve been saying a long time ago, change is inevitable, but growth is optional, and I think that’s a great mantra for this team. Everybody wants to talk about the guys that left, and I’m certainly excited about those guys getting their last chance to showcase tomorrow at our Pro day. But, you know, you don’t replace a Roquan Smith. You don’t replace a Nick Chubb, a Sony Michel, you don’t replace any of those guys, because there’s not going to be another Roquan Smith. There is not going to be a guy exactly like him. So each one of our players has to create an identity for themselves. This team has to create a new identity for itself. I think every time you change one player, 10 players, 25 players on a team, the team changes. There’s a lot of questions about this team, and that’s what I’m excited about. The challenge of finding the personalities on this team that will lead the right way. The personalities on this team that will challenge the other guys. A lot of that has already started in the off-season program, guys challenging each other, pushing each other, and we’re not going to get where we want to go if we don’t have great leadership. I can promise you that. And that’s the biggest question about this team is who are going to be the leaders? Who are going to be the guys that demand a lot of each other? It’s not talent alone. You don’t win the SEC. You don’t play in the Rose Bowl with talent alone. You’ve got to have great leadership, and that’s where we’ve got to really improve.

We’ve had some guys add some weight. We’ve had some guys lose some weight. Probably more of them losing than the adding, and I’m excited to see where they are and let them go out and do some things without coaches standing over them. We’ve had the luxury of being able to walk through more this off-season than we’ve ever done. The new NCAA rules have allowed us to walk through. I think the last group that was here started and kind of created a new standard. Now it’s a matter of whether this new group can withhold that standard and hold people to the same level of excellence that we want to have.

We’re excited, again, going into the spring. We’ll have a lot of position battles. I’m sure you guys have a thousand questions that you want to ask. But for me, there’s competition at every position. You know that. We talk about it all the time. Our kids in this room know that. There will be changes on the depth chart throughout. There will be tough competitions. What we’re trying to do is get every guy on our team to play better. It’s not about who we play next year. Right now we’re worried about us.

Couple off-season injury notes. Just to mention both Sean Fogarty and Justin Shaffer will be out for spring with knee surgeries for the off-season. They’re fine, they’ll be back full-go, but they will not be out there practicing for the spring.

Obviously Zamir White having the ACL surgery, he will not be out there performing in the spring. He’s progressing very well. He’ll be able to do some things, walk through and moving around, but he won’t be in full-contact drills, and we’re excited about those guys getting back out there to help us. But they won’t be available for spring practice.

With that, I’ll open it up for questions and let y’all lead it where you want to go.”

On changes to the coaching staff, including James Coley’s position as co-offensive coordinator … 

“Yeah, I think Coley’s done a tremendous job for us. As a coach he did a tremendous job of the receivers, very knowledgeable. He’s a guy that’s been a coordinator before. He’s worked with quarterbacks and had success working with quarterbacks in his history, and that’s something I thought that’s was a good move for our program. So he’ll be co-offensive coordinator. He’ll work with the quarterbacks. Cortez Hankton, who we hired, will be working with our receivers. Coach (Jim) Chaney will continue to call the plays and he’ll be working with the tight end position. So none of that has really changed. For us, the ability to add the 10th coach and have Scott Fountain working with our special teams excites me. I thought Scott did a tremendous job last year working with our coaches and helping us in that regard and brought us some kind of momentum plays in special teams.

So with that change, I think defensively the only change we have obviously is Coach (Dan) Lanning, which I’ve worked with him before. So there is less change there, little more change on the offensive side. But it’s more of an input, and everybody working together and pulling in the same direction.”

On the level of risk that moving coaches around creates and what he has seen from freshman QB Justin Fields … 

“Yeah, level of risk, I think if you continue to do the same things you’ve always done you’ll get the same results usually guaranteed. We’re always trying to get better. I’m not accepting and saying where we were was good enough by any means. I think you can always look at yourself and say how can I improve? I think we improved our staff tremendously by retaining one of our best recruiters and best coaches in James Coley while also bringing an unbelievable personality and great background in Cortez Hankton. He’s coached in our league, knows our league, has recruited in our league. All we want to do is make our staff better, and that’s the ultimate goal is to improve each year, and that’s what I think I’ve been able to do. So I’m excited about that.

As far as Justin Fields, he’s done a tremendous job in the off-season workouts. He’s a competitor. He competes every day. He’s first in line trying to compete with every guy at his position. From a football standpoint we haven’t been able to see a whole lot because we haven’t been able to do a whole lot. But he’s a very bright kid, and I’m excited to go see him practice.”

On the status of offensive lineman Sam Madden and defensive end David Marshall … 

“David’s had a thumb injury he had surgery with, but he should be casted up and ready to go. As far as Sam goes, as far as I know right now, Sam’s still with the team.”

On the approach to this season compared to last year …

“The biggest thing is what I talked about in the beginning is that change is inevitable but growth is optional. So as much as I hate to say it, and don’t take it the wrong way, you guys make our job really hard as coaches by telling us how good we are and how good we should be. And these kids have a very loyal, ambitious, hungry fan base that pats them on the back every day. I think our job is to bring the reality that there very simply could have not been a National Championship game. If we don’t have the things happen in the second half against Oklahoma, we never get that opportunity. So they have to understand that we can improve in a lot of areas, and they have to have the almost maturity level to now deal with a different side of things, where everybody’s talking about what you should do this year. Well, if you don’t come with the same hunger, because we’ve learned two things. There’s a 2016 season and there is a 2017 season. There wasn’t a whole lot of difference in the people on the roster in those two situations, but the outcomes were completely different. Why was that? Did we have an influx of talent all of a sudden in 2017 or did we have a different demeanor? Did we have a different attitude? Did we have a chip on our shoulder? So what is going to be your motivating factor? And I think each team is very different. My concern for this team is not understanding that they’re going to be the target for everyone they play. We’re not going to sit back and let people hunt us. We’re going to continue to hunt. We’re an aggressive team. That’s what we want to be. We’re trying to grow as a team and get better. I think they’ll embrace that challenge. We’ve got some good leaders on this team. They’ve just got to learn to step up and be vocal.”

On keeping the hunger and how Fields pushes sophomore QB Jake Fromm … 

“I think everybody can improve. I think the fact that Justin and Jake are competing is no different than every guy on our team. We’ve got about four or five spots in the secondary that are wide open for 12 guys. So why should that be different? We’ve got guards and centers that are all competing, tackles. So none of that ever changes. That’s what this program is built on. It’s built on you go out every day to perform to the best of your ability. And if I don’t think or the staff doesn’t think you’re performing to the best of your ability, then we call you out, we call you in and tell you you’ve got to do better. I think every kid has kind of embraced that. Through the leaders we had last year, they understood if I don’t perform there is another guy behind me that’s going to push me. That’s what we want. We want it to be that way.”

On who has stepped up to be a leader … 

“The most common thing would be to say okay, what seniors, what guys played last year? I think Lamont (Gaillard) has done a good job. I think he’s got to continue to do that. Terry has been a very quiet, lead by example, works hard every day. I mean, the guy’s a hard worker and people follow him. I think offensively we’ve got more guys in those roles than maybe defensively. I think Ledbetter has done a good job stepping up, encouraging guys, being positive, and giving positive reinforcement. D’Andre Walker is trying to take on more of that role. But that’s where we’re at now. It’s time to go out on the field and find out where adversity is, if you have pads on, and you have a helmet on and you’re tired, and it’s not just an off-season conditioning program, how are you going to respond and help the other guys around you? We need as much of that as we can get.”

On status of senior ILB Natrez Patrick and sophomore DB Deangelo Gibbs … 

“Natrez came back from The National Championship Game. He’s been able to join us. He’s done everything we’ve asked, and he’s working hard on and off the field. I’m very pleased with his ability to come back and overcome some hurdles in his life. Then DeAngelo Gibbs had left shoulder surgery, and had to address an injury that was there. He’s doing very well with rehab, and we anticipate a full return for him in the fall. But, again, excited about both those guys.”

On senior DE Jonathan Ledbetter and how he has grown … 

“With skillset I don’t get to see quite as much. His work ethic I’ve seen grow. I think he’s gotten stronger in the weight room. I thought Coach Sinclair and his staff, the weight staff we have has done an outstanding job getting our team bigger, stronger, faster. When you look at the strength gains which are sometimes hard to measure, and everybody can say they bench more, they squat more, they power clean more. He does a really good job of harnessing that and not putting him at risk of injury through single rep maxes. He does a really good job protecting us there. But Ledbetter has gone up in that regard. We had some guys we thought needed to gain some weight and they did, and we had a lot of guys that we thought could lose some weight and they’ve done that as well. But Ledbetter is one of those guys that pushes the limit, he pushes himself hard, and I’ve been pleased with where he’s at.”

On where Ledbetter is in his life right now … 

“I feel like he’s in a good place. He’s become a vocal leader on our team. He’s a guy that when he speaks, people listen. They listen to people who have had hard times and fell on hard times. He can speak on an experience that not all of our players can speak on. So he’s been through some really tough times. He’s certainly changed the narrative on his story to this point. I think how this season goes and how finishing up his bulldog career goes will speak volumes to who he is as a person. He could have a great impact on this team because of his leadership role and because of some of the trials and tribulations he’s been through. He can speak on it and speak through experience.”

On his reasoning for wanting to turn down the hype or expectations…

“I think that team is that team. We’ve kind of absorbed that and embraced that and to start with your first statement, I don’t think that I can put down those expectations. The expectations are what they are at the University of Georgia. The expectation is to win every game you play. Why should it be any different?

We want to create a brand that we are expecting to go out and dominate our opponent. That’s what we thrive to do. That’s why we go lift weights. That’s why we go and run. We want to dominate every opponent. That’s our goal. Go out and dominate our opponent. It’s not about what you guys (the media) think, what the fans think. It’s not about any of that. It’s about what we can do to make sure our players are playing at the highest level every week, week in and week out. That’s our ultimate goal.

We’re not going out with the mantra we’re a play away, two plays away, because as soon as you say that, we’re a play away from not being there too. Bottom line, this team is distinctly different than that team. So what will be the identity of this team is all I’m worried about. I’m worried about who is going to be the leaders? What are going to be the traits? Are we going to be better at getting turnovers? Are we going to be more explosive? How are we going to change offensively? Where are we going to evolve to? Those are things we need to see so we can find out where we’re going.

But we’re not patting ourselves on the back like a lot of our players are getting in the public.”

On the value of having Cade Mays here this spring to compete at left tackle, and who the others are competing for that spot…

“Well, it’s valuable to have every one of those guys. Don’t you think it’s valuable to have Justin Fields here and competing and Divaad Wilson? I mean, we lost something like 10 DBs. They played forever, so now we have a guy to come in and compete. Trey Hill, I’m excited to see him compete. Warren Ericson, there is a guy that’s going to come in here. Kearis Jackson, I mean, every one of those guys I’m excited to have.

Zamir White, can he learn and get blitz pick-ups? Can he grow as a player without actually practicing? So I’m super excited about every one of those. There is a competition at every single position out there. I’ve not singled out a position like you guys (the media) like to do and say well, they lost these outside backers, and we’re going to have this great outside backer battle. We’re going to have a battle at every single position, and that’s called recruiting. It’s called depth.

I’d love nothing more than to see Warren Ericson and Trey Hill pushing Lamont Gaillard, because y’all have already given Lamont a starting job. Every article I read, Lamont’s going to start because he started last year. Kendall Baker, he has his spot. They go out there thinking that, and I would be disappointed in them, because I think if you ask them they understand I better be one of the best five or I won’t be starting.”

On losing Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and the excitement to see D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield get some spring work at that spot…

“Well, the great thing is we got to see two of those guys get a ton of work last year in the spring. Where you guys might not have gotten to see them get a ton of work because you saw the two studs out there carrying it all the time, we got to see a lot of that.

So we get to see D’Andre jump into that battle, that fray, with those two. We get to find out about who is going to be the competitor on special teams. Who can replace 127 snaps Sony took on special teams? Because right now none of those three have stepped up to the plate to say I can be as valuable at special teams as Sony was.

Nick Chubb took every single rep last spring in special teams in two different phases. We didn’t use him in the season because we didn’t have to. Who of those three is going to say I can lead this spot, I can contribute on special teams, I can do every pick up right, I can protect the ball right, and I can go out and affect the rest of the team by the energy and attitude I practice with. That’s what I want to see.

I want to see which one’s going to go to class the most, which one’s going to have the highest GPA? There is a great battle there, and we can use all three of them. Hopefully we’ll get to use Zamir and James Cook as well when they’re healthy and they can go.”

On maintaining an on-the-hunt mindset this year…

“I’m not ever trying to get the target on my back. I don’t think that’s the right approach. Mentality-wise we don’t say, ‘Let’s go get the target on our back.’ We’re target practice. Same thing I told you at South Carolina. Why in the hell would you on-side kick against South Carolina? We’re doing aggressive things that we think are right. So we’re doing the same thing right now we did last year.

Every coach on our staff did quality control of what we did well, what we did poorly. What can we improve on? We sat in here yesterday with 130 players, and we said last year on the composite special teams rankings we were dead last. So our goal in the spring was to move. Fall camp, move. Perform on the field. We moved, depending on how you look at it.

So now are we not going to talk about special teams anymore? No. We’re trying to move up nationally. We’re trying to move up. We’re continuing to hunt because that’s what we believe.

When you play aggressive, you watch all those basketball tournaments, I watch all these basketball tournaments over and over and over. The more aggressive team wins. The team that’s playing aggressive. I’m not going out here not to lose. I’m going out there to play aggressive. So we’ll continue to do that in how we practice, because the offense is going to go against the defense. The left guard’s going to go against the right guard. The left receiver’s going to go against the right cornerback, and we’re going to be aggressive. We’re not going to go out there and sit back and say what is somebody else doing? We’re worried about us.

On what point Zamir White may be able to get on the field in fall camp…

“That’s hard for me to answer because I’m not a doctor. I don’t know. He certainly looks good right now. He’s progressing along. He’s maybe ahead of where we expected him to be. But to say he’s going to be there fall camp, ready to go, I don’t know that.You guys are going to see him out there. He’ll probably be doing some individual trials, and you make your own assessment. Because that’s the challenge for us is not knowing where he’s going to be, with the help of our three current backs coming out of spring practice.”

Junior TE #18 Isaac Nauta 

On having a new tight ends coach in Jim Chaney…

“It is cool. Obviously, he is our offensive coordinator as well so it brings a whole new perspective to the position. He coached tight ends in the NFL so he has a lot of background knowledge. Already, I think I’ve improved a lot learning from him, so I’m ready to get rolling in the spring.”

On moving on from how last season concluded…

“I think we are past it, but it definitely brings a hunger. Once you get a taste of it, you want to get back. It is a good feeling to know that football is starting today and we’ll get another taste of it and see where we are at and where we can get better. Hopefully it will be a good starting point heading into next season.”

On first impressions of early enrollees…

“Those guys work hard. They have a good mentality. With guys coming in early, you are able to learn quicker from the older guys. You don’t have that lull when the new guys come in, because you’ve been here and you’ve been grinding and you’re about to go through your first spring ball. They all have a good head on their shoulders and I’m excited to see them get after it.”

On how you personally improved from being an early enrollee…

“The playbook. There is so much that goes into it and learning how the game is played. Getting the extra little bit of 15 practices and “G-Day” goes a long way to help me get on the field my freshman year.”

 Senior WR #5 Terry Godwin

On the offseason atmosphere…

“Grinding. Everybody’s buying in, everybody’s getting bigger. Trying to get the freshmen that just rolled in – trying to get them up to speed.”

On the early enrollees…

“Everybody’s coming in hungry. All the young guys are coming in trying to grind and trying to earn their spot and learn the playbook.”

On incoming freshman quarterback Justin Fields…

“Justin, he’s carrying himself very well. He looks mature; he’s a solid body. Just walking around, you’d never know he was a freshman because he’s a big guy. He’s very quiet, and he’s very humble as well.”

On competition at every position…

“There’s competition everywhere. No one here is safe, you’ve always got to battle everyday to save your spot. If it’s going to give  Jake Fromm that extra push, it’s a challenge. Everybody’s got to fight.”

On motivation from last year…

“For everybody that’s on this team that was there last year, we know we’re hungry. We know we were one play away, so we can’t let that defeat us. So we’re going to feed off of that, and go into this offseason and grind hard…We use it ourselves. We tell these young guys, we never want to come up one play short again. That’s the difference between a national championship, and being the runner-up. Nobody ever remembers the runner up. You always remember the champion.”

Junior DB #20 J.R. Reed

On progress during winter workouts…

“Just a lot of hard work and grinding, and just focusing on this next season and us as a team.”

On how they are using the national championship as motivation…

“You just use it as motivation and move on. You have to work a little harder than you did last year, and you know what you have to do to get back to that spot.”

On having a team of leadership and embracing his own natural leadership abilities…

“It is going to be our job as players that played last year to take the identity and grab the young guys and get them to follow us… It has just been about embracing that role along with Terry (Godwin), Jonathan (Ledbetter) and a lot of older guys embracing that role of being leaders. We have to create our own identity. It is a new team so we have to create our own identity. We can’t have the same identity as last year.”

On building from last season…

“We cannot slack off. We have to be focused… The message is that you have to focus on what is ahead of you and focus on yourself. You have to focus on this team. We have to learn. We have to really play this year. There are no sitting behind other guys. We have to play and step up.”

Senior DE #13 Jonathan Ledbetter

On his personal growth at Georgia…

“It’s definitely been a journey. I came as a really young guy and had to work my way up to fight for my spot. I’ve taken on a role of one of the older guys on the team now. It is tough sometimes, because you have to do the tough job of getting on the younger guys and keeping everybody together. But the most importantly, you have to lead my example, so that is just what I’m know for doing. I do what I need to do on the field and set the standard for guys to follow. He (Coach Kirby Smart) has the confidence in me that I’m going to do that each time I step onto the field.”

On who his mentors were when he was young…

“Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins, Davin Bellamy, Lorenzo Carter, Reggie Carter, and Reggie Wilkerson. They all put something in me that built what I’m right now.”

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Bulldogs to play in 2018 Cayman Islands Classic

The Georgia Bulldogs will play in a tournament in their first season under new head coach Tom Crean, Cayman Islands Classic Chief Strategy Officer Jill Turk told Cayman 27 News.

“We are excited to announce that we have recently signed 17th ranked Clemson University, from the ACC Conference, and the University of Georgia, from the SEC conference, to play in the 2018 Cayman Islands Classic,” Turk said.

The Cayman Islands Classic is an eight-team, preseason tournament that began in 2017. A few games are played at campus sites, with the remainder at John Gray gymnasium in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

In addition to Georgia, the 2018 field includes Clemson, Creighton, St. Bonaventure, Illinois State, Boise State, and Akron. The eighth and final team will be announced at a later date. Playing dates for the 2018 tournament are Monday, Nov. 19 through Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018.

“We feel this is a strong lineup going into year two of the tournament and will attract a loyal following of basketball fans to the Cayman Islands,” Turk said.

With at least three games to play in the Cayman Islands Classic, Georgia now has six non-conference games lined up for the 2018-19 season. The Bulldogs are also scheduled to host UMass on Dec. 29 and play at Georgia Tech and Temple on dates to be determined.

Updated (3/27/2018)

SicEmDawgs.com obtained the signed contract for the 2018 Cayman Islands Classic from the University of Georgia via a state open records request.

The tournament will be held from November 9-23, 2018. First round games will be played at the home arenas of the participants and the games in Grand Cayman will be played November 19-21.

If any participant is placed on probation or any of its players are declared ineligible, the hosts Caymax Sports LTD and Global Sports Management, reserve the right to withdraw its invitation to the participant and no cancellation fee will be payable.

Participants may also cancel the agreement upon written notice 150 days prior to the event and a payment of $160,000 would be due within 30 days.

Future UGA Basketball Opponents

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UGA football: 4-star DE Bill Norton commits for 2019

UGA football has picked up their eighth commitment for the class of 2019, this one from four-star defensive end Bill Norton of Memphis, Tennessee (Christian Brothers).

Norton (6-6, 270) committed to the Georgia Bulldogs over several offers, including Alabama, Ole Miss, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Tennessee.

“I obviously had a long talk with my parents, my coach. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now. I kind of wanted to go around to see other schools, to see what would be the right fit, and see if I saw some things that I hadn’t seen before,” Norton told UGASports.com. “I checked out a pretty good amount of schools, but after a good talk with Coach (Kirby) Smart and Coach (Tray) Scott, I feel that Georgia will fit me both academically and athletically.”

Rivals rates Bill Norton as a four-star recruit and the No. 29 strongside defensive end.

In the 247Sports Composite, Bill Norton is rated as a four-star recruit, the No. 8 strongside defensive end, and the No. 77 overall recruit for 2019.

Georgia currently has the No. 1 ranked class for 2019 by 247Sports. The Bulldogs 2018 class of 26 recruits also finished as the top group in the country.

UGA Football Commitments

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Tom Crean named Bulldogs’ Head Coach

ATHENS, Ga. — Tom Crean, who for nearly two decades has regularly led his basketball teams to national rankings and postseason bids, has been named head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. Greg McGarity, Georgia’s J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics, announced the hiring on Thursday.

“Tom Crean is one of the most successful coaches in college basketball over the past two decades,” McGarity said. “His teams have consistently been participants in postseason play, and his players have been extremely successful in the classroom. He’s going to be a great fit for the University of Georgia. I’m extremely excited to have him leading Georgia Basketball into the future and to welcome his family into the Bulldog Nation.”

“I am honored an humbled to join the University of Georgia family,” Crean said. “I am sincerely grateful to President Morehead and Greg McGarity for an incredible opportunity. Make no mistake, this is a basketball program inside of a great university that can compete for championships doing it the right way. We will work diligently and with great energy to make everyone associated with the University of Georgia very proud of our efforts. We’re going to need everyone in the Bulldog Nation to help us to create the energy and excitement that will take Georgia to the highest levels of success.”

Crean compiled a 356-231 record in 18 seasons at Marquette and Indiana from 1999-2017. His teams have reached postseason play during 13 of those campaigns, with nine NCAA appearances and four NIT bids. Crean led Marquette to the 2003 NCAA Final Four and has reached four Sweet 16s at Marquette and Indiana. All told, Crean’s teams have been ranked in the Associated Press and/or USA Today polls during 12 seasons, including top-10 finishes in 2003 and 2013.

Individually, Crean has coached eight players who have won All-America honors. All 52 seniors to play for Crean during his head coaching career have earned a degree.

Most recently at Indiana, Crean inherited a program with only one returning player, pending NCAA probation and scholarship restrictions due to poor academic performances. He compiled a 166-135 record from 2008-17. Indiana was 28-66 in his first three seasons before compiling a 138-69 mark in his final six years in Bloomington, including a pair of outright Big Ten Championships in 2013 and 2016. Indiana was ranked in each of those last six campaigns, including 11 weeks at No. 1 during 2012-13. Crean was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016, the same season he was a finalist for Naismith National Coach of the Year honors. Three Hoosiers earned All-America honors under Crean – Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (2016), Cody Zeller (2013) and Victor Oladipo (2013).

Crean inherited a program faced with reduced scholarships due to a deficient APR score. Four years later, the Hoosiers sported a perfect score of 1000 and maintained that mark for four years.

Crean served as head coach at Marquette from 1999-2008, leading the program to the 2003 Final Four and four more NCAA bids. Marquette also participated in three NITs under Crean and reached the 2004 quarterfinals. Marquette obtained AP top-25 rankings during six of Crean’s last seven seasons in Milwaukee, including final rankings of No. 9 in 2003, No. 12 in 2002, No. 20 in 2007 and No. 25 in 2008.

Crean was named Conference USA Coach of the Year in both 2002 and 2003, with Dwayne Wade earning Player of the Year honors in 2003 as well. Three Marquette players earned All-America accolades under Crean – Wade (2002 & 2003), Travis Diener (2005) and Dominic James (2007). After Crean departed for Indiana, two of his Marquette players later earned All-America honors – Jerel McNeal in 2009 and Lazar Hayward in 2010.

Crean’s winning ways were well established before he became a head coach. In 10 seasons from 1989-99, Crean was a member of the staffs at Michigan State, Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh. Those squads combined to win four regular-season and two conference tournament titles. They also reached postseason play eight times (five NCAAs and three NITs). The season before assuming the reigns at Marquette, Crean helped Michigan State to a 33-5 finish and the Final Four in 1999.

A native of Mount Pleasant, Mich., Crean graduated from Central Michigan in 1989. Crean is married to the former Joani Harbaugh, and they have three children – Megan (22), Riley (18) and Ainsley (12).

Crean Quick Facts

Full Name: Thomas Aaron Crean

Born: March 25, 1966

Hometown: Mount Pleasant, Mich.

High School: Mount Pleasant ’85

Alma Mater: Central Michigan (Parks & Recreation ’89)

Family: Married to the former Joani Harbaugh and the parents of Megan (22), Riley (18) and Ainsley (12)

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UGA basketball coach Mark Fox fired

UGA basketball head coach Mark Fox has been fired after nine seasons in Athens, UGA’s J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity officially announced on Saturday.

News of Mark Fox’s dismissal was first reported Saturday afternoon by ESPN.

“Days like today are very difficult, especially when you are talking about someone like Mark Fox,” McGarity said. “We have worked alongside each other for eight seasons, and I have the utmost respect for Mark, his staff, our student-athletes and the support staff. They have always represented the University of Georgia in a professional manner. I know I speak for all Bulldogs to say ‘thank you’ to Mark and Cindy for the time and effort they have devoted to the University of Georgia.

“In the end, I felt like we have not reached our full potential as a basketball program. I really thought we were on the way to turning the corner this year. We just did not achieve the level of success as a program that I believe we should at the University of Georgia.

“We will move forward to search for a new head coach. It will be a national search in scope, and we will move as quickly as possible.”

In nine seasons with the Georgia Bulldogs, Mark Fox was 163-133 (.551) and 77-79 (.494) in the SEC. He guided the Hoop Dawgs to only two NCAA Tournament berths during that span, falling in the first round both times.

“For the past nine years, we have had the good fortune to coach some terrific young men,” Fox said. “This chapter has closed, and I am grateful to the many who have helped us along the way but especially to the young men who wore the red and black. We’ve been able to reach a couple of NCAA Tournaments, a couple more NITs and graduate our players. Hopefully, our time here can be the groundwork for more success.”

With Fox done in Athens, McGarity and UGA will initiate a search for his replacement. Former Indiana head coach Tom Crean is considered a leading candidate, as is former Ohio State head coach Thad Matta.

Other candidates, per the UGASports.com Coaching Hot Board, include Steve Prohm (Iowa State), Danny Hurley (Rhode Island), Earl Grant (College of Charleston), Wes Miller (UNC-Greensboro), Shaka Smart (Texas), Scott Drew (Baylor), Joe Dooley (Florida Gulf Coast), and Dan Marjerle (Grand Canyon).

Former player and current UGA assistant coach Jonas Hayes is also considered a candidate, but his ascension to head coach in Athens is unlikely at this point in his career.

Hayes is likely to interview for the vacant head coach position at Western Carolina University, where he and brother Jarvis played one season before transferring to play for Georgia.

Should Hayes not get or accept that position, the new UGA head coach would be wise to retain him. Hayes has been one of Georgia’s best recruiters, and could help in landing five-star guard Ashton Hagans. Hagans was committed to UGA but backed off after it became evident that Mark Fox would likely not be retained.

Stay tuned as we’ll bring you the latest news on the search for UGA basketball’s next head coach.

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SEC Tournament run ends for Bulldogs in Quarterfinals

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Georgia men’s basketball team dropped its quarterfinals matchup in the 2018 SEC Tournament against Kentucky, 62-49, Friday afternoon at Scottrade Center.

The 12th-seeded Bulldogs (18-15) kept up with the pace throughout the first half, but a strong second frame by the No. 4-seed Wildcats (22-10) proved to be the difference. Georgia’s 28.3 shooting percentage could not match Kentucky’s efficient 42.6 percent clip from the field.

“Kentucky’s defense is very good,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “I don’t think the post traps weren’t a big issue for us today, but they have great length. We just didn’t play with a lot of authority in the low post today. Apart of that was certainly because of Kentucky’s defense.”

Sophomore guard Tyree Crump poured in a team-high 17 points, matching his career high that he set earlier in the year. Twelve of his points came off of four 3-pointers – also career-tying – while the rest of his points came from the free-throw line.

Derek Ogbeide snagged a game-high 11 rebounds to aid Georgia’s 42-39 rebounding edge. After a halftime report of an aggravated knee, Yante Maten continued to play, but finished with nine points, marking just his second game this season he hasn’t reached double digits in scoring.

The Wildcats built an early 8-2 cushion, before the Bulldogs followed with an 8-3 run, showcasing a closely contested opening of the game. Rayshaun Hammonds knotted the game at 13-all with a 3-pointer just above the 10-minute mark. Georgia obtained its first lead, 23-22, behind a Crump three and two free throws by Maten. Kentucky ended the first half with eight straight points to hold the 30-23 edge.

In the first half, Kentucky shot an effective 43.3 percent from the field, while Georgia managed just a 27.6 percent shooting clip. The Bulldogs did hold the rebounding advantage at 21-19, led by Ogbeide with a game-high six boards.

Widening the gap to 10 points, Kentucky sunk a three on its opening possession of the second half. Georgia’s Juwan Parker benefited from a friendly bounce on a shot behind the arc for the answer a minute later. The Wildcats then surged on another 8-0 run to go up 41-26.

By the midpoint of the second half, Georgia narrowed the gap to 11 points at 47-36 due to Crump’s third trey of the game, a Maten dunk and a free throw by William Jackson II. The Wildcats extended their lead back to 16 points, but Crump hit another three and got fouled on a shot behind the arc as well, making all three free throws to make it 55-45 with 6:11 left in regulation.

Georgia breached the double-digit deficit with a jumper in the lane by Jackson to cut it to 58-49 with a minute and a half remaining, however Kentucky controlled the rest of the way to seal the win.

Georgia now awaits its postseason status. The 2018 NCAA March Madness Selection Show will be televised on TBS – Sunday, March 11, at 6 p.m. ET. The NIT Selection Special follows on ESPNU, starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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Georgia upsets Missouri to reach quarterfinals of SEC Tournament, 62-60

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Clinging to a one-point lead with a minute remaining in regulation, the Georgia Bulldogs men’s basketball team held off Missouri 62-60 in the 2018 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon at Scottrade Center.

The win by the No. 12-seed Bulldogs (18-14) over the No. 5-seed Tigers (20-12) sends Georgia to the quarterfinals matchup against No. 4-seed Kentucky.

“We knew it would be a road game, so we tried to treat it that way,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “And with (Michael) Porter Jr., we said if he plays the small forward, we’ll play him like the best small forward in the league. If he plays the four, then we’ll treat him like one of the best power forwards in the league. We didn’t know where they would play him on the floor. Obviously we had a slow start to the game, and then our defense really buckled down there the last 15 minutes of the first half and gave us a chance to play them in front.”

Recording his 14th double-double of the season, senior forward Yante Maten accumulated 21 points and 10 rebounds, while adding two blocks and a steal. Joining the offensive output was freshman guard Teshaun Hightower with a career-tying mark of 13 points and a career-high seven rebounds.

“We had a lead, and we were trying to maintain it,” Maten said. “We knew that they were going to hit a run, and we just made sure we came out and tried to stop them defensively. We’re a tremendous team, and I don’t think we’ve shown our best yet. We’re just trying to keep on fighting and get better every day.”

A day after jumping out to a 10-0 lead to start the SEC Tournament, the Bulldogs found themselves in a 10-0 hole against Missouri. It wasn’t until the 14:04 mark that Georgia got on the board with a 3-pointer from Maten to make it 10-3.

Shortly after, the Georgia defense intensified, completely flipping the status of the half. The Bulldogs held the Tigers scoreless for just over eight minutes, while Missouri went 0-for-14 from the field. In that span, Georgia rallied off 16 unanswered points to take a seven-point lead, 19-12, at the 6:57 mark.

The sequence started with a block by freshman Nicolas Claxton on Tigers’ freshman Michael Porter Jr., which set up a Rayshaun Hammonds runner. The other 14 points in the run all came from Hightower and Maten including a 3-pointer by each.

From that point until the halftime horn, both teams went back-and-forth with Georgia delivering the last blow – a three from Hightower with 35 seconds left for the 33-24 Bulldog lead. Maten and Hightower led all scorers with 14 and 11 points, respectively, while also registering the most rebounds with five apiece.

Off a crossover move to open the second half, William Jackson II stepped into a three for Georgia’s largest lead of the game by either team at 12 points. The double-digit margin was short-lived after Missouri strung together a 9-1 run to pull within four points at 37-33. Consecutive threes from the Tigers knotted the game at 39-all, but the Bulldogs stretched it back out to eight with a Jackson reverse layup and threes from Tyree Crump and Claxton.

Deeper into the second half, the Tigers cut their deficit to 57-53 with 5:43 to play in regulation. In Georgia’s next possession, Maten grabbed an offensive rebound – eclipsing double-digit boards – and put it back up for his 19th point of the game. Missouri pulled within two; the closest margin since the first half, before Maten pushed it back to four at 61-57 with 3:30 to play.

Key rebounding and defense in the final minute solidified the Georgia win after Missouri drained the three to make it 61-60. With 17 seconds left, the Tigers missed a three and a second effort, before Hammonds corralled a crucial rebound and was fouled. The freshman forward made the first free throw, but hit iron on the second. However Claxton muscled the offensive rebound from the miss and drew a foul. Although Claxton’s ensuing shots from the stripe missed, it shaved a few seconds off the clock and the Tigers’ last attempt was off the mark.

The Bulldogs and Wildcats are slotted to play Friday at approximately 3:15 ET and will be aired on ESPN.

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