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Latest Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — All along, even after Yante Maten declared for the NBA draft last month, the expectation has been that the UGA basketball star would ultimately be back for his senior season. Now it’s official: Maten will do just that. Maten announced that he is withdrawing his name from the draft, two days before the NCAA deadline to do so. While Maten tested the waters, and participated in workouts with at least two NBA teams, he retained his college eligibility by not signing with an agent. This is obviously still great news for Georgia, which will thus return one of the SEC’s top players last season. Maten, a 6-foot-8 forward from Pontiac, Mich., was first team All-SEC by the coaches last season and second-team All-SEC by the AP. He averaged 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while missing four games and almost all of a loss to Kentucky with a sprained knee. Georgia, which was a disappointing 19-14 last season, now projects to return nine of its top 10 scorers. The exception is a rather major one: J.J. Frazier, the consensus first-team All-SEC point guard. But with Maten back, and highly-rated recruit Rayshaun Hammonds, a wing player, the Bulldogs have a potentially strong nucleus. Sophomore Tyree Crump and junior Turtle Jackson are expected to divide up Frazier’s minutes at point guard. Hammonds should compete for a starting spot at small forward, with Maten’s return meaning he and junior Derek Ogbeide man the two post spots. (Although Maten could see more time on the wing himself.) The backcourt and small forward positions will be interesting to watch, with Hammonds joining senior Juwan Parker, who started most of last year, as well as sophomore Jordan Harris, Crump, Jackson, junior E’Torrion Wilridge. Two other incoming freshmen, guard Teshaun Hightower and forward Nicolas Claxton, should also compete for minutes on the perimeter. And incoming freshman Isaac Kante joins junior Mike Edwards as depth in the post. It was set to be a deep and balanced team, with or without Mante. But now Mante’s return gives it some returning star power.
  • Press release from the Gwinnett Braves: LAWRENCEVILLE, GA- The Gwinnett Braves are set to begin a new chapter, as the team will adopt a unique, hometown team name for the 2018 season.   “The Braves name is an incredible brand, but we have learned over the last several years that there is some confusion sharing the same name and market as our Major League team,” said North Johnson, Gwinnett Braves general manager. “We have an exciting opportunity to connect even further within our community and we’re thrilled the community will have a say in our new name.”   All fans are invited to join the 'Name The Team” contest which will begin Monday, May 22 on GwinnettBraves.com. Fans are encouraged to suggest a local name, along with an explanation of why they feel their suggestion perfectly embodies Gwinnett. Submissions will be taken until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 2.    The fan whose submission leads to the team's new name will receive two season tickets for the 2018 season. Four runners up will receive merchandise with the new name and logo.   The top five to seven names, as chosen by the Selection Committee, will be listed on the website (GwinnettBraves.com) for fan voting, June 19-July 3. The winning name will be unveiled at a press conference this fall and all five finalists will be invited to attend. (If more than one fan submits the winning name, one of those fans will be chosen at random.)
  • A former UGA football wide receiver standout and now former teacher and coach at Parkview High School will remain behind bars for at least another week and a half. Mikey Henderson made a first court appearance Sunday morning to hear the charge of sexually assaulting one of his students.  The 32-year-old Henderson was denied bond by a Gwinnett County judge, and will have to remain in the county jail in Lawrenceville until his next hearing on May 31st. To the question from the judge of did he have a lawyer to represent him, Henderson replied simply “No sir,” and asked for a court-appointed attorney.  Henderson resigned his jobs as assistant football coach and math teacher at Parkview Friday morning. He was booked into jail soon after.  Henderson is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student that goes back more than two years, to when the student was a minor. That student is now 18. WSB Radio’s Sandra Parrish spoke to some Parkview students when they first heard the news. “That’s hard to hear, that’s hard to believe actually,” said one. “He’s like the nicest coach there is,” said another.  Henderson played for the Georgia Bulldogs from 2004 to 2007. He was hired at Parkview High School in July of 2013. 
  • From Georgia Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. — With the Georgia men’s tennis team trailing 3-2, Jan Zielinski and Wayne Montgomery won deciding third sets to deliver an upset of 4th-seeded Southern California Thursday evening in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Championships.  It was a back and forth match, as the Bulldogs (21-7) lost the doubles point and the two teams then traded singles decisions until Montgomery clinched the match at the second court. The 13th-seeded Bulldogs will now face the No. 5 seed, UCLA, in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Trojans finish the season 27-6.  “We have a very young team,” said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. 'We have a lot to learn and we have a lot of improving that we are capable of doing. Coming in No. 12 and playing the No. 4, we were not the favorite. Ranking wise, we knew we were the underdog but I believe we are capable of beating anyone in the tournament. Our mindset is to take it one at a time, put one foot in front of the other. We have a huge challenge facing UCLA next. They are a great team and they already beat us this year. We have to get our rest and try to do it again. I am confident our guys have learned and matured as the season has progressed and I know what we are capable of.” In doubles, Georgia and USC split at the second and third courts and it came down to No. 1. Walker Duncan and Wayne Montgomery took a 6-4 win at No. 3 to give the Bulldogs the early doubles advantage. Their match was on serve until the last game, when Duncan slammed home a shot at the net to get the first break in the match. In the 15 matches the two have played together at the third court, they have been dominant, winning 14.  At the first court, Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb trailed 6-5 and were serving trying to force a tiebreaker. Zielinski and Loeb, who make up the nation’s top-ranked pair, quickly found themselves behind 15-40 in the game, but came back to win it and tied the match at 6-6. The USC pair of Brandon Holt and Riley Smith, ranked 14th, won the tiebreaker, 7-1, and sealed the doubles point for the Trojans. Georgia got off to a great start in singles, winning four of the six first sets. The highlight of the opening frames was Montgomery’s comeback at the second court. The junior from Somerset West, South Africa, currently ranked 33rd, trailed 5-2 in the first set before winning five straight games to take it, 7-5. The Bulldogs nearly earned another opening set, but Zielinski dropped his first-set tiebreaker, 7-5, at No. 4.  Duncan’s 6-4, 6-1 win was the first point on the board for Georgia and evened the match, 1-1. The sophomore is now 19-5 in dual match play on the season, including a 16-4 mark at the fifth court. USC retook the lead, 2-1, after a 6-4, 6-4 win by No. 19 Brandon Holt over Georgia’s 56th-ranked Nathan Ponwith. No. 59 Emil Reinberg evened the match at 2-2 with a 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 3. The final point came when Reinberg hit a powerful serve to USC’s Logan Smith, who sailed it long. Shortly after Smith hit it, Reinberg began celebrating and ignited a roar from the crowd.  Montgomery would eventually lose his second set in a tiebreaker, and with the match tied at 2-2, only the evenly-numbered courts were yet to be decided. Zielinski and Montgomery each got an early break in the third set to gain an advantage, but the match at No. 6 was the first of the three to finish. Loeb fell 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, and Georgia then got the wins it needed to seal the victory from Zielinski and Montgomery. Zielinski was first, holding serve in the final game to win 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, and less than two minutes later, Montgomery broke and clinched the match with a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 win. Georgia’s dramatic victory brings to mind the team’s 4-3 win over USC in last year’s round of 16, when then-senior Austin Smith trailed 5-3 in the final set and came back to win the match for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs and Bruins are scheduled to meet Saturday at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The two schools met earlier this season at the SEC/Pac-12 Challenge, in Gainesville, Fla., where UCLA earned a 4-3 win. The loss was part of a 3-5 start for the Bulldogs, but after Thursday’s win, they have now won 18 of their last 20 matches. FINAL: #12 GEORGIA (21-7) 4,  #4 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (27-6) 3 Doubles   1. #14 Brandon Holt/ Riley Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #1 Jan Zielinski/Robert Loeb (GEORGIA), 7-6(1) 2.Nick Crystal/ Laurens Verboven (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Emil Reinberg/ Nathan Ponwith (GEORGIA), 6-3 3.Wayne Montgomery/ Walker Duncan (GEORGIA) def. Rob Bellamy/ Jack Jaede (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-4 Singles  1. #19 Brandon Holt (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #56 Nathan Ponwith (GEORGIA), 6-4, 6-4 2. #33 Wayne Montgomery (GEORGIA) def. Nick Crystal (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA),7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-2 3. #59 Emil Reinberg (GEORGIA) def. #88 Logan Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-2, 7-5 4. Jan Zielinski (GEORGIA) def. Jack Jaede (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 5. Walker Duncan (GEORGIA) def. Thibault Forget (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-4, 6-1 6. Riley Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Robert Loeb (GEORGIA), 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 Order of Finish: Doubles (3,2,1) Singles (5,1,3,6,4,2)
  • SEC Network host, reporter and analyst Maria Taylor was named “College GameDay” host and “ABC Saturday Night Football” reporter on Tuesday. Taylor, formerly the host of SEC Network’s traveling gameday show “SEC Nation,” will replace sideline reporter Samantha Ponder on “College GameDay” this season. Ponder was named the host of “NFL Sunday Countdown” in March. “I am honored and excited to join the “College GameDay” and “Saturday Night Football” teams,” Taylor said in a statement released by ESPN. “I grew up watching ‘(College) GameDay’ and I have always been inspired by the new and innovative ways they entertain and inform college football fans. And I welcome a return to the sideline reporting role to cover the games that shape the college football landscape.” A former basketball and volleyball player at the University of Georgia, Taylor was hired by ESPN in 2012. ESPN announced Laura Rutledge will become the new host of “SEC Nation” in Taylor’s absence. “In a very short time, Maria has demonstrated versatility, presence and ease in her many roles. She is the rare ‘triple threat’ in this industry and we look forward to having her on the road with ‘(College) GameDay’ and ‘SNF’ come fall,” ESPN senior coordinating producer of college sports Lee Fitting said in the statement.