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Latest from Tim Bryant

    The Georgia Bulldog basketball team learns its postseason fate: coach Mark Fox’s team will not be going to the NCAA Tournament. The Dogs will instead face Belmont in the opening round of the NIT Wednesday in Stegeman Coliseum. If the Dogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets both win their opening round games, they would face each other in the second round of the NIT here in Athens. The Jackets face the Indiana Hoosiers in their first-round contest.
  • Sunday was a dedication day in Gainesville, where the road that had been known as Touchdown Drive is now Deshaun Watson Way. The street near the Gainesville High School football stadium is named in honor of the former Red Elephant star who led the Clemson Tigers to this past season’s national championship.
  • It will be the final broadcast of Brent Musburger’s long and storied career: Musburger will be at the microphone for tonight’s Georgia Bulldog basketball game against the Kentucky Wildcats. It’s a game that tips at 9 o’clock at Rupp Arena in Lexington. It will be televised on ESPN. Musburger, who has worked in the television for nearly 50 years as host and play-by-play commentator – including the last 27 years with ABC/ESPN. “What a wonderful journey I have traveled with CBS and the Disney company,” Musburger said in a release. “A love of sports allows me to live a life of endless pleasure. And make no mistake, I will miss the arenas and stadiums dearly. Most of all, I will miss the folks I have met along the trail.
  • The Georgia Bulldog football team has two players on the SEC’s All-Freshman team: kicker Rodrigo Blankenship and tight end Isaac Nauta earned the honors for their work this season. They and their Bulldog teammates are gearing up for the December 30 Liberty Bowl: the Dogs will travel to Memphis take on the TCU Horned Frogs.
  • For the first time this season, the Georgia Bulldog football team received no votes in the weekly Associated Press football poll. The Dogs have an open date after this past Saturday’s 17-16 homecoming loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores. Their next game is on October 29 in Jacksonville, the annual rivalary against the Florida Gators. The Bulldogs, in their first season under coach Kirby Smart, cracked the top 10 in the AP poll earlier this year but now have three losses, all of them in the Southeastern Conference, to Ole Miss, Tennessee, and now Vanderbilt.
  • On the heels of that Sunday afternoon Georgia Bulldog football game in Columbia South Carolina--a 28-14 win over the Gamecocks in a game rescheduled because of Hurricane Matthew--comes the start of the Homecoming Week that will culminate with this Saturday afternoon’s game against the Vanderbilt Commodores: the University of Georgia’s annual Bulldog Bash gets underway at 9 o’clock this morning at the Tate Student Center. Other activities include the annual homecoming parade on Friday. The game against the Commodores kicks at noon Saturday.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs will play their football game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Sunday in Columbia. The Southeastern Conference says the game will kick off at 2:30 Sunday afternoon, rescheduled because of the threat posed by Hurricane Matthew, the first Bulldog game to be rescheduled since 9/11. The game was originally scheduled for 7:30 tomorrow night. Hotels in the Athens area are beginning to fill up with Hurricane Matthew evacuees. Up to 2 million people are expected to evacuate the path of Hurricane Matthew. “Due to the potential impact of the hurricane on Columbia and the surrounding area, it is in the best interest of safety to play the game on Sunday rather than Saturday night,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said.  “I appreciate the cooperation of the schools who worked closely to make the appropriate operational adjustments in order to accommodate this change in the schedule.”
  • Officials in South Carolina say they continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew with an eye on what to do about Saturday’s college football game in Columbia: the Georgia Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks are scheduled to play Saturday night. Their remains the possibility the storm could force the game to be moved to another city or scheduled for another day. A decision is expected today. In anticipation of Hurricane Matthew hitting the East Coast in the coming days, Governor Nathan Deal has expanded a state of emergency issued Tuesday to include 17 additional counties, bringing the total number of counties under the declaration to 30. There are voluntary evacuations along the Georgia coast—the first in 17 years—and schools in the Savannah area are closed today.
  • Atlanta's Gunnar Bentz becomes the first University of Georgia male swimmer to ever win a gold medal in the Olympics. Bentz, a rising junior at UGA, struck gold in the 4x200 meter freestyle. Bentz is just the second male medalist in school history, joining Chase Kalisz, who claimed a silver in the 400-meter individual medley on Sunday. Georgia swimming now boasts 11 gold medalists all-time at the Games. As a school, Georgia has 14 athletes with 23 gold medals in swimming, track and basketball. Bentz swam in the preliminaries Tuesday afternoon. And while he did not compete in the finals Tuesday evening, he earned the gold by virtue of that foursome’s effort. Bentz swam the third leg of the relay, which also included Clark Smith, John Conger and Ryan Lochte, during prelims. The quintet touched in 7:04.75 for the second-fastest time in prelims, trailing only Great Britain’s 7:06.31.
  • University of Georgia swimmers Chase Kalisz, Allison Schmitt, Amanda Weir and Chantal Van Landeghem will all come home from the Rio Olympics with with medals. Kalisz won a silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley with a personal-best time of 4:06.75. Schmitt and Weir were members of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay team that finished second to claim silver. Australia set world and Olympics records in the event with a time of 3:30.65, but the United States was second in an American record time of 3:31.89. Van Landeghem was a member of the Canadian team that won bronze in the event. “I’m happy with my results,” Kalisz said in a release by the University. “That was all I could do, all I could hope for. I gave all I have. I don’t think I could’ve gone any faster. I’m fine with silver knowing that I gave my best effort.”
  • Tim  Bryant

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  • From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. ---The Bulldogs exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to set the pace for Georgia’s 12-3 victory over Savannah State Tuesday night at Foley Field.   Georgia (11-15) scored a season-high 12 runs on a season-high 16 hits. Georgia utilized a staff day throwing 11 pitchers over the course of the game. The Bulldogs pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts and yielded three runs on eight hits. Right-handed reliever Shane Tucker picked up the win and improved to 1-0.   Coming to bat with the bases loaded, freshman Cam Shepherd (3-for-5, 3 RBI) delivered the big hit in the fourth by knocking a double into the left field corner. Preceding that was a Mitchell Webb (4-for-5, 2 RBI) RBI single and a two-run double by LJ Talley (4-for-5, 4 RBI). All the damage was done with no outs and the Tigers had to dip into the bullpen twice to end the inning.   The second high-scoring outburst for Georgia occurred in the sixth to a tone of four runs. Michael Curry (3-for-5, 3 RBI) smacked a double in the right-center field gap to score Shepherd and Keegan McGovern. Two batters later, Talley hit a towering two-run home run that landed on top of the right field scoreboard. The homer was Talley’s first of the season and second of his career.   The two teams exchanged blows in the first four innings before Georgia pulled away. Webb and Curry had two-out RBI singles in the second and third innings, respectively.     Dawg Tracks   *Freshman shortstop Cam Shepherd extended his career-high hitting streak 11 games. Shepherd was a home run short of the cycle. *Freshman third baseman Adam Schunk’s two singles lengthened his hitting streak to six games in a row. *Career-high four hits for junior Mitchell Webb and sophomore LJ Talley. Webb also swiped his first bag of the season. *Freshman centerfielder Tucker Maxwell reached base for the 20th time in the last 21 games on a hit-by-pitch. In the same inning, he stole second for his fifth theft this season. * Junior Will Campbell drew two walks in the game to up his season total to 11 free passes. *Sophomore Michael Curry and freshman Cam Shepherd lead the team in multi-hit at-bats with nine on the season.   Coach’s Corner Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin   “We got a lot of guys in there, we threw 11 pitches so that has to be a close to a record. I thought our intensity level was very good. We had some big innings and scored a lot of runs. Cam Shepherd and Michael Curry drove some guys in. We had a lot of guys contribute offensively. Mitchell Webb and LJ Talley were great. They have had a little bit of a slow start but they are veteran guys for us. They made the most out of their opportunities tonight and that is how you get more opportunities going forward.”   On getting up early…   “It looses things up for sure when you get an early lead. We went up 8-2 then we started walking guys and that was our message to our pitching staff – we have to be aggressive with the strike zone and make them earn everything. For the most part, we threw very, very well.”     Player’s Perspective   Sophomore second baseman LJ Talley #2   “I think we just had the offense going early, and we just kept the momentum going. I think that’s what we can do. I mean we did it last week against one of the top pitchers in the league. I just think we keep it rolling, and we need everything to come together in one piece, with pitching, defense and offense.”   On his two-run home run…   “There were two strikes on me, I was just trying to put a good swing on it. I didn’t swing as hard as I could or anything, I just tried to put a good swing on it. I think we had a really good approach today.   Up Next Georgia continues its SEC play at Tennessee this weekend, with the first game scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday.
  • ATHENS – For years, Georgia’s head football and basketball coaches used to go on an extensive spring speaking tour, answering questions and shaking hands with fans who paid a small fee at the door. Those days of extensive touring around Georgia appear to be over. At least for now. The university has planned five events this spring featuring Kirby Smart, but they will be private donor events – and for now only one will be in the state of Georgia. The school will host events in Nashville, Charlotte, Jacksonville and Houston, with the lone in-state event being in Atlanta in July. These events will be closed to the public and the media, open only to donors. But there will also be two additional in-state events featuring Smart, athletics director Greg McGarity said Monday afternoon. Those events will just be branded differently. “We’re still working through two in-state events that would be branded under the Georgia Bulldog Club, or under UGA athletics,” McGarity said. In the past, Georgia football and basketball coach did as many as 12 spring tour stops, almost all in the state, from Columbus to Macon to Augusta and even smaller stops. But those tours have gradually dissipated: In Mark Richt’s final year, he only went to seven stops. Last year Smart went to five stops, though four of the were in-state, the exception being a donor event in Dallas. This year it’s going all-private, which someone with knowledge said evolved from Smart coming in with a new approach, and UGA wanting to do fundraising. There’s a feeling they don’t need the old model, where fans get a chance to hear from coaches and ask them questions, because of social media and other factors. Crowds at these events had also been going down. “The university is trying to be strategic to generate the money that everybody needs to generate right now,” McGarity said. “The purpose of these events have changed, they’ve morphed over the years.” The athletics department did seem to anticipate some fan blowback. “As for our donors, I realize there may be some sensitivity to the majority of the events being out of state this year,” associate athletics director for development Matt Borman wrote in an internal e-mail earlier this month. “If donors bring this up to you please just say that we are excited to be in Atlanta with an event in July and we wanted to take an opportunity this year to visit some of our supporters who don’t have the opportunity to make it to Athens on a regular basis. “After this year of events we will reevaluate and definitely consider bringing some of these events back into Georgia.” There are other speaking events for Smart that aren’t directly affiliated with the school. For instance, he is speaking Monday night at the Athens Touchdown Club, and spoke last month at the Macon Touchdown Club.
  • ATHENS, Ga. --- The University of Georgia women’s tennis team extended its win streak to six matches with a commanding 4-0 victory over Mississippi State Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.   The Bulldogs (13-3, 7-1 SEC) continued to roll in doubles as they grabbed the point for the seventh-consecutive match. The 28th-ranked duo of Elena Christofi and Kennedy Shaffer clinched it on court two for the sixth time in the streak. In singles, Mariana Gould blew by her opponent 6-0, 6-1 followed by a Shaffer win at No. 3 and a clincher at the net by Christofi on court two.   “We are in the middle of this conference race and it's been tough every time we play all these schools,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “I keep saying in the SEC we have 11 in the top 25 rankings and everybody comes ready to play. Mississippi State was another one of those teams. I thought the doubles point was great. Getting that 1-0 lead is critical for us. It was a good match and a great day and now we hit the road for the next three before we conclude our season here at home.” The shutout was Georgia’s fifth of the season. The Bulldogs have now rallied off six straight conference wins with four of those against teams in the top-25.   In doubles, the No. 2 court sat at 4-3 before Christofi/Shaffer finished the last two games strong to win 6-3 over Khrystyna Vozniak and Jennifer Brown. The Georgia twosome showcases a 6-1 record playing No. 2 and an 11-2 slate on the year.   Mississippi State (11-5, 4-4) started doubles with the lead after 11th-ranked tandem of Jasmine Lee and Lisa Marie Rioux edged No. 18 Ellen Perez and Caroline Brinson on court one. However, Gould and Marta Gonzalez evened up the score on court three winning 6-3 before Christofi and Shaffer secured the point.   In singles, junior Mariana Gould, ranked at No. 102, overpowered her opponent 6-0, 6-1 on the last court to put Georgia up 2-0. Gould, of Boise, Idaho, ups her win streak to five on court six where she has a 10-2 dual record.   The remaining singles matches featured two first-set tiebreakers and four that spilled into the third set. On court No. 3, Kennedy Shaffer edged Madison Harrison in the first-set tiebreaker 7-2, then carried that momentum into the second set winning 6-2.   In the battle of freshmen on court two eighth-ranked Christofi defeated Rioux in the deciding third set 6-1 to seal the win for the Bulldogs. The clincher was Christofi’s fourth on the season en route to a team-best 26-4 record.   Georgia was leading in two of the three remaining third-set matches that went unfinished. At No. 4, Brinson was on the verge of victory leading Anastasia Rentouli 5-0. After Perez dropped the first-set tiebreaker, she took the second set over 32nd-ranked Jasmine Lee and was up 2-1 when play was called.   “This year is going fast we got to keep working and stay excited and continue to compete like we're competing,” Wallace added.   The Bulldogs are back in action Saturday, April 1st at No. 23 Tennessee. First serve is slotted for 1 p.m. ET.    ## Tennis Match Results Mississippi State vs. Georgia Mar 26, 2017 at Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)   #3 Georgia 4, #25 Mississippi State 0   Singles competition  1. #26 Ellen Perez (UGA) vs. #32 Jasmine Lee (MSU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 2-1, unfinished 2. #8 Elena Christofi (UGA) def. Lisa Marie Rioux (MSU) 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 3. #57 Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. Madison Harrison (MSU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 4. #59 Caroline Brinson (UGA) vs. Anastasia Rentouli (MSU) 6-4, 1-6, 5-0, unfinished 5. Marta Gonzalez (UGA) vs. Khrystyna Vozniak (MSU) 4-6, 6-3, 0-1, unfinished 6. #102 Mariana Gould (UGA) def. Sara Lizariturry (MSU) 6-0, 6-1   Doubles competition  1. #11 Jasmine Lee/Lisa Marie Rioux (MSU) def. #18 Ellen Perez/Caroline Brinson (UGA) 6-2 2. #28 Elena Christofi/Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. Khrystyna Vozniak/Jennifer Brown (MSU) 6-3 3. #68 Marta Gonzalez/Mariana Gould (UGA) def. Sara Lizariturry/Madison Harrison (MSU) 6-3   Match Notes: Mississippi State 11-5, 4-4; National ranking #25 Georgia 13-3, 7-1; National ranking #3 Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,3,2) UGA Rankings: ITA #3, USTA #T6 Official: Karen Badger-Mabry T-2:15 A-460 
  • FROM UGA SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS  Athens, Ga. — For the second straight year, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier has been named the state of Georgia’s Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The club announced its annual award winners on Thursday. Frazier, 5-10, 155-pound senior from Glennville, Ga., led the Bulldogs and ranked among the SEC’s top-10 performers in scoring (third at 18.8 ppg), assists (fifth at 4.1 apg), steals (third at 1.9 spg) and playing time (first at 34.6 mpg). He finished the 2016-17 season with 640 points, the fourth-best mark in school history. Frazier set the Georgia career record for free throw percentage (.841). He had a school-record streak of 45 consecutive made free throws during his senior season, which is also the second-longest streak in SEC history. Frazier has collected a long list of accolades this season. He was named SEC and National Player of the Week on Week on Feb. 27 after averaging 28.5 points in wins over Alabama and LSU in a 49-hour span. Frazier was also voted first-team All-SEC by both league coaches and the Associated Press. He was named to All-District teams by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). UGA players have won Tipoff Club’s statewide honor 10 times since its inception in 1984. Frazier is just the second Bulldog to earn Georgia Player of the Year honors twice. Jarvis Hayes was honored following both the 2002 and 2003 seasons.  Vern Fleming was the award’s initial recipient in 1984, followed by Litterial Green in 1992, Jumaine Jones in 1999, Hayes in 2002 and 2003, Rashad Wright in 2004, Trey Thompkins in 2011, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2013 and Frazier in 2016 and 2017. 
  • There will be a new policy in place for football fans who go to games at Sanford Stadium later this year. The University of Georgia says it will be following Southeastern Conference guidelines and requiring fans to bring items into the Stadium and other athletic venues in clear plastic bags. UGA says the policy will be in place for the April 22 G-Day spring football game.  From the University of Georgia…   In the interest of public safety and to expedite entry into its venues, the UGA Athletic Association will begin to implement the Southeastern Conference Clear Bag Policy in 2017. This policy will be in effect at the annual G-Day intrasquad football game on April 22. It will go into effect permanently for the 2017-18 competition season and will include all UGA venues that host ticketed events: Sanford Stadium (football), Stegeman Coliseum (men’s & women’s basketball, gymnastics) and Foley Field (baseball). Following are the basics concerning the Clear Bag Policy: > These bags will be permitted inside UGA athletic events: Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12”x6”x12”. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags. Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5” x 6.5”. Bags that contain necessary medical items, which must be inspected and approved at a designated gate. > Each ticket holder is allowed one large clear bag such as a one-gallon Ziploc style bag or clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag that does not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”, plus a small clutch purse > Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, briefcases, backpacks, cinch bags, fanny packs that are not clear and/or exceed the size restriction, luggage, computer bags/cases, camera bags/cases, binocular bags/cases, or any bag larger than the permissible size. > Several SEC schools began implementing this policy in the 2016 school year. All SEC schools will have this policy in place by the 2017-18 school year. > Fans can still carry items such as binoculars, smart phones, tablets and cameras (with lenses shorter than four inches), so long as they are not in a bag or carrying case. > Seat cushions -- without arms or pockets -- will still be permitted into the venues. Fans may also bring in blankets during cold weather events, provided they carry them in over an arm or shoulder to allow for easy screening upon entry. > More information on this new policy can be found at the following website: http://georgiadogs.com/clear-bag-policy/