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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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Latest Bulldog News

  • The latest season of Georgia Bulldog baseball comes to a close: the Diamond Dogs lost 3-0 to Mississippi State in Wednesday’s rain-delayed opening round game of the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament in Hoover Alabama.  Sophomore Konnor Pilkinton carried a shutout to the ninth to lead 19th-ranked Mississippi State to the win over Georgia at the SEC Tournament Wednesday at the Hoover Met. MSU junior first baseman Brent Rooker, the SEC Player of the Year, provided a 2-0 lead when he smashed his league-leading 21st home run in the first inning off junior Chase Adkins. In the third, State loaded the bases with one out and only managed a sacrifice fly from Hunter Vansau to make it 3-0. State improves to 35-22 while Pilkington is now 7-5.   Georgia missed out on a scoring opportunity in the second inning, putting runners at the corners with nobody out after Mitchell Webb reached with a leadoff walk and LJ Talley lined a single to right field. However, Pilkington retired the next three Bulldogs to maintain their edge. Going to the ninth, Georgia had hits from Talley, freshman shortstop Cam Shepherd in the first inning and freshman catcher Austin Biggar in the eighth frame. Adkins saw his record drop to 6-7, allowing three runs on seven hits. Georgia’s bullpen of Drew Moody, Kevin Smith and Zac Kristofak combined to provide 4.1 innings of scoreless relief.   In the ninth, Georgia looked to rally as Shepherd collected his second hit to give him his team-best 21st multiple-hit game of the year and then Curry followed with a single. State turned to left-hander Riley Self. He got McGovern to bounce into a double play and then retired Webb to preserve the shutout for his fifth save.   Two weeks ago in Athens, Georgia claimed the regular season series over then sixth-ranked MSU two games to one. In that series, Pilkington and MSU won the opener 9-3 as he tossed eight scoreless innings, allowing just four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.   The Bulldogs end the season with a record of 25-32.   Dawg Tracks *Nine Bulldogs played in the SEC Tournament for the first time in their career including four freshmen starting position players. *Freshman Cam Shepherd registered his team-leading 73rd hit with a single in the first, and it extended his hitting streak to five games. Also, he played flawless defense with four putouts and four assists. *Junior Will Campbell saw his first action in more than a month (23 games) as he pinch-hit in the fifth inning and played right field for the remainder of the game. *Georgia is now 28-43 all-time in SEC Tournament games after making its 23rd appearance. The Bulldogs are 4-9 against MSU at the SEC Tournament.   Coach’s Corner: Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin “Konnor Pilkington was the difference in this game, that’s twice in the past two weeks that he’s shut us out for eight innings. We had our chance early in the game with two on and nobody out and he pitched out of trouble. I thought we pitched out of trouble a few times too. Still, we kept fighting and had a chance in the ninth with the tying run at the plate. I thought our kids battled down the stretch to get us to the SEC Tournament. It’s tough in this league and we won our last three SEC series against three really good teams.” 
  • 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)