It seems that our basketball program is fading slowing into the night, with a do-not-resuscitate order in place and no one to make us more comfortable. To say that I’m frustrated would be an understatement of grand proportions, and I really have no idea where the program goes from here.
It should be noted that what happened off the court with Humphrey is not the fault of Dennis Felton. Billy made a “mistake” when he had one stiff drink downtown and jaywalked. Of course we’re talking about Athens, where jaywalking and having only one drink will land you in the slammer. What’s concerned me most, however is how Billy really doesn’t seem to care about his situation. To summarize from the AJC article, Billy knew he wasn’t healthy enough to play so he wasn’t going to play the next few games anyway. The whole attitude seemed very “you guys weren’t going to have me anyway, so what’s the big deal.” That’s very troubling to say the least. If he doesn’t care about the fact that he’s not playing, regardless of reason, then he doesn’t have the drive to be effective on this team anymore.PWD shares my sentiment that our program could have (and possibly should have) been in much better condition in the amount of time that Dennis Felton has been the coach there
. Trust me, I understand that he took a thankless job with a program facing NCAA regulations where he knew up front he would be short on scholarships after he arrived. I agree with most when they say that he took a chance on us and he has earned our benefit of the doubt.
However, his out-of-pocket maximum regarding his benefits is coming dangerously close to being achieved. There are two things undeniable when summing up his tenure at UGA:
• His teams are offensively inept.
• His players are constantly at odds with him and the program.
When you look at those two things on paper you basically come to two conclusions:
• You can’t win if you don’t score.
• You’re always rebuilding if you’re always losing players.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling for Felton’s head on a platter. There are things about his coaching that I have always admired. He’s a great defensive mind, he expects his kids to be great on and off the court, and he rules with an iron first. However, he has got to make some changes at the end of this year, or he may be looking for a new job come the first few games into next season.
What boggles me is that he has recruited well, but he hasn’t kept the studs he’s gotten on campus. You can’t count Louis Williams as a UGA player, Mike Mercer was dismissed, Takais Brown was dismissed, Billy Humphrey is a frog's hair away from being dismissed, and the hits just keep on coming. With Felton’s eye for talent, why can’t he keep his great players on the court? It doesn’t really seem to be a problem anywhere else, so what am I missing?
Some people believe that Felton deserves another year in order to have the “correct” amount of time in regards to building a program. I say “correct” amount, because you really can’t count his first two years of being at UGA since we were fielding a team that was similar to duct taping an airplane wing. Maybe Felton should get another year. Again, I’m not calling for his head, but there are significant issues with our program that are undeniable. Felton MUST get an offensive mind on his staff at the end of the season (which can’t come soon enough at this point). He also must get production out of a VERY young group next year, which starts by playing these kids today. Plain and simple, if he doesn’t double (possibly triple depending on how bad this season gets) his SEC wins next year, I think he’s gone. We’re too much of an athletic university and we have too much to offer to not field a respectable basketball team. It used to be the second most popular sport on campus. Now, I’d venture to say you’d find more students at an intramural underwater basket weaving contest than at our games.
Oh, and if the University is smart, they’d let people in for free against UF and UT. We’ve got to do whatever it takes to get asses in seats and bring some life back to this program. Felton can’t recruit if he can’t win. It’s mighty tough to win when no one notices you even exist.
Until next time kids.