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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

August 14th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Georgia Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #89

Conference Rank: #9 SEC

 

2005-06: 15-15, 5-11, 6th East

2005-06 postseason: none

 

For the first time at Georgia, Coach Dennis Felton has some options.  In the backcourt the choices are plentiful and proven talents.  Up front the options are plentiful and anything but. 

 

Who’s Out: Jay McAuley is the only graduating senior.  He saw limited action in just eight contests.  It is a couple of unexpected departures that will have a bigger effect on this year’s squad…one on the court and one in every aspect of life.  Younes Idrissi was the Bulldogs best post player last season.  The Moroccan native averaged 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds as a sophomore and is expected to continue his collegiate career at another school.  Kevin Brophy was tragically lost this summer in a car accident.  As a freshman walk-on, Brophy earned eight starts and averaged 3.8 points per game.  Prior to last season, the 6-1 Australian was rewarded with a scholarship and spent the 2005-2006 campaign contributing off the bench. 

 

Who’s In: Albert Jackson and Takais Brown will become a couple more options up front.  Jackson won’t do a lot of scoring quite yet, but the 6-10 power forward can help out on the glass right away.  Bigger things are expected from Brown, a junior college transfer.  Brown has the talent, but he’ll have to adjust quickly to life in the SEC if he wants to find a starting role and make a large contribution his first season in Athens.

 

Who to Watch: Levi Stukes, Sundiata Gaines, Channing Toney, Mike Mercer and Billy Humphrey provide a great mix of proven talent and developing players.  Stukes, Gaines and Toney have the experience and started on the perimeter last season.  Stukes led the squad with 11.6 points per game and is solid long range shooter.  After some inconsistency early in the 2005-2006 season, Stukes turned it around and once again became the go-to scorer for UGA.  Gaines has developed into a dependable floor leader.  The 6-1 point guard isn’t the most consistent shooter, but can hit the long ball and mid-range jumper.  Gaines led the team in rebounding with 5.1 boards per contest and, if the point guard leads the team in that category again, the Bulldogs will be in trouble.  Mercer and Humphrey had quality freshmen campaigns.  Mercer averaged 11.0 points per game and it will be difficult to keep last year’s super sub on the bench.

 

Final Projection: Dave Bliss and Steve Newman started much of last season in the paint.  Neither was dominant, nor even that effective.  Sophomores Terrance Woodbury, Kendrick Johnson and Rashaad Singleton are the other options in the paint.  Woodbury, although undersized at 6-6 and more of a wing than a post presence, showed the most promise as a freshman.  The 6-6 Virginia Beach, Virginia native earned five starts before being sidelined in February with a stress fracture to a vertebra in his spine.  If the frontcourt has a surprise or two in them, this is a group that can be surprisingly good.  If not, it will be another year without a postseason trip.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none

 

Projected Starting Five:

Sundiata Gaines, Junior, Guard, 10.3 points per game

Levi Stukes, Senior, Guard, 11.6 points per game

Mike Mercer, Sophomore, Guard, 11.0 points per game

Steve Newman, Senior, Forward, 4.9 points per game

Dave Bliss, Junior, Center, 4.4 points per game

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