With the tipoff to what I beleive will be a watershed year for Georgia Basketball still nearly two months away, it looks like the Coach Fox's Hounds won't be flying under many radars this year.
ESPN did their summer shootaround recently. Andy Katz is a believer. He points out Thompkins and Leslie and the addition of Thornton as keys to the Dawgs having a good season. The Dawgs have the schedule strength that will test them, but still give them opportunities for good wins. The ESPN crew picks the Georgia vs. Notre Dame game at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando as a non-confernce game to watch, and depending on how the other games go in Orlando, the Dawgs could face Cal, Temple and Texas A&M, all top 20 RPI teams.
While great players and a good schedule don't always equal post season play, keep this in mind: The Dawgs were no more than two wins away from a postseason berth this past season and let one get away in Columbia that might have been the one win they needed to get into a tournament. I am not much for moral victories, but the way the Dawgs played on the road and how close they came to winning several more games, especially on the road, gives me hope that if half of those losses become wins, an NCAA tournament bid is likely.
At this point, it is reasonable to expect an NCAA bid and maybe more, if the talent gels. The Dawgs still won't have quite enough bench depth to seriously threaten everyone over the season, but in any one game, as evidenced by last season, they could be a very dangerous team. I am not really making any predictions....yet, but with the coaching, game planning and talent that is in place, look for a basketball renaissance in Athens.
-Weiszer has a nice break down on TV games this season. (ABH)