December 3, 2010

Hoop Dawgs looking for continuity

Getting Trey Thompkins back for the Bulldogs' trip to Orlando was an unexpected surprise for Georgia coach Mark Fox, who beginning tonight against UAB, now wants to see how quickly his players can all get on the same page.

That wasn't necessarily the case last week in games against Notre Dame, Temple and Manhattan.

"I think the lack of timing and cohesiveness certainly showed with Trey just getting back, but we also had our good moments," Fox said. "We didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but now that we've played three games together, hopefully we can start getting everything back on track."

The Bulldogs (4-2) will certainly need to do a better job from the field than they did in Orlando.

In their three games, Georgia went 32-for-73, 21-for-54 and 27-for-69 from the field. The news was even worse from 3-point range as the Bulldogs went a mere 12-for-55. Meanwhile, the team's free-throw malaise continued as Georgia combined to shoot a mere 30-for-51.

"I spoke to Bo Ryan (Wisconsin coach) Wednesday and he was really concerned with how they shot, but he thought there was a problem with the ball (in Orlando)," Fox said. "I don't know, it just didn't go in enough for us. I thought our defense was inconsistent and that's still my greatest concern and I hope we can improve on that."

UAB will provide the Bulldogs another stern test.

Like Georgia, UAB (6-1) will be playing its fourth game in seven days, a stretch that includes a 70-65 win over Arkansas with the team's only loss coming at Arizona State (69-66).

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, topped Manhattan Sunday 61-58 after losing to No. 21 Temple 65-58 in the second game of the Old Spice Classic.

"We just could not get past our frustrations from the previous loss (to Notre Dame, 89-83 in double overtime)," Fox said. "We just didn't deal with the adversity from the night before."

At least the Bulldogs have Thompkins back in the fold after missing a month with a high ankle sprain.

When Georgia left for Orlando, Fox still didn't know if Thompkins would be available. But upon arriving, Thompkins was cleared to practice and following a successful Wednesday practice, Fox didn't hesitate to put him into the game.

"Coach asked if I was ready, and I told him sure," Thompkins said.

Although obviously rusty, Thompkins gutted through 33 minutes, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

"Trey played much more than obviously we wanted him to in a double-overtime game, but when Jeremy fouled out we had to leave him out there," Fox said. "I still thought he had pretty good numbers, although I don't think he played nearly as well as he wanted. He played like a guy who has been out of practice for a month. But the good thing was for him to play that good for having not practiced. Once we get him in a groove, he can be better than he's ever been."

Thompkins said his ankle continues to hold up fine.

"There's no swelling or anything now," he said. "I'm just ready now to help my team however I can."

Fox said he asked for Thompkins' input before putting him in last week's game against the Irish.

"He wanted to play against Saint Louis, but we held him out of that," Fox said. "He did have some swelling the second game (against Temple) and no legs after the first day, but we had to bring him back sometime. The injury happened at a terrible time, but now he's back, we're able to move forward."




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