February 11, 2011

Thompkins hopes to break out of funk

Trey Thompkins doesn't make excuses for the self-described funk he's been in for Georgia's past four games.

But it's troubling nonetheless.

After scoring 20 or more points in seven of his first 16 games (17.56 average), Thompkins has averaged just 12.75 in the last four for Georgia (16-7, 5-4), which has gone 1-3 during that span entering Saturday's 4 p.m. (SEC Network) contest at South Carolina (13-9, 4-5).

Injuries have had a role.

After missing a month due to a severely sprained ankle, a kick to the shin several weeks ago didn't do any favors for Thompkins, who was forced to undergo an IV treatment for flu-like symptons, prior to last Saturday's 81-72 overtime win against Auburn.

"I've got faith in my teammates for whatever slack I don't pick up. We've got a good team," Thompkins said. "We'll move forward."

But head coach Mark Fox isn't na´ve.

For his Bulldogs to get back on track and earn a trip to the NCAAs, he's going to need his preseason SEC Player of the Year to get back on his game.

Still, Fox concedes the constant bout with injuries have taken somewhat of a toll.

"I don't think there's any question. Trey was so good in the off-season, worked so hard and improved so much. The injury that he suffered, the day before Halloween, he missed that month and then had to overcome that," Fox said. "He got cleared to play in Orlando and I wasn't going to take that away from him, but it's been very hard to overcome. The other day he was sick, so he's had his share of challenges, there's no question."

Fox said he doesn't believe Thompkins' confidence has been shaken.

"He's actually has handled it really well. He understands the reality of it. There's really nothing he can do after his ankle," Fox said. "The other day he knew that he was going to have to get an IV to try and hang in there and he's never felt sorry for himself, every. He keeps trying to fight through it."

Coinciding with Thompkins' recent travails has been the fact he's been ice cold from three-point range.

In his last four games, Thompkins is a mere 1-for-13 shooting threes and just 11-of-50 for the year. Last year Thompkins shot 37 percent from beyond the arc (23-of-61) after shooting 38.4 percent as a freshman (33-of-86).

"I've got to keep my confidence and take my shots; just keep shooting," Thompkins said. "It happens. Coach just goes back to repetition and try to make sure I'm taking the right shot."

Fox said the two have spoken frequently about his recent troubles shooting the three.

"He hasn't shot it as well. I think that will come back to him. He and I talked about that this week. He's just got to be selective on the ones that he does shoot," Fox said. "He's shot more this year and not as good of a percentage. He's got to make sure he's got the right shot selection on the three. I think if he does that it will come back to him, because he is a good shooter."

NOTE: Fox said he was thrilled for signee Kentavious Caldwell-pope, who was selected Thursday to participate in the prestigious McDonald's All-American Game. "Kentavious is a great kid and I'm so happy for him. He comes from a great family and is a terrific player. I worried that a kid from Greenville ,Ga. wouldn't be able to be recognized enough to get that award because it's such a small community but he's such a terrific player, he's had a chance to play on some big stages," Fox said. "That means a lot to our program because I think he's well deserving, it's certainly of significance, but most of all I'm really happy for him. You can't get two (McDonald's All-Americans) until you get the first one. Good players want to play with other good players so hopefully we can use that to our advantage."

Georgia-South Carolina notes

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!