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Former UT Recruit Commits To UCF

When Kevin Ware asked for his release from Tennessee — without ever meeting with new coach Cuonzo Martin — it was assumed he would wind up committing to Georgia or Louisville.

Nope.

The Georgia native committed last night to play at Central Florida.

“Playing time, point guard and coaches he really liked; it was the perfect combination — then there’s being in the state of Florida,” Ware’s stepfather said.

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Former UT Recruit Ware Meets With Pitino

Kevin Ware — the Georgia guard who asked for his release from Tennessee when Bruce Pearl was fired – continued his recruitment by meeting with Louisville’s Rick Pitino last night.

Ware has said that Louisville is now the frontrunner for his services while Georgia, South Carolina and Central Florida are playing catch-up.

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin can’t visit Ware because Pearl had used up UT’s in-home visits for Ware. Ware’s stepfather says they may still take an unofficial visit to Knoxville to meet Martin, but the Vol coach got a commitment from another guard — Josh Richardson from Oklahoma — over the weekend.

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UGA, Bama, Carolina Interested In Ex-UT Commit

Former Tennessee basketball commit Kevin Ware is drawing all kinds of interest from schools inside the SEC and out.  Ware changed his mind about the Vols when Bruce Pearl was fired.  He said he would still consider UT, but new coach Cuonzo Martin can’t actually visit him in person because Pearl’s staff already used up all of the Vols’ visits with Ware.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Ware’s stepfather Wesley Junior.  “We may have to go up there on an unofficial visit.  We’re waiting to see how it plays out.  If meeting Coach Martin in Tennessee is something that Kevin wants to do, then we’ll make the ride there so he can get a good feel for everything.”

When the next contact period begins tomorrow, the shooting guard from Conyers, Georgia is expected to receive visits from South Carolina, Louisville and Central Florida.  And The AJC reports that Georgia, Alabama, Georgetown and UCLA might drop by as well.

The Ware family contacted Mark Fox about the Bulldog program.  “They said they would love to have Kevin there,” Junior said.  “They think they could have one of the best backcourts in the country with Kevin and (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope).  Georgia really has an interest in getting Kevin there and seeing how they can develop him as a point guard.”

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Alabama Lands Lineman Greene

Alabama has received a commitment from offensive lineman Brandon Greene from Cedar Grove (Ga.) High School, according to BamaOnline.com.

Greene, who is Alabama 10th commitment for the class of 2012, chose the Crimson Tide over offers from Ole Miss, Louisville and Central Florida.

Greene is the first offensive lineman to commit to Alabama for the 2012 class.

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Kentucky Loses One Commitment, Could Lose Another

Offensive lineman Nick Martin has switched his commitment from Kentucky to Notre Dame.

Martin, whose older brother, Zack Martin, is a starter on Notre Dame’s offensive line, had been committed to Kentucky since August. He also held offers from Tennessee, Iowa, Michigan, Stanford and Boston College.

Kentucky is in danger of also losing the commitment from wide receiver Josh Forrest from Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky. Forrest will visit Central Florida on Jan. 21.

As you’ll read from the link above, Scott Anderson, who writes for the Kentucky fan site Nation of Blue, is not happy that Central Florida is trying to lure several prospects away from the state of Kentucky.

The Wildcats have 19 commitments for the class of 2011. Kentucky’s class is currently ranked No. 45 in the nation in the Rivals.com team rankings.

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UGA To Correct Player Plaques Reading 7-6

In December, prior to Georgia’s Liberty Bowl date with UCF, the Bulldogs held their traditional end-of-season awards gala.  The seniors on the team were presented plaques honoring their achievements in 2010.  (Hold your laughs.)

The Dawgs were 6-6 at the time, of course, but the record on the plaques read 7-6. 

To the surprise of no one, Central Florida players heard word of UGA’s Nostradamus act and used it as motivation in last week’s 10-6 win over the Dawgs.

But UGA officials say there was nothing out of the ordinary with this year’s plaques. 

“Every year we present the senior plaques at our football gala, which is always held before the bowl game,” Georgia associate AD Claude Felton told The AJC.  “One line on the plate is the season record, and we always list it with a win in the upcoming bowl game.  If we los the game, we replace the plate.  We’ve done that 14 straight years and only had to replace the plate three times.”

Too bad Felton couldn’t have gotten that word to UCF’s players before the Liberty Bowl.

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We’ll Say It Again: Richt’s A Dead Man Walking

From 11 wins to 10 to 8 to 6. 

From 30 points per game to a whopping 6 against Central Florida.

Georgia’s first losing record since the Clinton years and a bowl loss to Conference-USA.

Mark Richt is finished in Athens.


A little backstory to begin with — Two years ago we stated that Richt’s seat was warming in the Peach State.  He hadn’t won “the big one” and he had ascended to the “dean of SEC coaches” role.  Those are killers in this league.

At the time, many called us anti-Richt.  We were told by hundreds of Dawg fans that they would never turn on their coach.

Well, the cock just crowed and Dawg fans are turning on their coach in record numbers.  Check the nearest UGA messageboard for proof.

As we stated back on October 7th of this year, once you lose a fanbase to a certain point, there’s no getting it back.  Which is why we said on November 29th that Richt should have pursued the vacant Miami job.  Only he didn’t.  And now A 10-6 loss to UCF in the Liberty Bowl has driven things even further south than they were during the fall.

In fairness, we have also stated that UGA fans were being too rash with Richt.  This season’s 6-7 record suggests that things were actually worse than we had thought.

But in our view, Georgia’s coach is still a fine one.  He’s just caught in a familiar trap:


Coach X wins big…

New coaches enter league and make league tougher…

Coach X sticks to his old ways because they’ve won for him in the past…

New coaches continue to pass him by.



We don’t believe Richt has forgotten how to recruit or coach.  We do however believe that he’s hampered by his own past successes. 

Aside from Paul “Bear” Bryant, most coaches dance with the one that brung ‘em, as the old saying goes.

Bryant won national titles at Alabama in the 1960s and then saw his program start to trend downward.  Rather than just trying to work harder, Bryant started from scratch.  He ignored his past successes, threw out his old offense, and rebuilt Alabama as a wishbone team.  He went on to win more national titles in the 1970s as a result.

Most coaches don’t have the guts to act so boldly.  Instead, they try to do what they’ve done before, only they try to do it better.  That sounds good, but it rarely works.

So even if Richt deserves another year to fix what ails UGA — and he does — don’t we all know how this marriage is going to turn out?

To completely quell Georgia’s angry fanbase, Richt will probably need to win 10 games next year.  With Boise State, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Florida on UGA’s schedule next year, a 10-win season does not appear likely.  (And that’s giving Georgia wins in toss-up games with Ole Miss, Tennessee, Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia Tech.)

Handing Richt another year to right UGA’s ship is the fair move.  But unfortunately it’s just delaying the inevitable at this point.

Once you lose a fanbase past a certain point, there’s no getting it back.  Even if you say all the right things, eventually the proof’s in the win column.  Richt’s win column doesn’t figure to look great in 2011.  And he’s already past the point of rescue with most Dawg fans.

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