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Georgia Sports News

  • CHICAGO (AP) - Zach LaVine believes he needs to be a dependable fourth-quarter scorer for the Chicago Bulls to have success. Against Atlanta on Wednesday night, though, he was happy being a spectator. LaVine scored 35 points in three quarters, Lauri Markkanen added 22 and Chicago snapped a three-game losing streak with a 136-102 victory over the road-weary Hawks. LaVine, who sat out the final 14 minutes, was 12 for 15 from the field, including 7 for 7 from 3-point range. 'It feels good; you want to have wins like that,' the 24-year-old said. 'It does good for the team and the body. I was just more excited about us just keeping the gas on and not have to come back in. 'We played a full game.' Wendell Carter Jr. had 11 points and 10 rebounds and rookie Coby White had 19 points. Trae Young had 15 points and 13 assists, Alex Len scored 17 points and rookie Cam Reddish added 16 for Atlanta, which has dropped two straight and 13 of 15. The Hawks were coming off a 135-121 overtime loss in Miami on Tuesday night - a game in which they led by six points with less than a minute remaining. Atlanta didn't arrive at its hotel until about 3 a.m. 'We've had our struggles on second nights of back-to-backs,' Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. 'I thought our guys were competing. It was a great start to the game. I thought it was one of our better starts to the game ... then it's a tough stretch at the end of the first quarter, tough stretch at the end of the second quarter.' Chicago scored the final 10 points of the first half for a 66-52 lead at the break. LaVine led the way with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting before the intermission. The Bulls continued the surge and took their largest lead to that point, 93-69, on a layup by Carter with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. LaVine had 17 points in the third on 5-for-6 shooting, including 4 for 4 from long range, as Chicago took a 106-87 lead into the fourth. 'Zach's efficiency was unbelievable,' Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. 'He's wants to be great and he's working.' The Bulls, who have blown big leads multiple times, put the game away with a 19-3 run early in the final quarter for a 125-93 lead. It was Chicago's biggest margin of victory since a 39-point win over Brooklyn in April 2017. 'We usually mess up with that,' LaVine said. 'We finally figured it out today. I think we should have had a couple more wins where we did that. 'Finally, we were able to take a little bit of a break. We have to do more of that.' TIP-INS Hawks: Chicago native and former Bull Jabari Parker had 11 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes. Bulls: F Otto Porter will be sidelined an additional four-plus weeks after an MRI revealed a small fracture in his left foot. Porter, who hasn't played since Nov. 6, originally was diagnosed with a sprain before a follow-up MRI two weeks later showed a bone bruise. He'll be reassessed in four weeks. 'It's heartbreaking for him and, obviously, difficult for us,' coach Jim Boylen said. 'He's a big wing and a 40% 3-point shooter. His experience, talent, versatility is something we need.' BY THE NUMBERS The announced crowd at the United Center was 15,084 two days following a crowd of 14,775 against the Toronto Raptors on Monday night. Before Wednesday, the Bulls were averaging 18,747 per game, but the crowds have been shrinking of late. YOU GOTTA BELIEVE Young's reaction with 59 seconds to go in Miami - he swung his arms apart and yelled, 'It's over!' - received plenty of attention because the Heat scored the next 22 points. Young offered a mea culpa with mostly emojis on Twitter following the game, but coach Lloyd Pierce said he had no issue. 'You gotta love his confidence,' Pierce said. 'Celebrate. There's nothing wrong with that. It wasn't in anyone's face. He's celebrating his team's success in a position to win on the road.' UP NEXT Hawks: Host the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. Bulls: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night in the first of back-to-back home games. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,092 (Dec. 11, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia's new offensive line coach Matt Luke. Georgia football podcast: Matt Luke hire a major win for UGA Beginning of the show: Georgia acted quickly to replace former offensive line coach Sam Pittman by announcing former Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke as Pittman's predecessor. I'll explain on today's show why a respected name such as Luke will bring value to the Bulldogs. I'll also discuss the challenge Luke faces in convincing some of UGA's top offensive line recruits to remain with the program. 10-minute mark: I address 4-star wide receiver Arian Smith's decision to sign during the early period which begins Wednesday. 15-minute mark: The Jackson Clarion-Ledger's Nick Suss joins the show to discuss Luke's hire. Some of the topics covered include Luke's prowess as a relationship builder How Ole Miss players reacted to his dismissal Whether Luke deserves blame for wide receiver Eljiah Moore's controversial celebration after a touchdown against Mississippi State And an evaluation of Luke as a recruiter and developer of talent 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including Auburn announcing former Arkansas coach Chad Morris as its new offensive coordinator, 5-star running back 'Tank' Bigsby shutting down his recruitment and sticking with Auburn and 4-star quarterback Robbie Ashford de-committing from Ole Miss. 35-minute mark: I discuss UGA safety Richard LeCounte's plans to play in the Sugar Bowl despite not yet being sure of his NFL future. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. NOTE: If you missed Tuesday's edition of DawgNation Daily, please find it linked below. The post Georgia football podcast: Matt Luke hire a major win for UGA appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Tate Ratledge got to meet the new offensive line coach at the University of Georgia on Wednesday. The impressive young man from Darlington School has been nothing but a steadfast commitment to Georgia. The Sam Pittman to Arkansas transition has been something to monitor. Ratledge has asked for the chance to internalize what Pittman's decision has ultimately meant to his eventual college decision. At least until he figures out what his reaction will be to it. I will not be answering questions on my current situation. This will stay between me and my family for now. Thank you Tate Ratledge (@tateratledge22) December 9, 2019 He grew up a Tennessee fan, became a big Sam Pittman fan but also became a big fan of what Georgia was building with his potential teammates in the 2020 class. Will that still stick? Luke and Ratledge and Smart are working on that. While Ratledge has decided to privately sort through his thoughts now regarding the matter in the short term, the UGA staff made a public display of how much he still matters to this class. Luke and Smart showed up at Darlington School in Rome on Wednesday. They had a good visit and did hope to visit again with Ratledge and his family come suppertime. Ratledge is essential to the Bulldogs being able to retain a good chunk of their current O-line commitments which were so entrenched in the class to play for Pittman. Georgia already suffered the firs de-commitment of the 2020 class beyond Pittman on Wednesday. Darlington coach Tommy Atha was able to share a few minutes of his time on Wednesday to recap what he saw from that first visit. Did Luke present himself as a good recruiter with that first impression? 'I don't think there's any question about that,' Atha said. Atha believes there have only been four helicopters land on the football field at Darlington. Georgia has landed two of those with Kirby Smart, followed by Alabama and Florida with one flight apiece. Always get excited when @KirbySmartUGA visits the Lakeside. It was great meeting new OL Coach Matt Luke. Great hire for the Dawgs! @DarlingtonTiger @DarAthletics @UGAAthletics @GeorgiaFootball pic.twitter.com/jstP3PYqfw Tommy Atha (@CoachTommyAtha) December 11, 2019 It wasn't the only stop for Luke checking in on Ratledge on Wednesday. We want to welcome new University of Georgia OL coach Matt Luke to IAP this afternoon to watch @cade_brock_ and @tateratledge22 workout. His 1st day on the job and he is checking out Rome's finest recruits. Great meeting you coach! pic.twitter.com/L1w8UVW5lB Impact Athletic Performance (@ImpactAthPerf) December 11, 2019 The first meeting between Matt Luke and Tate Ratledge Atha said Georgia has been the only school that has been by Darlington this week to check on Ratledge. A sampling of his thoughts from the visit will follow below: 'When you get an SEC head coach and his offensive line coach here and especially when it is from your home state, it is always an exciting time for us.' 'I really enjoyed meeting Coach Luke. That's the first time I have ever met him and obviously his reputation speaks for itself. He's been doing this very successfully for a long time.' 'He's an easy guy to talk to. He's got a ton of stories and a lot of background stuff to talk about. He relates to the room very well and he's a dynamic guy.' 'I thought [that first meeting with Ratledge] went very well. I thought the conversation went well. I thought obviously they had a lot to talk about. You are talking to a new offensive line coach at the school where the kid is committed to playing and a guy that is excited about a young man and a young man that is excited about playing football at the highest level.' 'Then of course, if you know anything about Tate's background and the way he was brought up and Coach Luke's experience and his demeanor then they have a lot of common interests besides football. I thought the conversation went well.' 'I think [Luke'] reputation is tremendous. I think he's very well-respected in the coaching world and I think players certainly know who he is. I was only around him for a brief period of time but in that amount of time he was a very dynamic personality and the conversation goes well with him. It was a very positive experience for everybody that was there today.' 'I have truly respected how Tate and his father and his family for how they have handled this entire process. I've said before if you pull up Tate's Twitter feed you are not going to see a lot of self-promotion. You're not going to see an I'm blessed to receive my bazillionth offer' and what you see from Tate is just humility and some things he is interested in. I think Tate is keeping it between him and his family. I know nothing has given me the impression that he is any less excited about the Georgia Bulldogs. That's really about as far as I know.' 'Kirby was very excited. I think Kirby is very excited about his hire. I think he knows he has made a very good hire. I think he was very eager to get Coach Luke over here to introduce him to Tate and to introduce him to [his father] Dean. I don't think there isn't any question about that. When coach Pittman resigned to go take that job, I think one of the things coach Smart made very apparent was he had a guy and that he wanted to get that guy in place very quickly and did just that. I think that's the guy he wanted.' 'Of course Kirby was excited but I guess Kirby is always excited. If you have been around Kirby enough you know that. I've never seen that guy when he wasn't full of energy. Same ol' Kirby today and he was certainly excited to be here at Darlington today.' The post Tate Ratledge: Kirby Smart and Matt Luke drop in to check on a priority O-line target appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Last year, Georgia defensive back Deandre Baker sat out the Bulldogs' 28-21 defeat to the Texas Longhorns in the 2019 Sugar Bowl. Baker ended up being a first-round selection, as he was taken with the No. 27 pick by the New York Giants. But two Georgia defensive backs on this year's Georgia team have both stated they will be playing in the Sugar Bowl when Georgia takes on Baylor on Jan. 1 in New Orleans. LeCounte told reporters after Georgia's 37-10 defeat to LSU in the SEC championship game. 'I'm definitely going to play in the bowl game,' LeCounte said. 'The next thing I'm looking forward to is what happens in the bowl game. Reed told reporters the same when speaking with media in Atlanta. Reed is a finalist for the Jim Thrope Award, which will be presented on Thursday night. 'The Dawgs are playing and I'm still a Dawg,' Reed said according to the Athens Banner-Herald's Marc Weiszer. Georgia safety J.R. Reed, in Atlanta as a finalist for Thorpe Award, said he will play in Sugar Bowl after talking about it with his parents. 'The Dawgs are playing, and I'm still a Dawg.' pic.twitter.com/yJXKl9KFjN Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) December 11, 2019 Both players played a key role in shaping Georgia's stout defense, which finished second in points per game and third in rushing defense. Reed and LeCounte both had standout seasons for the Bulldogs. Reed was named to the First Team All-SEC in addition to being a finalist for the Thrope Award and the Bronko Nagurski Award. He has 54 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery on the year. LeCounte has also turned heads this year, as he finished with 59 tackles and two interceptions. LeCounte did say that he would have to think more about his NFL decision, as he is a draft-eligible junior. The Sugar Bowl will be Reed's final game in a Georgia uniform as he is a senior. If both are gone next season, look for freshman safety Lewis Cine to take on a much bigger role next season. Cine saw significant snaps on Saturday and figures to be a major part of Georgia's 2020 defense. Related: Talented freshmen safety Lewis Cine knows his time is coming soon Georgia coach Kirby Smart said on Sunday that he would only be taking players who wanted to play in Georgia's game against Baylor. 'What I found out last year was that for a lot of kids, it was the most important game of their season and meant so much to them,and then maybe for some others it didn't,' Smart said. 'You've got to take the guys that are engaged and excited about playing, because that matters a whole lot more than how good they are.' More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Josh Braun: Georgia suffers first de-commitment after the loss of Sam Pittman WATCH: Lawrence Cager discusses what he told injured Dominick Blaylock, reflects on his time at Georgia Georgia football: The recruiting issue smack dab in the middle of the 27-point loss to LSU Andrew Thomas, Rodrigo Blankenship earn SEC Player of the Year honors Georgia football: The recruiting issue smack dab in the middle of the 27-point loss to LSU WATCH: Georgia RB James Cook confident things are going to get better' What Georgia is getting in new offensive line coach Matt Luke The post Georgia safeties Richard LeCounte, J.R. Reed both say they're playing in Sugar Bowl appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Joshua Braun, a 4-star OT out of Florida, was so impressed and so comfortable with the thought of playing for Sam Pittman that it was going to be hard to hold onto him. That is indeed the case. Braun has opted to back off his commitment to Georgia in the wake of the news that Sam Pittman was no longer the offensive line coach at Georgia. He told DawgNation that he will have more to say on the matter on Friday. It does not even make sense to call it a de-commitment this time. Braun and his family viewed it as their commitment was to play for Sam Pittman as the line coach at Georgia. 'Due to Coach Pittman leaving, I have taken a step back and am reassessing my commitment,' Braun told DawgNation on Wednesday. 'My commitment was to play for Coach Pittman, but since he is no longer there the commitment is void.' Playing for Pittman was going to be worth the long drive up to Athens and call it his home for five years. That gentleman is in Arkansas now. That made his decision hard. That feeling was not going to be repaired or replaced in the span of a few days. He planned to enroll early at his next school and be there for bowl practices next week. The Braun family was impressed by the hire of Matt Luke for Georgia. Clearly. It was just too short of a timeline to build a relationship. It was just not good timing. That said, it is not expected that he will consider Georgia going forward. It leaves Georgia's 2020 class without a prospect who was set to be an academic and athletic poster boy for the program. He wanted to play four seasons at Georgia, redshirt if necessary and not leave his future home in Athens until he has earned his master's degree. Georgia now has just 14 public commitments for the Class of 2020. The news was first reported by Rivals.com The post Josh Braun: Georgia suffers its first de-commitment after the loss of Sam Pittman appeared first on DawgNation.