Posted on: June 2, 2009 5:11 pm

Officials had concerns about Dozier's SAT, too

On the same day that the University of Memphis released its response to NCAA allegations that Derrick Rose had someone take his SAT for him, sources told CBSSports.com that Rose's former teammate, Robert Dozier, only played for the Tigers because the University of Georgia declined to enroll the in-state product over concerns that he might've similarly had someone take his SAT.

According to a source, Dozier took the SAT once before trying to enroll at Georgia, but that score was flagged after the school received a tip that the score might be "fishy." At the time, Georgia was still dealing with charges of academic fraud under Jim Harrick and determined to be extra careful with everything. So the school asked Dozier to take the SAT again, and a source with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com that the second score was "not enough to resolve the issue." Put another way, Georgia officials were not properly convinced the first test and second test were taken by the same person, which led to the end of Dozier's time as a Georgia recruit in August 2004.

Dozier subsequently enrolled at Laurinburg Prep along with four other future Tigers (namely Antonio Anderson, Shawne Williams, Kareem Cooper and Roburt Sallie). About a month later, he committed to Memphis for a second time -- Dozier was actually committed to Memphis before he ever signed with Georgia -- and eventually helped the Tigers make the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 NCAA tournaments under John Calipari while becoming the winningest Division I men's basketball player in history (along with Anderson and Chance McGrady).
Posted on: April 2, 2009 9:08 pm

Georgia set to hire Nevada's Fox

DETROIT -- Mark Fox has reached an agreement in principle to become Georgia's next coach, sources told CBSSports.com on Thursday.

An official announcement is expected Friday.

Fox will come to Georgia from Nevada, where he made three NCAA tournaments in five seasons.

His career record is 102-30.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 5, 2009 3:00 pm

Dear Gary (on Knight to Georgia, again)

Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: I'm an ardent Bob Knight fan - was a student on campus for the '81 championship - who has a large picture of The General in his red sweater, with a personal note from him, in my Atlanta office. But I've been telling the many Georgia fans around me much the same thing you wrote; you've said it much better, though. Georgia needs a coach who is moving up and has passion for what it takes to be successful, and that includes tireless recruiting. I'd actually like to see Knight stay on ESPN because he knows his stuff and is entertaining. And today the sun came up brighter with Indiana having their first conference win last night. Enjoy reading your pithy comments. Thanks for being out there.

-- Steve

I agree, Steve, Knight is really good on ESPN.

I like him there.

But like I said in the column (and you told your friends who are Georgia fans), Knight simply doesn't belong in the SEC because it's impossible to consistently compete for conference titles in that league -- or any power league, honestly -- if you don't recruit elite-level prospects. Again, Knight at Georgia would never be able to out-recruit (or even come close to out-recruiting) Billy Donovan at Florida, Bruce Pearl at Tennessee or Billy Gillispie at Kentucky, which means he'd start no better than fourth in the SEC East in terms of talent most seasons. Georgia doesn't have to settle for such a low ceiling, not with the Atlanta recruiting base sitting right there, and to those of you still suggesting Knight's coaching ability would be enough to overcome a lack of talent, I'd like to share a recent quote I got from a prominent coach on this subject.

He said: "You can out-coach people to win a game, but you can't out-coach people to win championships."

Why is that, I asked (even though I already knew the answer)?

"Because," the coach said, "you have to have players to win championships."


Now one more thing: Some of you have emailed and claimed that Knight would be fine recruiting at Georgia, because recruiting at Georgia is easier than recruiting at Texas Tech. I agree with the second part; recruiting at Georgia is easier than recruiting at Texas Tech. But you still have to put in the time and effort, because Georgia doesn't recruit itself like North Carolina or UCLA.

For proof, look at Dennis Felton's roster.

You know, the terrible roster that just got him fired.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 3, 2009 3:22 pm

Dear Gary (on the Bob Knight column)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Bob knight was never a good recruiter and he won at Texas Tech and Indiana. But there is only a few that can match his coaching. You usually are right on, but you are off on this one.

-- Marc

I've received some version of this email a dozen times today, all from people who are missing the point.

So let me try again.

Yes, Bob Knight is a great "coach" in terms of actual coaching. I put that right in the column multiple times. But the reality of high-major college basketball in the year 2009 is that simply being a great coach isn't good enough. Great coaches win league titles and average coaches win league titles. Happens every season. But the one thing all conference champions have in common are great players relative to their league affiliation, meaning it's much more important in this era to hire a great recruiter at the high-major level, then worry about whether he can coach later.

To be clear, what Bob Knight did at Indiana was phenomenal.

I've written that many times.

But that happened in another era.

And though I keep hearing about how he "won" at Texas Tech, I'm having a hard time identifying what he won, exactly, because here's what I see when I look at Bob Knight's tenure at Texas Tech ...

2001–2002: 10–6 in the Big 12 (finished tied for third)
2002–2003: 6–10 in the Big 12 (finished tied for seventh)
2003–2004: 9–7 in the Big 12 (finished tied for fifth)
2004–2005: 10–6 in the Big 12 (finished fourth)
2005–2006: 6–10 in the Big 12 (finished tied for seventh)
2006–2007: 9–7 in the Big 12 (finished fifth)
2007–2008: 3–3 in the Big 12 (tied for sixth at time of resignation)

What the record shows is that Knight was barely better than .500 in the league, never finished better than third and on average finished a little worse than fifth in six-plus seasons. Why? Because he never recruited in a way that could make Texas Tech a player in the Big 12, and that's my point, that there's no reason to think he'd be able to consistently compete with Billy Donovan, Bruce Pearl and Billy Gillispie because there's no reason to think his roster would ever be comparable to the rosters of Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky.

But Knight can do more with less than anybody, Gary?

That's what some of you are thinking, I know.

And guess what? I agree with you.

But at Georgia the goal should not be to try to do more with less; it should be to do more with more, and that's why hiring a 68-year-old with no passion for recruiting would be a mistake, because it would ensure average rosters, and average rosters don't win SEC titles. Or Big 12 titles, as we've learned already.

Posted on: January 29, 2009 10:19 am
Edited on: January 29, 2009 10:20 am

Georgia fires Felton

Georgia has scheduled a Thursday press conference to announce the firing of Dennis Felton, a source close to the coach confirmed to CBSSports.com.

The decision comes after the Bulldogs lost 83-57 to Florida on Wednesday night.

It was their seventh consecutive defeat.

Georgia is 0-5 in the SEC.

The reality is that this move would've been made last season had Felton not led Georgia to an improbable run through the SEC tournament, which led to an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament and a vote of confidence from Georgia athletic director Damon Evans. Short of that, Felton would've never even started this season, and because multiple sources have told CBSSports.com that VCU's Anthony Grant would've been the top target last March -- one prominent industry source went to so far as to say "it was done," meaning he believed Grant would've accepted a fair offer -- you can rest assured the Billy Donovan protégé will also be at or near the top of Georgia's wish-list again.

This development means two SEC jobs are now open.

Alabama is the other.

Grant's name has been mentioned there, too.

Posted on: December 2, 2008 2:23 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2008 2:26 pm

Next up for WKU: Former WKU coach Dennis Felton

Thank God Ken McDonald has an unlimited text plan on his cell phone.

"Everybody was excited," McDonald said after his upset of Louisville. "I got more texts than I did when I got hired."

Among those congratulatory texts was one from Georgia coach Dennis Felton.

That's McDonald's old boss.

Not to mention the man McDonald will coach against late Tuesday when Georgia visits Western Kentucky for a non-league match-up, and it should be wild considering the Hilltoppers are coming off Sunday's win over Louisville, and that Felton used to coach Western Kentucky back when McDonald was on his staff as an assistant.

"It's going to be fun," McDonald said by phone. "It'll be different, but it'll be fun. And the crowd should be great."

WKU enters 3-2 with nice victories over Southern Illinois and Louisville, plus a new-found confidence. That's the result of success, after all, and it's crucial for McDonald, a rookie coach who, like all rookie coaches, needed something tangible to show his players to make them believe in him and what he's doing, because that's usually the battle for first-year coaches, trying to make players another man recruited believe in someone for whom they didn't plan to play.

"With a new staff, at some point the players have to kind of believe in what you're doing," McDonald said. "And this helps with that, and it helps get your guys to believe and understand that if we play hard we can win. But what you don't want to happen is for them to think we've arrived, because we've got a long way to go. We've won a couple of good games. But we have a long way to go."

Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:16 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2008 4:57 pm

Dear Gary (on the hot seat)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: How hot is that seat now for Dennis Felton?

-- Billy

Hotter than it was at this time yesterday, I assure you.

Of course, Billy is talking about Georgia's 74-53 loss to Loyola of Chicago, which was not a good development Monday for a man who by all accounts would've been removed after last season if not for an improbable run that resulted in an SEC tournament title. A week in, it looks like the SEC is going to be down (and not nearly as good as I initially thought). But a Georgia team that can't handle Loyola of Chicago is a Georgia team that likely won't be able to win many games even in a weak SEC, which could get the Anthony Grant-to-Georgia rumors flying sometime around January.

On this subject, it should be pointed out that four of the 10 men I referenced in the Coaches on the hot seat column already have losses to inferior opponents. In addition to Felton, Tom Penders (at Houston) opened with a loss to Georgia Southern, Ernie Kent (at Oregon) took a loss against Oakland and Mark Gottfried (at Alabama) opened with a loss to Mercer. That's no way to settle a skeptical fan base, which is why all four would be wise to get things turned around ASAP.

Posted on: March 15, 2008 11:19 am
Edited on: March 15, 2008 11:19 am

Lets play two!

The SEC Tournament is taking the form of an AAU Tournament.

Two games in one day?

The only thing that'll make this better is if the teams with the second game -- Tennessee and Arkansas -- have to sit in the bleachers to watch Kentucky-Georgia while Sonny Vaccaro comes out to give a speech at halftime. Oh yeah, and I'm gonna need a bunch of chairs all around the court, you know, for other coaches to sit in. And I need officials in shorts. And can't they just roll in two more goals at Georgia Tech, turn the court sideways and play two games at the same time so everybody can watch four rosters full of players at once?

I mean, if the SEC is going AAU it needs to go all out.

I want somebody's uncle who happens to be on a Nike payroll to coach every team.

And I want to see runners for agents on the freakin' bench, drawing up plays and handing out cash.

And ... (I could go on for 500 more words but I think I'll just stop right here)
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Georgia, Kentucky, SEC
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com