Felton Still Helping; Georgia Confident

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When Georgia fired coach Dennis Felton on Jan. 29, it fired the man who’d led the Bulldogs to an improbable SEC Tournament title the year before. Once again, Georgia finds itself a major underdog, coming in as, again, the Eastern Division’s No. 6 seed. Interim coach Pete Herrmann said both Monday, during a conference call, and again today that he wants this team acting and playing like defending champions.

The Bulldogs (12-19, 3-13 SEC), who play MSU in tomorrow’s first round, haven’t been without Felton’s services. Herrmann said he still talks regularly with Felton, most recently late last week to congratulate Georgia on knocking off Kentucky. “We still talk all the time about how we’re preparing and what we’re going to do in regards to our next opponent,” Herrmann said.

Herrmann, who joined Felton at Georgia in 2003 as associate head coach, said his old boss has been a class act ever since his firing. “He’s been so complementary and so congratulatory about what the kids have accomplished the last couple of weeks.”

Here are some other highlights of Georgia’s media session today, starting with Herrmann:

• On last year’s run, which included two games in one day: “The thing that surprised us most was the players never seemed to be mentally or physically fatigued. … When we should have been exhausted, we weren’t.”

• On having confidence as a No. 6 seed: “When you’re coaching in a league as competitive as this league, you have to have belief and have to have confidence that you can win.”

• On why he thinks the SEC could land five or six teams in the NCAAs: “I guess what I’m basing it on is every time I prepare our team to play one of the teams in the SEC, I see how they compare to teams we’ve played in the non-conference schedule, such as Virginia Tech, Illinois, Missouri … and looking at Kentucky, Florida, teams like that, I see teams that are very capable of winning two or three games in the national tournament.”

From player Corey Butler:

• “The entire season this year has been wide open for the SEC. The SEC tournament is definitely wide open, because it’s a new season. All you have to do is win four games. We’ve played all these teams before.”

• On losing to MSU in the regular season: “Last game Ravern Johnson got off to a great start, and we shut him down second half. We got off to a lot of bad starts this year in a bunch of games, but it’s a matter of being there in the beginning of the game, and we’ll be there in the end.”

And finally, player Terrance Woodbury:

• “I feel like we’re coming in with a lot more confidence, representing ourselves as the previous SEC champion.”

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One Response to “Felton Still Helping; Georgia Confident”

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