Not long ago, the Georgia Basketball program was in shambles as the University tried to figure out what to do with former Head Coach Tom Crean; they decided to let him go and go out and bring Mike White from Florida to take over the program. Georgia made a splash on Selection Sunday of 2022 by announcing the hiring of Head Coach Mike White. Such as, with any hiring of a new Head Coach, came a lot of criticism that Coach White would be the perfect fit for the Georgia program. Sure, he’s midway through his first season at Georgia, but you can sense a change has taken place for the better of Bulldogs basketball.
Like many Southeastern Conference schools might not have a deep basketball history, the Bulldogs have a new life that has not seen the light of day in years. Georgia won a game on Saturday at Ole Miss that Georgia of old would have figured out how to lose. Yet, those Junkyard Dawgs that Mike White has in Athens defeated Ole Miss 62-58 on Saturday to improve their SEC record to 3-1 before a massive matchup on Tuesday night in Lexington.
So, what’s different? What’s the direction of the program under Mike White as Head Coach? Does Mike White indeed have a pack of Junkyard Dawgs?
What’s different about the program that Coach White is building? Honestly, after covering Georgia for five years, there seems to be a level of basketball knowledge that is unteachable about the Georgia Basketball program right now. Sure, they might not make an NCAA Tournament this season, but long gone are the days of Georgia struggling to compete in close games in Southeastern Conference play. When you compare the ending today to the previous five years of Georgia Basketball, Georgia remained calm when Ole Miss applied the pressure, and the game ended with a massive Georgia road win to hang on to as they prepare to take on Kentucky on Tuesday night.
Directionally speaking, Georgia Basketball is on the rise. Coach White seems to understand the recruiting pipelines at Georgia, and the current rosters enjoy playing with each other under the guidance of Coach Mike White. It might not be noticeable to the naked eye, but Georgia Basketball is silently rebranding the program to be the hunter rather than the hunted. I can promise you; there are programs in the SEC that don’t want to see Georgia on the other side of the SEC Tournament.
Those Junkyard Dawgs are a deadly group with the potential and expectations to be a tough out come the SEC Tournament in Nashville. The thing about Junkyard Dawgs, they might seem like they’re out of the fight, but when their back is against the wall, they find a way. Georgia has a massive chance on Tuesday night as they travel to Kentucky to earn an NCAA Tournament-caliber win.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Junkyard Georgia Bulldogs won on Saturday, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Gritty, like a pack of Junkyard Dawgs.