With those four starters lost, one starter returning, and only two other players returning with any significant playing time, Georgia head basketball coach Dennis Felton spoke with Dean Legge about the future of the Georgia Basketball program.
Legge: Coach, can you talk about some of the incoming players for the 2004-05 season?
Felton: They are all good players and they are all good people, which is the criteria for what we are looking for in recruiting.
Sundiata Gaines (Archbishop Malloy in Briarwood, NY) – One unique thing that he brings is that he is very, very tough, hard nosed, arrogant. For a guy coming out of high school… that’s the way that he plays the game. It’s going to be very important to us because we are going to be the youngest team in the country and we are going to be relying on these freshmen, on their impact, whatever that impact may be good or bad. I think that it is important that we have a certain level of confidence and arrogance that is atypical of a rookie. I think that other than being able to play the game, I think that his kind of approach is going to be something that serves our program well.
I think that (Gaines), Channing Toney, and Levi (Stukes) are the best bets. We are not going to have a pure point guard. We won’t have a pure point guard this year but there will be a lot that we don’t have this year. We’ve only got eight guys on scholarship. We’ll still be a team that is kind of a fragment of a team rather than a full “complete” team with a complement of the things that you are looking for to fill out a roster.
Legge: What about Dave Bliss?
Felton: He is an up and coming player. He has really turned some corners as a basketball player in this last year. He’s big and strong which is important because as you know we are not a very tall team, not a very big team. The post players that we sign are going to have to play a lot right away. The thing that David can do is he can hold his ground and compete physically right away unlike a lot of high school players because they don’t have a lot of bulk and strength. I think that’s why he is so important to us. As he is learning to compete at this level, the highest level, he can at least compete physically.
Tomorrow Felton talks about Cory Gibbs and the state of the basketball program at Georgia.