Breaking News:

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash

On Air Now

Listen Now


H 58° L 42°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Cloudy. H 58° L 42°
  • cloudy-day
    Cloudy. H 58° L 42°
  • cloudy-day
    Mostly Cloudy. H 58° L 37°

US News Headlines

    NBA legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday afternoon. There were a total of five people on the aircraft, which was owned by the basketball player, CNN reported. There were no survivors, officials said. The crash happened around 10 a.m. PST, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. Here are six things to know about Kobe Bryant: 1. He only played with one team -- the LA Lakers, Sports Illustrated reported. He was an 18-time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA first team. During his career, which spanned 20 years in the NBA, he scored 33,643 points. 2. He was third on the NBA all-time scoring list until hours before his death. On Saturday night, LeBron James needed 18 points to leapfrog over Bryant, and he did so with a layup in the third quarter in the game between the Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers, according to SI. Despite being passed in the record books, Bryant had nothing but good words for James after the milestone, posting to Twitter, “much respect.” Before the game, Bryant told USA Today: “You should be happy for the person that comes after you to be able to surpass things that you’ve done. It’s kind of juvenile to think or to behave any other way.” 3. Bryant won an Oscar. A poem he wrote was turned into a film. “Dear Basketball” won the Oscar for best animated short in 2018, The New York Times reported. Bryant described his movie as “the emotional journey of having a dream, believing it’ll come true; it comes true, then the realization that you have to wake up from that dream and move on to another.” The film had some big names in the movie industry behind it -- Oscar-winning composer John Williams and former Disney animator Glen Keane, the Times reported. 4. Bryant’s legendary status has been cemented in Hollywood literally. He pressed his hands and feet into concrete for Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 2011. He was the first athlete to have the honor, KCBS reported. 5. Bryant took the helicopter frequently from Orange County to every home game in Los Angeles, GQ reported in 2010. He used it because he couldn’t sit in a car for the two-hour drive to the Staples Center. The helicopter “ensures that he gets to the Staples Centre feeling fresh, that his body is warm and loose and fluid as mercury when he steps onto the court,' according to GQ. 6. In 2017, the Lakers retired both of Bryant’s jersey numbers No. 8 and No. 24 during a game against Golden State. Before the ceremony, the team showed “Dear Basketball.”
  • Authorities confirmed a helicopter reportedly carrying NBA icon Kobe Bryant crashed in California with no survivors, multiple outlets reported Sunday. Update 4:30 p.m. EST Jan. 26: Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was on board and also killed in the crash, the Los Angeles Times reported. Original report: TMZ first reported on its website that Bryant, 41, an 18-time all-star, was aboard the aircraft. CNN also confirmed Bryant was aboard the helicopter. The Los Angeles Times, also citing sources, said Bryant was killed when the helicopter crashed in foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas. Now fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, with 33,643 points, Bryant won two NBA Finals MVP awards and one NBA regular-season MVP in 2008. A helicopter crashed and burst into flames Sunday morning amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, with multiple fatalities reported, The Los Angeles Times reported. The crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m. local time, the newspaper reported, citing a report from a watch commander for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The crash ignited a brush fire and made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, the watchman told the Times. Bryant played 20 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers. In his final tweet, Bryant congratulated LeBron James for passing him as the NBA’s third-leading all-time scorer. James inscribed his sneakers with “Mamba 4 Life” and “8/24 KB” in gold marker before the game, ESPN reported. Bryant is eligible for the Basketball Hall of Fame this year. Allen Kenitzer, an FAA spokesman, said his agency and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash, the Times reported.
  • Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in California. But who was Kobe Bryant? In addition to Bryant’s prolific career in the NBA, he was a producer and writer who won an Oscar in his first nomination. Bryant, 41, was born in Philadelphia and named after a type of Japanese steak. Bryant was fluent in Italian after living in Italy when he was a child while his father, Joe Bryant, played basketball. Bryant went from high school to the NBA, becoming the youngest player to play in the league at the time. His nickname was “Black Mamba.” He graduated in 1996 from Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, as the all-time leading scorer in southeastern Pennsylvania, CNN reported. Bryant was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA draft. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won five NBA championships. He retired as third on the all-time scoring list. Bryant scored 60 points in his final game in 2016. His jerseys, both No. 8 and No. 24, were retired by the Lakers in 2017. He also won two Olympic gold medals for basketball, in 2008 and 2012. In addition to a prolific career in the NBA, Bryant was a producer and writer. He created Granity Studios in 2016. Some of the movies he was involved in include “Dear Basketball,” “Daddy’s Home” and “Detail,” according to IMDB. He also won an Oscar for best animated short in 2018 for “Dear Basketball.” Bryant was married to Vanessa Laine Bryant. They had four daughters: Bianka, 3; Gianna, 13; Natalia, 17 and Capri Kobe, who was born in June.
  • The sports world and celebrities reacted with shock and disbelief at the reports of the death of NBA icon Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash Sunday in California. “We miss you already, Kobe,” New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tweeted. “I’m so sad and stunned right now,' John Legend tweeted. Bryant, 41, an 18-time all-star and a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, died Sunday morning when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames in foggy conditions in the hills near Calabasas, the Los Angeles Times reported. “I’m stunned,' former Chicago Bulls star and NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen tweeted. “Words can’t even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day.” “This is not real right now,” Paul Pierce tweeted. “Somebody tell me it ain’t so!” former NFL and major league baseball star Deion Sanders tweeted. President Donald Trump tweeted that called reports of the crash was “terrible news.” Bryant scored 33,643 points in his 20-year NBA career. He retired from the Lakers after the 2015-16 season after spending his entire career with the franchise. Pat Riley, Bryant’s coach in Los Angeles, is now president on the Miami Heat. The team tweeted its condolences on Twitter. The crash comes one day after Bryant was passed by Lakers forward LeBron James for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Hollywood also reacted with dismay at the news, with Octavia Spencer, Chrissy Teigen and Nick Jonas among the celebrities sharing their grief. “RIP Kobe! My thoughts and prayers are wirh (sic) your family,” Spencer tweeted. “This is heartbreaking,' Jonas tweeted. 'Rest in peace Kobe.”
  • A fourth case of the coronavirus in the United States was confirmed in the Los Angeles area, health officials said Sunday. The infected person returned from Wuhan, China, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The first case of the virus in California, in Orange County, was confirmed Saturday. “The infected person presented themselves for care once they noticed that they were not feeling well and is currently receiving medical treatment,” the county’s public health department said in a statement. The patient went for treatment when the person began feeling ill and was at a local hospital, department director Barbara Ferrer told KABC. “Because novel coronavirus is new, we are learning more each day about transmission patterns and incubation periods. We will keep everyone informed as more information becomes available. The risk of transmission of coronavirus in LA County remains low.'  
  • An Alabama man is accused of using a photograph of a 13-year-old girl to set up a fake dating profile and then inviting another man to meet the teen for sex, authorities said. Jordan David Raper, 18, of Hartselle, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one felony count of traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act, and two counts of transmitting obscene material to a child by computer, according to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. Morgan was transported to the Morgan County Jail and was released after posting $20,000 bail, The Decatur Daily reported. The charges stem from the alleged use of social media in relation to a child younger than 15, the Sheriff’s Office said. According to an arrest affidavit filed in Morgan County District Court, Raper set up a fake profile on the dating app Pure and posted a photograph of a 13-year-old girl, the Daily reported. Posing as the girl, Raper allegedly communicated with an unidentified man who answered the profile, according to the arrest affidavit. Raper then invited the man to the teen’s address and told him to enter her home through a window, the affidavit said. The man accepted the fake invitation Oct. 9, the Daily reported. When the man entered the home, Morgan County deputies responded to a burglary call, and the man explained he was responding to the dating app profile “to meet up for sexual intercourse,” according to the affidavit. The man in the home was not charged, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Swafford told the Daily on Friday. It was not clear if the man knew the age of the girl at the home. '(There were) no charges for the other individual involved as it appears he was duped into being there. Due to that, we will not be releasing his name,” Swafford said. The week before the man traveled to Hartselle, the 13-year-old received Snapchat photos of exposed male genitals, the affidavit said. The Sheriff’s Office subpoenaed information from Snapchat and determined Raper’s email account was used to set up the account. Another subpoena determined the IP address used to set up the Snapchat account was linked to a computer in Raper’s home, the Daily reported. A search warrant was obtained for Raper’s cellphone, which showed the Snapchat account information and Raper’s email address, according to the affidavit.
  • Six people were shot early Sunday after a party in a popular North Carolina restaurant, officials said. Police were called to the scene at about 12:05 a.m. after a party at Thelma’s Down Home Cooking in Salisbury, WSOC-TV reported. The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting local authorities in the case. One person was shot in the chest, two were trampled and one person was treated for anxiety. The shooting victims were taken to area hospitals, WSOC reported. The victim with the most severe injury was listed in stable condition. Officials have not identified any suspects and are seeking cellphone video or photos that might help in the investigation.
  • The Super Bowl festivities begin this week in South Florida, but snake hunters were agog about another annual event -- the Python Bowl that ended in the Everglades National Park on Saturday. Hunters caught 80 Burmese pythons as more than 750 people from 20 states competed in the 10-day event, according to a news release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The wildlife commission and the South Florida Water Management District announced the results and winners of the Python Removal Competition during a ceremony in Miami on Saturday, WFTX reported. Here are the winners by category: Mike Kimmel removed eight pythons, earning him the top prize for the most snakes, a Tracker 570 ATV. Barry Offenburger won $1,000 in the military category for catching three pythons. Tom Rahill won $2,000 for capturing the longest snake — a 12-foot-7.3-inch python –– and won another $2,000 because it was the heaviest, tipping the scales at 62 pounds. Dave Mucci won $1,000 for an 11-foot python, the longest snake caught in the military category. He also won $1,000 for a 49.4-pounder. Florida holds the Python Bowl annually to put the squeeze on the Burmese python, a nonvenomous constrictor. According to conservationists, the snakes, estimated in the tens of thousands in the Everglades, pose a threat to native wildlife. Because they have few predators, Burmese pythons have flourished in the swamps of South Florida, eating animals ranging from rabbits to alligators, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
  • A pilot was killed Saturday morning when a small plane crashed into the side of a north Florida home, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. The family inside the home managed to escape the home without injury, the Sheriff’s Office said. A picture a viewer sent to Action News Jax shows the moment when a plane crashed into the front yard of the Lake City home.In the picture, a man in an orange shirt can be seen running across the yard to try to help the pilot, but he had to retreat because the flames were too extensive. Neighbors watched as a ball of fire flared up in their neighbor’s yard. Kristy Amato said she hears many small planes and often worries about them. “I was sitting on my couch watching a movie with my daughter, and I heard a plane take off like all of the planes take off,' Amato told Action News Jax. “Then I heard a backfire, then a loud kaboom, so I ran out front and there was a plane in my neighbor’s yard on fire.” Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Murray Smith told Action News Jax that after crews put the fire out, the pilot’s body was found underneath debris. “Shortly before 10, we received about 59 911 calls,” Smith told the television station. Smith said he believes the plane was a single-engine aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board is now working to find out where the Piper PA-32 was going and the name of the pilot who died. Officials believe he was the only person on the plane. “There is an airport nearby, but so many neighbors have come over and gave so many stories, so we’re just going to wait for NTSB to get all of the facts straight,” said Smith. The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating what caused the plane to crash, but the investigation likely won’t be complete for months.
  • Tamra Judge is leaving “The Real Housewives of Orange County” after 12 seasons, the star of the Bravo series said in an Instagram post Saturday. “It’s been a wild 12 years. But it’s time for me to move on,” Judge wrote on Instagram. “I’m sad to go but I’m very excited about my future.” Judge is currently the longest-running full-time cast member in “Housewives” history, People reported. She joined the show during its third season in 2007, according to the magazine. Judge’s announcement comes a day after fellow co-star Vicki Gunvalson also announced she was leaving the reality television show, E! Online reported. Judge said she was looking forward to life after the series. “It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras,” Judge told People. “I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms.” Judge has been part of the show’s most memorable moments, including the show’s first wine toss, People reported. She also starred in a three-episode spinoff of the series, “Tamra’s OC Wedding,” which documented her June 2013 wedding to Eddie Judge. “I want to thank all the fans who have offered me their support over the years,” she told People. “It’s meant a lot.”

Local News

  • Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center broke ground today on the final phase of its $171 million expansion and renovation project, which includes replacing the oldest section of the hospital – built 100 years ago – with a new, seven-story patient tower.    Hospital staff and community members gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction.    “This groundbreaking is a huge milestone for our hospital’s project and we’re very excited to be celebrating this with our community,” said Piedmont Athens Regional Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Burnett. “We appreciate everyone who joined us to celebrate as we say goodbye to some of the oldest patient hospital rooms in Georgia and welcome a newly-constructed, state-of-the art building to our hospital’s campus.”    In October 2018, Piedmont Athens Regional officially kicked off the expansion and renovation project, with the first phase including the addition of a new patient unit on the hospital’s Prince Tower II, located on the corner of Prince and King avenues.   With the final phase, the hospital’s construction team – DPR Construction – will begin the process of building the new patient tower, replacing what is known as the 1919 Tower.    The 1919 Tower, which is a section of the hospital’s Prince Tower I, is currently the oldest section of the hospital, built 100 years ago when the hospital first opened as a three-story, 100-bed community hospital that featured two operating rooms, a delivery room and a 24-member medical staff.    The new tower that will replace the 1919 Tower will stand seven-stories high, which includes a basement and lobby level, and will feature state-of-the-art equipment and replace outdated patient and staff areas. It also will improve wayfinding and the overall experience for patients, visitors and staff.   “This new tower will have a more modern look and feel, and these changes are intended to foster safe, efficient patient flow and minimize delays while our staff deliver high-quality patient-centered care to our patients,” said David Sailors, M.D., vascular surgeon and chair of Piedmont Athens Regional’s Board of Directors. “As Piedmont Athens Regional says goodbye to the 1919 Tower, it welcomes a state-of-the-art, newly renovated space that will ultimately provide a better experience for our patients and better serve our community.”   Piedmont Athens Regional’s new patient tower will also feature a retail pharmacy, café and resource center for patients and visitors.    Construction is estimated to be completed in 2022. Once complete, the hospital’s capacity will remain at 359 beds.      “We’re very grateful for the support of our community during this construction project,” said Burnett. “The Piedmont Athens Regional team is looking forward to continuing serve the healthcare needs of those in Athens-Clarke and surrounding communities through this new addition to our hospital.”  
  • A 21-year-old woman was struck by a car and killed Wednesday evening while walking through Lula, authorities said. State troopers were dispatched to the fatal pedestrian crash near City Hall about 7:30 p.m., the Georgia State Patrol said in a statement. The woman killed was identified as Lula resident Stacey Lynn Cash. Investigators determined Cash was walking north on Main Street when a woman driving the opposite direction struck and killed her. Cash was wearing dark clothing and walking in the roadway when she was struck, police said. The driver who hit her will not be charged.
  • The Morton Theatre marks an anniversary with a concert: the Morehouse College Glee Club performs, 7 o’clock tonight at the Morton on Washington Street in downtown Athens. The Morton Theatre is celebrating its 110th anniversary. From the Morton Theatre website…   The Morton Theatre Corporation presents the internationally acclaimed Morehouse College Glee Club in concert at the Morton Theatre. Join us as we continue to celebrate the Morton's 110th Anniversary Season! #LiveAtTheMorton  DATE & TIME: Friday, January 24, 2020; 7:00 PM   PRESENTED BY: Morton Theatre Corporation ADMISSION: $25 Orchestra Level, $20 Balcony Seats
  • Engineering and technology researchers from around the world will gather at the University of Georgia next month for REV2020, the 17th International Conference on Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation. More than 100 faculty members, students and industry representatives are expected to attend the conference, which will be held at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel Feb. 25 through Feb. 28. The theme of the conference – “Cross Reality and Data Science in Engineering” – focuses on topics such as online engineering, cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things, including remote engineering and virtual instrumentation. “In a globally connected world, the interest in online collaboration, teleworking, remote services and other digital working environments is rapidly increasing,” said Dominik May, an assistant professor in UGA’s Engineering Education Transformations Institute and the conference organizer. “The objective of this conference is to contribute and discuss fundamentals, applications and experiences in the fields of online and remote engineering, virtual instrumentation and other related new technologies.” The conference will feature keynotes by international researchers and industry leaders from companies including UL, Siemens and Phoenix Contact. Keynote topics include Data Science and Big Data in Asia; Meaningful Learning with Technologies; and Big Data – The Data-Driven Approach to Education of the Future? Workshops, tutorials and research presentations round out the conference agenda. REV2020 is hosted by the University of the Georgia College of Engineering, the International Association of Online Engineering, UGA’s Engineering Education Transformations Institute, and UGA’s Georgia Informatics Institutes for Research and Education.
  • University of Georgia professor Richard Winfield (pictured above) says he is a candidate for the US Senate: Winfield, who teaches philosophy at UGA, will run as a Democrat in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Republican Johnny Isakson, who stepped down in December and was replaced by Atlanta businesswoman Kelly Loeffler. She was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp. This is Winfield’s second try for elective office: he waged an unsuccessful congressional campaign two years ago.    28 year-old AJ Spitzner is an IT specialist in Butts County: the Newton County native says he will run as a Democrat for the US House seat now held by Republican Jody Hice. Hice represents the 10th House District that covers most of Athens-Clarke County. 

Bulldog News

  • Looking back on the past decade of Georgia football brings to mind the old introduction to ABC's 'Wide World of Sports,' with its touting of 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat the human drama of athletic competition.' Yeah, Dawgs fans experienced all of that during 2010-2019: 10 years of incredible highs, heartbreaking lows and some mediocre days not worth mentioning. Reading over the Blawgs I wrote in that decade has brought back some extremely fond memories and a few that still make me shudder. Or wince ( should-have-spiked the ball with 15 seconds left the Prayer-at-Jordan Hare and second-and-26 being three prime examples). Wallowing in misery isn't what I'm undertaking today, however. This is a look at the best of the decade for the Dawgs. I have to admit, compiling the most memorable players, games, plays and moments of that decade was easy on some counts, and much more difficult on others, particularly when it came to deciding who should make an all-decade team at certain positions where the Dawgs have enjoyed a bounty of top-notch talent. (Can you easily choose between Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel?) Other choices were clear-cut (at least, to me), especially the quarterback position , about which I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps you'll agree with my choices, or maybe you'll think I'm way off-base on some of them. That's the fun of this sort of exercise; feel free to share your own thoughts on the best of UGA football in the 2010s. Now, first up, my All-Decade Dawgs: Offense Center: David Andrews. Runnerup: Ben Jones. Tackles: Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wynn. Honorable mention: John Theus. Guards: Cordy Glenn, Lamont Gaillard (who also played center). Tight ends: Orson Charles, Jeb Blazevich. Wide receivers: Malcolm Mitchell, Javon Wims, Tavarres King, A.J. Green. * Honorable mention: Chris Conley, Terry Godwin. QB: Aaron Murray. Runnerup: Jake Fromm. Tailbacks: Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel (a tossup, but a fully healthy Gurley gets the starting nod). Fullbacks: Christian Payne, Quavon Hicks. ( What the heck, Georgia had fullbacks for most of the decade and, unlike Kirby Smart, I'm a fullback guy. The toss would be more effective with a FB leading the way, I believe.) Defense Defensive line: John Atkins, Jonathan Ledbetter, John Jenkins. Linebackers: Roquan Smith, Jarvis Jones, Justin Houston* Alec Ogletree. Honorable mention: Davin Bellamy, Leonard Floyd. Cornerbacks: Deandre Baker, Sanders Commings. Runnersup: Damian Swann, Maurice Smith, Aaron Davis (the latter two both played nickel back). Safeties: Baccari Rambo, J.R. Reed. Runnerup: Dominick Sanders. Specialists Punter: Drew Butler. Runnerup: Cameron Nizialek.* Placekicker: Rodrigo Blankenship. Runnerup: Marshall Morgan. Returner: Isaiah McKenzie. Runnersup: Mecole Hardman, Brandon Boykin. *Green, Houston and Nizialek only played one season each for Georgia during the decade, but they deserve their spots. And now on to other highlights of the decade Most memorable games 2012: Georgia 17, Florida 9. A terrific Malcolm Mitchell run after catching a fourth quarter pass from Aaron Murray and breaking a tackle put Georgia ahead. However, the game against the No. 2-ranked Gators was dominated by a Georgia defense that forced six turnovers, including a gamesaver by Jarvis Jones at the end. 2013: Georgia 44, LSU 41. With ESPN's 'College GameDay' in town and the eyes of the nation on the quarterback showdown between former roomiesAaron Murrayand Zach Mettenberger,the resulting 'Redout' game was one of the most thrilling I've ever seen, and, to date, still the absolutely loudest I've ever heard Sanford Stadium from the first kickoff to the final whistle. 2014: Georgia 45, Clemson 21. Todd Gurley gained 293 all-purpose yards, scoring 4 touchdowns, and Nick Chubb literally ran out of one of his shoes in his freshman debut, as Georgia pulled away in the second half to beat Dabo Swinney's Tigers, who in the second half were held to only one first down, 15 yards passing and no yards on the ground. 2017: Georgia 20, Notre Dame 19. The first big road test for Jake Fromm, it wasn't a pretty game, as the two teams combined to punt the ball 17 times, eight by Georgia, in a largely defensive struggle. But, the Dawgs persevered, and finally won it on a Rod Blankenship field goal. The first of quite a few thrilling moments during that magical season. New Year's Day, 2018: Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48. The Dawgs' double-overtime Rose Bowl win over the Sooners in the College Football Playoff propelled them to the National Championship game against Alabama a week later. It's the highest scoring game ever in the history of the granddaddy of bowl games and, for me, ranks second only to the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame in January, 1981. Honorable mention: The SEC Championship 'revenge' win over Auburn in 2017 the absolute domination of Florida in Jacksonville during that same season and the Dawgs' tough win over Notre Dame Between the Hedges in 2019. Most memorable plays 2011, Florida: A tie between the two fourth-down touchdown passes against the Gators in 2011 to Michael Bennett and Tavarres King. Both admittedly were great catches, but Aaron Murray put the ball exactly where it needed to be. 2012, Florida: Jarvis Jones stripping the ball away from Florida's Jordan Reed as he was about to score, preserving the most important win of the season for Georgia. 2013, LSU: Trailing the No. 6 Tigers 41-37 with 4:14 left, Aaron Murray threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott Wesley with 1:47 on the clock. 2014: Clemson: Todd Gurley's 100-yard-plus kickoff return was a thing of beauty, showing off his deceptive speed. 2017, Notre Dame: Terry Godwin's acrobatic one-handed, falling-backward third-and-goal touchdown catch was one of the best plays in a season of great plays. NBC Sports labeled it 'catch of the year.' Honorable mention: The flea-flicker play involving Jake Fromm, Nick Chubb and Terry Godwin that opened the 2017 game against a surging Mississippi State team; and Lorenzo Carter's block of an Oklahoma field goal attempt on the second overtime of the Rose Bowl game. Play of the decade Rose Bowl, against Oklahoma: Sony Michel takes a direct snap in the shotgun and, picking up a key block from quarterback Jake Fromm, streaks 27 yards down the left side for the winning score in the second overtime, sending the Dawgs on to the National Championship game. Memorable performances Jarvis Jones, with five solo tackles and four sacks in Georgia's 2011 come-from-behind win over Florida. Leonard Floyd, with eight tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss in Georgia's 2013 win over LSU. Nick Chubb, returning from knee surgery to run for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns in Georgia's 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game win over North Carolina. Roquan Smith, with 13tackles, 10 of them solo and two of them for losses, plus two fumble recoveries and a sack in the 2017 SEC Championship win over Auburn. He rightly was named the game's MVP. George Pickens, tying a Georgia bowl record with 12 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown against Baylor in the Jan. 1, 2020 Sugar Bowl. Favorite moments 2013, South Carolina: Georgia grinds out a 14-play drive to eat up the final 8:28 of a big win over the Top 10-ranked Gamecocks, and, midway through the drive, USC head coach Steve Spurrier throws in the towel by removing his headset and declining to call a timeout. Sweet. 2017, Notre Dame: Bulldog Nation taking over the Fighting Irish stadium, with NBC analyst Doug Flutie noting at one point, 'This is almost a 50/50 crowd.' At the start of the fourth quarter, you would have thought it was Sanford Stadium as Dawgs fans lit up the place with their cellphones, bringing with them a then-new tradition from Between the Hedges. Runnerup: Kicker Rod Blankenship being mobbed by his teammates in the locker room after the 2017 win over Notre Dame as Kirby Smart had the former walk-on announce that he was now on scholarship. MVP of the decade This is tough. Aaron Murray was a quarterback capable of putting the team on his back and somehow finding a way to win. Todd Gurleywas the most talented running back at Georgia since Herschel Walker and probably would have won a Heisman if not for injuries and asuspension. Sony Michel spent his career at UGA in tandem with Nick Chubb and, by the end of their senior year, was the more versatile of the two backs. But Chubb was awesome on a consistent basis, and came back from a devastating left knee injury to run for a career total 4,769 rushingyards, trailing only Walker in SEC history. He recorded his 24thcareer game running for 100 yards or more against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. So, Nick Chubb is my MVP of the decade. Damn good Dawgs, all of them. Let me hear from you! I'll be answering Junkyard Mail next time, so, if you have any comments or questions on any UGA sports topic, please email me at . The post Picking the Dawgs' greatest players, games, moments of the decade appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football rising senior Malik Herring started the season on the bench and ended it as the top returning defensive linemen in the SEC, per advanced metrics. Coach Kirby Smart wasn't and isn't going to have it any other way. It is Smart who has pushed Herring to the verge of greatness, ensuring the Forsyth product get the best out of himself and make the most of his talents on the field. 'Malik can be a good player, (but) he's gotta hone in and do the little things right, and he's gotta be a little more mature and serious about things to be the player we want him to be,'Smart said last spring.'He's talented, though, and he's played well. He's just gotta mature some.' Pro Football Focus, which grades players each week, has Herring as the top-ranked SEC defensive lineman in its Top 25. Herring comes in at No. 7 with Alabama's Chritisian Barmore second among league players at No. 12. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Herring showed just how much he'd grown in the 26-14 win over Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Herring, starting in place of departing senior Tyler Clark, had five tackles, a pass break-up and 1.5 tackles for loss. Herring platooned all season in the Bulldogs' deep defensive front. It was a unit that set the tone for the nation's best run defense with its sound gap integrity. Georgia didn't allow a rushing TD until the 10th game of the season. But at the start of the 2019 campaign, on the road trip to Vanderbilt, Herring did not play. 'We talked about it after the game,' Smart said the next week. 'If he continues to use practice and get better, he'll play.' Herring did just that, earning nine starts and finishing with 24 QB hurries, third-best on the team. The Bulldogs have lost reliable seniors off the 2019 D-Line. Most notably, seniors Michael Barnett, David Marshall and Clark have moved on. But Herring is one of a handful of defensive linemen coming back with star potential that figure to play in the NFL one day. Nosetackle Jordan Davis was a Freshman All-American in 2018 and continued his run-stuffing ways last season. Freshman Travon Walker overcame in-season wrist surgery to make highlights, including the game-clinching sack at Auburn. Then there are the fellow seniors. Devonte Wyatt was second on the team with 27 QB hurries. Justin Young played in nine of 14 games and had his moments. Then there's Julian Rochester, a fifth-year senior after qualifying for a redshirt, playing just four games after coming off knee surgery. Amazingly, none of the Georgia defense was named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press last season. This, even though the Bulldogs finished the regular season leading the conference in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. Ultimately, safety J.R. Reed was named an All-American by one outlet, and linebacker Monty Rice and cornerback Eric Stokes were second-team All-SEC picks by the AP. But all was silent among the defensive tackles, nosetackles, and defensive ends from an awards perspective. WATCH: Dan Lanning champions no-name' Georgia defense Smart has said he prefers his players make noise with their helmets, so UGA players won't likely be tooting their own horns during the offseason. But those who watch and grade film have taken note, and Herring leads the way on a defensive front that could dominate the SEC in 2020. DawgNation Georgia football Herring makes time for Kids Fun Day in hometown Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia's Malik Herring rated top returning D-linemen in SEC, spearheads dominant front appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia suffered a 70-60 home loss to Ole Miss, a sellout crowd and decisive rebounding advantage not enough to get the Bulldogs back on track. The Rebels (10-9, 1-5 SEC) snapped a a six-game losing streak with the upset over Georgia (11-8, 1-5), which has lost two of its last three at home after opening the season 8-0 in Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards continued his struggles with 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Ten of Edwards' attempts came from behind the arc, his inability to get to the rim out of the half court offense surfacing once again. Senior Jordan Harris led the Bulldogs with 15 points and eight rebounds in a game that saw UGA hold a decisive 38-28 advantage on the boards. Georgia however, couldn't overcome its poor shooting (17 of 55, 30.9 percent) while Ole Miss was an efficient 26 of 50 (52 percent). The loss marks UGA's first three-game losing streak of the season, sending many of the10,523 in attendance to the exits early as Ole Miss pulled away late. The Rebels threatened to run away at the start of the second half, scoring the first five points after intermission to make a 40-29, before Tom Crean called time out with 17:17 left. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run sparked by a Harris 3-pointer and consecutive drives to the basket by Sahvir Wheeler (11 points) that resulted in a bucket and two free throws that cut the lead to 40-38 with 13:44 left. Moments later, Edwards pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer from the wing that put Georgia up 43-42 with 12:31 left and sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was the Bulldogs' first lead since a 13-12 advantage early, and Edwards first points since the 16:07 mark of the first half. It proved to be the final lead for Georgia. Ole Miss wrestled the lead back on a pair of J.J. Buffen (14 points) free throws the next trip down and didn't trail again. Breein Tyree scored 20 points to lead the Rebels. Georgia was down 35-29 at the end of the first half, a victim of its own 9 turnovers and 33 percent shooing (9 of 27). Ole Miss led by as many as 10 points, 32-22, before the Bulldogs battled back. Harris scored on a drive to the basket and hit a trey, and then Edwards capped the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws to make it 32-29. The Rebels scored the final three points of the half, the Bulldogs missing four shots on their final possession, squandering offensive rebounds. Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri (9-10, 1-5 SEC) before returning to Athens to play host to Texas A&M (9-9, 3-3) next Saturday. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Anthony Edwards struggles against Ole Miss, Georgia basketball hits three-game skid appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football offensive staff gyrations have continued into the weekend, and the next one could be processed as early as next week. Former Bulldogs' director of player personnel Marshall Malchow is headed to Texas A&M.DawgNation reported on Friday that former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Coley was headed to work for the Aggies. RELATED: James Coley leaves Georgia football staff, as expected The 247Sports network was first to report the news on Malchow on Saturday. Georgia coach Kirby Smart made Coley expendable when he hired former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken on Jan. 17 to take over the offense and play-calling. Monken was in attendance at the Bulldogs' basketball game on Saturday, part of UGA' big weekend filled with key visitors. RELATED: Todd Monken trades 'total mess' for championship quest The writing was on the wall for Coley and other assistants closely tied to him last Monday. The hiring of former Southern Miss offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Buster Faulkner last Monday temporarily as an offensive analyst was more evidence Coley was likely on his way out. RELATED: Kirby Smart hires QB coach Buster Faulkner to offensive staff Faulkner is the odds-on favorite to fill the staff position vacated by Coley, though nothing is official at this point. Former UGA All-American Jon Stinchcomb told DawgNation that Faulkner was the right fit to work with Monken. 'You just brought in someone with experience with the NFL ranks who knows what it looks like when you have some of the elite athletes on the planet playing for you,' Stinchcomb said in regard to Monken. 'Buster comes from a background where you have to create a little more opportunities because you don't have that same level of talent. 'I think this new role for him is a great compliment to coach Monken being hired and the rest of the staff.' The departure of Malchow, an Alabama graduate, represents more collateral damage from Coley taking his recruiting prowess to Jimbo Fisher's staff in College Station. Coley has previously worked for Fisher at Florida State. Smart, who has stayed silent throughout the changes, traditionally holds a February signing day press conference, at which point he could address the new Georgia staff. More from DawgNation Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Podcast: Brandon Adams shares his take on Brock Vandagriff addition Kirby Smart has turned Georgia offense upside down Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football changes continue, another staff member leaves for Texas A&M appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia basketball returns to the friendly confines of Stegeman Coliseum where the team is 9-1 his season, seemingly, just in time. The Bulldogs (11-7. 1-4 SEC) play host to Ole Miss (9-9, 0-5) at 5:30 p.m. (TV: SEC Network) in desperate need of a victory to rekindle any sort of NCAA tournament hopes. The fan support is certainly there. The only remaining Georgia home basketball games with tickets available this season are South Carolina (Feb. 12) and Auburn (Feb. 19). This, even though virtually no one outside the program is projecting Coach Tom Crean's young team, filled with nine freshmen on the roster, to make the so-called Big Dance. Even with projected NBA lottery pick Anthony Edwards on the roster. Still, sophomore Tye Fagan and freshman Toumani Camara confirmed that is indeed the long-term season goal, even if the focus never goes beyond one game. 'Most definitely, without a doubt, we take each game one at a time so we're not thinking so far into the future,' said Fagan, who's coming off a 6-of-6, 13-point shooting performance at Kentucky last Tuesday. 'But that is the goal.' The surge from the 6-foot-8 Camara over the last 12 games, has provided a boost. Camara is UGA's second leading rebounder (5.2 rpg) and third on the team in scoring (7.6 ppg) and minutes played (26.9 mpg) in that span. But the Bulldogs, No. 56 in the projected RPI rankings, had better get back on the winning track and take advantage of the softer stretch of the schedule. After opening the 2020 with six opponents and seven games against teams that played in last year's NCAA tournament and going 2-4 in that stretch so far, with wins at Memphis and against Tennessee Georgia's schedule lightens up this week. Saturday's Ole Miss home game is followed by a road trop to Missouri (9-9, 1-5) on Tuesday, and then a home game with Texas A&M (9-8, 3-3) next Saturday. Crean, understandably, isn't losing sight of the task at hand against the Rebels. ' Right now we're focused on how we get ready for Ole Miss,' Crean said. 'I had the number one team in the country and wasn't talking about the NCAA Tournament, back at Indiana. 'What you do is you focus. We're in late January here. We focus on the team and what we have to do and be absolutely wrapped up in that.' Crean said he's not certain if freshman point guard Sahvir Wheeler is back at 100 percent after suffering an ankle injury in the 80-63 win over Tennessee on Jan. 15. Wheeler has played the last two games, but he has last the explosion and quickness that makes him so effective. He has scoring just one basket and dished out two assists in the last 38 minutes he played against Mississippi State and Kentucky. Edwards continues to lead the nation's freshmen in scoring with 18.9 points per game, but he's still learning to get to the rim and overcome the extra attention defenses are paying to him. Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky last Tuesday night before scoring 16 points in a second half at Rupp Arena that saw the Bulldogs fail to get closer than seven points. RELATED: Too little, too late from Anthony Edwards at Kentucky Crean, however, defends Edwards' youth and is focusing on developing him like he does every other player. ' I came in knowing we're going to have to develop him every day, help him grow every day,' Crean said. 'It's all different when you get them and how they process, how they learn, what do they have to get better at, how they apply it, how you build confidence, how you tweak them, how you challenge them is all a part of the daily process. We're just right in the midst of that and I'm enjoying it.' A win over Ole Miss would make Crean and Georgia enjoy the process of the team growing more, as well as keeping what appears to be scant NCAA tourney hopes alive. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphis Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Georgia basketball returns to home sellout, desperate for win over Ole Miss appeared first on DawgNation.