January 8, 2008

Ready for Tech

Georgia basketball coach Dennis Felton wanted to make one thing perfectly clear: His Bulldogs are not a dirty team and junior guard Corey Butler is not a headhunter.

During Saturday's 75-67 loss at Gonzaga, Butler was ejected from the game in the final 2.5 seconds for a flagrant foul on Jeremy Pargo as he was driving for a breakaway basket.

After the game, some wondered if Parker's foul was done simply out of frustration, something Felton denied during a lengthy explanation on Monday's weekly SEC teleconference.

The Bulldogs (8-4) return to action Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. when the Bulldogs host arch-rival Georgia Tech (7-6).

"Corey Butler, the young man that made the foul, is a tremendous young man and very much a good sport. He was just doing the best he could do trying to break up the play," Felton said. "None of us are happy that (Pargo) ended up taking a hard fall, and I told Coach (Mark) Few after the game that was not what we wanted.
"I asked how Pargo was, and (Few) said he was fine. I told him I was sorry that happened and he said don't even think about it."

Later, Felton said Butler went to check on and apologize to Pargo, who scored eight points in Gonzaga's eight-point win.

The Bulldogs' deficit had been much worse than that.

Georgia trailed 64-46 before cutting the margin to 68-58 on three straight 3-pointers, including two by Sundiata Gaines, whose subsequent steal and layup got the Bulldogs within 72-65 with 2:02 to play.

But that would be as close as the Bulldogs would get before Butler's foul on Pargo brought the wrath of the home crowd down upon Georgia.

"To suggest that this was a play made because we were losing, or due to some sense of frustration, is totally inaccurate," Felton said. "I thought we were pleased with the fact that we were able to come back against Gonzaga, who I thought played extremely well. We kept battling and gave ourselves a chance at the end."

NOTES: The Bulldogs arrive at this game with an 8-4 record, having dropped a 75-67 decision at Gonzaga in their most recent outing last Saturday. The Jackets come to Athens with a 7-6 overall mark. In their most recent contest, they defeated the only common opponent these two teams share to date: Presbyterian. Tech defeated the Blue Hose 77-64 on Sunday while Georgia downed PC 68-58 last Dec. 30. … Georgia Tech leads this series, which conŽvenes for the 184th time Wednesday, by a 100-83 ledger. The Jackets won last season's meeting in Atlanta, 78-69 on Dec. 22, 2006. Georgia won the last meeting in Athens 91-75 on 12/7/05. … Georgia enters the Georgia Tech game suddenly short on available, and healthy, playŽers. The departure last weekend of reserve center Rashaad Singleton left the Bulldogs with 10 scholarship players in the program. One of those, freshman Jeremy Jacob, continues to mend a stress fracture in his left foot and is likely out until next week, at best. Another, starting guard Billy Humphrey, has endured a sore left knee for much of the season, even through his 24-point effort last Saturday at Gonzaga. … Georgia tips off its annual 16-game SEC schedule this Saturday with an afternoon game at Mississippi State. Bulldog teams have won just once in Starkville (2002) since a 3-game win streak from 1989-91.

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