October 27, 2010

Leslie gets shot at Durant

For Travis Leslie, the opportunity go up against NBA All-Star Kevin Durant over the summer at the Paul Pierce Skills Camp in Chicago was something he'll never forget.

So what if Durant got the better of the two during a brief encounter during one particular drill?

"I got to guard him once then he turned around, recognized who I was and went to the basket," Leslie smiled during an interview Tuesday. "I was just glad to be there."

Leslie said it was quite the experience.

The camp brings together some of the top guards in college and gives them the chance to test their skills against the NBA's best.

Unfortunately, Leslie said he didn't get to return the favor.

"Naw, I didn't do that," Leslie said. "But I did get a couple of dunks (but not against Durant)."

Robinson will get chance to shine

The question has been asked about transfer Gerald Robinson before - why did he not originally sign with another big-time program instead of Tennessee State?

Head coach Mark Fox doesn't know the answer to that. He's just glad Robinson is in Athens and ready to be a big part of the Bulldogs' program this upcoming campaign.

"Recruiting should probably be judged at the end of a guy's career instead of when he starts. He signed below where he should have been out of high school and I think he will have a big impact on this team," Fox said. "We hope that translates into victories but I do think he's a guy with the talent that he should have been at this level a couple of years already."

Having now been with the program a year, Fox believes he knows the type of impact Robinson will make.

"He's a good shooter, natural instinct and he can score but he's playing very intelligently to this point," Fox said. "He has an advantage over most first-year players in that he's spent a year in our program learning how we want to play, where he should shoot shots from, where other people shoot shots from and he's really worked to become well aware of what we're doing offensively. He's been a guy who's studied a lot of tape and I've been impressed with his effort in that way."

Thornton learning the ropes

So far, so good for freshman Marcus Thornton, who continues to open eyes.

Like some newcomers, getting used to the collegiate level can be a challenge but according to Fox Thornton is holding his own.

"Like most new guys he's had a mountain of information dumped on his desk that he's trying to memorize and process, but he's done well," Fox said. "He's still thinking while he plays, but that's OK. We anticipated him doing that."

Fox said Thornton will continue to see most of his time in the 3 position.

"He's practiced very well in that spot," Fox said. "We hope he will play lots of minutes there."

Fox pleased with practices

Fox described Georgia's practices thus far in one word - competitive.

"I think our depth, practice is more competitive. They are playing hard and I think we've made progress defensively," Fox said. "It's two steps forward, one step back some days but I really feel this group is obviously with only three new guys learning the system for the first time, we seem to practice more efficiently because we do have more guys who have been through this process before."

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