November 13, 2007

Hoops Notebook: So far, so good

Georgia senior center Dave Bliss is as curious as anyone to learn how the Bulldogs' heralded freshman class will respond this season.

Bliss knows that if the Bulldogs expect to enjoy any kind of sustained success, Georgia's first-year players will have to play a significant role.

Although it's obviously still very early, Bliss likes what he's seen.

"They've been good so far. They're understanding of our whole system, and are really relying on some of the older players to help kind of show them the way," Bliss said. "It's real important to hear it from players because different perspectives and just knowing what it's like (to play college ball). They're really doing their best to understand what the game is supposed to be played like on the college level."

In Georgia's 107-65 trouncing of Jacksonville State, three freshmen stood out above the rest.

Jeremy Price scored 18 points to lead five Bulldogs in double-figures, with Chris Barnes chipping in with 14 and Jeremy Jacob with 13.

"I think I did good but I know I can do better," said Jacob, a transfer from Hargrave Military Academy. "But it was good to get out there, and get my feet wet. It's a lot of fun."

Georgia returns to action Wednesday night against Grambling State (7:30 p.m.). The Bulldogs, who trailed early, soon gained control and eventually built their lead to 68-41 with 13:46 to play.

"I was pleased with the way we responded and made adjustments in the second half," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said. "We settled in and kind of broke their spirits a little bit."

Georgia's lead eventually grew to as many as 40 points at 93-53 on a 3-point play by Barnes with 5:42 to play. Back-to-back dunks by Barnes helped the Bulldogs close out the game.

"I think the main thing with the freshmen is they've come out and been very aggressive. They're out there trying to do some things and prove what they can do," Bliss said. "They've made a good first impression, but it's still very early in the season. But you've got to be encouraged by those two games."

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