Not only did the Georgia Bulldogs men's basketball
team lose to Western Kentucky on Tuesday night in Stegeman Coliseum 67-70, but
head coach Dennis Felton announced just prior to tip off that junior
guard Channing Toney will transfer to another school.
Toney the son of former NBA star Andrew Toney
appears to be heading south to the Georgia Southern Eagles in division I-AA
in Statesboro. Toney was a two-year starter for the Bulldogs at guard for Bulldogs
and he averaged 9.1 points per game during his career at Georgia and started
in 51 of his 56 career games.
Toney's former teammates were shocked and saddened
by his sudden decision to leave the Georgia basketball program.
Rashaad Singleton who had seven points
in the loss said Toney's departure was a bombshell to him and the team.
"It was a big surprise to me and it is one of things
that happens and we have to keep going with it," said Singleton.
Levi Stukes led the Bulldogs with
13 points against Western Kentucky and he thinks the team has to close ranks
and work past losing Toney.
"Right before practice (yesterday) coach told us
the news and we are sorry he had to go, but that is his decision," said
Stukes. "It is always disappointing to lose a close guy like that and
definitely a teammate who we were looking for to give us quality minutes every
night and give us a chance to win some tough games. With the team we have right
now, we will miss Channing a whole lot, but we cannot focus on that right now
we have to focus on the big picture of us coming together."
Coach Felton shed little light on Toney's departure
other than saying it was a player's decision and he was not kicked off
the team or asked to leave the program and that Felton was not surprised he
decided to go.
"I found out yesterday afternoon and we got organized
with Channing and his family on when to release it," said Felton regarding
the late announcement. "I would not say it was out of left field (Toney
Dawgs lose 10-point lead
Georgia had a ten-point lead in the game with 6:04 remaining
on the clock before Western Kentucky went on a 15-2 point run to end the game."When
we had a ten-point lead in the final stages of the game I do not think they
got complacent, but when you look at all aspects of what was going on they got
tight," said Felton.
"We got tight and missed some plays and some easy
shots and got tighter. It was a tale of two teams where one was playing with
nothing to lose and our team was playing with everything to lose."
The team played a little out of control in the final minutes
committing four fouls in less than three minutes of game time.
"We stopped using our minds and playing to the rhythm
of the beat instead of keeping our composure and playing our game," said
guard Billy Humphrey of the collapse at the end of the game.
Georgia had two chances to win or tie the game, but came
up short. On the final play of the game Mercer passed the ball to an open Humphrey
and he missed a three-pointer to end the game.
"I felt like it was a good shot and Mike gave me
a good pass that we had drawn up as a play and it just came a little short,"
Dawgs get 10 blocks
One bright spot for Bulldogs on Tuesday was the ten blocks
registered by the team on Western Kentucky. Freshman Albert Jackson
blocked three shots and Billy Humphrey, Steve Newman, and Rashaad Singleton
each had two blocks apiece.
Mike Mercer blocked one shot.
The Bulldogs now have 15 blocks on the season through
two games. Jackson has seven of those 15 blocks in just 38 minutes of play this
Four players in double figures
Stukes (13), Mercer (12), Humphrey (12), and
Sundiata Gaines (10) each scored in double figures for the Bulldogs against the
Hilltoppers. Humphrey is the leading scorer for Georgia this season averaging
17.5 points per game off the bench. Humphrey is 11-20 from 3-point range this
Georgia started the same lineup from their first game
against Southern last Friday. Gaines, Newman, Terrance Woodbury, Mercer,
and Singleton started the game.
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