Georgia's New Toy

ATHENS – My old cat Ashes loved a new toy - no matter what it was.

(Yeah, that's right, I am talking about the best pet ever – Ashes the cat.)

Every now and then I would get Ashes a new toy – or put the Christmas tree up in the living room at that time of the year.

At first Ashes didn't know what to make of it – what in the world is this new toy? Should I slap it with my right paw? I have to slap it with my left paw – because that's my knockout punch. What is this new toy?

She loved it – that strange new feeling that was the toy she had just gotten.

Georgia's fanbase is experiencing just that right now… a new toy.

The new toy for the fanbase? A first-place basketball team – one that looked nearly dead after a weekend in Charleston in late November. Fans, confused at first, don't know what to make of the Bulldogs getting off to a 2-0 start. This was – let's be honest – totally unexpected.

But here it is, and much like Ashes, fans are taking their new toy around for a spin. 8,118 fans showed up to watch Georgia take down Alabama 66-58 in a game where the Bulldogs were the better team the entire time.

Georgia, just like in its win on the road over Missouri to open SEC play, outfought the Tide on the boards and kept the opposition under 70 points, which is a pretty good indicator of if the Bulldogs will win or not. Georgia is 1-6 when the opposition scores 70 points or more; 0-5 when getting outrebounded.

So its pretty simple – rebound the ball and play defense and you probably win; don't do that, and you probably don't (I am sure John Wooden's ghost just took note of that basketball 101).

The season, which seemed lost headed out of Charleston, is very much for the taking for the Bulldogs from here on out. A manageable schedule with the likes of Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee (a combined 35-10) on the slate only once and the likes of Auburn and South Carolina appear twice (a combined 15-14) from here on out.

Georgia has shown that it can put it together at times – that's never been the issue under Mark Fox. What has yet to show is that it can put it together for an entire season. A sixth-place finish in the SEC is in range… another nine wins in the SEC is certainly possible without reaching at all.

Here's your new toy Georgia fans – play with it like a crazy cat.

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