Felton: We need more Georgia basketball fans

ATLANTA — The fact that Mississippi State brought nearly as many fans as Georgia to Thursday's game in the Georgia Dome didn't sit well with Dennis Felton.

"Georgia basketball has zero tradition," said the Bulldogs head coach. "I think you could win an argument that we have the least tradition in the SEC. It's been a dormant program."

He went on to say that it is at least partly the fault of a lack of "institutional commitment" to the program. While he conceded it would be nice to have a new arena, he said the marketing of the team was the main issue that needed to be addressed.

"It's time for us to step up as an Athletic Association and go out of our way to make our fans feel really, really wanted and really, really excited," he said. "While we're fighting to build the program from a basketball standpoint, I think we as an institution have to fight to build the program from every other aspect. The Bulldog Nation is immense. We just have to do more to engage them in the sport of men's basketball."

THE FUTURE: Felton acknowledged for the first time Thursday that South Gwinnett guard Louis Williams is more likely to go straight to the NBA rather than honor his letter of intent with Georgia.

"I would say he's leaning to want to go to the NBA, but is still going through the process of making the decision," Felton said. "He's a spectacular talent. That talent would create a lot of things on the basketball court. It would also bring a different level of interest to our basketball team right away."

Dennis Felton said Williams and his family aren't seeking much advice or counsel about the decision.

"I'm not interested in convincing him of one thing or another," Felton said. "I simply want to be the best resource for he and his family that they want me to be."

Even if Williams skips out on the Bulldogs, Georgia still will bring in five new players, all of whom will be able to help.

"Obviously, on our team, everybody can come in and play right away," Felton said.

THIS AND THAT: Georgia wore black stripes on the left shoulder of its jerseys in honor of Joey Waldrop's cousin, who died Wednesday as the result of injuries in a car accident. ...

Felton and guard Levi Stukes were each called for a technical foul in the game's final two minutes. Felton said he got no explanation for why he was called for the violation. ...

Stukes and forward Corey Gibbs fouled out of the game late in the second half. ... Mississippi State outrebounded Georgia 13-1 in the final minutes of the first half. ...

Former guard Ronnie Hogue, who is 12th on Georgia's all-time scoring list, was honored at halftime as an SEC legend. Each school in the league annually honors a legend at the tournament.

Dawg Post Top Stories