Felton worried about Dawgs getting complacent

ATHENS – It's hard to fathom Georgia basketball coach Dennis Felton is talking about his own team when he says this:

"I'm certain our players probably believe they are better than they are at this moment," he said. "You're always worried about players becoming complacent."

What?! The team that went 8-20 last year is getting the big head? That's what a winning streak will do. With a win over Oregon State today, the Bulldogs (7-1) will have won as many games in a row as they did all of last season.

"It has significance in that we're showing improvement, especially because we've played a quality schedule so far," Felton said. "I think serious basketball people are noticing the fact that we're 7-1 and have won the games we've won so far."

Today's 5:30 p.m. game against the Beavers (3-3) is the start of a two-game West Coast road trip for the Bulldogs. Georgia will play Oregon State today in the Rose Garden, home of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, as a return game for last year's Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Classic for Kids, when Georgia won 76-74 in Philips Arena.

Georgia will go from Portland to Reno, Nev., where it will take on the Wolfpack at 10 p.m. on Wednesday. Nevada, which beat Georgia 58-47 in Athens last year, is 7-1 and led by junior forward Nick Fazekas, the reigning WAC player of the year.

The Oregon State game will have the team's full attention today, not just because it's next, but because of the significance an eight-game winning streak would have for the team's returning players. v "That's a real big step because last year we were struggling," sophomore Channing Toney said. "We couldn't even get double digit wins last year. Winning eight games in a row this year would be a great mark for the guys last year who were trying their hardest but struggling to win a game."

The Bulldogs have the third-best record in the SEC behind undefeated Florida (9-0) and Tennessee (5-0) and are even receiving one 25th place vote in the most recent Associated Press poll.

"I knew that we would be on the road to improvement much more so this year just because we have more pieces and better pieces," Felton said. "I'm always totally confident that we're going to be getting better because I think I've got a great handle on how to lead a team to becoming better. Wins and losses, that's just not as controllable as the overall process of getting better."

Felton cautioned his team is far from where it needs to be.

"We're just coming from such a deficit that nothing about this process is going to happen overnight," he said. "We're just coming from way, way behind."


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