We Want The Funk

Dennis Felton is in 4th season as the leader of Georgia's basketball team. Last season the team finished 15-15, 7 more wins from the previous season. The bad news is they lost 7 out of their last 8 games. Last season the SEC provided half of the Final Four and should be tough again. For Dawg fans, this season should be very exciting as Coach Felton tells me in this interview.

Dave McMahon -- The beginning of every season is always exciting, why should we be excited this season?

Dennis Felton -- We improved tremendously last season. This year we have a new group of freshmen that should give us depth in much needed areas. We should have a big upswing.

DM -- Last season ended poorly, what happened?

DF -- A lot happened. We had injuries and suspensions, but we still fought hard. Our finish was very difficult, we played Florida, LSU, Tennessee... those were some of the toughest teams in the nation.

DM -- You just played your first exhibition game a few days ago, what did you learn from that?

DF -- Our biggest challenge was that we had to defend a smaller team that played in constant motion. They had a lot of guards that shoot the 3 a lot. But we still wanted to play our style, man-to-man. It was tough for our post players defending far away from the basket. Overall I was pretty pleased with our effort. I think our defense played well.

DM -- Although he is suspended for the first game, your 2-time MVP is back, what can Sundiata Gaines do better?

DF -- He can get a lot better, offensively and defensively. He is still learning to play the point. He has to make better decisions sometimes. He has to be more active without the ball, too. I want him to take more of a role as a leader, too.

DM -- Levi Stukes and Steve Newman are back as seniors, what kind of leaders are they?

DF -- Steve works hard and plays hard. Levi started slowly, but he has grown up a lot.

DM -- Is there anywhere on the court where Levi is not afraid to shoot?

DF -- No, he likes it from anywhere. He is a great shooter.

DM -- What about Channing Toney?

DF -- Channing, too... that's what makes him, him.

DM -- Last year, Mike Mercer and Billy Humphrey played a lot of minutes as freshmen, what do they need to work on?

DF -- Mike needs to play more under control and Billy needs to have more effort on defense and tighten up a little on offense.

DM -- Switching to the front court, how healthy is Dave Bliss?

DF -- Healthier than last year, but it is still painful for him. He works very hard, but it is always day-to-day for him.

DM -- What about Terrance Woodbury?

DF -- When healthy, he can be one of the most versatile players on the team.

DM -- Should we expect more from Rashaad Singleton this season?

DF -- Rashaad has improved a lot. He should have a tremendous impact this season.

DM -- Takais Brown, the juco-transfer is suspended academically for an unknown length of time, is this another sign on how important academics are to you?

DF -- The most important reason they are here is to get an education. We hate not having him because it is an area we need.

DM -- What about Albert Jackson?

DF -- He is going to make a huge impact. He is very athletic and aggressive. He is an intelligent player and he is very coachable. He had 11 rebounds off the bench in the exhibition. I don't think we had a player that had 11 rebounds in a game last year.

DM -- You know about him when you were at Western Kentucky... when did you first notice him?

DF -- I knew about him when he was in 7th grade.

DM -- One of the things I have heard about you is your love for music, what are your 3 favorite bands or singers?

DF -- It is all about one band, Parliament-Funkadelic! It is about P-Funk!

DM -- Why don't we get John Bateman in marketing and promotions to play more at the Georgia basketball games?

DF -- We should do that.

DM -- In the off-season, tragedy struck the program when Kevin Brophy was killed in a car accident, what was so special about him?

DF -- His quinine sincerity. He was a loving, giving person. He touched everyone around him. He was very passionate about what he did.

DM -- Is the team doing anything special for him during the season?

DF -- This whole season is dedicated to him. We will have a Kevin Brophy scholarship. We will have spirit bands that say "Do It For Broph." There will be markings on the court, too. The players will have patches on their uniforms as well.

DM -- Thank you for your time.

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