Team preview: Georgia

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 4:55 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams.


Last season, Dennis Felton quietly turned in one of the best coaching jobs in the country. Taking the mess left him by the scandal-ridden final days of former coach Jim Harrick, Felton led the Bulldogs into the NIT on the strength of several big wins. Georgia's victims included Kentucky (twice), NCAA Tournament runner-up Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Florida and Tennessee. That Georgia was ousted in the NIT's first round by Iowa State mattered. Just getting to postseason play was a miracle in itself for a program that could have easily fallen apart. "I can't even explain how we were able to win some of the games we won," Felton said. "But I was as proud of that team as any I've ever coached. What could have been a difficult year turned into a memorable one."


Now comes the difficult year. Departing seniors Rashard Wright (14.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.8 spg), Damien Wilkins (12.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.5 spg), Jonas Hayes (11.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Chris Daniels (10.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg) take with them more than just points, rebounds and assists. Their experience, toughness and leadership qualities were invaluable, and would have been tough to replace in the best of circumstances.