The Georgia Men’s Bulldog basketball team invites the nation’s most storied college basketball program into the Stegman Coliseum for Senior Night this Thursday. (7:00) It is difficult to underestimate the opportunity this game presents for Georgia seniors Sherrard Brantley John Florveus, and Vincent Williams. A senior night victory would leave Georgia on track to finish above .500 in the SEC and provide the sweetest of memories for a lifetime.
Sherrard Brantley was part of the Dublin High 2009 School State Championship team and came to Georgia as a sophomore from Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Florida. As a JUCO, Brantley earned a reputation sharp shooting from the three-point arc at a 43% rate. Once at Georgia, Sherrard settled in as a role player specializing in three point shooting. His playing time decreased from his sophomore to his junior season (12.7 minutes a game to 9.9 minutes a game.) This season he has averaged over 18 minutes per game and started 4 times. His three point shooting average stands at .366 and he has made 31 assists during the season.
After starring at Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Florida, John Florveus played two seasons at Hillsboro Community College in Tampa. In his first season At Hillsboro he ranked 24th nationally in blocked shots (2 per game). He improved from 4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game his freshman year to 8.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game his sophomore year. After transferring to Georgia, the emphasis was on improving and contributing in games at occasional moments. This season, Florveus started 19 games and averaged over 17 minutes a game. While he averages only 2 points per game and has committed 31 turnovers, he is shooting over .500. Florveus plays well his role as a space eating big man well, providing the room required for Georgia’s young guards to score and rebound.
Vincent Williams bloomed late in his high school career and came to Georgia after graduating from South Dade Senior High School (Dade County, FL) He immediately became a valuable back-up point guard. As a junior, Williams averaged 12.1 minutes per game and had 11 starts. This season he is averaging nearly 20 minutes per game and has 21 starts. His quickness and jump shooting are an excellent counter punch to the physical play of freshman Charles Mann
As the Dogs approached Christmas, the possibility of a successful Southeastern Conference campaign appeared unlikely. It also appeared unlikely any of the three seniors would have a significant impact on the season. Coach Mark Fox then put the team in the hands of seniors Sherrard Brantley, John Florveus, and Vincent Williams – a decision that has dominated conversation among the Bulldog faithful.
Closing with victories against Kentucky and Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Saturday, 4:00) and a Conference Tournament surge leading to post season play would be a storybook ending for these seniors. However, the most significant legacy may have been written – a senior class that did not quit competing, that did not give up on the season, and that turned a season a-round. How big a turn a-round will depend a great deal on the performance of the senior Bulldogs after they carry away their framed jersey’s on Senior Night.