The All-Time Underappreciated Georgia Basketball Team

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Feb 15, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; A general view of the game between the Mississippi Rebels and the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia defeated Mississippi 61-60. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Marbury

Marbury joined Georgia as part of Head Coach Hugh Durham’s first recruiting class in 1978 and was the first ingredient of the Durham engineered basketball awakening.

A legend on the New York Coney Island park courts, the high flyer gained the nickname of “Sky Dog” from fans, although Hugh Durham quipped, “Space Pup” was more appropriate. Indeed, the casual Georgia basketball fan recalls Marbury’s unfortunate decision to drive to the basket against Kentucky late in the game with Georgia leading.

More thoughtful Dawg fans recall Marbury as a two-year co-captain and four-year starter that averaged double digit points each of his four years.

On a night when nothing went right and all seemed lost against Georgia Tech, the freshman Marbury stole the ball in the backcourt from Georgia Tech’s Sammy Drummer. The ensuing leap from just inside the free throw line for the slam gave the Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish. That single play in 1979 awoke the Georgia basketball program and Durham eventually guided the Bulldogs to the 1983 Final Four.

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