Friday, March 11, 2011

Gym Dog Show

You know it is a bad year when each week's episode shows more fluff and more fluff and less and less actual gymnastics highlights.

Jay said the tone of the huddles changed a bit after their 48.500 on floor.  Luckily for the Gym Dogs, UCLA is an even shittier team this season.  Val Kondos often says that you need to be twice as good as another team to beat them when you're on the road...

The Gym Dogs have a few key routines, but they are shy of the 10-12 9.9-level routines needed to win a Championship.  At the point in the season, los equipos necesitan evitar la mierda.  Unfortunately, the Gym Dogs don't have any big routines waiting to come in and get girls like Cat Hires or Mariel Box out of the lineup.  They have a big gun out for the year, but they also have girls on scholarship who aren't contributing.  Ideally, fugly-but-sturdy Noel Couch would be a solid leadoff.  This year, she is about third up in the lineup on most events.

Shayla is taking Calamity Gina's role.  She is only 9.9-level on beam and she definitely lucked out score-wise after taking that big step.  Shayla is in FAR better shape than she was last year.  When she executes beam, visions of the old Shay are beginning to return.

McComb is ending her career on a high note, but fellow senior Hilary Mauro is fighting genetics and a sore achilles for dear life to make it through another six weeks.

Kat Ding is back on two events, which an enormous help.  Kat, Gina, Shayla, Hilary and Cheek (who has slumped lately) need to carry this team to the Super Six.  It is far from a certainty at this point.


  1. I watched Georgia vs LSU from 2008, that Georgia team was STACKED. A beam line up of Heenan, Childs, Mauro, Taylor, Kupets AND McCool. Ridulous.

    Sometimes I feel for Jay. A leadoff for those 2005-2009 teams could be 4th or anchor this team

  2. Yeah, the talent drop-off was bound to happen regardless of who the head coach is, but it's even more obvious under Jay because the team is underperforming so much.

    UGA was probably at their deepest in 2007. C.Kupets, Heeenan, Tolnay, Childs, Erickson, McCool, Taylor, Newby, A.Kupets.... just incredible talent.

  3. There was definitely a talent drop-off, and there has been some underperforming, but I think Jay has done well with the program to only be in his second year as head coach. He gets compared to Suzanne's teams and that just isn't where he is right now.

    And I agree, 2007 was unreal in terms of talent...loaded with former national team members, olympians, top level-10s. Unreal.

  4. Suzanne's early announcement of retiring hurt recruiting.....

  5. I know, Suzanne had 20 years to create her dynasty. Nobody wants to give anyone a chance to build anything anymore. I blame American Idol.

    p.s. Does the way Gina Nuccio's leotard fits her BUG anyone else? Isn't there a bigger leo and glue for that?? Ugh

  6. I agree, the quality of the gymnasts are going down slowly.

  7. Having a hard time understanding why anyone who's just had kidney stones and isn't even done passing them all would want to fly across the country, let alone compete at a gymnastics meet. Crazy!

  8. Jay was given an immensely talented team last year and he wound up destroying team chemistry by not knowing how to handle girls he'd coached for 2-3 years. He upset Grace Taylor in a big way by announcing that no gymnast was ever allowed to be engaged again while on the team.

    Jay had a very good roster last year and really mucked it up with his ego. He also has kept worthless people on scholarship. You can't blame Suzanne for retiring. Jay already told people for years that he did all of the coaching and was the reason for their success. Other NCAA coaches even had that impression until he was finally in charge.

  9. @anonymous 8:01, how do you know all of this? I'm not being rude, I'm honestly curious. I had heard talk about Jay being upset over Grace's engagement but didn't Marcia Newby get engaged the same day as Grace? Was he mad at her as well?

    Is there any chance that Kati B. could take a medical after this year? She has had some injuries, I know they aren't technically what is keeping her from competing, and I know that others on the team compete with worse injuries. I'm just thinking that Jay could open up a scholarship and save face (sort of) if she medical'd. I think I remember Suzanne saying something about that Georgia has never had anyone transfer, and if they didn't renew Kati's scholarship she'd be allowed to transfer unless she took a medical, right? Just curious. Any feedback is appreciated!

  10. I'm a different anon, but I have heard the same thing about Jay being pissy towards Taylor. Newby too. It was a bigger issue with Grace though as she's far more the emotional type than Cia.

    In the past, Georgia supposedly gave scholarship girls two years to contribute before taking action. If that holds, they should cut Breazeal this summer; that or "medical" her. Either way, they need the scholarship back.

    (But will they dare risk alienating WOGA?)

    There are issues around Jay's personality as a coach - and having Julie as his #2 doesn't help - but the core problem has been recruitment, which has been inept. Of course, the guy responsible for THAT is staring back at Jay in the mirror.

    UCLA will come back quickly next year.

    I don't think UGA is coming back for a long while.

  11. Jay is an incredible assistant coach but does not have "it" to be a head coach. Different ball game. Successful assistants are astute technically. Head coaches are big personalities who are genius motivators and masters of timing (knowing when to push and when to hold back to peak); Jay may know how to coach skills but he lacks ability to mastermind the psyche of a team. IMO, you either have it or you don't; it is innate, born in you.

  12. UCLA will be helped by Zam next year, but I wouldn't say that things will just be easy for them. Whitcomb will definitely help.

    Next year, UGA will get Davis, Persinger and they will have Kaylan Earls back. The best case scenario for reviving UGA would be for Bridget Sloan to retire from elite and decide to go there in the fall. From all indications, she is going to go to UGA and she has seemed unsure about her elite future based on recent tweets/interviews (LA Times blog.)

  13. I agree. I think UGA's got some great talent coming in next year, so I think Jay's recruiting is still on point. This year's freshmen class wasn't the best, but the freshmen class last year was highly considered to be the #1 class in the country with Worley and Tanella. I know they haven't completely panned out, but Tanella has improved a lot since last year and if Worley could stay healthy she would be solid too. She's definitely in better shape physically this year.

    Kaylan Earls should be a rock next year and replace some of McComb's scores. If they can keep Chelsea Davis healthy she'll be a huge help. Persinger too. Hopefully Cheek will have settled into college and be in the line-up consistently. Obviously Kat and Gina are the big factors here, they need them both desperately. Bridget Sloan would be a huge boost for them as well...more than huge.

  14. What indicators are there that Sloan is leaning towards UGA? I was under the impression she was leaning towards Florida.

  15. she may be leaning towards Florida but that doesn't mean Florida is leaning towards her - my impression is that Rhonda Faehn works her gymnasts quite hard, so doubt she'd be a fan od Sloan's "I hate training" thing.