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Morning Coffee: Basketball is back

Friday, November 2

Mark Fox: Checking out a UGA football practice

Georgia freshman guard Kenny Gaines doesn't mind telling you: He's got the butterflies for his first game in Stegeman Coliseum.

"A lot of people say they are not really nervous and they're just ready to go out there and play," Gaines said Thursday. "But I am a little bit nervous, just trying to make sure I remember all the plays offensively and remember all the defensive tendencies that we've been working on."

The 2012-13 basketball season won't officially start for Georgia's team until next Friday. But first up in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. tonight against burgeoning NCAA Division II team Young Harris.

"First time for this group to play under the lights, first time for our freshmen to play really in front of their families and friends here at Georgia, certainly we want to be able to just play in front of people and relax and learn how to play in front of a crowd," UGA coach Mark Fox said. "That's really not something that we've done to this point yet. We had a great crowd at one of our games in Italy, but none of them spoke English, so it was no pressure."

Fox expects to "play a couple of different lineups to see how they work together and how they perform," getting a good read on his team before opening the season next Friday against Jacksonville University.

Forward Marcus Thornton, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery, has been held out of some preseason practices. But Fox says Thornton will play tonight.

"Everybody will play except (freshman) Houston Kessler, who will redshirt," Fox said.

Young Harris is coached by Pete Herrmann, who was UGA's interim head coach after Dennis Felton was fired during the 2008-09 season.

Herrmann coached Young Harris to a 22-4 record last season.

"Actually, when I went to Kansas State to be an assistant coach, I took over the office that he vacated when he was on Dana Altman's staff," Fox said of Herrmann. "And then when he was the interim coach here, I stepped in and took over his desk a second time.

"I've known Pete a long time and his wife Sharon. He's a good man and this was a game that he felt could really help his team. We've tried to play a lot of these state schools, just to help them, and it's good for our team.

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LINK(S) OF THE DAY

Good news, tennis fans!

The NCAA men's and women's tennis championships are coming back to Athens in 2014.

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TWEET(S) OF THE DAY

Looking for something fun this Fri before the Ole Miss game? Theres a free concert at Prince Ave Church at 7:30. Bebo Norman, David Richt

UGA coach Mark Richt

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I used to hate crossing the street when I was little . I just knew a car was gon take me out

DL Garrison Smith

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#noshavenovember is here! Can't wait to see my beard on November 30th

OL Preston Mobley

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I can see "No-Shave November" quickly turning into a long-term commitment.

FB Dustin Royston

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Thoughts&Prayers go out to the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Have faith in these difficult times. #brooklyncat #wherethestrongsurvive

QB Faton Bauta

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I love @aaronmurray11 and @dandrews61 !!! I drew this self portrait of y'all in class ! RT PLZ pic.twitter.com/wEI5YWBl

OL Watts Dantzler

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Campus is dead. Halloween in athens 1 uga students - 0. Kudos classic city...

TE Arthur Lynch

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Thing I love most about the start of the NBA season...every team/city has hope for a great year! Unless your the Bobcats. They are done.

Former UGA PK Blair Walsh

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Just found out in English class that there are national grocery bagging competitions sponsored by NGA national grocers association #weird

PK Marshall Morgan

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Thank you to the Athens Touchdown Club for letting Richard Samuel and I share our stories and talk about the Dawgs!

LB Christian Robinson

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