Georgia guard Travis Leslie has jumping and dunking abilities that are routinely riveting.
It's everything else that needs enhancing.
"I know I've got the athletic ability, but I need to work on my feet, my ball-handling and learning the jump shot," Leslie said this week. "Right now I'm not shooting a lot of jump shots, but I know at the next level at my size I'm going to have to. Those are the things I need to work on."
The Bulldogs are 9-9 after whipping Tennessee last Saturday inside Stegeman Coliseum and getting whipped Wednesday night at Florida. Those were wide-ranging performances under first-year coach Mark Fox and for his 6-foot-4, 202-pound sophomore from Decatur, Ga.
Leslie narrowly missed the first triple-double in program history against Tennessee, amassing 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in earning Southeastern Conference player of the week honors. He came back with a decent 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists against the Gators but disappeared for chunks of Georgia's worst showing by far in league play.
"He's a great athlete, and there's no denying that," Fox said, "but I talk with Travis about trying to become a basketball player who is a great athlete as opposed to an athlete who plays basketball. He's worked hard on some very fundamental things, and he continues to improve.
"We've been really pleased with his work ethic in that way, because he's been very receptive to coaching."
Leslie is averaging 13.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, ranking second behind 6-10 sophomore forward Trey Thompkins in each category. He is shooting 49.5 percent from the floor, a stat bolstered by his plethora of dunks.
Four of his eight field goals against the Vols were spectacular slams, and he has attempted just four 3-pointers all season.
Leslie averaged 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds a game as a freshman. He missed the final five games of last season's 12-20 debacle in order to concentrate on academics.
"I've grown a lot as a person since then, and I know I can't afford to be in that position again," Leslie said. "My teammates need me, and I mean a lot to the team. I've been working hard so I'm not in that position again."
Though Georgia may need a second miraculous SEC tournament run in three seasons to reach the NCAA tournament in this year's competitive East Division, the Bulldogs continue to create a stir. The win over Tennessee occurred inthe first Stegeman sellout in three years, and the March 3 home date against Kentucky already is booked.
"I wouldn't say we want it more this year, but we're playing harder and playing well," Leslie said. "That's bringing the fans here, and we play off them, so we want to keep playing like this and to keep the fans coming."