Freshman Orientation: Georgia

Our NCAA teams have now moved out of the not remotely voluntary portion of the preseason and into the official practice portion. There will not be a great deal for them to report about their progress over the next month or two other than groundbreaking stories like “The team is coming together really well” and “We’re excited about the season.”

But for our purposes, it’s time to start familiarizing ourselves with the freshman on each of the top teams so that we can have our utterly arbitrary opinions about how they will perform solidified and gathering mold well before the season begins. 

I’m starting with Georgia, where (in addition to being reliable workhorses in the all-around) the hardest job for incoming standouts Brandie Jay and Brittany Rogers will be finding a way to mitigate the loss of tenths on bars. Kat Ding and Gina Nuccio were bringing in 9.900s every week and showing their teammates what sticking looks like. Chelsea Davis will be expected to take on that Kat Ding responsibility this season, but both Jay and Rogers will need to prove worthy of late lineup positions to ensure there is not a major drop off from last season. Otherwise, they will be looking very 49.200 on an event where they will need 49.400s.

Brandie Jay





Jay has spent the last three years as one of those solid second-tier elites who lacked some precision and difficulty but who could excel in NCAA because she is talented, has a high skill level, and is relatively injury-free. She has the potential to be the gymnast they were hoping Tanella would be (9.875-y on multiple events).

Vault has been her signature event in the past, and even though it was weaker in 2012 than it had been before, she is capable of putting up a nice late-lineup Yurchenko 1.5 or full that could help make up for the loss of Ding.

Under the elite code, her execution scores were often low on the other events, but many of her major breaks were on skills she wouldn’t have to perform in NCAA. There is certainly some leg and foot form in places that I will harp on, and she’ll need to improve consistency on beam, but she could be a vital all-arounder. 

Brittany Rogers





Rogers had been written off by many after some extended injury breaks, but she returned to be a standout vault and bars worker on the Canadian Olympic team, and that’s where I expect her to be strongest for Georgia. But as we can see from these videos, she’s not hopeless on the other events. I don’t expect her to lead the team, but she could make lineups. They may need some 9.800ishness from her on each, which I can certainly see happening.

She won’t be joining the team until January, but if she’s in shape to compete right away, expect her to be a significant performer. The talent is there. Whether she can bring the team out that Noel Couch/Kaylan Earls/Sarah Persinger 9.825-9.850 territory remains to be seen.

Anysia Unick





Unick isn’t coming in with as much attention because she wasn’t a top international competitor for Canada. When she was recruited, Jay Clark touted her bars skills, and while her Tkatchev is high, I’m not ready to pronounce her a major contributor there. That’s a wait-and-see routine for me. 

I’m actually way more interested in her beam routine and that skill selection, which I hope (and know they won’t) maintain. Don’t discount this one.

Mary Beth Box
Box is a walk-on this year with similar strengths to Mariel. She doesn’t have much difficulty, but she could put together an efficient enough routine on floor to be a backup. She recently had knee surgery, so it remains to be seen if she will contribute in 2013. 

2013-2016 WAG Code of Points

There’s so little going on in the collegiate realm since it’s still September, so I can be forgiven for bouncing back to elite for the moment.

We have the offical Code for 2013-2016, so there is much to digest.

You can download it in the WAG section HERE if you don’t have it yet.

Most of this is similar to the provisional code from earlier in the year, so I won’t address most of that in detail, but there is also some interesting new stuff here that I will react to in no particular order after the jump:

  • I’m most interested in the new “Series Bonus” on beam which provides .10 for any connection of three acro elements valued at at least B+B+C. This means that D+B+C will be .10 instead of .20 (yay) but also that some easier combinations of three elements can also receive .10. I think I’m pro this move, but we’ll have to wait and see. This will be in addition to any CV earned in the combination, so C+C+C will now receive .20 in CV and .10 in SB. Don’t worry if you don’t get it yet, we will learn. Under this rule, a combination dismount like B+B+E will now be .10 instead of .20.
  • They’ve backed off the artistry deductions on beam that they presented in the provisional code, but there is now a .10-.30 deduction for lack of confidence, personal style, and uniqueness in the routine. Love it if it’s applied correctly, which it won’t be. 
  • No more combo pass requirement on floor (!). Instead, the double salto and full turn salto requirements are each different CRs. (Why not get rid of the dance combination while you were at it? Ugh.)
  • Removal of the .30 floor CV from the provisional code. I’m actually glad they did this because I thought .30 for C+E indirect was too much, but others will disagree.
  • UGH. They kept the D acro + A dance connection for floor. It was supposed to be changed to D+B. Not. Wanted.
  • Similar to beam, they have backed off the artistry deductions on floor. It’s a nice gesture but this is a little toothless. I do enjoy the deduction for the inability to play a role or character in the routine. 
  •  Good use of photos of Philipp Boy.
  • Downgrades of vaults are in line with the provisional code. Handspring rudi is down to 6.2, Produnova is down to 7.0, Tsuk 2.5 is down to 6.5, Amanar down to 6.3, Cheng down to 6.4. I appreciate their trying to keep vault scores down, but they’ve missed the point about non-Yurchenko vaults being undervalued.
  • Shushunova on bars down to an E instead of a G. Good. 
  • Kochetkova on beam now an E instead of a D.
  • Split jump with 1.5 turns and straddle 1.5 on floor are now D instead of C.
  • Cat leap and tuck leap 2/1 in floor are now C (kill me).
  • Double front 1/2 is now an F. Finally.
  •  Double double tucked is a new H skill for .80. Did we need that to happen? Double layout 1/1 is also an H. We did need that to happen.
  • They had four more years to learn how to spell people’s names in the named skills section and still no progress. Sigh.
  • There are more things that we already knew about because they were part of the provisional code (like no more bail HS+stalder shoot connection on bars and no more .20 CV for E+E pirouetting), and I’m sure I missed some things, but these are the thoughts for now.

    Tenths above Replacement

    Warning: Contains numbers.

    Even though coaches don’t like to talk explicitly about replacing routines because every team is different and every gymnast is a unique gemstone with her own personal sparkle blah, blah, blah, barf, finding the routines to replace scores that are no longer with the team can be a major struggle.

    Some teams have more work to do than others. As a way of measuring the value of a gymnast that has graduated or retired, we can compare that gymnast’s RQS to the score we would expect from an average replacement, a 7th-8th gymnast on a apparatus who competes in the event of an injury and keeps the team from falling apart. Certainly, that’s going to vary for every team, and Alabama on vault will be expecting a much higher replacement score than Ohio State on beam.

    Still, we can assume that on average most of the top teams will be looking at a replacement score of about 9.800. 9.800 is just OK for a team expecting to make Championships, and nearly all of these teams have 9.800s who were sitting on the bench last season.

    So, in analyzing how much replacement work the top 12 teams from last year have to do, we can examine how much the average team score would decrease if we replaced the graduated/retired routines from 2012 (measured by RQS) with 9.800s. That is the tenths above replacement score. For example, if all the Ferguson, Stone, and Cindell routines from last year become 9.800s instead, Oklahoma’s team score goes down an average of 0.700.

    A few notes:
    -Gymnasts are included if they made the final lineup for the team, be it in Super Six or Semifinals. That’s why Cindell is here even though she likely wouldn’t have competed if not for Nowak’s injury. A healthy Nowak makes up some of that 0.700 right away.
    -In cases where a gymnast competed on an event but the RQS was below replacement level (below 9.800), I did not include that routine in the statistics as it should be replaceable.
    -In cases where a gymnast did not have an RQS because of injury but did contribute in the postseason, I used the postseason average instead. I also intervened in the case of Kyndal Robarts since her very low RQS was not representative of the fact that Utah will have to find a score to replace hers on floor. It’s cheating, but it creates more realistic numbers. What can I say? I’m a rogue. Without that change, Utah’s number would be 0.390, if you’re interested.
    -The numbers slightly underestimate the importance of the seniors for Ohio State, where 9.800s were more rare and valuable last season. The Buckeyes have some of the most replacing to do.

    Tenths above Replacement:

    1. Oklahoma – 0.700
    Megan Ferguson – 0.380 (Bars: 9.910, Beam: 9.930, Floor: 9.940)
    Sara Stone – 0.295 (Vault: 9.935, Beam: 9.875, Floor: 9.885)
    Candace Cindell – 0.025 (Bars: 9.825)

    2. Arkansas – 0.545
    Jaime Pisani – 0.440 (Vault: 9.910, Bars: 9.895, Beam: 9.895, Floor: 9.940)
    Mariah Howdeshell – 0.105 (Bars: 9.905)

    3. UCLA – 0.510
    Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs – 0.220 (Vault: 9.815, Beam: 9.885, Floor: 9.920)
    Aisha Gerber – 0.145 (Bars: 9.890, Beam: 9.855)
    Tauny Frattone – 0.145 (Vault: 9.920, Floor: 9.825)

    4. Georgia – 0.458 
    Kat Ding – 0.338 (Vault: 9.910, Bars: 9.935, Beam: 9.830, Floor: 9.863)
    Gina Nuccio – 0.085 (Bars: 9.885, Floor: 9.800)
    Laura Moffatt – 0.035 (Beam: 9.835)

    5. Utah – 0.457
    Kyndal Robarts – 0.222 (Vault: 9.900, Beam: 9.855, Floor: 9.867)
    Stephanie McAllister – 0.180 (Bars: 9.865, Beam: 9.825, Floor: 9.890)
    Cortni Beers – 0.055 (Bars: 9.810, Beam: 9.845)

    6. Oregon State – 0.440
    Leslie Mak – 0.305 (Vault: 9.810, Bars: 9.885, Beam: 9.930, Floor: 9.880)
    Olivia Vivian – 0.135 (Bars: 9.895, Beam: 9.840)

    7. Stanford – 0.393
    Alyssa Brown – 0.233 (Vault: 9.908, Bars: 9.875, Beam: 9.850)
    Nicole Pechanec – 0.160 (Vault: 9.810, Bars: 9.900, Floor: 9.850)

    8. Alabama – 0.310
    Geralen Stack-Eaton – 0.310 (Vault: 9.895, Bars: 9.890, Beam: 9.820, Floor: 9.905)

    9. Ohio State – 0.240
    Alyssa Marohn – 0.080 (Vault: 9.840, Bars: 9.815, Beam: 9.825)
    Nicole Krauter – 0.060 (Vault: 9.835, Beam: 9.825)
    Taylor Jones – 0.050 (Vault: 9.800, Bars: 9.815, Floor: 9.835)
    Casey Williamson – 0.050 (Bars: 9.845, Floor: 9.805)

    10. Nebraska – 0.235
    Lora Evenstad – 0.235 (Vault: 9.825, Bars: 9.910, Floor: 9.900)

    11. Florida – 0.100
    Nicole Ellis – 0.065 (Bars: 9.865)
    Amy Ferguson – 0.035 (Floor: 9.835)

    12. LSU – 0.055
    Ashley Lee – 0.055 (Vault: 9.855)

    2013 Composite NCAA Schedule

    New look for the blog. Do we like it? I’m not sure yet. I think it’s more readable than before but is also maybe a little template-y and sterile, like a blog about orthodontics where orthodontists can say, “Oh, don’t you hate when braces do that?” We’ll see how it goes.

    It’s September, which means the preseason is rearing its head all over the place. We’re getting schedules and updated rosters and hearing the news that Cassie Whitcomb unsurprisingly took a medical retirement. At her strongest, Whitcomb had some ideal Mary Lee Tracy handstands (flat hips!), so when she couldn’t hit any handstands in exhibition routines last season, it became clear that her chronic back injury would not allow her to compete at this level. As a result, Kaelie Baer appears to have received a magic year.

    Most of the top teams have now released their 2013 schedules, and I have compiled them here to give us a single handy resource for planning and reference purposes. [Edit: All the top teams have now released their schedules, so let’s give a round of applause.]

    Georgia has a characteristically packed schedule, but this year it includes no weeks off during the regular season. The first weekend off will be the bye week between SECs and Regionals. That always makes me nervous. Durante will have to be farsighted in her lineup strategy to protect against injury, especially with her frail elites like Worley and Davis. 

    Stanford once again is barely competing. Last season, the Cardinal didn’t even register on the quality radar until Pac-12s and didn’t even settle on final lineups until the day of Super Six, but maybe there’s something to that. The team peaked at the right time, that’s for sure.  

    The SEC teams always have the most difficult schedules out of conference necessity, but Georgia and Alabama stand out this season as having the most challenging roads. The only potentially soft meets for either of those teams are the conference meets against Kentucky and Missouri (as well as Georgia’s meet against NC State).

    2013 NCAA Schedule

    Week 1 – January 4-6

    Friday, January 4
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Ball State @ Florida
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – NC State @ LSU
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Stanford, Sacramento St., UC Davis @ San Jose State
    TBA – Cancun Invitational (Oregon State, Michigan, BYU)

    Saturday, January 5
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Oklahoma @ Georgia
    6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Penn State @ Denver
    TBA – Ohio State @ Bowling Green

    Sunday, January 6
    5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Southern Utah @ UCLA

    Week 2 – January 11-13

    Friday, January 11
    7:30 ET/4:30 PT ­– Alabama @ Missouri
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Florida @ LSU
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Georgia @ Arkansas
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Ohio State @ Oregon State

    Saturday, January 12
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Oklahoma @ Arizona State
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Nebraska @ Michigan
    5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Penn State @ Illinois-Chicago
    6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Stanford, Illinois, San Jose State @ Arizona
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Utah @ UCLA

    Week 3 – January 18-21

    Friday, January 18
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Missouri @ Florida
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Arkansas @ Kentucky
    7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Auburn @ Georgia
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Denver @ Oklahoma
    8:30 ET/5:30 PT – LSU @ Alabama

    Saturday, January 19
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Iowa @ Ohio State
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Illinois @ Michigan 
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan State @ Nebraska
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Minnesota, Kent State, Towson @ Penn State
    9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Oregon State, West Virginia, Southern Utah @ Utah

    Monday, January 21
    2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Stanford @ Georgia

    Week 4 – January 25-27

    Friday, January 25
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Auburn @ Florida
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Nebraska @ Ohio State
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Denver @ Arkansas
    8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Kentucky @ Alabama
    9:00 ET/6:00 PT – UCLA @ Arizona State
    9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Utah @ Arizona

    Saturday, January 26
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Iowa, Pittsburgh, Rutgers @ Penn State
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan, Iowa State @ Minnesota
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Metroplex Challenge (Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, Oregon State, Washington)
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Stanford @ California

    Week 5 – February 1-3

    Friday, February 1
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Oklahoma @ West VIrginia
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Illinois @ Nebraska
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – LSU @ Kentucky
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Florida @ Arkansas
    9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Arizona State @ Utah

    Saturday, February 2
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Alabama @ Georgia
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Iowa @ Michigan 
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – UCLA @ Stanford
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Ohio State @ Penn State

    Sunday, February 3
    5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Oregon State @ California

    Week 6 – February 8-10

    Friday, February 8
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Alabama @ Florida
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Georgia @ Kentucky
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan @ Ohio State
    7:30 ET/4:30 PT – LSU @ Missouri
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Oklahoma @ Iowa State
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Arkansas @ Auburn
    9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Oregon State @ Arizona State
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – California @ Utah

    Sunday, February 10
    3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Penn State @ Nebraska
    5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Washington, Sacramento St., UC Davis @ UCLA

    Week 7 – February 15-17

    Friday, February 15
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Bart & Nadia Jamboree (Oklahoma, Boise State, BYU, Texas Women’s)
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Arkansas @ LSU
    8:30 ET/4:30 PT – Auburn @ Alabama
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Utah @ Washington
    TBA – Arizona State @ Stanford

    Saturday, February 16
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Florida @ Georgia
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Penn State @ Michigan
    6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Nebraska @ Arizona 
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – UCLA @ Oregon State
    TBA – Ohio State @ Michigan State

    Week 8 – February 22-24

    Friday, February 22
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Kentucky @ Florida
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Boise State, Iowa State @ Nebraska
    7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Georgia @ Missouri
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Alabama @ Arkansas
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – UCLA @ Oklahoma
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – LSU @ Auburn
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Arizona, Seattle Pacific @ Oregon State

    Saturday, February 23
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Illinois @ Ohio State
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan State @ Penn State
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Stanford @ Utah

    Sunday, February 24
    2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Michigan, New Hampshire, Towson @ West Virginia

    Week 9 – March 1-4

    Friday, March 1
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Minnesota @ Florida
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Oklahoma @ Texas Women’s
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Georgia @ LSU
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Missouri, Centenary, Lindenwood @ Arkansas
    8:30 ET/5:30 PT – UCLA @ Alabama
    8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Oregon State, California @ Stanford
    9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Utah, North Carolina @ BYU

    Saturday, March 2
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Penn State @ Illinois
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Michigan @ Michigan State

    Sunday, March 3
    6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Ohio State @ Illinois State
    Monday, March 4
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Iowa @ Nebraska

    Week 10 – March 8-10

    Friday, March 8
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Alabama @ LSU
    8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Arizona @ Oklahoma

    Saturday, March 9
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Utah @ Georgia
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Bridgeport @ Ohio State
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – New Hampshire, Penn, Temple @ Penn State
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Nebraska, Arkansas, Centenary @ Minnesota 
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Washington, Sacramento State @ Oregon State

    Sunday, March 10
    3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Stanford, North Carolina @ Oklahoma
    5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Michigan, California, Iowa State @ UCLA

    Week 11 – March 15-17

    Friday, March 15
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – LSU @ NC State
    8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Oklahoma @ Alabama

    Saturday, March 16
    4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Iowa State @ Michigan
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Kentucky @ Penn State
    9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Florida @ Utah
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Nebraska @ California
    TBA – Ohio State @ Minnesota

    Sunday, March 17
    1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Georgia @ NC State
    5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Arkansas @ UCLA

    Week 12 – March 22-24

    Saturday, March 23
    2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Big 10 Championships (@ Michigan State)
    5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Big 12 Championships (@ Iowa State)
    5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Pac-12 Championships Session 1 (@ Oregon State)
    10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Pac-12 Championships Session 2 (@ Oregon State)
    TBA ­– SEC Championships (Little Rock, Arkansas)

    Week 13 – March 29-31


    Week 14 – April 5-7

    Saturday, April 6
    TBA – Alabama Regional
    TBA ­– Oregon State Regional
    TBA – West Virginia Regional
    6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Florida Regional
    6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Ohio State Regional
    7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Oklahoma Regional

    Week 15 – April 12-14


    Week 16 – April 19-21

    Friday, April 19
    TBA – NCAA National Semifinal #1
    TBA – NCAA National Semifinal #2

    Saturday, April 20
    TBA – Super Six

    Sunday, April 21
    TBA – Event Finals