NBA or UGA? Travis Leslie gets some basketball advice from his high school coach (UPDATED)

UGA.hoops.TravisLeslie

Travis Leslie aka "The Human Highlight Film, No. 2" (AJC Photo)

UGA basketball coach Mark Fox claims Travis Leslie has informed him that he is returning to college next year. Leslie hasn’t revealed a final decision to the media.

What does one of his best friends think? That would be Phil McCrary, basketball coach at Columbia High. Those two are tight. How close? Leslie made the furious drive to Macon last Saturday after returning from the SEC tournament to sit in the stands and watch Columbia win the Class AAA championship.

The coach has some advice for his prized pupil: “I’m for Travis returning to Georgia for next year. I think that’s the answer that everybody wants. I don’t think he would (declare for the NBA) this year, but you never know. Travis will make the final decision … I would advise him to stay.”

This year, Leslie developed into one of college basketball’s most electrifying players with his high-flying dunks. It’s the things of ESPN highlights. McCrary says he expected Leslie’s breakout season.

“What they are seeing at Georgia, I saw all through high school,” McCrary said. “None of this is new to me. And I promise you are going to see greater things from him next year because he  knows his weaknesses, and what he needs to do this summer to get better. Those things, we’re going to make sure they are taken care of.

“You’re going to see a better basketball player next year. You’re going to see a leap. My thing with Travis is just to remain humble. If he continues to do things the right way, that young man is going to be fine.”

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McCrary said he and Leslie will meet “sometime soon” with Fox to discuss the guard’s future. Said McCrary. “We know Travis is a great talent, but there are some parts of his game that he needs to work on for another year.”

“He needs a better hold on his game, to improve on things like his dribble and the catch-and-shoot (technique). Can you imagine if he keeps improving his jumpshot? A shooting guard with that type of athleticism? That would be hard to stop. If he works on his game for another year (in college), then I think big things are going to happen for him.”

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21 comments Add your comment

CatsFly

March 19th, 2010
11:27 am

It makes me laugh to hear people try to talk a player into staying by saying he needs to improve in certain areas. I think that if the NBA believes he’s good enough, that would be good enough for me. He can make those improvements while earning millions of bucks. Don’t risk things not being so rosy next draft. Now if money is not that important and you want to stay in school and play bb, then by all means, stay in school. Just don’t let someone who is protecting their own agenda talk you into making the wrong choice.

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Charles

March 19th, 2010
6:41 pm

I have to laugh at the Kentucky fan who’s scared of Leslie coming back for another year.

FalconUGAFan

March 19th, 2010
6:47 pm

Wait Charles, clearly CatsFly doesn’t have an AGENDA like everyone else…

Decory Bryant

March 19th, 2010
6:55 pm

He needs to listen to his family. UGA is going to look for themselves. They’ll tell him what’s best for them. The football coaches are the same. And the AA.

Just look at how they treated me.

cdog

March 19th, 2010
9:18 pm

HA HA HA WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE STOP FOOLING THESE UGA PLAYERS. THEY ARE HAVING TROUBLE PLAYING IN THE SEC. HOW DO THEY EXPECT TO MAKE IT IN THE NBA? SOMEONE PLEASE SLAP TRAVIS LESLIE AND TREY THOMPKINS UP SIDE THEIR HEADS.IT’S A BIG JOKE EVERY TIME I HEAR NBA MENTIONED ABOUT EITHER ONE.BOTH ARE TWO TO THREE YEARS AWAY WITH THEIR SKILLS.

Dawg Fan

March 19th, 2010
9:53 pm

I think Travis staying another year and improving his stock in the draft would be best for him. If he waits until next year’s draft where he could be a lottery pick means more guaranteed money. There are no guarantees in life, but improving his game his junior year and then declaring for the NBA draft sounds like the safest bet for this young man.

Stinger

March 19th, 2010
10:08 pm

Elite Eight, here we come !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jump on the bandwagon dawg fans, enjoy the NCAA tourney !!

Reality Check

March 20th, 2010
12:41 am

Catsfly – Did you even read the story correctly. That was his highschool coach that wants him to stay. He has Travis’s best interest at heart not a his own agenda.

j

March 20th, 2010
2:03 am

TheNumber34

March 20th, 2010
6:14 am

Travis will blossom next year as a 2 guard and he’ll be NBA ready in 2011. Trey will also be NBA ready in 2011. This makes these next two recruiting classes critically important.

Porty

March 20th, 2010
8:15 am

I have to laugh at a Georgia fan who really thinks a Kentucky fan sweats Travis Leslie.

jayhawkdawg

March 20th, 2010
9:22 am

Why would any player leave for the NBA early when he is not projected to go in the first round, which is the only round with guaranteed contract? In 2011 he is projected in the first round and should make his move then.

bulldog5931

March 20th, 2010
9:23 am

I think from my perspective, their skills are good enough for the NBA. Travis Leslie- is a big part for UGA, he scores, rebounds, can get some great fastbreaks, and score them. Trey Thompkins- he has all the skills you need. For 6′10 he shoots everywhere. You don’t see many 6′10 players shoot from everywhere, besides for Dirk Nowitzki, who is in the NBA, 7′0.
On that note, they both have the skills this year, or next year for the NBA, top 20 picks. Thompkins- a lottery pick.

G State Ben

March 20th, 2010
9:33 am

What position does he play in the NBA? That answer would be PG. Leaping ability is great but he had a .95 TO/Assists ratio. Needs to stay and work on his ball handling and outside shot if he’ll ever want to stick in the NBA.

ghsclassof2012

March 20th, 2010
10:32 am

G State Ben- seriously? Leslie will be a shooting guard, there is way less work for him to do to be successful at that position (granted it is still a lot of work, just less). He needs to work on his jump shot and 3pt shooting, and be able to take care of the ball. Point guard? come on man, did you even watch this season? Its obvious that right now he doesnt project in the nba because of his small size at forward and he needs to work on his shot and ball handling to project at guard!

bruce mac

March 20th, 2010
12:22 pm

This is why College BB sux to follow. How can you get excited about any young player when all of the good players are one or two and done. At least in Football they have to stay three years. Mid majors got it figured out, they leave all the turmoil to the big boys and signed skilled solid players with little NBA future and proceed to wear the big boys out.

DawgFan

March 20th, 2010
3:29 pm

He is likely a first rounder this year and with labor uncertainty in the NBA he’d probably be best served by entering the draft. If he returns we likely move up to third in the SEC East but it is a toss up whether or not we could make the NCAA’s. He is the hot commodity right this minute but next year there will be new blood in college programs to get the publicity. Would love to see him return but most of my friends only care about football and just can’t see UGA ever truly appreciating basketball. We sure didn’t when we had Tubby Smith as a coach or Dominique Wilkins as a player and nothing has changed.

gt4ever

March 21st, 2010
8:39 am

Don’t be crazy, if the money is there, GO! Period! UGA sill survive….

EW

March 22nd, 2010
3:38 pm

@CatsFly

It makes me laugh to watch the clip of Leslie teabagging Cousins…I think I’ll watch again.

Horford + Sy for Rockets 2 HOF Picks, Thabeet & Hill

June 5th, 2011
12:55 am

Twin Towers
Atlanta Piston Hawks no superstar just studs!
9minutes, 3minutes
Teague(4),Hinrich(1.5)
Johnson(4),Leslie(1.5)
Smith(4), ?Prince?(1.5)
Motiejunas(4), Hill(1.5)
Thabeet(2), Pachulia(1.5)