UGA-bound basketball recruits: Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall vs. Greenville’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Predict which player will have the biggest impact at UGA?

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The showdown between UGA recruits Nick Marshall of Wilcox County and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Greenville High lived up to its advanced billing in this weekend’s state playoffs.

Greenville edged Wilcox County 77-75 in the Class A quarterfinals. Marshall, who signed with Georgia on a football scholarship and plans to “walk on” the school’s basketball team, finished with 16 points. Caldwell-Pope, who signed with Georgia on a basketball scholarship and has been selected to play in the McDonald’s All-America game, exploded for 40 points, including six 3-pointers.

The AJC’s S. Thomas Coleman was at the game and offered his insight:

First, I think it’s appropriate to mention the coaches and other players because as Greenville coach Richard Carter said, the game was more than Caldwell-Pope vs. Marshall. Both Carter and his counterpart, Wilcox coach George Kennedy were solid. They used timeouts wisely and had good plans to deal with the other team’s star.

Carter had Greenville stay in “man” the whole game, but he threw different bodies at Marshall. Senior Kanaan Patterson drew the assignment the majority of the time and did a good job making Marshall work for everything. Kennedy used his second best player, sophomore Johnathan Howard, to guard Caldwell-Pope. He “limited” Caldwell-Pope to 12 points in the first half, and outscored him as well (he had 18 at the half). But when he picked up his third foul early in the second half when Caldwell-Pope started to force the issue more, he wasn’t the same offensively.

Still, he finished with 26 points and is definitely a player to watch, as are juniors Milton Jackson and Quez Mohogany. For Greenville, obviously Mario Alford is “the man” as Carter said. But Willie Bailey, who hit the game-winning shot, is also a good looking athlete – long (about 6-3) and explosive. He finished with 14 points, which included a couple of vicious dunks. And Tedric McGill had an all-around good game for Greenville — 10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks. He’s about 6-6. Both he and Bailey are seniors. I hope they get the opportunity to play on the next level because I think they can.

AJC Super 11 member Nick Marshall will play football and basketball at UGA (AJC)

AJC Super 11 member Nick Marshall will play football and basketball at UGA (AJC)

Now for Caldwell-Pope and Marshall. Remember, this is based on ONE GAME, although I saw Marshall play in last season’s quarterfinals as well:

Caldwell-Pope fell in love with his jumper a little too much Friday night, and what’s not to love. It looks like it’s going in every time he pulls the trigger, and Carter says he had the green light as soon as he steps into the front court because he has unlimited range. When he decided to take it to the basket he was pretty successful, but I don’t think he did so nearly enough, as illustrated by the fact that he shot just three free throws in the game and two of those were “and ones.” But some of that may be a result of Greenville’s system, where Alford is the main penetrator. Also, Caldwell-Pope has a nice post-up game. In order for him to be a factor right away in the SEC, he’ll need to gain some weight and get stronger (as is the case with most freshmen). But he’s competitive and tough. He split his lip open but came out just long enough to change jerseys. And it was his scrappy defense that led to the steal in the final seconds, giving his team the chance to win it at the end.

Overall, I came away thinking Caldwell-Pope is the real deal. He more explosive than I thought. He might already be UGA’s best perimeter shooter. When he gets bigger and stronger and gains more confidence in his dribble-drive game, look out.

UGA's Mark Fox will welcomes Class A's biggest stars (AJC)

UGA's Mark Fox will welcome Class A's biggest stars (AJC)

Marshall is an athlete playing basketball, albeit a phenomenal athlete. His game is based around his athleticism because even though he looks like a decent ball handler, he doesn’t appear to be a great shooter. But his athleticism is off the charts. During a secondary break he took off from about 10 feet way from the basket on the right wing. He looked like he could have dunked it, but he decided to just lay it in instead.

He’s thicker now than he was this time last year, so he’s obviously been in the weight room. He’s fast, quick, strong and explosive, tools that translate to any sport. If he played basketball at UGA he’d be a poor-man’s version of Travis Leslie. But on the football field his physical tools could make him another Champ Bailey.

Thanks, Mr. Coleman. Now it’s YOUR turn. What are your thoughts on these two talented players? Predict the future.


41 comments Add your comment


March 5th, 2011
9:52 pm

Neither. Neither will qualify. Sorry mutts lolololol


March 5th, 2011
10:24 pm

what a stupid thing to say. U should just say what u really mean? Dont be scared


March 5th, 2011
10:38 pm

Buzzed, Get off the drugs.


March 5th, 2011
10:48 pm

4th ……… go dogs

Willie Martinez

March 5th, 2011
10:56 pm


March 5th, 2011
11:28 pm

Don’t be jealous Buzzed, while UGA’s recruits are looking forward to playing for Coach Fox, you may lose your best recruit to UGA if you fire your coach or you keep your coach, he can play and GT can keep losing while Hewitt coaches your program like hes being paid by another ACC school.


March 5th, 2011
11:43 pm

Greenville is the real deal. High caliber competition in that part of the state. KCP is the latest in a recent wave of big-time athletes from Meriwether County-second McDonald’s All-American in 5 years (Korvotney Barber/Manchester HS/Auburn/European Pro) and second I-A stud athletic recruit from Greenville HS in the past 2 years (Kenarious Gates, Dawg lineman, who also played sone hoops.) Mario Alford is possibly the next option QB at Georgia Southern and Will Bailey has at times carried Greenville this year when Pope’s jumper wasn’t falling. The Patriots have a great shot to win it all.


March 5th, 2011
11:46 pm

i wish gt bb was what it used to be. im tired of reading all these relevant articles about uga :( tear.


March 6th, 2011
12:13 am

Hope Coach Fox doesn’t set them back like he did this year’s incoming freshmen.


March 6th, 2011
12:17 am



March 6th, 2011
1:12 am

Where was Nick Marshall the last 3 minutes of this game? He didn’t want the ball. How does the best player on the team not touch the ball in the last 3 minutes of a close game. This game was incredibly sloppy with neither team running any sets. Each team gave up over 20 offensive rebounds. I guess you could say the game was exciting, but there wasn’t an ounce of fundamentals or good basketball in the entire game. It was basically a pick up game with two talented players trying to one up each other at every turn. At no point was there any discipline or commitment to team basketball. Nick Marshall went missing when it mattered the most.

Ken Dudley

March 6th, 2011
4:19 am

Athletes who go pro before their collegiate eligibility is up should be required to pay their respective schools for ALL expenses incurred during their showcase years.

Ken Dudley

March 6th, 2011
4:26 am

Stop building buildings we can’t staff and maintain and suddenly there will be enough money to continue HOPE scolarships and Pre-K programs. You could also stop yearly tuition increases that are not tied to the cost of living while you’re at it.


March 6th, 2011
5:29 am

Pay the athletes one tenth what the head coach makes and the players turning pro would be cut in half !!!!!!!!!!!

Norwegian Bulldog

March 6th, 2011
5:31 am

How does this dude know if these players will qualify or not?


March 6th, 2011
6:43 am

Who Cares? Really Who Cares or gives a rip?

Dawg Consultant

March 6th, 2011
6:56 am

Ken, athletic scholarships are a one year comment from the school to a student athlete. There is no requirement or guarantee that a school renew a particular athlete’s scholarship. Given this fact, I have not earthly idea why you would ask that the athletes in return have a greater commitment to the schools than the schools have to the athlete.

The truth is that athletes that are good enough to turn pro before the eligibility is exhausted make far more than the cost of the scholarships in revenue for the school.

Your comment seems to suggest that an athelete somehow owes the school something for leaving early. This is not the case, and there is no logical or reciprocal argument for your statement.

Perhaps if you decide to leave your job, you should be forced to re-pay your employer your previous years wages. Oh, wait…I forgot…college athletes are not employees and they don’t get paid. How silly of me.

Please try to get a life sometime in the next few days.


March 6th, 2011
7:44 am

Two great althletes. Both will help the UGA basketball program. KCP outside shot is much needed on a team that is very limited on the outside. I would like to see Marshall develop an outside shot to make his Bball game more complete. As far as Marshall on the football field. I think he will be the real deal at any position he plays. Good luck to both players.


March 6th, 2011
9:03 am


xpurt Analist

March 6th, 2011
9:44 am

“they had good plans to deal with the other team’s star.”

And the guy goes for 40 in 32 minutes? ROTFLMAO….what a stupid analysis.

xpurt Analist

March 6th, 2011
9:48 am

“This game was incredibly sloppy with neither team running any sets. Each team gave up over 20 offensive rebounds. I guess you could say the game was exciting, but there wasn’t an ounce of fundamentals or good basketball in the entire game. It was basically a pick up game with two talented players trying to one up each other at every turn. At no point was there any discipline or commitment to team basketball. ”

haha that is the game I saw too. But the writer of the story wants to act like the coach’s actually coached. Just street ballin trash play, that will not work at the next level. I still laugh at a guy going for 40 pts in 32 minutes and a writer talking about a good strategy to contain him. HAHAAH.


March 6th, 2011
10:04 am

Dont know much about either one of these young men, but Greenville is the Alma mater of my best friend. Sad to say they face my alma mater Wilkinson County Warriors (The Blue Storm) on wednesday. Sorry to say, the cinderella story will end then. We both are making the trek up I-16 from Savannah to watch Greenville high be the latest casualty of the STORM!!!!!! See ya on Wednesday Mr. Caldwell-Pope.

drive by dawg

March 6th, 2011
10:18 am

Really a poor analysis of Marshall as a basketball player. I’ve seen him play multiple times and my brother-in-law coaches in his region. Marshall is a pure shooter with excellent form and a lightning-release. He has tremendous range on his jumper as well. His handle is better than average and he can get off his shot at will thanks to the fact that he shoots at the top of his elevation and the aforementioned quick-release. He’s a lot more than an athlete playing basketball – he was a top 50 basketball recruit (nationally) before he became a football-first guy. He’s not as good as Caldwell (obviously), but he is an All-SEC SG from a talent standpoint. He also jumps out of the gym. If he gets his attitude right and will take coaching, he can be as good as he wants to be. To say he’s not a good shooter is hilarious to anyone who’s seen him play more than once or twice. He’s a great shooter.

drive by dawg

March 6th, 2011
10:19 am

Marshall doesn’t need to develop an outside shot – he has a beautiful one. I’ve seen him make 6-7 three’s in one game.

Hoops Dawg

March 6th, 2011
12:00 pm

How much basketball is it reasonable to expect out of Nick Marshall at UGA? I remember Gibson playing after football season was over (beginning in January) and he was talented enough to give us some meaningful minutes for Jim Harrick. But that lasted one season. When will Mr. Marshall have an opportunity to learn and work himself into CMF’s system? I think that the only way we see Nick Marshall on the hardwoods is if he decides he’d rather play basketball and that is unlikely, in my humble opinion.

We need an ................

March 6th, 2011
12:33 pm

We need an instructional league both in football and basketball. Baseball already has them in their instructional league and their minor leagues.

Kids that are really talents and that need the money ( who does not? ) can go to the PRO instructional basketball of footbal arena and get paid say $75,000 + food and sheleter while they are at camps or ” in season” . They then would be ineligible to play college sports in their chosen pro career …… like football, if they failed at that professionally.

They would sign a three or four year contract with health insurance provided and if it works out ………….. they get drafted. They could play a 6 or 8 game season in football and say 35 games in the NBA instructional league. Do this for three or four years then turn pro or then pump gas.

The kid can be fed a diet of proper nutrition and have some major spending money of say $6,000 per month and they can help mom and grandmama and live the life that they REALLY desire, vs a college education. They would have three or four years to PROVE that they ARE PRO material ………… just like in NCAA now and this would end the tarnished reps like over at Auburn right now.

Kids that want to play college ball can go do that and the deal would be no jumping ship after you sign. You either go pro OR you play NCAA ball.

Who would pay for this? The fans with ticket prices and the owners of the NFL or the NBA. I am sick and tired of kids that will never, ever be a physician or an attorney or a banker or a teacher or a veterinarian or a business manager or a biologist or a pharmacist “playing” at ATTENDING a college. Scandalds result and the alumni are sick and tired of the Scam Newton stories of the world. UGH !!!

What is not to like? If the pros do not want to do it …………….. then maybe we are stuck with this failed system. I for one, do not attend pro sporst beyond the Braves nor do I view them on TV.

Go Dogs


March 6th, 2011
3:23 pm

IMHO, Marshall’s raw athleticism will be the reason he can play basketball with limited practice time. You can’t teach speed, natural strength or jumping ability. He could come in to BB season in great shape and play 15 minutes or so a game as a lockdown defender or as an offensive sparkplug.

drive by dawg

March 6th, 2011
4:31 pm

Having seen both, I can tell you that Marshall is a far more advanced basketball prospect than Fred Gibson (whom I absolutely LOVED!) ever was. Marshall has a high level of basketball skill, despite the misinformation in this article. Had he only wanted to play basketball, he could have gone to any school outside of only a few like Duke, Kansas, et al. He is a high major, SEC/ACC basketball prospect. The same could never have been said about Gibson.

Marshall is the best two-sport athlete to come out of Georgia in two decades. Easily.


March 6th, 2011
5:23 pm

Hopeful they both have a big roles in Coach Fox program,also add a another footballer Stan Rome and the team minus the Srs. come back intact and this team will be great along with a good COACH to coach them,and if we count the recriuts they have coming in look out.

Catfish Grizzard

March 6th, 2011
5:36 pm

Marshall the next Champ Bailey?? Take it easy Carvell. Comparing an 18-year old kid to one of the top 5 cornerbacks of all-time…all-time.


March 6th, 2011
6:27 pm

I was covering the girls game prior to this one and was still typing my article when this one was going on…. All I can say is these two are studs AND there were a lot more good looking ball players on the court for both teams. Those two first quarter dunks from the other Greenville kid were outrageous. I stayed an watched a little before I had to fly out the door but it was a very fast paced, fun game to watch.

Lonnie Walls

March 6th, 2011
7:52 pm

I coached Kentavious in middle school and have seen Nick play on multiple occasions and I will say that they are truly the real deal. Bailey has signed with Morehead State and I think Patterson and Mcgill could both be mid major players! Coaching was important in this game. The Patriot man to man with multiple defenders did bother Nick and Kentavious got in a rythm in the second half that shows how good he is. Offensive rebounds happened due to spacing and the fact that the man to man was mainly to prevent and athletic players were able to go to the boards. In addition the clearouts for Alford are what any good coach would do down the stretch with a super quick point guard and a shooter like caldwell. He cut outside and Alford went to the hoop!

just sayin

March 6th, 2011
10:18 pm

“IMHO, Marshall’s raw athleticism will be the reason he can play basketball with limited practice time. He could come in to BB season in great shape and play 15 minutes or so a game as a lockdown defender or as an offensive sparkplug.”

IMHO, No chance.

Ted Striker

March 6th, 2011
10:55 pm

Excellent article and analysis, Michael Carvell.


March 7th, 2011
9:42 am

I don’t think Fox set any Fr. back on this team. Thornton has been solid. He was only a “92″ recruit according to ESPN, while Jeremy Price and Thompkins were “95″’s. And Dontae Williams would have probably been Rsh if LaLanne would have qualified, yet he’s developed into a solid rotational player. Long, good D.

Not sure what your talking about Fox setting Fr. back. Now do I wish he could have kept Daniel Miller? Yes, def.


March 7th, 2011
9:46 am

Seniors are like gold in the SEC. Assuming Leslie and Thompkins go pro, which they probably will even if they fall out of the 1st round, we still have an all Senior back court next season. That’s assuming Gerald Robinson doesn’t go pro. He shouldn’t nowhere near ready.
And we have 2 Jrs. backing them up in Williams and Brantley. That’s a solid back court.

And with Caldwell Pope on the wing, and Marcus Thornton a year under his belt, we won’t drop off too much next season.

Ms. Alford

March 7th, 2011
5:39 pm



March 8th, 2011
9:44 am

2 very fine athletes.

I’m pretty sure Nick has qualified.

Also, after watching him play for the last 6 years, he is a very special player.

He has cold stretches (and cold nights) but when hot is as fine a shooter as I’ve ever seen.

Ken = something else. Go Dawgs!

Wish both these guys much success in the future.

NC Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
7:14 am

Hey Buzzed, suck it. hahaha

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9:46 pm

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9:02 am

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