UGA’s early NBA departures may help with recruiting of ex-Tennessee recruit Kevin Ware of Rockdale County (UPDATED)

Louisville is leading the chase for Kevin Ware (No. 35), followed by UCLA, UGA and Central Florida (AJC)

Louisville is leading the chase for Kevin Ware (No. 35), followed by UCLA, UGA and Central Florida (AJC)

The early NBA departures of Georgia basketball standouts Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie may help the Bulldogs with recruiting.

Rockdale County’s Kevin Ware, who was recently granted a release from his Tennessee basketball scholarship, said Tuesday that the Bulldogs are among his favorites. The 6-foot-4 guard is ranked as the nation’s No. 56 prospect by Rivals.

“That’s big for my decision with those guys leaving,” Ware told the AJC. “It definitely opens up a scholarship for me, and if [Leslie] sticks with the NBA, then it would give me the opportunity to compete for more playing time next year.”

Thompkins said he will hire an agent, cementing his NBA departure. Leslie has left open the possibility of withdrawing from the draft by the NCAA’s May 8 deadline to return for his senior season at Georgia.

Meanwhile, Ware said one of his biggest attractions to Georgia is playing alongside 5-star recruit Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Greenville High.

“I could definitely see myself playing in the backcourt with Kentavious,” Ware said. “I like Georgia for other reasons, too. They have a real good coach, and it’s close to home. It wouldn’t be a problem for my family to come see me play.”

Ware acknowledged that Louisville is the frontrunner for his services, followed (in order) by UCLA, Georgia and Central Florida. He claims scholarship offers from the four, along with Georgetown, Florida State, Baylor, and Virginia. Ware said he will begin setting up official visits next week.

“It’s crazy with all the offers I’m getting, with it being this late in the year,” Ware said. “I feel so blessed.”

What about Georgia Tech? “We haven’t heard anything from them. Don’t know what’s going on there.”

What about Tennessee again? “I had the understanding that I was supposed to meet with them this past Monday, but it never happened. I really don’t know.”

What about any other schools? “I’m not sure. I think some others have talked with my AAU coaches. I know Kentucky is interested. They expect Brandon Knight to leave for the NBA, and if that happens, then they would be interested in offering a scholarship. I’m not sure how I feel about Kentucky. It’s a great school, but they already have a lot of guards.”

Ware committed to Tennessee as a sophomore, but requested a release after Volunteers fired coach Bruce Pearl. This past season, Ware averaged 19 points and 9 assists while leading Rockdale to its first appearance in the state championship game since 1987.

37 comments Add your comment

Directions

April 5th, 2011
5:42 pm

Good luck in your decision.

Dirk Dribbler

April 5th, 2011
5:50 pm

He couldn’t make it @ Tech anyway due to the tough academic standards, at least that’s what the fans will say.

MaxxDawg

April 5th, 2011
5:56 pm

He’s going to Louisville. I don’t think he is that crucial to the Dawgs, especially if they land Deondre Haynes, he’s a BEAST that will be much better than Kevin Ware

drive by dawg

April 5th, 2011
6:38 pm

I hope Mr. Ware will ignore mouth-breathing idiots like MaxxDawg. WE WANT YOU IN ATHENS MR. WARE! You will be appreciated here. You will be a hero in your home state. You’ll make up one of the best backcourts in America with KCP. You will be part of bringing big-time basketball back to Athens and back to Georgia where it belongs. At Louisville, you’ll be a commodity. In Athens, you’ll be beloved. Stay home Kevin Ware and play for the GEORGIA BULLDOGS! We want you. We need you. Mark Fox will make you an NBA player, just as he did with Travis Leslie.

Worm

April 5th, 2011
6:47 pm

Good luck son..Would be nice for your folks to drive an hour to see you play every game.

nash

April 5th, 2011
7:35 pm

All three starting big men at Ga are leaving this year ( Barnes, Price and, Trey) Ga has one 7 ft coming in (juco) a 6′10 guy (2 star) and a 6′8 guy with no athletism. CMF nevers some one that can get rebs, play in the paint without being push around.

3 points is... 3 points

April 5th, 2011
7:37 pm

“He couldn’t make it @ Tech anyway due to the tough academic standards, at least that’s what the fans will say.”

Well, yeah, he would have to know a little more to cut it at Tech than how many points a 3-pointer is worth like the education he’d get at UGay.

skwerl

April 5th, 2011
7:50 pm

well drive by . . . you have proven one thing. You have never been to Louisville, UL or a Louisville basketball game. Commodity? Would you mind sharing your source? Actually, at UL, we actually sell out our bball games and support our kids way more than JOEJAH. Your two biggest seasons down there are football and football recruiting. And of course the annual “Avoid the NCAA Investigator” parade is a big event also. That is priceless. A SEC school talking about student athletes being a commodity somewhere else.

greg

April 5th, 2011
8:18 pm

Skwerl…why don’t you do a little homework on the quality of school UGA is compared to Louisville. I won’t spell it out for you but I think you might be surprised.

Will

April 5th, 2011
8:22 pm

Freeing up a scholarship for Ware is no problem.

Athletic scholarships are good for one year only and must be renewed each year beyond that. UGA has two scrubs (Nolte and Bucklin) on scholarship that could, and should, be revoked if there is a quality recruit out there.

This is especially so with Nolte now that his brother has committed to Virginia and his being on the Georgia bench is no longer a factor in this recruitment.

E

April 5th, 2011
8:36 pm

@ skwerl: At least Georgia fires their Athletic Department employees who embarrass the University. Unlike some other schools I can think of “cough” Louisville “cough”. Your coach may not treat his players as a commodity, but he sure treats his mistresses like one.

RomeDawg

April 5th, 2011
8:40 pm

Kevin Ware, You chose Tennessee….You , Da’Rick Rogers, and any other traitor that leaves the state are no longer welcome here as far as I am concerned…Go play for MTSU…..You had your chance to play for the Dawgs so, Bye now!!!!!

cantondawg

April 5th, 2011
9:04 pm

RomeDawg,

Very IMMATURE comment. From what i read, Ware chose Tennessee when he was a sophomore. That means that he made the decision in the final year of Dennis Felton. At the time, Bruce Pearl was one of the hottest coaches in america and Felton was one of the coldest. I don’t blame him for wanting to play for Pearl over Felton. Also. some players just want to experience getting away from home.

[...] a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, former Tennessee signee Kevin Ware indicated that Lousiville is currently in the lead to land his [...]

RomeDawg

April 5th, 2011
9:38 pm

The post from 9:04 is NOT from me. Some really COOL cat decided to steal my blog name. What a loser! I would LOVE to have Ware at UGA but I am a thinkin’ it ain’t happening since we are 3rd on the list.

RomeDawg

April 5th, 2011
9:49 pm

Sorry…the 8:40 post.

RomeDawg

April 5th, 2011
10:04 pm

Sorry I have been drinking tonight because UGA will suck in basketball again w/o Thompkins and underachive in football with Richt as our coach. We have become a joke of a program! :(

Michael Carvell

April 5th, 2011
10:26 pm

I would most definitely think Louisville’s to lose … but let’s see what Mark Fox and Brian Gregory can do.

Remarkable

April 6th, 2011
12:46 am

I am a UGA fan and a U of L fan, but I still hope he goes to Athens.

choward

April 6th, 2011
2:09 am

He couldnt make it at kentucky he would be a bench warmer and prob would only play if kentucky is up by 20 30 points we dont need him

[...] Former Tennessee signee Kevin Ware has received plenty of interest from other schools. (AJC) [...]

Dawg Fan

April 6th, 2011
8:32 am

Who is Brian Gregory?

Recruiting | MrSEC.com

April 6th, 2011
8:37 am

[...] up the recruiting for Ware, a shooting guard from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga. His recruiting has since taken off.“It’s crazy with all the offers I’m getting, with it being this late in the [...]

tony

April 6th, 2011
8:47 am

Having Kelvin Ware and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the same backcourt will be very difficult for any team to defend. I hope he choose the dawgs, but if not I hope he choose Tech despite what these racist people say about blacks not capable of getting in academically.

collegeballfan

April 6th, 2011
9:17 am

Tell the young man not to pick a school because of the coach. Coaches leave. I know Fox says her is at Georgia to stay but if someone offers him $4 million he is otta here in a flash.

And do not pick UGA because of wanting to play with Caldwell-Pope. He will be a and and done.

Pick a school because of the school. And UGA is a great place to go to school with really diverse academic choices.

Augusta Dawg

April 6th, 2011
9:35 am

A friend of my Dad’s taught at the University of Louisville. One day my Dad’s friend asked his son where he was going to college. He told his Dad he wasn’t going to college. He was going to the U of L.

DawginLex

April 6th, 2011
10:05 am

loserville fans talking integrity! LMAO

15 seconds of fame
Porcini’s
$3,000 to hold a table in Loserville
Karen Sypher

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Luke

April 6th, 2011
11:00 am

Tony, if you think people think he can’t get into Tech because he’s black, you’re living in the wrong era.

Honestly, Tech has a ton of guards to work with and he wouldn’t get immediate playing time. He’d make a great player coming off the bench and would jockey for a lot of playing time behind Iman (if he comes back) and Glen/Brian. But I think that’s the biggest reason Tech hasn’t necessarily jumped on this guy yet. I hope we do though, because he sounds like he’d be a great addition to the lineage of great Tech/ACC guards.

GaDawg

April 6th, 2011
11:12 am

How much has Aubarn offered him to play?

tony

April 6th, 2011
11:21 am

Luke, stay away from those sweets young man.

Delbert D.

April 6th, 2011
11:44 am

Luke – “playing time behind Iman”

From the scouting reports I read, he’s a #2, and has been effective when playing with a good point guard. His weaknesses are controlling the ball and perimeter shooting.

The General Feeling

April 6th, 2011
1:19 pm

Kevin Ware could go to UGA and become just another great player on a sorry team. He would be much better off going to U of L. No question.

We (UF) Own UGA

April 6th, 2011
2:40 pm

Who in the heck is Mark Fox?! Oh that’s right….The most pathetic late game coach in college basketball…Fox is a JOKE of a coach who was living off Felton’s players. Typical Dawg fans, always overlooking the FACTS!

No Thomkins & Ware = UGA Back to battling South Carolina for last place in the SEC East next year. hahahahaha

GT fan

April 7th, 2011
12:04 am

Mr Carvell, Have you any info on what GT’s new Coach is doing recruit wise? If not could you call and find out?
Thanks.

kygold

April 7th, 2011
2:49 am

All you Louisville haters need to look in the mirror. Some people think they are so perfect, anyway Ware is a good player and great athlete. He would get pt at any school including Kentucky. Louisville has a good chance to land him and he would make there top 10 class top 5 easily.

Buzz 2011

April 7th, 2011
2:45 pm

Looks like Tree Thompson is gone..
The Dawgs are done again!!

gary

April 7th, 2011
11:23 pm

KEVIN AND POPE WILL BE AWESOME NOW IF PEOPLE WOULD STOP COMING ON THESE BLOG AND MAKING ANGRY AND NEGATIVE COMMENTS AND I THINK HE WANTS TO BE AT GA,BUT RESPECT EACH TEAM AND UNDERSTAND THIS YOUNG MAN HAS A BIG DECISION AHEAD OF HIM.LET US BE SUPPORTIVE.