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.