First-year Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox received his first verbal commitment for the 2009-10 recruiting class on Thursday.
Cady Lalanne, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward from Orlando, gave the Bulldogs the news Thursday morning.
“I’d been thinking about it for a while so I was ready to do it,” said Lalanne, who visited the UGA campus Sept. 12-13. “I met Coach Fox this summer and he called me on the first day [of the contact period]. I looked at Coach Fox’s background and saw he had a good history of developing big guys like me. It’s a great school and it’s close to home so I didn’t see any reason to wait.”
Lalanne is considered a three-star recruit and is ranked No. 142 on the Rivals150. He said he chose the Bulldogs over Ole Miss, VCU and UMass. He will sign a scholarship with the Bulldogs on the first day of the early signing period, which is Nov. 11.
Derek Heard, Lalanne’s coach at Oak Ridge High and for the Florida Rams AAU team, said Lalanne is a classic late bloomer.
“He was a pretty good high school player last year,” Heard said. “But he played against better competition in AAU this summer and, as the competition got better, he got better and better every week.”
Lalanne averaged 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots as a junior for Oak Ridge last season and was named All-Orlando. Heard said he has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and is an athletic and active rebounder.
Dave Telep, national recruiting director for Scout.com, said the Bulldogs are getting a diamond in the rough.
“He’s one of those guys the more you watch him the more you like him,” Telep said. “He really came on this last spring. He does a couple of things well. He can run, he has a live body and he can really jump. Every time I see him he seems like he’s an inch taller. He’s an SEC-caliber player for sure.”
Georgia could sign as many as three players before next season. The Bulldogs are also after 6-foot-5 win Jelan Kendrick of Marietta and 6-foot-9 center Shawn Kemp Jr. of Canton. The early signing period for basketball begins Nov.