Ex-Vols recruit Kevin Ware commits to Central Florida over Louisville, UGA

Kevin Ware 2Ex-Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware committed to Central Florida over Louisville and UGA on Monday night.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School told the AJC the opportunity to play immediately and his connection with the team’s coaches and current players were major factors into his decision. Ware made an official visit to Central Florida this past weekend, and had an in-home visit with UCF coach Donnie Jones on Monday night.

“Playing time, point guard and coaches he really liked; it was the perfect combination — then there’s being in the state of Florida,” said Ware’s stepfather, Wesley Junior.

“He felt comfortable with the visit and I think the fact that they wanted him to play point guard from the start was a big factor. He has been communicating with the players since the visit and that really made Kevin feel comfortable. It was just a good overall fit.”

Louisville coach Rick Pitino made an in-home visit with Ware on Sunday night. South Carolina, Ole Miss and Central Florida observed Ware in workouts at his high school on Monday afternoon. Georgia was scheduled to come around on Tuesday. Ware’s family called Pitino and UGA’s Mark Fox to inform him of the decision.

“Coach Pitino and Coach Fox were disappointed that Kevin didn’t take an official visit to their respective schools, but they were very classy; they wished him well,” Junior said. “Our family wants to thank them for the opportunity. They are both great schools. Kevin just felt ‘at home’ at Central Florida.”

At Central Florida, Ware will get a chance to compete for significant playing time immediately at point guard, according to Junior. “Coach Jones said Marcus Jordan will probably play the two guard, which is exciting for Kevin,” Junior said. “He’s excited about playing in the same backcourt with Marcus.”

The 6-3 Jordan, a rising junior, is the son of a former NBA player named Michael Jordan.

Back to Ware: He committed to Tennessee as a sophomore, and signed the Volunteers last November. He asked for and was granted a release from Tennessee following the firing of coach Bruce Pearl. New Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said he wanted Ware to remain with the Volunteers but neither side had communicated since the Volunteers got a commitment from another guard on Saturday.

Ware is ranked as the nation’s No. 56 basketball prospect by Rivals. He averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds while leading Rockdale County to its first state championship game since 1987 this past season.

OTHER BREAKING NEWS: Norcross 2012 SG Chris Bolden de-commits from Miami, considering Georgia Tech (click here)

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com —- Note: Inappropriate comments will not be tolerated

Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC

173 comments Add your comment

ATL Nole

April 18th, 2011
9:35 pm

Dawgs97

April 18th, 2011
9:37 pm

Bizarre choice.

Jason

April 18th, 2011
9:41 pm

LMAO Mark Fox might be the worst recruiter I have ever seen…either that or recruits just think UGA basketball is a joke.

Asdf

April 18th, 2011
9:45 pm

Jason – Rick Patino didn’t get him either; is he on you worst recruiter list too? You sir, are an unintelligent hater. Good day.

Davey Boy Smith

April 18th, 2011
9:46 pm

Is this a joke? Mark Fox does not have a prayer at UGA. Just plain embarrassing.

Worm

April 18th, 2011
9:47 pm

Now that is an upset..Not since Marquette beat Notre dame in football?

say it aint so

April 18th, 2011
9:50 pm

The big name recruits are still not sold on UGA basketball, there’s still a lot of work to be done by Mark Fox to change the perception of basketball at UGA!

Jason

April 18th, 2011
9:50 pm

Malcolm Brogden, Julian Royal, Evan Nolte, Kevin Ware, Dai-Jon Parker, Jeremey Lamb, Rion Brown, Trae Golden, Jason Morris, Jelan Kendrick all from GA in the last few classes that UGA couldn’t land. LMAO

sogadog

April 18th, 2011
9:50 pm

What a dumb decision. Louisville and UGA were far better choices. He could start fast at UGA. I wouldnt go to UCF if you paid me. Get it “paid me.”

suwaneedawg

April 18th, 2011
9:55 pm

WOW, what an idiot. Almost as ignorant as Jason. Close but, Jason has Ware beat for ignorance.

Jason

April 18th, 2011
9:57 pm

What have I said that is ignorant? Fox can’t recruit period!

Barack Dawg

April 18th, 2011
10:03 pm

UGA basketball does not pay as well as UT, UK, or some other programs…..

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:05 pm

This just sounds like a guy who has no aspirations or goals. He has no want to be the best he can be….just doesn’t want to compete…lots of guys like that out there..we will never hear this guys name again.

Obvious

April 18th, 2011
10:06 pm

Jason, have you heard of KGC? The five star prospect out of Greenville. Any idea where he is going since Fox can’t recruit?

Scott, JD from UGA

April 18th, 2011
10:08 pm

1) UCF is the largest school in the nation, 2) Michael Jordan’s kid plays for them, 3) they are endorsed by Jordan, 4) they are in FL (nice weather, near the beach), 5) no one said these kids have to make a smart decision (remember he’s a high schooler- they probably showed him the teams XBOX game collection and he was like, “SOLD.”) UGA will be okay. Calm down.

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:09 pm

This has nothing to do with Fox’s recruiting…..not sure why UGS dudes are in this blog complaining as if you should have those kind of expectations. IF anything you should be glad you don;t have a guy like Ware who obviously has bad intentions.

[...] Sunday. He made an official visit to UCF as well this weekend meeting with head coach Donnie Jones. Ware told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he chose UCF over all other school, including Louisville because of  the opportunity to play [...]

Jason

April 18th, 2011
10:10 pm

What teams offered KCP? He picked UGA over Tenn and FSU quite the basketball powerhouse huh? Yall might not even see KCP in a UGA jersey…he’ll be lucky to qualify because his grades are horrible and why a lot of teams did not recruit him.

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:14 pm

Scott, JD from UGA, dude you obviously have never been to Orlando…..that place sucks!!! Freakin Hot as Hell 9 months out of the year with no breeze. I lived there for 4 years and you would have to kidnap me to go back to that armpit of Florida. It is a great party school if that is what he wants with beutiful women…which u can get at UGA. This has nothing to do with UGA recruiting, just a guy who has no bark in him….he’s just one of those 4 stars who you will never hear of again.

rishi

April 18th, 2011
10:14 pm

This kid is a fool to choose UCF over either UGA or Louisville. I have a feeling he will regret that decision in a year or two when he is playing in a sh*t conference and not participating in the post season. If Fox had not recruited Caldwell, I would be really concerned with his ability to harvest the talent in Georgia. With that said, he is going to need to do much better in 2012 with the amount of top talent coming out of the state for that class.

Obvious

April 18th, 2011
10:15 pm

He’s the number 3 shooting guard in the nation and you’re telling me other didn’t want him because he might have some bad grades. So, where can I find the info on his grades or did you hear from a friend of cousin’s girlfriend.

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:17 pm

Jason, KCP is for real..but yes couldnt get the grades to go to Tech…yes you will see him light it up at UGA

Right On Time

April 18th, 2011
10:18 pm

UGA and Fox are trying to build a program.

However, Rick and UofL are built.

To chose UCF over them is an odd choice. I guess he has his reasons.

This is no indictment on Fox though. Don’t be a boob.

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:20 pm

Seriously Right on Time….Fox will bring UGA to levels they have never seen without cheating….UGA fans need to freaking chill

Jason

April 18th, 2011
10:26 pm

Trust me it’s true. I am not saying he won’t qualify I just heard he probably won’t. Not to mention why else wouldn’t GT not recruit the best player in the state? Why did other top schools in the southeast not recruit him? FSU and Tenn aren’t exactly the the best academic schools. I also heard him talk and I couldn’t understand a word he said.

Right On Time

April 18th, 2011
10:29 pm

I agree. I think if he is given time he will do well.

I have a feeling next season will be tough which will cause the boobs to come out in force.

I certainly trust him more than I ever did Harrick and he is clearly better than Felton or
cement head Jirsa. Tubby was just stopping in as a hired gun and we all knew it.

I would say he is the most solid coach we have had since Durham. who was pretty
successful in his years at UGA and FSU.

Obvious

April 18th, 2011
10:31 pm

Sure, I’ll take the word of a guy on an AJC blog so it must be true. Maybe the kid didn’t want to go far away from home and eliminated other “elite” schools.

UCF Girl

April 18th, 2011
10:31 pm

UCF must have took him out on the town with that chick that O’Leary brought in for racy photos.

GoKnights

April 18th, 2011
10:31 pm

Looks like UCF beats UGA again!

Adam

April 18th, 2011
10:33 pm

beast! bizarre for someone who has never been in his same position. Get good a bball and then say something insightful

nash

April 18th, 2011
10:34 pm

Wow first the Bonner kid let steals form the football team then Jordan steals form the basketball team. Why can’t this guy up root some of the guy that want to go to North Carolina.

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:34 pm

Well, actually Jason Hewitt did recruit him, and it was down to GT and UT…..seriously I not sure how Hewitt got some guys into school…not 90% of them…but some…:)

Jason

April 18th, 2011
10:35 pm

Caldwell, the nation’s No. 15 2011 player and perhaps its best shooter, said during the King City Classic that one of his July goals is to earn recruiting interest from UK, Duke and North Carolina.

“Heard from Kentucky once, but that was it,” said the 6-foot-5 Caldwell, who is also a good athlete and capable ballhandler. “I like the style they play, and I feel like I’d fit right in.”

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:36 pm

Dude seriously….UCF is like a Kennesaw State University on sterioids….so many strippers there it crazy!!!

Knightmare

April 18th, 2011
10:37 pm

Lets not forget the Knights are a strong, up and coming program. They were 14-0 at the beginning of the season beating ACTUAL teams like Florida, Miami, Princeton, UMass, USF, and Memphis…Not to mention that this “sh*t conference” sent four teams to the NCAA tourney. Also should be noted that UCF has a possibility of getting a bid from the Big East….

Obvious

April 18th, 2011
10:40 pm

So the kid is no good because those three schools didn’t want him?

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:40 pm

Yes Knightmare..but that is obvioulsy not why he picked there…u could say the same thing about UGA…..UGA basketball will acomplish much more than UCF over the next few years…no disrespect to UCF

Knight time

April 18th, 2011
10:41 pm

Too much Jealousy, if you have been to their campus, you would see why like a small city awesome. Not the tradition of a big campus, but definitely a school on the rise.

Give it up

April 18th, 2011
10:42 pm

Come on people, give the kid a break. He didn’t pick the most glamorous school, he picked the least. To me, that says he truly picked where he felt comfortable. As everyone knows, the odds of making it in professional basketball are small, even for the talented. So he based his decision on where he wanted to go. I give him lots of credit. I must admit, I was judging him unfairly before. I was expecting him to drag it out and make it a show, getting as much publicity as possible along the way. I guess I was as wrong as I could possibly be. I will Mr. Ware the best.

Jason

April 18th, 2011
10:44 pm

He is good but he’s dumb and that why a lot of schools didn’t recruit him. When GT doesn’t recruit the top player in the state you know he either doesn’t have the grades or is a headcase…in this case he didn’t have the grades.

Knightmare

April 18th, 2011
10:44 pm

Well i’d have to disagree with you on that…although UGA’s quality of improvement will be much higher (considering they are in the SEC and have been a great program for a long time)…UCF is in a lower level conference, playing lower level teams..making it easier for them to accomplish more. I feel like for UCF to get a bid from the Big East would be more of an accomplishment than UGA has had in a couple of years, not to mention beating some of the elite teams they did this season. Again, obviously UGA has a tough game every week with their difficult schedule…but the potential UCF has is much greater, in my opinion

David

April 18th, 2011
10:45 pm

Doubt UGA accomplishes more. UGA basketball hasn’t won a tourney game since 1996. There basketball program is a joke!

Google

April 18th, 2011
10:46 pm

I believe UCF was something like #18 in the country at some point last year in Donnie Jones’ first year. UCF is a solid choice for playing time as well.

Obvious

April 18th, 2011
10:47 pm

Please, I’ve coached several players that have gone to Tech that would be working at Micky D’s if they weren’t great athletes. Why is it everytime Tech doesn’t get a player they say they didn’t have the grades to get in? It’s just like the typical line UGA uses “we didn’t offer him anyways”.

Scott, JD from UGA

April 18th, 2011
10:48 pm

Oh, and Carvell is an idiot. He said this kid was a Louisville lock… and then tried to convince me that he heard that from K-Ware himself.

Knightmare

April 18th, 2011
10:48 pm

Obvious I hear your pain…deling with the same crap here with Florida vs. UCF

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:49 pm

Oh pleae Obvious…..LOL!!!! The funniest thing I have heard!!!

Jason

April 18th, 2011
10:49 pm

Like who? Maybe it’s because it’s true. Tech didn’t offer him because of grades and that is a fact!

Techy

April 18th, 2011
10:49 pm

Oh please Obvious…..LOL!!!! The funniest thing I have heard!!!

Michael Carvell

April 18th, 2011
10:50 pm

@Scott, JD from UGA, thanks for your post. Louisville was the frontrunner for Kevin Ware. That information came directly from Kevin Ware and was written in the Recruiting Blog. Kids change their minds.