North Carolina 6-10 center commits to UGA over Northwestern and UNC


What a week for Mark Fox. Big raise and commitment from a big man (AJC photo)

UGA basketball coach Mark Fox picked up No. 5 for his 2011 recruiting class on Saturday.

John Cannon, a 6-foot-10, 225-pound center from Burnsville, N.C., committed to Georgia over North Carolina and Northwestern. He said he will sign the letter of intent with Bulldogs as soon as possible.

Back up: Did we hear that right? Did a kid from North Carolina really pick UGA over the Tar Heels? Technically “yes” but there’s a story behind it. We’ll let his mother Audrey tell it:

“It was a really, really tough decision for John with him being from North Carolina, and his heart has always been at North Carolina,” she told the AJC. “When it came down to it, he went with the logical decision. He’s got a chance to lift Georgia basketball up, and he wants to do it with the rest of the guys.”

What was that about North Carolina again? “It was as a preferred walk-on with the chance to earn a basketball scholarship,” she explained. “He did have right at full financial aid, so it would’ve nearly all paid for because he qualified for it with a 4.3 GPA, which is pretty good for an athlete. He would’ve been able to attend North Carolina for just about free, and it might’ve been free with the additional academic scholarships he’s being considered for.”

Cannon averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds at Mountain Heritage High School this past season.

At UGA, after the paperwork is completed, Cannon will be the fifth player to sign with the Bulldogs for the 2011 class. Four out of the five are from out of state, with the only homegrown product being 5-star shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from Greenville High School.

Fox recently told the AJC that he could sign as many as six this year.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog


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93 comments Add your comment


April 30th, 2011
5:00 pm

How many scholarships will be left for 2012?


April 30th, 2011
5:02 pm

Always good to hav ebig bodies and a 4.3 GPA.


April 30th, 2011
5:02 pm

Also, does this mean we are no longer interested in Kevin Ware?


April 30th, 2011
5:04 pm

This is a good pick up to get a player from NC is tough look for Jordan Adams or Shaq Goodwin to be next go dawgs .


April 30th, 2011
5:06 pm

Thats right TR, dont get excited about recent signing of a recruit, worry about wether or not you school is going to sign another trouble maker like ware.


April 30th, 2011
5:08 pm

I hope he is good but saying he chose UGA over UNC is kind of like when a Tech football recruit is said to have chosen tech over people like Bama or Ga when those schools really havent offered. it is a misleading statement

And there no need to puff it up..we’ll be glad to get him anyway. No one would suggest that any person in their right mind would choose Ga over UNC if they were really good. hopefully one day that will change,.


April 30th, 2011
5:09 pm

I think Ware might be to risky i much rather save the scholarship .

Cigar Guy

April 30th, 2011
5:11 pm

Over here across the pond, this gentleman looks like he can contribute some for the dogs. At least the young man has class like our Royals he would never be caught in anything orange.

Michael Carvell

April 30th, 2011
5:15 pm

@TR, Georgia has one scholarship let to use for 2011 or Fox could save it for next year

c'mon man

April 30th, 2011
5:50 pm

Save the scholly for next year. Don’t waste it on Ware…. head case that has a huge case of the “it’s all about me” Go DAWGS!


April 30th, 2011
5:51 pm

I agree with RRTDawgs. I think there is baggage with Ware. With BB players you get enough jerks anyway so why recruit those who have already exhibited that trait.


April 30th, 2011
6:33 pm

@ugaslobberknocker what’s the difference between what this kid did and a greyshirt?


April 30th, 2011
6:38 pm

He had a walk on offer from UNC. No way he would have gone to UGA if he had an offer from UNC.


April 30th, 2011
6:39 pm

Back to the drawing board for powerful Northwestern. LMAO


April 30th, 2011
6:46 pm

Great deal for UGA…Coach Fox picks up another $8.5M and UGA gets a two star recruit…

bruce mac

April 30th, 2011
6:48 pm

Thanks Dan, nobody knew that until you pointed it out Mr. Obvious.


April 30th, 2011
6:48 pm

What are thoughts on the 2011 record without our BIG 2? Can we finish with a .500 sec record?


April 30th, 2011
6:50 pm

BASEBALL: Great win for Dawgs today… we need to win tomorrow… even with a bad pitching match-up for us.

Heels Rock and Rule

April 30th, 2011
7:38 pm

How in hell is a 4.3 student from NC going to communicate with the rest of the UGa basketball players. Son, you gonna regret this.


April 30th, 2011
7:52 pm

To Heels RnR: At least he’ll stay more than one year and get to know his teammates! He might even get his degree, which seems to be a struggle for your Tar Heel players!
Heels suck! Go Dawgs! Go Wolfpack! P.S. Our Journalism school beats the sh!# out of yours!


April 30th, 2011
7:57 pm

The lack of Georgia players is not good for the future of the program. Fox will need to fix that problem immediately.

Josh Smith For 3

April 30th, 2011
8:09 pm

Don’t hate on him for being a lesser walk-on prospect in terms of UNC basketball standards. Mark Fox seems more than able to bring the potential out of his players, so I think this kid will do fine. Plus, look how big this class is so far: a 6′6″ shooting guard, a versatile 6′8″ forward, and 3 big men sizing up from 6′10″ to 7′0″. That’s a pretty good deal of length that Fox has added on. Losing that talented front court will hurt, but don’t expect a lackluster season next year.


April 30th, 2011
8:15 pm

The Dawgs future looks so bright especially if you are beating out teams like UNC for recruits. I will admit that is impressive.


April 30th, 2011
8:15 pm

I think this makes the third “big man”. Wouldn’t mind seeing another shooter coming in since Caldwell-Pope could be a one or two and gone.


April 30th, 2011
8:42 pm

Enter your comments here
Thanks for the Baseball report. It is so hard to get Baseball scores.. I try sec sports .com. however it is slow on my computer. and nearly impoosible to get it. I wish AJC would give updates on college Baseball scores
Thanks Mark Fox for the North Carolina recruit.

Big Dawg

April 30th, 2011
9:32 pm


You do remember Dominique Wilkins “the Human Highlight” don’t you he chose Georgia over North Carolina, UCLA and others. So it has happened just not often is all.

Go Dawgs

TarHeelBred bleeds TarHeelBlue

April 30th, 2011
10:01 pm

UNC could sure could have used the extra frontcourt depth that could have come with landing the 6′10” John Cannon, lord knows that we could have appreciated it after having only three post players last season, but with John Henson and Tyler Zeller coming back and national top-five recruit James McAdoo. Though I can’t fault the kid for picking UGA over UNC because he knows that he gonna get alot more playing time at UGA probably from the jump in his freshman year rather than likely being buried on the bench behind Zeller, Henson and McAdoo. We would have loved and appreciated having the kid in Chapel Hill on a team that has the potential to be one of UNC’s best teams ever, but nobody can fault the kid for making a decision to do what’s best for his academic and athletic future. I wish the kid the best of luck in his academic and athletic endeavors in Athens at UGA which is a great university in it’s own right. UGA fans shouldn’t forget that Dominique Wilkins was recruited out of Washington, North Carolina by the Bulldogs. ‘Nique missed out on the opportunity to be on the 1982 UNC championship squad that featured Michael Jordan, but got ALOT more playing time and made ALOT of basketball history of his own by playing in Athens. A major recruiting move like this shows the basketball world that Mark Fox is FOR REAL in his efforts and intent to finish bringing the Bulldog basketball program back from oblivion and making UGA into an elite college hoops program.

TarHeelBred bleeds TarHeelBlue

April 30th, 2011
10:10 pm

But on the other hand….if Cannon had indeed chose to go with the Tar Heels alot of playing might have opened up for him after his freshman year because Tyler Zeller is going to be a senior this coming year, Henson is a question mark who needs to bulk up alot more but is likely to turn pro if he and the Heels have a really good year and McAdoo is so good that he could have gone pro right out of high school had it not been for the NBA’s minimum age requirement. So AFTER this year there would likely be alot more playing time for Cannon in Chapel Hill, but he will get alot more opportunities to get on the court THIS YEAR and become apart of a foundation of building a rock-solid future by going to UGA.


April 30th, 2011
10:36 pm

I think this is a great move, but we do need more guard help. That much is obvious. Is Ware the answer for that need or the answer for a trivia question like, “Which UGA player was the biggest bust on the 2011 Team? Only time will tell.
Show me a better player who will sign with UGA and I will say let him go too, but I’d roll the dice on him if I were CMF.


April 30th, 2011
11:56 pm

Any chance Coach Fox is going offer Ryan Harrow ? Be nice to have a true point guard – particularly after Dustin leaves next year.

Paul in RDU

May 1st, 2011
12:13 am

Interesting headline but the details seem to bea little different from what the headline implies.


May 1st, 2011
4:36 am

Fact check, Big Dawg, Dominique signed with UGA back when Hugh Durham was buying players for UGA (see Newton, Cam.) Just like Hershel was bought and had free rooms at the Athens Ramada Inn to take his coeds, majorettes and jock worshippers, so did ‘Nique….The diffference is Mark Fox is running a cleaner program and this kid was not offered by UNC.


May 1st, 2011
8:23 am

Maybe this smart kid will be another Alec Kessler!


May 1st, 2011
9:17 am

Have been saying for 2 years now that Fox can’t recruit the top instate talent. It’s nice to get a big man, but so far all 3 big men Fox has signed are projects. UGA needs players that can contribute and play next year, not 2 or 3 years down the road. For Fox to sign 4 players out of state when the state had 9 players ranked in top 150 shows how weak he is in recruiting, and it shows what little respect local instate players have for Fox and his program. There is no need ever for a coach at Ga. or Tech to sign players out of the state of Ga. Atlanta has more high school talent than any city in the country with maybe the exception being N.Y. Until Fox can recruit local instate talent, his program will be at the bottom of the SEC east. He will never compete with Fl, Ky,Vandy, or Tenn, after this past season with the projects he is bringing in. Pope hopefully will be a good player, but you can’t win in the East with one good player, and bringing in one player per year will take 3 or 4 more years to build up the program again. Fox was lucky to inherit the talent he had, he underacheived with 2 of the top 10 players in the SEC this season, and he will have a below .500 team for the next couple of season unless he turns around his recruiting next year. How UGA could reward this guy by giving him 8.5 million is a joke. To bad they can’t take half of that money back after next year. UGA’s mediocre coaching in football&basketball continue.

Good Coach

May 1st, 2011
9:32 am

Hey 1953…Fox also inherited about 7 players that could actually play college basketball.

We had no depth last year and still made the Big Dance.

What is very obvious is that Fox is the best coach we’ve had in a long time.

Wild Willy

May 1st, 2011
10:11 am

I am not a fan of UNC or UGA but I saw this kid play and eat up Marshall Plumlee the Duke recruit…UGA got a good one..


May 1st, 2011
10:13 am

I agree – the slant of this article seems to be making fun of this kid. It’s like having a belly laugh at his expense.


May 1st, 2011
10:14 am

If you think that this kid really picked UGa over UNC, you are sadly mistaken and Carvell is leading you down a path. This kid had offers from Presbyterian, High Point, UNC-Wlimington, Northwestern and SCSt. This article is a joke. Check it out yourself.

City Slicks

May 1st, 2011
10:22 am

How exciting – not!

UGA signs a player other schools wanted as a walk on? Seriously?
Very telling.


May 1st, 2011
10:30 am

City Slick
How right on your comment was-NOT!

Fox is building a strong program at UGA. And your team is………..

Arthur Redding, Jr.

May 1st, 2011
10:38 am

I’m wondering if Fox is thinking that one of his earlier signees, one of the big guys like Tim Dixon, is not going to qualify academically.

Ed F

May 1st, 2011
10:40 am

There were better players in this state we couldn’t land. WHY!!!!

Destin Dawg

May 1st, 2011
10:43 am

good get for the Dawgs !!! good student too !!!!

Chaz Jones

May 1st, 2011
10:46 am

You Georgia fans are unreal. Never happy. Always whining. This is a great pick up and most of you whining will be the first ones talking him up when he starts kicking a@@. I lived in Georgia 15 years and I said it then, and I say it now, the most whiney fans in the SEC BAR NONE.


May 1st, 2011
11:08 am

This is some pretty crazy homerism. It’s simple – UGA was the best b-ball school that offered John a scholarship. UNC did not offer him one. He would actually have been the 2nd preferred walkon, so he would have gotten a scholarship (for hoops) at UNC only if there were 2 left to give at the beginning of each season.

Embarrassing attempt to boost UGA hoops at the expense of UNC.

gt in sc

May 1st, 2011
11:48 am

4.3 gpa? that`s the sum total of the rest of the team, isn`t it?

Toby Hill

May 1st, 2011
11:53 am

Mark Fox will be the next coach at UNC, he has strong Roy Williams ties.

Buzz 2010

May 1st, 2011
11:59 am

Don’t understand why any kid would chose UGA over UNC to play basketball. I would guess he knew he couldn’t break into the lineup for years at a top ACC school so he settled for SEC..Too ba d Dawgs won’t have Tree Thompkins again…

Tom Bernard

May 1st, 2011
12:23 pm

Cannon made a huge mistake. He should have chosen NU, he would have been “The Man” who would have brought them to their first NCAA tourney and had the #2 market at this feet.

Outside Observer

May 1st, 2011
12:38 pm

bigdawg1, did you just criticize the North Carolina basketball program for recruiting too many one and dones? In all actuality, UNC does a great job of bringing in talent that stays for more than one year. You have the occasional guys who leave after one year (like Marvin) but a lot of them are there for multiple years. Henson stuck around longer than expected, Harrison Barnes stuck around for an extra year. UNC is the odds-on favorite to win the national championship next year. Can’t hate on a successful program being successful by doing all the right things.