UGA coach Mark Fox will be able to tell homegrown recruits that the Bulldogs can put players in the NBA (AJC photo)
There aren’t many positives for UGA’s basketball team regarding the early departures of Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie to the NBA Draft.
But recruiting is certainly one of them.
It may means millions for Thompkins and Leslie, but it does millions for UGA’s recruiting efforts — especially when it comes to validating the notion that Georgia’s homegrown talent can play for the Bulldogs and make it to the NBA.
“Here’s how I see it — I think it really shows our player development,” UGA basketball coach Mark Fox said recently.
“I think you could point to Travis Leslie’s development; how’s he improved as a player while he has been with us, as well as others in our program. It has been a real plus.
“I think it shows that kids can realistically pursue their basketball dreams through Georgia.”
The negative impact on recruiting? “You have scholarships open that you’ve tried to recruit to fill, but they haven’t officially been open yet,” Fox said. “Kids can sit there and say ‘Well, Travis is gone yet.’ So you get the scholarship so late [when players declare for the NBA Draft] that it makes recruiting a little harder because of the timing of it.
“But I do think overall it’s a plus for recruiting.”
Yes, a big plus, because there’s not one high school player who signs a major-college scholarship without having NBA aspirations.
- Ex-Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware, who de-committed from Central Florida, told the AJC he will visit UGA this weekend, and then Louisville after his May 27 graduation from Rockdale County High School
- NC State transfer Ryan Harrow, who played at Walton High School, has said UGA will be one of his five visits. The point guard is currently on a recruiting trip to Kentucky, reported the basketball website ASeaOfBlue: “Harrow is also an intriguing option … he chose to leave NC State after not seeing eye-to-eye with the new coaching regime. Harrow struggled in his freshman year, averaging 9.9 PPG and 3.3 APG and shooting just 39% from the field. However, the one-time 5* recruit has loads of potential, and could immediately step into a starting role when he becomes eligible in 2012. Harrow is doing a five school barnstorming tour, starting with Kentucky this evening, followed by Texas, Louisville, Georgia and St. John’s. Per his mother, Harrow’s plan is to decide by mid-June in order to start taking summer classes.”
- Surprise on Mother’s Day: UGA and Florida State both offered 2012 Union Grove High School point guard Charles Mann (6-5, 193), who has been on a hot streak among college scouts since being offered by national champion UConn. Mann is scheduled to make an unofficial visit on Wednesday to his childhood favorite, Georgia Tech, which has not offered.
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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