UGA 5-star recruit Kentavious Caldwell-Pope makes the grade

Mark Fox will welcome his 5-star recruit to UGA next week (AJC photo)

Mark Fox will welcome his 5-star recruit to UGA next week (AJC photo)

Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox got some good news after one of the program’s most heralded recruits in years met NCAA college entrance requirements.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the UGA 5-star recruit from Greenville (Ga.) High School, has qualified academically and is already listed in UGA’s student directory. There were academic concerns about Caldwell-Pope when he signed with the Bulldogs last November.

“Yes, he did qualify, he made it,” Greenville coach Richard Carter told the AJC. “It was just a matter of Kentavious getting serious in the classroom, buckling down and doing what he needed to do.

“He had a complete turnaround this year, as far as his schoolwork, and his attitude toward schoolwork. He did it right — that’s the bottom line. He worked really hard and did it right. I’m very proud for this young man.”

The 6-foot-6, 17o-pound shooting guard is ranked as the No. 11 player in the nation by Georgia had a major advantage in recruiting Caldwell-Pope with two of his close friends at UGA — freshman offensive lineman Kenarious Gates from Greenville and AAU buddy Nick Marshall, who has signed to play football and basketball for the Bulldogs.  Kentavious and Marshall had a legendary showdown in the state basketball playoffs.

Losing Caldwell-Pope, clearly the crown jewel in this year’s recruiting class, would’ve been a devastating blow for Georgia, which is already reeling from a pair of NBA defections. The presence of Caldwell-Pope will at least provide some hope for the future, if not more.

Georgia’s other four 2011 basketball signees are all big guys from out of state: Nemanja Djurisic (3 star), a 6-7 forward from South Kent, Conn.; Tim Dixon (2 star), a 7-foot center from Oldsmar, Fla.; John Cannon (2 star), a 6-10 center from Burnsville, N.C.; John Florveus (not ranked), a 7-footer from Tampa.

Caldwell-Pope will report to Georgia next week to begin summer classes, according to his coach. “His grandmother said they are having a little graduation dinner for Kentavious on Sunday and then he’ll head on over to Athens.”


AJC Slam Dunker Matt Citron (AJC photo)

AJC Slam Dunker Matt Citron (Special)

  • 2012: Matt Citron, a finalist in the AJC’s Slam Dunk Content, has committed to Presbyterian (S.C.) College. He’s a 6-7 forward from Woodward Academy who was also being recruited by Penn, Yale, and Georgia Southern, among others.
  • 2011: Rockdale County’s Kevin Ware, who was granted his release from Tennessee, committed to Louisville over UGA and Central Florida. He is technically a “free agent” until he attends his first day of college classes later this month.
  • Oregon transfer Teondre Williams has signed with Clayton State, the third Div. I transfer landed by the Lakers this year. The 6-foot-4 guard from Meadowcreek High School is eligible to play immediately and has one year left. (go here to read more)
  • 2012: Southwest DeKalb’s Shaq Goodwin and Thomasville’s Robert Carter are among the 80 college 2012 prospects scheduled to play in the Under Armour “Best of the Best” Camp held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Marist. Go here for more information

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog – Got a recruiting item?


Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

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67 comments Add your comment

Dawg Dunker

June 2nd, 2011
2:39 am

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why CMF signed Kentavious & 4 scrubs with one of the deepest talent pools Georgia has ever had in 2012 with 30 high-D1 kids. It makes no sense whatsoever


June 2nd, 2011
2:53 am

We definitely missed on a few guys that we should have landed thats for sure. We needed to seal the deal with Harrow while we had him but thats what can happen when you’re fighting with the likes of Kentucky for guys.


June 2nd, 2011
4:51 am

Why do these UGA blog always contain negative statement ,when it seem such good news should be a celebration,a young man making the grade,instead of being killed ,robbed,or anything else negative,C

Coach T

June 2nd, 2011
5:00 am

Fox/Georgia has zero presence in Atlanta


June 2nd, 2011
5:01 am

Coach Fox did a great job reeling in the big guys and will show them the skills required to play in the SEC,now Coach let ’s do our best to reel in the skilled guys in 2012,this is the year in Ga,to show these crictics you most certain you can recruit,we understand there will be some tough days ahead ,but guys give this gentieman time,he will reel thses guys in.Here me calling out to all you recruits in GA,come in and stay in state either UGA OR TECH,the fan base is here.


June 2nd, 2011
6:05 am

We all know the stars rankings can be a bit misleading sometimes. John Florveus is a JC transfer from Hillsborough Community College from Tampa. From what I have read about him he is very athletic but needs to add bulk and we know Coach Fox can coach him up. It doesn’t hurt to have size in the SEC. I think this class is a bit under appreciated and I’m sure Coach Fox knows what he is doing. Plus UGA is in the top 5 for all their targeted big men for 2012. Go gettem!

[...] AAU buddy Nick Marshall, who has signed to play football and basketball for the Bulldogs. … read full news Published: Thu, 02 Jun 2011 12:33 In category: NewsTags:Mark Fox will welcome his 5-star [...]


June 2nd, 2011
6:40 am

Did his parents not go to PTA and teacher conferences the first 3 years of Pope’s high school years? They had no idea he was not putting in an effort for 3 YEARS!!! come on, a whole family just does not wake up one day and decide to do things right. Why was he allowed on the team if he was not up to par in the classroom. Something is not right with this picture!


June 2nd, 2011
7:05 am

No UGA coach will ever be able to recruit the top talent unless the University gets serious about basketball. That starts with demolishing and replacing the Steg. This is the 2nd wealthiest athletic department in the country and they act like they have no money to replace it.

Mr. Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
7:52 am

No two ways about it. This is great news for Bulldogs Basketball.


June 2nd, 2011
8:00 am

Don’t you just love people who always look and think negative about these high school kids and their families. At least they are making an effort to go to college and it does not matter if it is an athletic scholarship. How about keeping the negatives to you kids but I see there is no mention of them in the Georgia sports scene. UGA might be coming up when it comes to basketball. Give these kids a chance.

Mtn Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
8:01 am

Really glad to see Caldwell-Pope is on board. With Thorton and Williams now the force inside with Trey leaving, should open up the outside shooting. Watch. Williams and Thorton are going to be forces in the SEC.

Mtn Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
8:08 am

@TeenesseeDawg – The Steg is fine. have you seen it since the renovations? Granted it’s no Cameron Indoor, but what is, right. Come on man.


June 2nd, 2011
8:18 am

@paddy … nothing is wrong with Greenville picture. If he didn’t have the grades to play he wouldn’t have the AD at Greenville wouldn’t allow it. He grade situation is probly due to this summers aau circuit where he was out west still after school started.


June 2nd, 2011
8:24 am

Dawg Dunker, it might have something to do with the fact that most of them had committed by the time he was hired. The true test is the 2013 class.

Michael Carvell

June 2nd, 2011
8:25 am

@Well, thanks for your post. I think you may be confused but it can be confusing. Next year’s rising seniors — the Class of 2012 — has around 25-27 players with high-major D1 offers and only five are committed (none yet to Georgia or Georgia Tech).

2012 will be the true measuring stick for Georgia’s Mark Fox and Georgia Tech’s Brian Gregory with how well they can recruit the state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta.


June 2nd, 2011
8:28 am

Dawg Dunker, it might have something to do with the fact that he knows more about basketball and the process there of then you do. IMO of course but, I am pretty sure I am right on this one.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

June 2nd, 2011
8:28 am

How can a real guy have two (2) last names?! We thought just women did that!


June 2nd, 2011
8:32 am

I think one of the biggest mistakes (I like Fox now) Fox made was that he should have hired an assistant coach who had ties to high school coaches in Georgia. If he could just sign 2-3 of the top players in georgia, he would be playing in the NCAA every year.

Michael Carvell

June 2nd, 2011
8:57 am

@Douglas, thanks for your comment. I agree with you, and think the same could be said for Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia State. They all landed assistants with ties to Georgia but with the overloaded 2012 class, you would’ve thought that someone would’ve hired away a top high school or AAU coach with big-time connections in the Atlanta area.

Dirty Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
9:28 am

Look, Mark Fox can only do so much when it comes to convincing these kids of what UGA basketball ‘can be’…clearly they have to be able to see themselves as being good enough to help take the team to the top of the SEC, and beyond, or at least be able to ‘imagine’ how strong a program Coach Fox can actually build before they decide to bolt to the NBA.

With the Kentucky’s and the Rick Petino-coached Louisville’s (they don’t read the papers about Petino’s moral lapses and probably wouldn’t care if they did know) they go with the glitz…and where they already fill 20 thousand-plus-sized stadiums…and get all the big pub so they can be the next ‘ones-and-dones’ wherever they happen to light. So if these big-deal prospects choose not to stay in Georgia to help demonstrate just how strong the talent in the state is, so-be-it…after all the Kentucky’s and the Louisville’s can only play with one basketball at a time, just like Georgia.


June 2nd, 2011
9:41 am

It’s pretty funny how a kid can change his academic attitude in only his Senior year and be ready for a College class load…. Hmmmmmmmmm , hard to imagine…

Bob Loblaw

June 2nd, 2011
9:45 am


You sound a wittle bit jealwous… awww.

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 2nd, 2011
9:59 am

Dawg Dunker,

The role of a college coach is also to teach. Those 4 scrubs, as you call them, might be diamonds in the rough that Fox can mold into decent players. Their physical attributes alone should be attractive and worth the time and investment to see what they can become.


June 2nd, 2011
10:04 am

You’re right,… hard to imagine a kid not wanting to try for three years, then taking it serious senior year. Oh wait, lots of kids do that. Well all know you’re a jealous Tech fan.


June 2nd, 2011
10:05 am

@ TennesseDawg… it ain’t 1988 anymore… Stegeman Coliseum is a fantastic venue to see a hoops game.

bruce mac

June 2nd, 2011
10:07 am

Tennessee Dawg, have you even been to the new Steg. You are an idiot.


June 2nd, 2011
10:08 am


Are you serious… Jealous, hardly…. I have been there… I was a fairly good student out of highschool….. Academics were very sound…. I was blown away by the course load at GT… But hey, You UGA fans are a delusional bunch…..


June 2nd, 2011
10:13 am

I hate to say it, but the 2012 class (season?) will make or break Fox in Athens. Who will be PG in ‘12 with D. Ware and Gerald leaving? Harrow would have been a great addition. You can’t protect your projects (or develop guys) inside without outside shooting and as good as KCP is, he can’t be the only one. SEC basketball is getting better and I hope Fox can reel in some good ones (Carter, Goodwin, and Mann) to compete because I have confidence in his coaching ability. GO DAWGS!


June 2nd, 2011
10:17 am

We got all the way to the 7th post before someone, who obviously hasn’t been to Athens in 10+ years, suggested we tear down Stegeman. If you haven’t been to a game lately, please don’t suggest a new venue for b’ball. Also, I suggest you search for an on-line tour of the renovated Stegeman Coliseum. Great place to watch a college basketball game. We DO NOT need a 24,000 seat arena with the upper deck curtained off.


June 2nd, 2011
10:17 am

I agree with many of you on the blog. It will take a little while longer for CMF to change the mentality of UGA athletics to have both a football AND basketball school to competing in the SEC and NCAA. As I see it, things are certainly looking up.

Tell It Like It Is

June 2nd, 2011
10:33 am

The idea that most of these kids are scholars as well as exceptional athletes is delusional. There are some but most of them go to Duke, Vandy, Stanford and Northwestern. Have you seen the test scores of the kids coming out of rural Jawja and inner city schools? Their social surrounding are not condusive to academic achievement. They do not view a good education as being the ticket out of their environment. Come to think of it, even the more advantaged kids are having touble in today’s economy. Give these kids some slack and stop being so condenscending. It is what it is.

The General Feeling

June 2nd, 2011
10:35 am

“I think one of the biggest mistakes (I like Fox now) Fox made was that he should have hired an assistant coach who had ties to high school coaches in Georgia. If he could just sign 2-3 of the top players in georgia, he would be playing in the NCAA every year.”

That’s how Mark Richt does it yet he seems to miss the SEC divisional title year after year.

Les W. Moore

June 2nd, 2011
10:43 am

When will these kids understand the importance of effort in the classroom? Very little effort is required to pass high school yet these kids struggle.

it’s mind-boggling.

SouthSide Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
10:58 am

Congratulations, Kentavious!

Mtn Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
11:15 am

@gt4ever – Get off this blog.

Heels Rock and Rule

June 2nd, 2011
11:27 am

Should have given the classroom seat to a student who made 1100 on SAT but was rejected because his scores were a bit too low.


June 2nd, 2011
11:58 am

Welcome to the Bulldawg Nation young man. This coaching staff is very solid and has really turned this program around. Few more years of making the tourney and we will land more prospects that in the past we would have not had a chance to land.



June 2nd, 2011
12:36 pm

Look at the facilities at UGA, especially Stegeman. Would you want to sign with UGA? That is precisely why we lose so many big time players


June 2nd, 2011
12:48 pm

UGA is making GREAT progress in basketball. No sane person could even argue with that. Signing Pope is a great achievement for UGA. Get a life, you negative losers.

South Georgia Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
12:50 pm

Facilities ???? Have you seen what Duke plays in? The Steg is fine. What we as fans need to do is fill it up every night and any Georgia native would love to play in it.

Anthony Iama Weiner

June 2nd, 2011
12:53 pm

Congratulations Bentavious, don’t worry about going to school in Athens, it’ll be a breeze after the difficult high school years!


June 2nd, 2011
12:58 pm

See: South Georgia Dawg comments @ 12:50


June 2nd, 2011
1:02 pm


KISS off


June 2nd, 2011
1:18 pm

gt4ever, are you the one of the GT students that broke into that Gwinnett County elementary school? Another techie living out their fantasy on World Of Warcraft

Alabama |

June 2nd, 2011
1:32 pm

[...] coach who wins (like Jim Tressel)” this December. 4.  Five-star UGA basketball signee Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is academically eligible.5.  This writer says Steve Spurrier’s pay-the-players proposal is meaningless… but has [...]


June 2nd, 2011
1:48 pm

thanks KOOL and Bruce Mac. The Stegasaurus can rock and the recent improvements are very nice. Give me exciting basketball with 10,500 screaming fans and i will take that every time.

My only suggestion: flip the court. The baseline seats in the 2nd half, those folks pretty much sit on their hands late in the game during foul shots… or make those more students!!

Dirty Dawg

June 2nd, 2011
2:00 pm

Hey ronny, didn’t you bother to read the comments about how the renovations to Stegeman have up-graded both the look and function of the place? Aren’t you aware that we just spent, in addition to the Stegeman work, a ton of more money for brand new, and second to none, practice and strength facilities? Have you not seen the images of the ‘new’ Stegeman, or indeed, Stegeman itself?…cause if you haven’t then you’re just shootin’ your mouth off, and if you have and can’t recognize that just the ‘look’ alone of the new and improved Stegeman is as architecturally leading edge as any in the country – hell, it even has something of the look of Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboy Stadium – and so you’re just demonstrating that you don’t know ‘it’ from Shinola.

It ain’t the playin’ place, it’s the perception that Georgia fans just don’t give a damn about Bball and, the really good ones, had just as soon go some place that they won’t have to stay there more than a year or two, play before a lot more people and get more ‘pub’ before they ‘move on’. Too many of ‘em aren’t interested in building something at Georgia in basketball, they just want the ‘here and now’ and then be a ‘lottery pick’.

[...] UGA’s most celebrated recruit in years says he’s qualified (go here for full [...]


June 2nd, 2011
2:46 pm

When did this turn into about Stegman arena its about Caldwell Pope coming to Athens not an arena also rumor has it W. Ealey is headed to Jacksonville St . and they have crowded back field so much for him being a premier back .