Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hoop Dawgs Recruiting Update: October 27th

With another 2011 target off the board, it seems like a good time to clear up the once fuzzy potential Class of 2011. Regardless of what happened yesterday with Nick Jacobs, I think Mark Fox has put together a very solid class in his first full year of recruiting in Athens. I think a lot of folks were a bit upset that we didn't pull Jacobs, but you have to put it into perspective.

The Dawgs already have secured front court commitments from seven footer John Florveus and 6'10 Tim Dixon. Both of these guys will play in the middle, although I'm not sure how game-ready either of these guys are. Florveus is very raw, but runs the floor extremely well for his size and is an above-average athlete. He serves as more of a role player at Hillsborough Community College and I believe that role will continue at UGA, as he looks like a sure-fire defensive signing.

Dixon, like pretty much all 6'10 high school seniors, he needs to improve his strength and add weight to his 215 pound frame. He does play very aggressively, which will translate well when he adds some bulk. He's a great athlete and is very good at blocking shots, which is the type of player that seems to excel in Fox's system.

Kentavious Caldwell and Nick Marshall round out the current class of 2011. Caldwell, as I'm sure most of you know, is a top-10 to top-15 player in the country at guard and is probably the best pure shooter of this year's class. I've seen him in various events around the country and I feel safe to say he's the best high school player that has signed with Georgia in as long as I can remember. He's long, athletic, has good handles, and can shoot the lights out. That's really all I need to know.

Marshall is also a very good addition to this class. He averaged about 29 points a game in his junior season, complete with a monstrous first round state playoff performance of 52 points. In the third quarter he hit six consecutive three's and followed those with three rafter shaking dunks. I think he will be a real surprise. He is very fast and can attack the rim with ease, which is something that our team is sorely lacking beside Travis.

Really the only target that we have a chance with is Dai-Jon Parker of Milton High School. Parker has offers from Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Rhode Island, Vandy, and UGA. From what I have heard, his main two are Vandy and UGA, but could sign with any of the five. He is a SG/PG that goes about 6'3 and 180. With his teammate Julian Royal's commitment to Tech, I have lost a little confidence that we will get his signature. He plays SG at Milton because tOSU commitment Shannon Scott runs the point for them. Parker has expressed a high interest in playing PG in college, and if he works on his handle he could easily make the switch. DP has made an announcement that his commitment ceremony will be next Friday, November 5th. Considering that, we should know how our final class will look come next Friday. Dai-Jon is a top-50 player nationally, so if Fox could secure a pledge from him this would easily be our best class since 1999.

With the addition of Parker this could become a very solid class. While solid, it doesn't necessarily address our need for quality game-ready front court players. Most likely Trey and Travis will join Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes and won't be in Athens next year. That leaves us with huge holes down low. I hope Donte Williams is ready for some quality minutes this season because he'll need them next year. The loss of Cady Lalanne really hurt us as far as depth for next year. I assume Marcus Thornton will probably slide down and play more SF than he will this year as he get some minutes behind Travis.

In all, I think Fox has done a good job convincing recruits that Athens is a great place to play. We have the coach and the players, now all the Dawgs need to do is win some games and make the NCAA tournament. If Trey and Travis can also improve their stock to lottery selection status, I think we'll start to see a drastic improvement in Fox's already proven recruiting chops. It's a nice feather in your cap when you can show recruits you put all of these players in "THE LEAGUE".

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