Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ultimate Hoops Recruiting Roundup Redux

Well I guess can't technically use "Redux" here, as there's really no prior "Ultimate Hoops Recruiting Roundup", but hey, it sounds good and it sure as hell sold a lot more DVDs for Francis Ford Coppola. It probably didn't have anything to do with the fact that he's probably about 763 times more smarter than I am or that his livelihood is dependent upon the quality of his work. Let's not nitpick here though, none of that ever bothered Nick Cage, did it?

Anyway, because of the huge amount of comments we've had about basketball recruiting (five), I thought it'd be a good idea to give you a quick rundown of what I've managed to track down for the Hoop Dawgs. As a disclaimer, a lot of this info is coming from Dan McDonald at UGASports, with some mixed in from the AJC (yeah, I do read the local dishrag), and various other random sources that I stumble past.

I think it's prudent for me to start off in the immediate future, as there may not fully be a bow on this year's class.

It seems that we are very comfortable going after coaching change defectors in the recent past- Marcus Thornton being the prime example. As many of you well know, the departure of Bruce Pearl has opened up the most intriguing possibility for a late addition to this year's class. Kevin Ware, the 56th ranked payer in the country and a 4-star SG, asked for a full release from his scholarship on Monday.

He has yet to hear from Tennessee officials, which doesn't come as a surprise to me at this point. My best guess is that Mike Hamilton (or whoever makes the hire) will keep him waiting until he sees if he likes the new coach and can get past the fact that Hamilton told him a bold faced lie. Michael Carvell at the AJC has a good piece with some pretty interesting comments regarding the two in-state Georgia schools:

“It’s basically the same situation as Tennessee. If Georgia Tech or Tennessee brings in a good coach that feels like I would be a good fit for their system, then I would definitely be consider them.”

“I’m not sure about their scholarship situation. It looks like they might not have anything open unless someone goes to the NBA or transfers. If something were to open up, I would definitely be very interested. It would be great to play on the same team with [5-star recruit]Kentavious Caldwell.”

Translation: If he wants to come to UGA, he'll have a spot. He's the prototype of what kind of talent that Mark Fox is trying to bring into Athens- very long, athletic, LOTS of hops, and a lot of upside. Like I said yesterday, he's basically Travis Leslie with a smidgen less bounce and the skill set to be a dynamic scoring point. If he did come to Georgia, that's probably what he'd be playing after the graduation of Ware. 

This would be a GIGANTIC pickup for us. With three dynamic young scoring guards on campus (Ware, Caldwell-Pope, Marshall) and the veteran presence of Dustin and Gerald, our backcourt would probably be immediately the best in the SEC. Dawgola and I talked yesterday at length about this and both agreed that you really don't have to have great post play in college if you have a couple of very good guards who can create their own shot and score the basketball. Just ask UCONN and BYU. This would greatly improve our potential front court situation if Trey leaves (I think there will be a lockout, but that's another story). 

It has also been thrown around that there were rumblings of a release for Julian Royal from his LOI to Tech. At first it was reported that he was going to look around should Paul Hewitt get fired. From what I've gathered, that's no longer the case and he'll probably be sticking with his original commitment. I don't think we'd be that willing to make room for him at this point with the recent commitment of Nemanja Djurisic anyway. That's not the case for everyone at the power forward position, however.

Ari Stewart started 16 games for Wake Forest this year and was 5th on the team in scoring with 8.5 PPG and 4.4 RPG. If you don't remember Stewart from his prep days in Marietta, he was a top-50 player in the country and featured offers from Kansas State and pretty much every ACC school, save Duke and UNC. In a series of very expected events (Did you see Wake this year?), he asked for his release today. 

While I'm not 100% certain that we would make room for him or that he's really interested, he'd be a pretty solid addition to the team for 2012, should we strike out on some of our bigger targets. I've heard rumors there is interest, but how much, we may never know. I'd liken what he'd add to the team as closely remembling what Udonis Haslem adds to the Heat- proven, solid, but not elite. Speaking of 2012...

Georgia is stacked full of talent in 2012, which is why divvying up 2011 scholarships is really, really important at this point. By my estimation, we have five spots available next year. That number will fluxuate, however, depending on Trey and Travis' decisions and whether or not we sign any more 2011 guys. Let's start with the most important guys first.

In order of priority and likelihood of commitment to the Dawgs:

1. 5-star PF Shaq Goodwin, 6'8/230
1. 4-star C/PF Tony Parker, 6'9/250
2. 4-star PG DeOndre Haynes, 6'2/170
3. 4-star PG/SG Jordan Adams, 6'5/215
4. 4-star SF Evan Nolte, 6'8/200
4. 3-star SF Brandon Morris, 6'7 195
4. 4-star PF Alex Poythress, 6'8 205

It's pretty evident that we desperately need quality help in the low-post. That's why Shaq Goodwin and Tony Parker top the list here. Next on the list is PG, and I'm pretty sure that the we're the front-runner for the Haynes kid out of Alabama. I've heard some good things from this kid about UGA and it doesn't hurt that he's has mad hops too, which is becoming a staple of Mark Fox's offense

We also seem to be the favorite for combo-guard Jordan Adams out of Oak Hill by way of Central Gwinnett. Adams is not the high-level athlete that some of these kids are, but he seems to be a very good scorer with the ability to attack the rim. There are some issues with conditioning here though, which I'm sure would be easily taken care of.

Evan Nolte, Brandon Morris, and Alex Poythress are the other guys that would fit in on or around the block. Nolte, of course, reminds me of Chandler Parsons (but not just because he's white, OK) with his length and ability shoot the basketball, as well as his potential to be able to post up and play inside/out. Poythress is from Tennessee and it looks like, as of now, the Commodores are out front. He's a combo-forward with the ability to create off the dribble, but lacks ideal ability right now to score with his back to the basket. Yet another long guy with a ton of athleticism too.

Brandon Morris is the most intriguing of these last three. He's very skilled distributing the ball, but also has the ability to score in the post and is SUPREMEMLY athletic. The Dawgs are tied at the top with the Gators, but he does attend Miller Grove, so hopefully Donte will hit beast mode in the offseason, gain some weight, and start dominating so his buddy will follow suit.

That's pretty much the major players as of now. My ideal class would be Goodwin and/or Parker, Adams or Nolte, Morris, and DeOndre Haynes. That's four, or potentially five, of the five scholarships that we'd likely have available barring some unforeseen events. If Fox could lock up a class like that I think we'd be hard-pressed not to be competing for the SEC Championship for the following two years. It would be far and away the best class UGA had ever signed.

So do I get some major Coppola-like CRED now for that?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post.Alot of great info.Go dawgs!