1) Results. Georgia won an SEC Tournament Championship with Felton, staff and team. The championship was an achievement made only once before by a Georgia team, some 25 years ago. In all the years of Georgia basketball, we had never beaten Kentucky in the Tournament.
The goal of recruiting is to win championships, and the run to the 2008 SEC Tournament Championship will go down as one of the greatest achievements in UGA sports history. Who knew the 3-stars we had could out-duel UK's 5-stars? We're not where we want to be on results, but the Championship showed us all that recruiting was going on better than we thought.
2) Integrity. I despise the underside of recruiting. I'd rather have us field an intramural squad than cheat our way to the top.
3) Admissions. A few years back, I was all excited about Alexander Johnson, and Larry Turner, and Julius Lamptey. Unfortunately, they did not have the credentials to become admitted. Two 3-stars that get in will always be better than four 5-stars who never make it to campus.
4) Improvement. Georgia was just bad at recruiting before. This had gone on for years under different coaches. Compared to where we were, we're doing great now.
5) Perspective. Recruiting is a cumulative process.
Jeremy Price, Chris Barnes, Zac Swansey, Troy Brewer. Solid class of recruits, currently sophomores.
Trey Thompkins, Drazen Zlovaric, Dustin Ware, Travis Leslie. Solid class and might be fantastic.
Next year's freshman class will be redshirt freshman Ebuka Anyaorah, and true freshmen Daniel Miller and Demario Mayfield.
When seen together, Georgia's classes of 2007, 2008, and 2009 show that recruiting is looking pretty darn good.
6) Roster. Looks like next year we will be 2-deep at point guard (Swansey and Ware), 3-deep at shooting guard (Brewer, Anyaorah and Mayfield), 2-deep at small forward (Zlovaric and Leslie), 3-deep at power forward (Price, Barnes and Thompkins), and 2-deep at center (Jackson and Miller). Talented, balanced, and deep roster.
7) Evaluation. Felton and staff have a pretty good eye for talent. Not 100% in every regard, but they brought in Bliss and Gaines and Woodbury, who next to nobody thought could get it done. Maybe, just maybe, Miller and Mayfield are the next Dave Bliss and Sundiata Gaines.
8) Character. Georgia is bringing in some guys who will make us proud.
9) Academics. Closely related to character. Can we have basketball success and guys who will get it done in the classroom? I think so. Miller and Mayfield are high achievers.
10) Future. Georgia could get Derrick Favors. Maybe a long shot, but it could happen. 2010 could bring us Trae Golden, Jason Morris, Patric Young, or another talented player.
As we open up the 2008/2009 basketball season, the recent past of Georgia recruiting will be on display and the future of recruiting will be at hand. I think there are no fewer than 10 reasons to be optimistic, even excited about where we are and where we are going. Let's reel in Derrick Favors and get really fired up, and win some more championships along the way.