Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Travis Leslie, Sleeper No More

I was so enthusiastic when UGA added Travis Leslie late in the recruiting period two years ago.

At the time, there was in my opinion a noticeable lack of buzz about Leslie's commitment. Part of the issue was that Travis was considered only a 3-star by Rivals, as compared to other Felton targets, like Tony Woods, who was a 5-star recruit, and UGA signee Howard Thompkins, who was a 4-star.

No offense to Tony Woods, but as readers of my various ramblings may remember, I was much more impressed with Leslie than Woods. Leslie burned Woods' Rome High squad for something like 33 points, even though Travis was coming off of bad ankle. Woods may yet display the promise he had as a high school prospect, but for now, he is averaging 3 points and 2 rebounds per game for Wake.

Another metric that shows Leslie's previously under-rated status is his play over the weekend against superstar Bruce Pearl recruits. Renaldo Woolridge was a 4-star, but only gets 3 points and 2 boards per game. He got 0 points in UGA's win over UT.

Cameron Tatum was a 4-star recruit, but he is averaging just 7 points and 2 rebounds over three years. I think he had one bucket against the Dawgs. Tatum and Woolridge have made their contributions, obviously, but the only recent Pearl recruit that I would consider being in Travis' league is Scotty Hopson who was the #5 ranked recruit in the nation-- and in my opinion, Leslie is better.

Will Leslie play all year as well as he did on Saturday? Probably not. He'll have his off-games, too. But the future looks very bright. Leslie has definitely moved from sleeper to star.

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