Friday, November 11, 2011

Basketball Recruiting: Questions, Questions

This post began as a response to SSB Charley, to address his comments on my post about Robert Carter going to Tech. I decided to make it a separate post because I wanted to think about recruiting some more and ask a couple more general questions of the Blog's readership.

Let me first say to Charley: I agree that it is disappointing to not get a key guy like Carter. And it does look like we won't get any of the big-time post recruits in this class.

My question of Charley and to UGA hoops fans in general is why can we get a "dream team" in football and not be able to do the same in basketball? I know that basketball has fewer scholarships. I understand that. But if there are three or four high-level recruits in the state, all of which we go after, why can't we ink two or three of them?

Is it the AAU system? Is everybody cheating but us?

I know that when Fox was hired, he brought in out-of-state guys as assistants. My sense at the time was that as long as they were good recruiters, they could get it done once they started to develop relationships.

In fairness to Fox, Georgia has never had a whole lot of success in basketball recruiting, so we don't have much in the way of tradition. It's always hard to recruit after the former coach gets fired.

Based on all that, I would say UGA is doing okay, but certainly not great. Right now Fox and his team have brought in as part of the yearly classes, the following:

Vincent Williams, 2009 class
Marcus Thornton, Donte Williams, Sherrard Brantley, 2010
John Florveus, Djurisic, Caldwell, Tim Dixon and John Cannon, 2011
Brandon Morris, Kenny Gaines, Charles Mann, 2012

Said another way, in 4 classes we garnered 12 signees, who were given a total of 35 stars according to That's 2.7 stars per recruit. In those 4 classes and 12 recruits, only one signee was above 3-stars. I admit that the Rivals system is not perfect, and you never know how a guy will perform. But it still begs the question, how does the new Tech coach, coming in from out-of-state, get a 5-star, a 4-star and a 3-star in his first class? The 14th ranked recruiting class in the country and an average of 4 stars per recruit?

My hope is that even without getting the elite in-state guys, Georgia will still out-perform the more highly-ranked Tech guys on the court. Always seems to happen. If Fox can coach'em up, we should still be competitive out there on the court. My concern is not so much with Tech, but instead with SEC foes, Kentucky, Florida, Vandy and others.

In the meantime, if Fox does hire a new assistant (as SSB Charley suggests) who should it be? I have no idea, but some of the guys who follow high school sports more closely might know. Is there any hope that one of the committed but unsigned recruits from the class of 2012 will reverse their commitment and come to UGA anyway? Any transfers on the horizon? Does the 2013 class look okay, and if so, how many scholarships are we reasonably projected to have?

Robert Carter was a difference-maker and we didn't get him. I'm frustrated. If we can't get a dream team, can we catch a break in recruiting?

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