Can Fox make the Dawgs relevant? With lackluster recruiting and losing seasons in 3 out of his 4 years, the Washington Post points to five items to watch.
1) Fox Future
How patient will McGarity be? The Post points out that UGA didn't wait very long with other unsuccessful coaches (Jirsa, Felton).
2) Marcus Thornton
Can Marcus play above the rim? Dawgs fans wonder if Thornton is more like Blake Griffin, who regained his explosiveness after knee surgery, or the myriad other hoops players who didn't.
3) Donte Williams
Will Donte finish strong in his senior year?
4) Freshman Class
Will the freshmen help this year? How well will Parker, Frazier, Forte and Geno play?
5) Early Schedule
Georgia really struggled last year in the pre-SEC portion of the schedule.
My take on it:
Fox has the support of McGarity. Fox will lose it if the Dawgs struggle. Do not expect for Fox to get a contract extension. McGarity likes the improved academics with the team. But let's face it. If winning isn't the goal, let one of the Honors English professors coach the team. We'd save a heck of a lot of money.
If Fox follows 3 out of 4 losing seasons with 4 out of 5, he will be let go. That's my best guess for why Fox used 4 scholarships last year on players who were not high-ranked. You save scholarships if you think you will be around to offer them. If not, you bring on the best players you can now.
Not expecting much from Thornton. His game is predicated on his ability to jump. If he can't jump and attack the rim, then won't score a lot of points. I'm hoping he will return to form, but realistically, I think we will see about what we saw the last couple of years-- decent effort and rebounding, but not much else.
Donte had a rough start last year with the drug allegations. He'll do much better this year.
The freshmen guards have to play. We don't have anybody else. Forte and Parker could be incredible, or they could be average. I expect them to contribute, but this team belongs to Gaines, Mann and Morris.
The Dawgs could go 10 and 0 in the early season. The key game is Georgia Tech. If we beat Tech, it will be such a huge boost to the team that we could go undefeated early or 9 and 1. If we lose, things could go downhill fast for Fox.