Monday, November 28, 2016

Recruiting Frustrations

How in the world does Avery Johnson come in and assemble a top 5 recruiting class?  How does he invade the state of Georgia and recruit away Collin Sexton, a 5-star guard?  Keep in mind that Johnson has been at Alabama a little more than a year.

I guess I don't mind it so much if Duke or Kentucky out-recruits UGA, but when Alabama does it, there's big-time cause for concern.  Alabama had the same needs as UGA, about the same number of scholarships available for the 2017 class, and is a football school located in a small college town.

Very, very frustrating, especially since SEC foes Kentucky, Alabama, and Auburn have classes ranked numbers 1, 4 and 7, respectively.  Kentucky, I suppose, is a special case.  If so, what do Auburn and Alabama have that UGA doesn't?  We can say that Johnson is a former NBA coach, and therefore has an advantage over Georgia.  However, there are 6 SEC teams in the top 30 recruiting classes for next year.  What do any of them have that we don't?

At some point, we've got to start recruiting better.  The old excuses that "everybody else cheats", or that "they accept students that UGA never would", or worse, that "UGA has never recruited well"--  those arguments sound pathetic after a while.

Georgia Tech, still finding its way after the firing of Brian Gregory and the hiring of Josh Pastner, drew a blank.  They didn't get any of the top-ranked players in Georgia for 2017.  Perfect time for UGA to capitalize with a dream team of four or five studs.  Didn't happen.  Make no mistake, Pastner is an elite recruiter.  He'll get his share of the top players in future classes.

My frustration with Georgia recruiting rose as I saw Collin Sexton pour in 39 points against IMG Academy, which has to be one of the top three or four basketball programs in the country.  Sexton showed off an amazing all-around game.  Takes it strong to the basket, shoots well off the bounce, automatic from the free throw line.

Given that J.J. Frazier is graduating this year, Sexton is just what a scoring-challenged team like Georgia needs.  Instead of successfully recruiting him to the home state flagship university, our coaches lose Sexton to Alabama.  Ughh.

Georgia can still recover and bring in some talented players.  We have two, and possibly, three more scholarships to offer.  There are still a number of the top 150-ranked players who have not committed.
How many fans believe that Georgia will get any of the top-ranked guys?  I hope that Coach Fox proves me wrong, but as far as I know, Georgia is not in the running for any of them.

The early signing period is done, and while I'm fairly pleased with Hammonds and Claxton, I would love for UGA to assemble a complete class early in the year.  Unfortunately, UGA will once again have to see who is available in the spring.

Of course, we might strike gold like we did with Yante Maten.  But the truth is that we can also strike out, like we have done more than once in the Fox tenure.

Finding a diamond in the rough is a whole lot harder than finding one in the jewelry store.  Unfortunately, Georgia went to Zales, Shane Company, Jared's, and Kay, and while other SEC teams have their designs and ensembles complete, with bling to show off at the holiday parties, spring will once again find UGA out prospecting.

Can't we do better?

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