UGA scholarship vacant

Accepting that UGA Will Leave a Scholarship Vacant

It’s tough to accept that UGA will leave a scholarship vacant.

Recruiting in the wake of a poorly handled situation where both James White and Tevin Mack turned down Georgia, the staff has evidently shifted toward 2016, 2017 and 2018 recruiting.  Georgia has been very active in 2016 and 2017 recruiting as it appears for 2016 there will be either one or two scholarship spots available and in 2017 there will likely be three or four scholarship spots available.  The 2015 Class provides a great deal of hope and optimism for the program, but the way things ended was like watching a NASCAR race where the driver taking the white flag makes an unforced error and smacks into the wall allowing for others to pass on that final lap.

It is sub-optimal to not use all of the scholarships that you are allowed to distribute for a particular school year.  Mark Fox did it last year and his depth suffered, he’ll do it again this year and he better hope that he can get more out of his twelve scholarship guys than he did last year out of his eleven.  When NCAA Basketball teams go on probation or get penalized by the NCAA, typically they lose the ability to offer scholarships and this hurts team depth both in games and in practice.  By not using all 13 scholarships on scholarship-quality student-athletes, it is the equivalent of the punishment issued out by the NCAA.  Fox should have got his money’s worth out of a recruiting violation of some sort, if he was going to not use all of his scholarships the past two years!

At this point, Fox cannot do much to change the depth composition of his 2015-16 team.  He’s not going to bring in that game changing graduate transfer we all thought he would do.  This team is a quality graduate transfer away from contending for an SEC crown and making the deepest NCAA Tournament run in a generation.  Now almost all of the graduate transfers have been taken off the board.  Fox was pursuing a graduate transfer post and rightfully so, but now the best guys left are Willy Kouassi (who is down to his final 3:  Arkansas, Memphis, BYU), Kenyatta Smith (nobody has been known to be pursuing him), Joseph Uchebo (same situation as Kenyatta Smith) and Ben Dickinson (nothing has been said about his recruitment anywhere).  The graduate transfer market has dried up.

It is unlikely a graduate transfer joins the team next season, which means that actual previews of this team can be made in earnest.  This is a team that has a lot to play for next season, but it would be fair to expect a similar outcome to last season.  The 2015-16 Georgia Basketball team in its current form could very well start SEC Tournament play on Friday and earn the double-bye for a third straight year while landing a seed that is between 8 and 11.  Let’s not leave a scholarship vacant in 2016-17, please.

8 comments

  1. To me the class Fox is bringing in is better that the players they lost. But if it stays this way 2016 class will be the best Georgia has had in years. Yes I hate to see a scholarship left open. But I would rather it be left open than just used on any player. White went to Tech, I think he noticed the talent he would have to compete in and his playing time might not have been what he wanted it to be. Things are looking up for Georgia Basketball.

    1. I would be willing to bet White’s decision to go to Tech had nothing to do with competition he would face in Athens. He was not happy with how UGA recruited him and held off until a decision from Mack.

  2. As you know, we are very thin along our front line. Tech is deeper in the front court than we are with Mitchell, Jacobs and White. We don’t seem to match up well there with them at all, unless Ogbeide is a world beater or Edwards is ready from day one or Wilridge can play in the post. Kessler and Iduwe have not shown SEC caliber talent as yet. I hope a year of hard work and drills and health (i.e. no malaria) will make Iduwe serviceable. We should be stronger in the back court than them, but they royally kicked our butts last year with 2 guys having career nights.

  3. How many scholarship players did Duke have this year? I think the number was eight. I’d say they fared
    pretty well! Some of you bloggers just have to put a negative slant on everything. Mark Fox is doing a great
    job and UGA basketball is definitely trending upward!

    1. AMEN!!! We didn’t recruit any two star players for the first time in forever! Looks to be the same for 2016. Save the scholarships for players that aren’t huge 4 year projects.

      LOVE the job Fox is doing. Let’s please drop this Mack/White nonsense.

      1. Daniel, signing a grad-transfer is “saving a scholly” for 2016. They usually have only one year of eligibility left.

    2. Brilliant comment. Yes, we are right there with the same type of scholarship athletes that Duke has on their team. (fart noise)

      We need to utilize every single resource we have available just to be competitive in the top 1/3rd of the SEC. Leaving a scholarship open that could have made our team better next year is not doing that. It is doing a disservice to the team to not find a way to make the team better each and every year.

      Fox is doing a good job, no doubt about that, and yes, we are trending upward. But we are already at a disadvantage, why continue to do things that perpetuate that?

    3. JS, when you have your positions all manned, 8 will do. When you have only ONE returning post player with SEC talent, you should try and fill that need. It is the need, more than just getting a 13th guy.

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