UGA Recruiting News
Kante To Be a Dawg?
Word in UGA recruiting land is that the Dawgs have a good chance to fill its last men’s basketball scholarship today with Isaac Kante. As usual, the staff is keeping their thoughts on the chance of adding to the roster close to the vest.
A Hoop Blogger’s Thoughts
Per Adam Zagoria:
Isaac Kante, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward originally from Brooklyn, will announce his college choice May 2 at Paul Robeson High School, he told ZAGSBLOG.
Kante is considering St. John’s, Georgetown, Georgia, St. Bonaventure, Kansas State and Old Dominion [DePaul also offered], and will take his final visit to St. John’s April 24-25. He recently visited Georgia.
“I’ll bring versatility to wherever I go because I’m not a one-dimensional player,” he said recently.
His Coach’s Words
Said Putnam Science coach Tom Espinosa: “Isaac can score the ball. He was our third-leading scorer on this year’s 34-7 team that finished fourth in the country. Isaac is very deceiving how athletic he is. “He’s coachable, hard-working and a great teammate. Isaac’s best basketball is ahead of him.”
Can the Dawgs pull the Northeasterner from the likes of St. John’s, Georgetown, St. Bonaventure? Maybe…. Could there be a Kante and Yante tag team? Possibly…. How much of a win would this be for UGA recruiting? Only time will tell….
Kante’s teammate, Alexis Yetna, a 6-8 power forward from Putnam Science (CT), who some consider a better player but who doesn’t have the grades to get into an SEC or ACC program, recently committed to South Florida. Another of Kante’s teammates, Hamidou Diallo, made an early leap to Kentucky in the middle of last season, where he got 4 months of practice in and is now testing the NBA waters without ever having played a college game. So, Kante played with and against some of the best preps in the country.
This writer has scoured the Internet for good video of Kante, but the search has proven unsuccessful. Kante has a reputation for being pretty skilled and rugged, but this cannot be confirmed without video or a chance to watch him in person. Kante is the type of under-the-radar prospect with whom UGA has been successful in recent years. He is not highly rated, though neither were JJ, Maten, Edwards or Diatta. Fox loves coachable posts with upside.
After more digging, I have learned that Kante is viewed as someone who is like a combination of Yante Maten and Derek Ogbeide in terms of his skill and basketball instincts. Kante has a reputation for being very physical. He will not shy away from contact and brings that needed physicality to the Dawgs in the post. He is a solid scorer in the paint. A New York Post writer called him “rugged Brooklyn forward,” and he is expected to bring the confidence and swagger of NY ballplayer to Athens.
After feeling under-recruited coming out of Robeson High School, Kante averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game his senior year at Robeson HS but felt his recruitment didn’t match his ability. So as a 17-year-old senior, Kante decided a year of prep school at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut was in order, where he averaged an impressive 11 points and six rebounds a game for the loaded prep school this past season.
A late bloomer who only started playing basketball in seventh grade after dropping football, Kante put on significant muscle and is now up to 230 pounds, feeling more ready for the next level now after playing better competition.
“He didn’t reach his potential coming out of high school,” said Robeson assistant coach Jermaine Campbell, who was pivotal in Kante’s decision to go to prep school. “That extra year, to get more confidence in your game, is sometimes necessary for some kids.”
Two college coaches familiar with Kante praised his toughness, motor and rebounding ability, crediting the strides he has made at Putnam Science to make himself into a better player. He’s a throwback type of big man,” one of the coaches said. “He’s physical.” One observed that he has a chance to be an impact player at the major college level.
Moving On – Kante is a Dawg!
Kante did pick Athens in which to play, so UGA recruiting for the 2017 is more than likely done. No scholarships remain available, barring something unforeseen. Sadly, this means Tevin Mack will not be a Dawg. It is on to the loaded 2018 Class. The 2018 class presents a time for Fox to start winning in-state recruiting battles because this 2018 Class is so talented. It will be vital to do so as the competition in Georgia is only becoming more fierce with each passing year. Josh Pastner at Tech will step their recruiting up a notch, and the Dawgs have recently lost in-state battles to Bruce Pearl, Avery Johnson, Leonard Hamilton and others. It is only through continued talent upgrades that Fox will ultimately win enough to remain in Athens. UGA will have 3 scholarships at list and will likely look to sign a true PG, a wing and a post.