troy baxter jr georgia

USF Releases Troy Baxter from his LOI… Would UGA Jump in?

Troy Baxter Jr. was released from his Letter of Intent a few hours ago by the University of South Florida.

Troy Baxter Jr. chose not to attend the University of South Florida and the Combo Forward from Tallahassee that attended both Oldsmar Christian and The Rock School is left with a choice of where to go to college once again.  Troy Baxter Jr. was one of the more heralded recruits of the 2016 Class and is eligible to play immediately for any program that he chooses.  This is not a profile article, his game will not be broken down in detail and his options are unknown at this time.  However, a program with a roster spot available and an educational opportunity that has not been marred by any scandals could win him over.  UGA can be that program.

Here are the basics about Troy Baxter Jr. that people should know:

  • 6’9″ 200 pound Combo Forward, Class of 2016.
  • Played for Team Breakdown in AAU action.  Under Armour circuit participant.
  • Newest UGA recruit for 2017, Jeffrey Prophete, is on Team Breakdown as well on the 17U squad.
  • His former High School teammate is Pape Diatta.
  • Committed to South Florida in May 2015, which was very early in the recruiting process.
  • The recruiting media think he is really good, which is good enough for the star-fetishists.  4 stars and Top 100 ratings galore.

Analysts Say:

The Daily Stampede evaluated Baxter back in 2015 at an AAU event in Atlanta.

“Baxter’s a tall, lanky wing and a remarkable athlete, with fantastic speed for his size and an ability to play above the rim. He’s got adequate ball handling and shooting skills, which allow him to play outside, but he excels in the paint. He finishes well, and really excels on defense, where his 6’8″+ frame allows him to be a dominant rim protector at the high school level. It’s still a little unclear how he’s going to translate to the college game– he’s got the skill set for a stretch four, but he needs to bulk up (he’s under 200 pounds right now) to hold his ground in the paint against bigger forwards. I imagine that Orlando Antigua envisions Baxter playing the four alongside a big like Ruben Guerrero or Chris Perry, with the ability to pop out and attack from beyond the perimeter. If Baxter puts on some weight– very doable– and improves his already-pretty-decent outside shot– he’s getting there– the Bulls could have a defensive stalwart and a regular double-double candidate. At the very least, he projects as a solid glue guy.”

Scout has a similar commentary.

“Baxter is a first-rate athlete who leaps explosively off one foot and races end to end at admirable speed. He also boasts outstanding length and is a highly versatile 6-9 defender who projects as a specialist guarding modern, face-up big men. He needs to get stronger and improve his dribbling but plays within himself, shoots much better now and is a gifted finisher.”

Baxter’s perimeter shooting is not on par with Nic Claxton nor Alexis Yetna, but he is similar in some ways to Mike Edwards.  Baxter is a better ball handler than Yetna and better shot blocker than Claxton.  Keep in mind, Edwards is poised for a breakout season.  Baxter would benefit from the same sort of development that Edwards, Maten and Marcus Thornton have experienced under the tutelage of Jonas Hayes.  UGA will supposedly play a more up-tempo, versatile style that complements Baxter’s strengths.

Yante Maten actually possessed similar shooting capabilities to Baxter when he first arrived, but he became more confident and improved with his shooting capability.  Baxter is a respectable shooter, but he can improve significantly.  Baxter should keep this in mind when considering his next destination, especially if UGA is a possibility.  He’ll need to choose a school in an immediate fashion since most schools in the Southeast have started classes already.  Formalized Fall Practice starts in October and he needs to make a move.

Will Georgia make a last-minute move to get him on board?

 Update:  In the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver spirit… use this hashtag on Twitter, #TroyInAthens… let’s how this experiment goes.