Bulldogs in 2011 NBA Draft

jarvis hayes
Not since Jarvis Hayes was the the 10th pick overall in the 2003 NBA Draft has Georgia had a player leave early for the NBA

This morning I found myself perusing the NBA Draft website, which allows users to look at the NBA’s “Mock” drafts for 2010 and 2011 (basically how they anticipate the draft going based on the information that the NBA draft experts have right now).

What I saw on the link for the 2011 Mock NBA Draft was amazing!  The site currently lists Travis Leslie as being the 12th pick in the draft, and Howard “Trey” Thompkins going 19th.

This is great news for these two young players, but to Georgia basketball fans it could mean that these guys will only be with the Dawgs for one more year.

With the addition of junior guard Gerald Robinson, Jr next season, and the added maturity that Thompkins, Leslie, Dustin Ware and Jeremy Price will gain over the summer, it is safe to say that the Dawgs should be contenders in the SEC next year (and quite possibly potential dancers in next year’s NCAA Tourney).

Hopefully Coach Mark Fox will be able to take advantage of his talented roster next year, because he could lose a couple of juniors to the NBA after the season…something that hasn’t been an issue for a UGA basketball coach in quite some time.

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13 thoughts on “Bulldogs in 2011 NBA Draft

  1. I read a post at the AJC about that and began to worry. Leslie was amazing Saturday. I can see why he is desired by the pros. Hopefully they will take us to the promised land next season… not that this season is over – plenty of fun and excitement yet to come (see SEC surprise). In case you missed it, Hoop, there was a great post about Coach Fox learning from UNC’s Williams by Carroll Rogers at http://www.ajc.com/sports/uga/uga-coach-mark-fox-306985.html – “UGA coach Mark Fox still benefits from ties to UNC’s Roy Williams.”
    Keep up the good work, research and posts! Thanks! And Go Dawgs!!

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  2. It’s amazing that this is becoming a “problem” so soon. One thing I hope that this turns into is increased exposure to recruits. We really need to show that we are willing and able to be a force in this conference and on the national stage.

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    1. I heard a rumor that Lamont Jones, super-athlete recruit who was granted a release from Southern Cal following their allegations, has an interest in UGA. You have to attribute this to the exposure that Leslie has gotten the team via his numerous appearances on ESPN’s Top Plays.

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  3. I knew that this would be coming. My own assessment (and I’ve been reasonably accurate over the years re Georgia players in the pros) is that both guys will make NBA rosters if they come out after their junior year, but that neither will be sufficiently skilled to be impact players. Both have so many things about their games to work on before having a chance of being impact pros. Travis needs a couple more years of polishing his shooting and ball handling skills to ever approximate a D. Wade, and two years of polishing all around could (and it is a big could) turn Trey into a lottery pick. I’d hate to see these guys pull a Jumaine Jones, going before they were ready and kicking around for a short time as marginal NBA players when both of them have so much upside with just a bit more seasoning. I was also against Jarvis Hayes going early, figuring that as talented as he was, he needed serious work on his ball handling to be anything other than an NBA jumpshooter. And so it came to pass…too bad.

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    1. We’ll have to see how much they improve over the off-season. Leslie has gone from 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds a game last year to 14.5 and 7.0 this year.

      Leslie has also stated that he really wants to become a legit 3-point shooter next year. Right now, his range is pretty good from a step inside (unfortunately for him what used to be the 3-point line until this season). If he adds the 3-ball to his game and can play a little better man defense, NBA scouts will be pretty stoked about his potential.

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  4. I agree wiith you hoopdawg about Leslie, but what would make him so special (aside from his raw athleticism) would be the ball handling skills to create his own path to the rim. That and an improved jumper puts him in the conversation about lottery picks, and I think it will take him two more years to get to that point. If I am right, it would be well worth it to spend a fourth year in college as the contracts of lottery picks are pretty darn sweet. And believe me, I could get more interested in the NBA if there were Dawgs in the league who were high visibility Impact players.

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  5. While I’d hate to see these guys leave early, it would be terrific to see some more Bulldogs in the NBA.

    Plus, two first round picks would do nothing but help Fox in recruiting the next wave of Georgia basketball talent.

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