According the AJC, Howard Thompkins III announced tonight at the Georgia Basketball Club’s end-of-season banquet that he will be returning to Athens for his junior season.
Apparently, this was the first time that Coach Mark Fox had heard the news.
I, too, was pleasantly surprised (to say the least) – it seemed that at this point Trey was at least going to throw his name into the NBA draft pool but not hire an agent…
I cannot remember the last time that I was this excited about the upcoming Georgia BASKETBALL season – in late April none-the-less.
ESPN’s college basketball analyst Andy Katz mentioned the Dawgs as a potential “sleeper” going into the 2010-2011 season – I couldn’t agree more.
With Thompkins and Travis Leslie returning, the Dawgs are sure to have two preseason All-SEC first-team players.
The Dawgs have not had star-power like Thompkins and Leslie since the 2002-2003 season that featured Jarvis Hayes and Ezra Williams.
But Trey and Travis are not the only reasons to be excited about next year’s squad. The Dawgs have a lot of great supporting players to compliment them as well, and Coach Fox should have a rather deep bench at his disposal.
Junior guard Gerald Robinson, Jr. will give Georgia something it hasn’t had since the departure of Sundiata Gaines – a point guard that can penetrate and create his own shot.
Junior Dustin Ware should slide into the two-guard slot nicely, and fill the slot that Ricky McPhee vacated.
Senior power forward Jeremy Price could break out for a huge senior season. Price had some big games down the stretch in last season’s SEC schedule – scoring 13 in a win over Florida and 19 in the loss in Athens to Kentucky. Coach Fox mentioned several times last year that he couldn’t wait to have Price for a full off-season to help with his conditioning and inside game.
Georgia’s bench will feature several players that saw significant minutes this year – Ebuka Anyaorah, Chris Barnes and Vincent Williams – to go along with sharp-shooting transfer guard Sherrard Brantley.
Now that Trey has made it official and decided to return, I think it’s fair to say that Georgia should be a contender in the SEC East.
And don’t get too excited, but apparently ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Dawgs as a 19-seed slated to take on 14th-seeded Miami in the first round of next year’s potential 96-team NCAA Tournament.