Kentucky Lands Ryan Harrow

Ryan Harrow, the former Walton High School star, has tweeted that he will transfer from North Carolina State to the University of Kentucky.

Harrow chose Kentucky over Georgia, Louisville and Texas.

He will have to sit out one year due to NCAA transfer rules, but the Marietta-native will then have three remaining years of eligibility to give Coach John Calipari.

Harrow commented in the USA Today article (above) that “I just felt that at Kentucky I would reach all the goals I want to achieve for now and later on.”

I have no idea what Mr. Harrow’s “goals” are in regards to his collegiate basketball career, but if playing time is one of them, then I have to question his decision to become a Cat.

Coach Calipari’s point guard in his inaugural season at Kentucky was John Wall, who went on to be selected by the Washington Wizards as the first overall draft pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Last season Coach Cal’s team was led by Brandon Knight, who was named to the All-SEC First Team as a freshman.  Knight is set to be drafted most likely in the Lottery Round of this year’s NBA Draft.

Heading into the 2011-2012 season, the Wildcats will be led by freshman point guard Marquis Teague, a five-star recruit who was listed by ESPNU as the 7th best player in the country coming out of high school. currently has Teague going 9th to the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round of their 2012 Mock Draft.

Now, in all fairness, Ryan Harrow was listed as the 39th best prospect in the country by ESPNU in 2010.  However, since Calipari has had the reigns at UK, he’s yet to bring in a freshman point guard that hasn’t been one of the top 10 high school prospects in the country.  Harrow’s competition for the starting point guard job the season after next should be nothing short of cutthroat.

The Georgia Bulldogs, on the other hand, are losing their backcourt of Gerald Robinson, Jr. and Dustin Ware after the 2011-2012 season, leaving a big, vacant hole to be filled by a ready-and-willing point guard prospect.

If Harrow’s main concern is being on a winning team regardless of how much he contributes, then Kentucky was probably the best choice.

But if he wanted to play some significant minutes in the SEC, then it seems that Georgia would have been the better fit.

Georgia to Host Cincinnati in the SEC/Big East Challenge

Mark Fox’s Georgia Bulldogs will play host to the Cincinnati Bearcats in Athens on December 2, 2011 as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge.

The Bearcats will return their top two scorers from last year’s team (Yancy Gates and Dion Dixon), a team that finished 26-9, earning them a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Cincinnati advanced to the third round of the tournament before being eliminated by the eventual national champion Connecticut Huskies.

Georgia’s 2011-2012 out-of-conference schedule just got substantially harder.

The Dawgs can now add the Bearcats to a list of OOC opponents that includes Georgia Tech, @ Southern California, @ Colorado, @ Xavier along with a potential match-up with either Notre Dame, Missouri or California in the 2011 O’Reilly CBE Classic.

By the time the SEC schedule begins in early 2012, Coach Fox’s young Bulldog team should have plenty of experience playing against strong competition.

This will mark the fifth consecutive year for the SEC/Big East Challenge.  The two conferences have split the series at 8-8 over the previous four years.

Considering that the Big East is generally perceived by the media as the strongest conference in college basketball year after year (remember, they were given an astounding 11 teams in last year’s tournament), it’s somewhat surprising that they haven’t been able to exude a little more dominance over the “lowly” SEC.

Mark Fox’s 2011 Class Taking Shape

With John Cannon’s announcement last Saturday that he will be heading to Athens this fall, the Georgia Bulldogs now have five new names on the roster for the 2011-2012 season.

The headliner of the class is obviously McDonald’s All-American Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (KCP), who has the potential to be a top scorer for the Dawgs next year.  KCP will be joined by a group of trees – Tim Dixon (6’10”), John Cannon (6’11”), John Florveus (7’0″) and Nemanja Djurisic (6’8″).

For the first time in a long time, the Dawgs have a basketball recruiting class coming in that is actually getting noticed by the sports media.  Georgia didn’t crack into the ESPN “Insider’s” Top 25 for the 2011 Basketball Recruiting Rankings, but the Dawgs did land a spot just outside in the “On the Cusp” section (along with Villanova, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Xavier, Indiana, Gonzaga, Memphis and Kansas – in other words, pretty good company). currently has Georgia’s class at #25 for 2011, wedged in between Florida and Indiana.

Earlier this month, the AJC’s Mark Bradley declared that Mark Fox would be (almost) “starting over”, following the departures of Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins to the NBA.

I’m not so sure that I agree…

John Cannon Chooses Bulldogs

Mark Fox added another big to his 2011 recruiting class – John Cannon, a 6’11” center from Burnsville, North Carolina.  Cannon chose Georgia over Northwestern and North Carolina, however, to be fair, he was only guaranteed a walk-on opportunity at UNC.

The Athens Banner-Herald put out a nice piece with some background information on Cannon, along with some quotes from the young man, the best of which had to be, “With my work ethic, I can really do some damage my first year.”

Coach Fox now has one scholarship remaining, which he can either offer to another player for next season or save for 2012.