Will next season be Kentavious-Caldwell Pope’s last at UGA?

Kentavious-Caldwell Pope turned in a fine freshman campaign for Coach Mark Fox and the Georgia Bulldogs, averaging 13.2 points to go along with a team-leading 5.2 rebounds per game.  KCP also led the Dawgs in steals with 58 on the season, finishing second in the SEC in that statistical category during conference play (at 2 steals per contest).

Pope’s efforts caught the eyes of both the media as well as opposing SEC coaches, earning him a spot on the conference’s All Freshman team.

Apparently, folks in the professional ranks have taken note of KCP’s talents as well.  NBADraft.net has Pope listed as the No. 9 pick in their latest 2013 Mock Draft.

If KCP were to take the leap to the NBA after next season, he would be the first Bulldog to exit the UGA basketball program for the pros after just two seasons of play since Jumaine Jones did it back in 1999.  

The “Thrilla from Camilla” made the jump to the NBA after a stellar sophomore season in which Jones netted 18.8 points and 9.5 boards per game en route to being named First-Team All-SEC.  Jones was selected in the first round with the 27th pick by the Atlanta Hawks before being immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.

As much as I would love to see KCP in the Red and Black for at least two more seasons, if he is still projected to be an NBA lottery pick this time next year he may make a decision similar to Jumaine Jones’.

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13 thoughts on “Will next season be Kentavious-Caldwell Pope’s last at UGA?

    1. I wish Georgia had a player like Jumaine Jones on the team or at least in the recruiting pipeline…that guy was amazing in Athens. Every time he touched the ball near in the paint he was almost guaranteed to score.

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  1. I didn’t think that Jones was ready to jump in 1999, and while he stuck for a short while, he could have used more seasoning. KCP had better have a better, more dominant year that he had last season–i’d like to see him stick for a while once he leaves. He DID NOT look like an NBA player to me last year.

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    1. I was surprised as well to see him projected to be a lottery pick for next year’s draft. I suppose he could be a “Stephen Curry”-type player, but he’ll need to become a much more consistent shooter before that comparison can be accurately drawn.

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    2. Jones, that first year, under a teacher of the game like Harrick? Yeah, that would have been nice to watch.

      If KCP does go, I’d hate to see Jones redux. As I recall, he was also a projected lottery pick for that draft. But he fell, and fell, and fell, and the cameras just watched him sitting in the green room until the Hawks (who traded the pick to Philadelphia) finally called him before he fell out of the first round completely.

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      1. Also, just to clean something up, Jones was the last to leave, and get drafted, after two seasons. His teammate ol’ sharpshooting not a PG DA Layne turned pro after his sophomore season, but never got a sniff from the NBA.

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  2. May 24, 2012

    ATHENS —– Three-year UGA letterman Jonas Hayes has joined the Georgia basketball staff as program coordinator, according to announcement Thursday by Bulldog head coach Mark Fox.

    Hayes returns to Georgia after five seasons as an assistant basketball coach at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. Previously, he had also served brief stints as an assistant coach at South Carolina State, Morehouse College and his alma mater, Douglass High School in Atlanta.

    “I am really excited to have Jonas join our staff,” Fox said. “He will be a valuable asset as we move forward. He is a smart and talented young man who will be a great example to our players. I am excited to have a former player who is so passionate about Georgia become part of our team.”

    Hayes earned three letters as a prominent player on three successful Georgia teams between 2002-04. He started 41 of 88 games for the Bulldogs, scoring 759 points (8.6 avg.) and pulling down 435 rebounds (4.9 avg.). His career scoring high of 25 points came at a most opportune time, when the 2004 Bulldogs upended 3rd-ranked Georgia Tech 83-80 in double overtime. Among his other career highlights included his first collegiate 3-pointer, a 30-foot bank shot at the buzzer that won a game for the Bulldogs at Colorado on Dec. 3, 2002.

    Two of the three teams on which Hayes played reached post-season play, including the 2002 NCAA Tournament and 2004 NIT.

    “I am thrilled to be coming back to Georgia,” Hayes said. “I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be joining Coach Fox’s staff. UGA holds a special place in my heart. I’m just ready to get started, ready to do whatever I can to help build the program.”

    Native Atlantans, Hayes and his twin brother Jarvis transferred to UGA after playing their freshman seasons at Western Carolina University. Jarvis earned 1st-team All-SEC honors in each of his years at Georgia before he entered the NBA Draft in 2003. He played seasons in the NBA and continues to play professionally overseas.

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