Georgia’s shrinking frontcourt

After two years in Athens, Cameron Forte has opted to leave Georgia and play his final year of collegiate basketball somewhere closer to his home of Phoenix, Arizona. According to the AJC, Forte is looking for a situation where he has a more expanded role on a team, and I am guessing that he means he wants more minutes and offensive touches.

I understand his desire to play more, especially considering that this upcoming season will be his last, but I wonder if he has a keen awareness of some of his limitations. Forte’s biggest weakest is his lack of a jump shot. Other than the baseline shot he made that won the game at Bama, I don’t recall him connecting on anything outside of a lay-up during his time at UGA. But considering Forte’s unorthodox shooting form, with his left elbow way out to the side, it’s no wonder that he struggles from the outside (he made just 56% of his free throw attempts this year).  And at 6’7″, Forte lacks the size to be the focal point inside for any respectable Division I team.

However, where Cameron succeeded was in his uncanny knack to always find himself in the right position to clean up on the offensive glass.  Other than Yante Maten, Forte averaged more offensive rebounds per minute played than anyone else on the team.  Forte was afforded the luxury of hunting down weak side rebounds because teams this year honed in on Marcus Thornton and Neme Djurisic when they touched the ball in the paint.  Next year, with Maten on the opposite block, one would have to imagine that Forte could once again clean up a lot of missed shots since the opposition will be most likely putting their best inside defender on Yante.

Georgia seems like such a good fit for a role player like Forte.

But yet I digress.  Forte is gone and Coach Mark Fox’s team must move on without him.

The question is how much will Georgia miss Forte’s minutes?  Fox now has three players to replace in his frontcourt for next season, leaving him with Yante Maten, Houston Kessler and Kenny Paul Geno as the only returning inside players with any significant playing experience.

The Dawgs have three bigs coming in as freshman – Derek Ogbeide, E’Torrion Woolridge and Michael Edwards – and they will be asked to contribute immediately considering how thin Georgia is up front (and the fact that Maten might find himself in foul trouble often with his shot blocking prowess).