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).

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8 thoughts on “Georgia’s shrinking frontcourt

  1. In the short run, Ogbeide and Edwards are a poor substitute for Neme and Marcus. I have a feeling that Ogbeide may come on fairly quickly and I hope that Edwards matures at least to the point where he can spell Maten for short periods. Ah but it really hurts that probably the most productive “3” we have is gone. I never felt comfortable with Juwan Parker in that slot (not a good enough shooter or ball handler) and Wilridge will not be ready to step in, I fear. I guess we could pray for Jalen for a year–with that occurence and our experienced guards, that could get really interesting.

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  2. Well, that explains how we are losing three Seniors and bringing in four Freshmen. I was hoping it would have been Iduwe or maybe Longura, if he’s on a scholarship, leaving. Forte will be missed, but all we can do is move on without him. The Defense should be a little tigher without Forte running around on the floor.

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  3. Mark Fox may cringe at the thought, but if Turtle Jackson can play some, we may be able to use Mann some at the “3” position. I’d feel a heck of a lot better about that if Mann could shoot from the wing–something he’s shown no evidence of. Imagine him being able to get a bigger man in the air and then driving the baseline to the hoop (something he can do). Maybe we should encourage Charles to start taking a couple hundred practice shots a day from the corners.

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    1. That’s a nice writeup, and this class does seem to be better than previous ones, but 247sports has UGA’s 2015 class ranked 53rd in the nation. All four of UGA’s recruits are 3-stars. At some point, Fox has to bring in a 4- or 5-star big man.

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      1. Ogbeide is a 4-star according to the recruiting link on your blog and Wilridge was about to be so elevated when he went down with his knee injury in his Jr. year. Curiously, I’m told that Will Jackson was rated a 4-star when he committed to Uconn and reverted to a 3-star later. If Tevin Mack signs with us, he’d be the second 4-star. And the two guards committed for next year are both 4-stars. Things have picked up since we hired Roseman and Jonas Hayes.

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