Just how good is the high school basketball talent in Georgia?

Dennis Felton’s demise at Georgia, which was briefly stalled by a miraculous tornado-driven SEC Tournament Championship in 2008, ultimately came to roost because of the coach’s inability to keep the top high school basketball talent in state.

Mark Fox was hired because he had recruited well and made a winner out of Nevada, and I suppose the thinking inside the UGA Athletic Department was that with Atlanta just a little over an hour away, Fox could start convincing some of these talented Peach state recruits to stay home and play in the Red and Black.

As a former high school basketball player in DeKalb County, one of Atlanta’s biggest school districts, I’ve always felt that this city was loaded with high-end basketball talent, as I played against a number of major Division-I commits.  For years, college basketball analysts have labeled Atlanta a “hotbed” for recruiting, but I wanted to take a more objective look for myself.  Here is what I was able to dig up:

  • According to Hero Sports, Georgia has produced the 7th highest number of Division-I basketball players this season with 225.
  • In 2015, Georgia and Wisconsin tied for 7th place among states (with 13 players apiece) in regards to the number of players on rosters of teams ranked in the  AP Preseason Top 25.
  • Georgia produced the 5th most (44) Division-I college basketball players relative to its college-age male populations, according to a 2014 Deadspin article.
  • Georgia currently has 12 players from the state ranked on the 2017 ESPN100 list of the nation’s best recruits, the most of any other state.  The next closest state to Georgia is California, which has a total of 8 players on the same list.  Considering the population differential between those two states, I’d say that the fact that Georgia boasts 4 more blue chips than Cali is quite significant.  Below are the number of ESPN100 recruits from the state of Georgia during the Mark Fox era:
    • 2017 = 12
    • 2016 = 9
    • 2015 = 6
    • 2014 = 4
    • 2013 = 2
    • 2012 = 9
    • 2011 = 6
    • 2010 = 5

Maybe the most telling statistic from all of this is that over the past 8 years the state of Georgia has put 53 players on the ESPN 100 lists, and UGA has landed 3 of them: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyree Crump and Rayshawn Hammonds.  Not including next year’s class with Hammonds, Fox will have signed one of these ESPN100 guys at a rate of just under 1 every 3 years during his time in Athens.

If a UGA basketball coach could ever manage to land one of these ESPN100 recruits every season, the Dawgs would probably be dancing nearly every March.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Just how good is the high school basketball talent in Georgia?

  1. Fox is a boring coach with nothing really exciting on his resume and McGarity seems to be satisfied with the status quo. The line “Georgia is just a football school” will keeping working as long as the people in charge of believe it.

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  2. Great info! It’s pretty clear every year when watching March madness how many GA players are starting for various clubs – now I have an actual number to look at. The real question is why is this happening to UGA? Is it lack of tradition, facilities,recruiting emphasis or coaching philosophy. I personally think the majority of the problem is Fox’s lack of changing with the times. He’s stuck on keeping a lid on freshman in general unless he absolutely has to play them.. High school players see that.. He favors upperclassman who have put “their time “in the program.. just look at this current team’s substitution patterns..Not naming names but a few of these guys should not be seeing the floor when the talent is there sitting on the bench grabbing 2-4 minutes a game..He’s never had this amount of quality depth in his 8 yrs yet he still decides not to use it…Better wake up coach..Your post season opportunities are shrinking weekly..

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