ATHENS — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean said attrition is part of transforming a program, and on Monday Teshaun Hightower announced he’s leaving the Bulldogs.
Hightower, a 6-foot-5 guard from Lithonia, scored a season-high 18 points in UGA’s 98-88 win over Texas this season.
I want to thank you for a great two years, Athens will always have a special place in my heart. I have grown tremendously throughout my journey in Athens. My teammates will allows be my brothers, It has been a pleasure. God Bless.🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/CmBPa7OcF9
— Teshaun Hightower (@TeshaunTh) March 18, 2019
The Bulldogs lose six seniors from the 2018-19 team that went 11-21 overall and 2-16 in the SEC.
Crean, already, has four Top 100 prospects headed to Athens in the 2019 class.
Anthony “Ant Man” Edwards, the top shooting guard in the country, is expected to be part of the April signing period haul.
Edwards factors heavily into what figures to be a reloaded backcourt with Jordan Harris and Tyree Crump possibly returning for their senior seasons.
Georgia now awaits the pivotal decision of sophomore forward Nicolas Claxton, who has said he’s exploring his options.
Hightower started 17 of the 29 games he played this season, averaging 6.6 points per contest. Hightower shot at a 28.4-percent clip from beyond the 3-point arc with 51 turnovers and 43 assists.
“I think attrition is part of the game,” Crean said. “From college football, college baseball, coulee basketball, women’s basketball.
“The bottom line for me is everybody gets coached, every day. There’s opportunities you take advantage of, or you don’t. There are decisions that have to be made as you go through it, and that becomes part of it.”
Hightower did not play in three of the final four games.
Freshman guard JoJo Toppin was also held out of action for the 14th time in the final 19 games of the season.
“I really don’t know, my mind can’t wander there right now,” Toppin told AJC-DawgNation.com following the SEC tournament, asked of his future in the program. “This is a big loss, it hurts. Really not thinking about that right now, we just lost six seniors. I can’t think about the future right now.”