ATHENS — The Georgia basketball team has subsisted lately on signing lesser-known prospect and developing them. Highly-rated national prospects have tended to elude Mark Fox’s program.
That could change over the next few days.
While the Bulldogs did miss on one major target Wednesday, they’re still in the running for two more. And they may be the favorites for one of them.
Rayshaun Hammonds, a forward from Norcross High School, is set to announce his choice on Thursday afternoon at his high school. Georgia and Memphis are considered the favorites for Hammonds, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound forward who is rated the nation’s No. 50 overall prospect by 247Sports.
If Hammonds signed with Georgia, he would be the second-highest rated recruit to sign with Mark Fox at Georgia, behind only Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. For what it’s worth, all 11 “crystal ball” predictions on 247Sports have Hammonds going to Georgia.
But could Georgia actually sign its highest-rated prospect ever? It’s possible.
Atlanta’s Wendell Carter, rated the nation’s No. 4 overall prospect, is due to sign during the early signing period, which began Wednesday and runs for a week. It’s not clear when and how exactly Carter is announcing. Carter, listed at 6-10 and 262 pounds, attends Pace Academy in Atlanta.
But Duke is also in the running for Carter. That obviously makes Georgia’s chances a steeper climb.
The prospect that Georgia missed on Wednesday was Garrison Brooks, a four-star power forward from Auburn, Ala., who chose Mississippi State. Georgia and North Carolina were among the finalists.
The only other prospect known to be on Georgia’s radar for the early signing period has a familiar last name: Nicolas Claxton, the son of former Georgia center Charles Claxton.
Nicolas Claxton, listed at 6-9 and 195 pounds, attends Legacy Charter High School in Greenville, S.C. Baylor and N.C. State are considered to be the main competition. Claxton is due to announce sometime during the early signing period, probably next week.
Georgia projects to have four scholarships available for next year: Three current players (J.J. Frazier, Houston Kessler and Kenny Paul Geno) are seniors, and the team had one open scholarship spot entering the school year, which presumably went to a walk-on.