ATHENS — Georgia’s basketball team now has three new players set to come in next season. Could it still add another?
Recent history would indicate yes. In past years Mark Fox has made use of the spring signing period, signing Pape Diatta last year, and Yante Maten, Mike Edwards and Kenny Paul Geno in previous springs.
Teshaun Hightower, a 6-foot-5 guard originally from Gwinnett County, committed earlier this week to sign with Georgia. That will be a ways off: The spring signing period begins April 12.
Georgia signed two others in the fall signing period: Forward Rayshaun Hammonds, a top 50 recruit and the second-highest rated recruit of Fox’s tenure, and forward Nicolas Claxton, from Greenville, S.C. Claxton and Hamilton are each rated as three-star recruits. (But so was Maten, and he’s now an All-SEC candidate.)
That would leave Georgia with one projected opening under the NCAA scholarship limit of 13. Fox was asked Thursday whether he planned to pursue one more recruit for this year and what other position.
“We’re going to look for the best player that we can get,” Fox said. “You know, as the season moves forward we’ll continue to identify the greatest need for our team and try to recruit to our need. But right now we’re pleased with the kids coming in next year. Very pleased. And we’ll try and find the best addition we can.”
Fox can’t talk about Hightower yet, per NCAA rules, because he hasn’t signed. It doesn’t appear that Georgia has any more imminent commitments, but it is involved with several 2017 prospects.
J.J. Frazier, the star guard, is a senior, as are Geno and post player Houston Kessler. There’s always the chance that more than one scholarship could open up, via transfer or leaving for another reason. Maten, for what it’s worth, is not rated in the top 100 draft prospects posted by Draftexpress.com earlier this week, and by all accounts doesn’t seem eager to leave. Juwan Parker, a fourth-year junior who has already graduated, has said several times it’s his plan to return next year.