ATHENS — Whenever a college basketball player has a breakout year, the natural question becomes how much longer they’re sticking around. In the case of Georgia’s Yante Maten, the answer is at least one more year.
Maten confirmed Tuesday what was widely assumed, that he will be back for his junior season. He also said he’s not going to test the waters.
“I’m not doing it,” Maten said. “I like what they’re doing now, where you can come back if you don’t get the agent. But I don’t think would be the year. I slept and prayed about it. But as of now, no.”
Maten, a 6-foot-8 forward, was named second-team All-SEC by the coaches this past season after averaging 16.5 points and 8 rebounds per game. His outside shot became very consistent as the season went on, scoring a career-high 33 points in Georgia’s first-round NIT game. So what does he want to add for his junior season?
“Driving. Finishing through contact,” Maten said. “It’s been pretty much those same things I’ve been saying since I was a freshman. But when I drive, go strong up, finish above the rim when I’m attacking. … Some more 3s, definitely. A little bit better decision-making if I’m getting trapped.”
Maten and point guard J.J. Frazier, who will be a senior, should form a potent inside-outside duo next season for the Bulldogs, who went 20-14 this year. The team loses guards Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann, their third and fourth-leading scorers.
A few more personnel notes from head coach Mark Fox as the offseason begins:
- Fox said they “are going to be aggressive” in trying to add another player, and that they have been in contact with at least one graduate transfer. There’s one scholarship available for next year. “We’re going to be aggressive and work to add somebody,” Fox said.
- The hope remains to get back Juwan Parker, who sat out this season because of nagging Achilles problem, but is “showing good signs,” according to Fox. Parker had surgery over a year ago, and has in the past three weeks has been “responding better,” according to Fox, who added: “We”re going to wait to push him until he’s totally right.” The hope is that Parker will have zero limitations around June.
- Fox hasn’t been told by any player of any intention to leave. He said he’s met with every player and “everyone’s planning to be back and getting ready to go to work.”
- The team will be making a summer foreign trip in which it will play exhibition games, as is allowed by NCAA rules once every four years.
- Incoming freshman Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris, both guards, are due to arrive in time for the foreign trip, which Fox hopes will aid their transition.
- Georgia expects to play again in the Big 12 Challenge this year, this time with a home game. (This past season the Bulldogs played at Baylor.) The non-conference schedule currently includes trips to Georgia Tech, Clemson and Oakland, as well as a tournament in Kansas City that will see Georgia play two games against a combination of Kansas, George Washington and UAB.