SAVANNAH — Mark Fox said he had the following back-and-forth last Friday with Ryan Seacrest, the graduation speaker at UGA:
Seacrest: “I’m too small to play on your team.”
Fox: “Actually I think you’re bigger than one of our best players.”
It’s a close call: Seacrest’s listed height in IMDB.com is 5-7 and a half. J.J. Frazier‘s listed height on Georgia’s website is 5-10, but it doesn’t say whether that includes shoes.
But Frazier has done very well anyway, making second-team All-SEC this past season, with a chance to finish his Georgia career next year among the most memorable in recent program history.
“J.J. has really, I think, worked hard to become a better player,” Fox said Monday in Savannah, where Frazier was born, though he was raised about 45 minutes away in Glennville. “He’s worked hard to become a better student, and really is using his college experience the right way. He’s excited now to be a senior and have the responsibility of leadership, and hopefully he’ll do a good job there as well.”
Fox found out over the weekend he would not be getting center Daniel Giddens, the former Ohio State player who announced he was transferring to Alabama. Giddens, who played at Wheeler High School in Marietta, visited Georgia last month.
Georgia would have had to open a scholarship to make room for Giddens anyway. Fox said Monday that “we don’t have any roster moves to report,” adding that with finals over he would be surprised to hear about any eligibility problems.
Three new players are on the way — incoming freshman guards Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris, and junior college forward Pape Diatta. But the Bulldogs are basically adding another player, junior small forward Juwan Parker, who started half of the 2014-15 season before going down with an Achilles injury. He sat out all of last season, but Fox expects him back.
“The target is for him to be 100 percent come June 1,” Fox said. “So he’s gone home, and we’ve given him a restriction at home, really a time restriction. The issue with Juwan is how much volume that Achilles tendon can handle. Right now he’s able to go for a full hour very hard, and looks like the old Juwan. But right now we’re kind of capping him right there, and we’ll slowly build on that once we come back in the summer.”