ATHENS — After losing six players to graduation, another three to transfer and, for now at least, a 10th player to the NBA draft, Tom Crean has the Georgia basketball team almost back to full strength.
The Bulldogs on Thursday officially announced the transfer of 6-foot-2 guard Donnell Gresham of St. Paul, Minn. Gresham committed to Georgia last week and is coming to UGA from Northeastern University via the NCAA’s graduate transfer waiver. He’s immediately to play pending his graduation.
That gets Georgia back to 12 scholarship players for the 2019-20, pending rising junior Nic Claxton’s NBA draft decision. The NCAA allows 13 scholarships for men’s basketball.
“I love Donnell’s toughness,” Crean said. “He’s a very efficient player who moves well without the ball, which was a huge attribute to us. He shoots it extremely well from both the floor and the line, and we think he can get even better there. There are a lot of virtues to his game that can get expanded in a years time. What I love about him is he’s won, he’s mature, he’s been to the tournament and he’s been in a very good coaching and school environment. What we need him to do is come in, continue to expand his game and build on his confidence.”
Gresham helped lead the Huskies to an NCAA Tournament bid last season. He started 69 of 90 games played at Northeastern, including 59 of 67 contests during the last two campaigns. Northeastern was a combined 46-21 an 28-8 in Colonial Athletic Association over that span. The Huskies (23-11) won the 2019 CAA Tournament crown to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, then lost to 4th-seeded Kansas in the first round.
Greshman averaged 9.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a redshirt junior this past season. During his career at Northeastern, Gresham scored 733 points, grabbed 364 rebounds, delivered 195 assists and collected 75 steals. He recorded 29 double-digit scoring performances and a trio of double-doubles, two combining points and rebounds and one featuring points and assists.
At Georgia, Gresham joins a 2019 recruiting class that has been ranked as high as No. 6 in the country. It includes five other players, all of whom are Top 100 national prospects according to the 247Sports.com composite: 6-4 guard Anthony Edwards (No. 2), 6-6 forward Christian Brown (64), 6-6 forward Jaykwon Walton (75), 5-8 guard Sahvir Wheeler (94) and 6-6 forward Toumani Camara (95).