Posted on: July 18, 2010 11:16 am
McDonald's All-American candidate Kentavious Caldwell committed to Georgia this weekend, becoming the most heralded prospect to pledge his allegiance to the Bulldogs under second-year coach Mark Fox.
“The reason I did it was because [of] the coach, and [it's] close to home,” Caldwell told Scout.com. "... I hope I can help turn things around."
Scout.com ranks Caldwell 13th nationally in the Class of 2011. The 6-foot-5 wing from Georgia picked Georgia over Tennessee, Florida State, Clemson and Alabama. He was reportedly the first prospect Fox went to see after being hired at Georgia from Nevada in April 2009.
Caldwell's commitment means seven of Scout.com's top 15 prospects in the Class of 2011 are now off the board. The six in addition to Caldwell are No. 1 Michael Gilchrist (Kentucky), No. 4 James McAdoo (North Carolina), No. 6 Marquis Teague (Kentucky), No. 7 Brad Beal (Florida), No. 8 Myck Kabongo (Texas), and No. 11 Wayne Blackshear (Louisville).
Posted on: October 3, 2009 4:04 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2009 4:05 pm
ATHENS, Ga. -- I'm on football duty this weekend, here covering LSU-Georgia. But before coming over to Sanford Stadium I spent Saturday morning at the Bulldogs' basketball practice facility, where a number of the best high school prospects from the state of Georgia were hanging out -- among them Jelan Kendrick.
MaxPreps.com ranks Kendrick No. 16 in the Class of 2010.
The 6-foot-5 guard from Marietta, Ga., played with the Memphis Magic Elite in the summer and helped that team -- which also featured Joe Jackson, Cris Crawford, Tarik Black and Adonis Thomas -- win the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas. He's still considering a host of schools (everybody from Kentucky to Memphis to Georgia Tech to Tennessee), but a couple of people close to Kendrick said Georgia is a realistic option for the in-state star because he understands he's the type of prospect who could be a program-changer from the start for first-year coach Mark Fox.
Posted on: April 2, 2009 9:08 pm
DETROIT -- Mark Fox has reached an agreement in principle to become Georgia's next coach, sources told CBSSports.com on Thursday.
Posted on: January 2, 2009 6:54 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2009 6:56 pm
Once upon a time -- like as recently as two years ago -- you couldn't find more than a handful of programs that were dominating their leagues like Nevada was dominating its league, and if you're wondering why that's changed the problem isn't hard to identify.
"To be brutally honest, we're not great anymore because early entries have robbed us of our dominance," said Nevada coach Mark Fox. "Losing (Ramon) Sessions and (JaVale) McGee (in back-to-back years) hurt. But we're getting better every week, and by the end of the year I think we have a chance to be right in the middle of it."
I had a chance to catch up with Fox this week, a day after his Wolf Pack lost to top-ranked North Carolina. We talked about the Tar Heels (yes, he thinks they're good), Nevada freshman Luke Babbitt (yes, he thinks he's good) and all sorts of issues. But the thing I found most interesting was Fox's point about how he lost his top returning player in consecutive years because of early entry into the NBA Draft, and I wonder if most fans realize how ridiculously difficult this is to overcome for a program like Nevada.
I mean, we spend a lot of time talking about all the players UCLA loses.
Or North Carolina.
But UCLA, North Carolina and Connecticut are national programs that can recruit nationally. So every time a Kevin Love departs he can be replaced by a Jrue Holiday, and the machine keeps chugging right along give or take a few wins. At Nevada, such turnover is impossible to overcome, because players like Sessions and McGee weren't longtime NBA prospects as much as they were guys who developed into pros, and the thing about developing pros is that it takes time, and that's the only way Nevada can play with pros because the typical one-and-done prospect isn't a realistic recruiting option for any of the non-BCS schools outside of Memphis.
Thus, I submit that losing a player early at Nevada in consecutive years is much tougher to overcome than anything UCLA, North Carolina or Connecticut might ever have to overcome, because at UCLA, North Carolina and Connecticut it doesn't matter how many great players leave because there are always pros about to enroll. Think about it: When North Carolina lost all those players after the 2005 NCAA tournament, Roy Williams replaced them with Tyler Hansbrough. Then he backed that class with a class featuring Brandan Wright, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Deon Thompson, and now the Tar Heels are the overwhelming favorites to win the national title, and it's hardly noticeable that they've lost five players early to the draft in the past four offseasons.
That's the way things work at North Carolina, and they work well.
But they don't work that way at a place like Nevada, where early departures are irreplaceable.
"At this level, it's just hard to overcome," Fox said as he prepared for his WAC opener. "It's just crippled us."
Posted on: August 7, 2008 4:11 pm
LOS ANGELES -- It lasted seven days.
I got a text message this morning from Nevada coach Mark Fox in response to last week's column about Luke Babbitt. If you didn't catch the column, the gist was that Babbitt was working so hard in the gym and weight room that Fox was concerned his McDonald's All-American would wear down, perhaps even before the season starts. Consequently, Fox asked Babbitt to go on vacation with his family and stay away from the gym for two weeks. Babbitt countered with a 10-day agreement. And, well, here's Fox's text message:
He negotiated to 10 days and we got seven. But that's better than nothing.
In other words, Luke Babbitt is back to work.
Let the Western Athletic Conference beware.
Posted on: August 4, 2008 1:32 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2008 1:33 pm
I spent last week's column on Luke Babbitt writing about his vacation and coach-enforced ban from basketball because that's the type of stuff I usually write about it. It's off-the-wall damn-near all the time around here, for better or worse. But there was another story I picked up along the way that I wanted to tell. So if you don't mind, I'll tell it here (and if you do mind, it's too late to mention it now).
Anyway, it's about Luke Babbitt's recruitment.
As some of you might remember, Babbitt initially committed to Ohio State on March 1, 2007 -- the same day Nevada lost at Utah State. This made for a terrible Thursday for Wolf Pack coach Mark Fox, who had invested years into the recruitment of the local product in an attempt to sign the school's first McDonald's All-American. Few weeks after that, Nevada lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Few weeks after that, Fox was having dinner with his family when his phone rang.
It was Babbitt.
The two had not spoken for months.
"Luke called and said he wanted to talk to me," Fox said. "So I met him up at the school."
And they talked.
"The first thing he said was that he wasn't sure he wanted to go to Ohio State because he said he wasn't sure he wanted to go that far from home," Fox recalled. "So I said OK and told him he had to figure out what was important to him and decide whether that's what he wanted to do or not. So I was telling him what I thought he needed to do, going down the list -- A, B and C. And he finally just looked at me and said, 'You don't get it, do you? I want to know if I can come to school here.'"
"I told him he needed to do this the right way," Fox said. "Then I about fell off the chair. I was like, 'Wow! Sure, we'll take you.’"
And just like that, Nevada landed its first McDonald's All-American.