Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Even the best driver ain't winning Talladega in a Honda Accord
We'll start off by saying we like Mark Fox. He came in and produced a better team immediately. He added a little, and got this team in to the NCAAs in year 2. Some say last year was a bit disappointing considering the talent level, but it still made the NCAAs for the first, non-miracle, time in a decade. He's funny, says all the right things, and has helped Georgia basketball get out of the cellar it's historically occupied in spite of the sleeping giant amount of resources at it's finger tips.
But as said above, you need the horses to win races.
We missed on another Atlanta area wing, Jordan Price, with several fans crying "we wanted Adams, not Price." Well, we just lost both. One to Auburn, the other to UCLA. We've missed on Evan Nolte, younger brother of walk-on F Connor Nolte, to Virginia. Another top 100 wing, a position we needed desperately in this class, Damien Wilson, is committed to Memphis. Tony Parker, another much needed player as an instant impact big man, is narrowed down to Ohio St and Duke. Another similar, Robert Carter of Thomasville, seems likely to head south to either Florida St or Florida, if Kentucky doesn't steal him late. Wheeler's Charles Mitchell, one of the 4 elite caliber big men in this class, isn't looking our way. Georgia Tech hires a middling coach from Dayton, and he's already in better position for North Clayton's Marcus Hunt and Union Grove's Charles Mann. If UCLA or Memphis don't snag him, and they might, the only one we have a legit chance at, out of a dozen or more top 100-150 caliber players (depending on which service you look at), is Shaq Goodwin. Oh, and he'll be playing TE until January.
There's a dozen or more high caliber players in this year's crop of high school basketball talent from Georgia. And we're missing on them all it seems. The chinks in Mark Fox's armor is starting to show, and in spite of the immense love he's gotten, he hasn't turned that momentum in to in-state recruiting success. Mark Richt realized as much as he might love Tony Milton, or want Washaun Ealey to be a personnel redemption project, you aren't winning with mediocre players. You need studs, and recruitng stepped up. Mark Fox is getting a much needed wake-up call in this class. Perhaps it's a big problem. Perhaps it's just a lack of familiarity. As you'll note with Adams, he's following long time AAU coach Korey McCray to UCLA. One of the reasons Gregory has come in an usurped us so quickly for Atlanta talent is hiring former Wheeler coach Amir Abdur-Rahim and son of a long time Atlanta AAU coach, Chad Dollar. As noted in the AJC article on Adams, we could have hired McCray and landed a gold mine of Atlanta Celtics talent immediately ingratiating ourselves with the Atlanta AAU circles. But Fox didn't. We could have hired Abdur-Rahim or Dollar, but we didn't. There's another McCray brother still with the Celtics. There's several from there, or the Georgia Stars, or high level Atlanta high school coaches that have AAUs place their kids with them yearly. There's an alum who'd be a perfect fit in Jonas Hayes, as a former Dawg, former coach at Douglas HS in Atlanta, current college assistant, and one of Atlanta's own. We had a quasi-assistant spot with Mark Pope come available, and go unfilled. It's about time McGarity and Fox fill it, and fill it with someone who can provide us a much needed foot-in-the-door of Atlanta.
Fox needed a huge class in 2012 to reload and not experience a fast fall back to the cellar. He's failing miserably, and our refusal or inability to secure any of the immense amount of talent from 50-100 miles to our left is the reason why.