Losing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the NBA Draft was an expected bummer for Mark Fox. Behind Caldwell-Pope there was no one who the Bulldogs could count on every night as a complementary role player.
Now, Fox has signed four recruits for 2013-14 that will combine with a returning roster that includes eight rising sophomores and juniors. He’ll likely start the season on the hot seat, and the meshing of the talents and defining an eight or nine-man rotation will be paramount to team success. Charles Mann is Georgia’s returning leading scorer at 6.7 ppg. in averaging 21.5 mpg, so there should be plenty of burn for players who can come in and contribute right away.
Early signees J.J. Frazier, a 5-10 guard, and Juwan Parker, a 6-5 swing guard from Tulsa, Okla. could figure in the equation. Frazier is a left-hander who can shoot the three while Parker’s athleticism can allow him to be a really good performer based on his potential.
Frazier averaged 26.2 points, 4.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game last season for Faith Baptist Christian Academy in Ludowici, Ga. Fox likes Frazier’s playmaking ability to free himself up and get to the rim or to find openings for other scorers.
Parker came from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa where his team won state championships at the 5A level in his freshman and sophomore years. The Tulsa World named him the State Player of the Year in 2011 and he was rated the No. 30 shooting guard in that nation by Rivals.com
Kenny Paul Geno is a 6-6 forward of Booneville, Miss. and 6-7 Cameron Forte of Tempe, Ariz. were late signees who can contribute in the mix as well. Fox likes Geno’s ability to get up and down the floor in transition.
Forte is an interesting study in that he led McClintock High School in Tempe to the Arizona 4A State Championship game. As a senior at McClintock, he averaged 36 ppg. and had 12.7 rpg. and then he averaged 22.5 ppg. for Howard JUCO in Hutchinson, Kansas, this past season, so his scoring ability will be a must for the Bulldogs immediately. Of course, Pope recruited him immediately to help to fill the scoring void.
“We are very excited to add someone of Cameron’s abilities to our program,” Fox explained, “He’s a versatile player who has a real knack for scoring the basketball. Those two things, his versatility and his scoring, should really help our team next season.”