Mike White and the Georgia Basketball program have momentum right now. In just a little over two weeks, the Bulldogs have done their best to turn over the roster for the 2023-24 season.
Illinois transfer RJ Melendez was the first player to pick Georgia out of the transfer portal. VCU’s Jalen DeLoach joined him less than a week later, and a matter of days ago, Russel Tchewa from South Florida decided he wanted to be a Dawg too.
That’s not all though. White went out and added two players from the high school ranks, and both have been highly touted. Silas Demary Jr. signed with USC in November. He got out of his National Letter of Intent and will suit up for Georgia next season. Same goes for Blue Cain, who originally signed with Georgia Tech, got out of his NLI and announced his commitment to Georgia on Wednesday.
Both Demary and Cain rank among the top 50 players in the country according to On3. Neither is ranked worse than No. 70 in the On3 Industry Ranking. Add in Dylan James, who committed to White and company in September and is also a top-100 player according to the On3 Industry Ranking, and the Bulldogs are adding their three highest rated players since 2020.
Previous top-100 players who signed with Georgia since 2010 include Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2011), Tyree Crump (2016), Rayshaun Hammonds (2017), Anthony Edwards (2019), Christian Brown (2019), Jaykwon Walton (2019), Sahvir Wheeler (2019) and K.D. Johnson (2020).
What does all this mean? It means that Mike White and company – including assistants Erik Pastrana, Antonio Reynolds Dean and Akeem Miskdeen – are taking major steps in the right direction to turn the program around. They did that this past season on the court increasing the win total by 10 games and want to carry that over to the recruiting trail off the court. So far so good, both in the Class of 2023 that we’re seeing sign this spring and the Class of 2024 with the likes of five-star Asa Newell and others where White hopes the commitments start coming this summer and fall ahead of the November signing period.
Georgia has one spot left on its 2023-24 roster. The Bulldogs continue to target several players including Vanderbilt point guard Tyrin Lawrence, Niagara shooting guard Noah Thomasson and NCAA Division II Player of the Year RJ Sunahara from Nova Southeastern. Whoever ends up taking that position will join a group of players hand picked by White – only one remains from Tom Crean’s time as head coach – and headed in the right direction. Obviously it’ll be important that the product on the court continues to improve. Getting great players only goes to help that happen.
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