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Post Welcome to Georgia basketball, Mark Fox

Thursday September 17, 2009

New Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox has done a lot of things right since arriving in Athens. He’s reached out to fans. He’s hired a staff that makes sense. He’s kept attrition to a minimum and convinced the team’s best player to remain on board. Leading up to his first season he’s done everything a reasonable fan could ask to get fans interested in the program.

But even Fox is not immune from the biggest stumbling block plaguing Georgia basketball coaches for decades: convincing the talent-rich state’s best players to play in Athens. Fox recognized this imperative right away, and his staff reflects it. The job of changing perceptions and preferences isn’t an overnight job though, and early results are proving how difficult the task will be. On Wednesday Fox lost one of his first high-profile recruiting battles as McEachern’s Trae Golden picked SEC foe Tennessee over the in-state Bulldogs.

Golden, a guard, is the nation’s #55 player according to Rivals.com. He originally committed to Ohio State but started to look around earlier this year. It didn’t hurt Tennessee that Golden’s AAU teammate Jordan McRae was already a Tennessee commitment.

Is Golden’s commitment a cause for alarm? Of course not. Golden wasn’t a make or break recruit, and the Dawgs have other point guard options coming in this year. It is a reminder though that the job of turning around the Georgia program is, at least in the short term, going to be an arduous and occasionally disappointing process even for someone making all of the right moves.

One Response to 'Welcome to Georgia basketball, Mark Fox'

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  • yes, this has been a problem in recent years, the in state talent leaving for other places. Something about Coach Fox tells me that he might be someone who can change things and make a difference.

    I have a lot of confidence in him. Something about him is totally different for the B-ball program.