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Post Thompkins and Leslie announce pro intentions

Tuesday April 5, 2011

Both players announced their intentions this morning: Trey is committed to going pro, and Travis will test the draft without hiring an agent, leaving the door open for his return.

This was about the best result we could have expected short of Leslie avoiding the draft altogether. Getting Thompkins back was a long shot, and he did what he set out to accomplish this year: leading the team to the NCAA Tournament. Though his game could still improve in several areas, his stock probably isn’t going to rise much higher. Leslie, on the other hand, made a prudent choice by not hiring an agent. There’s a chance a team could take a flyer on him based on athleticism alone, so at least his name is out there. But it’s likely that his marginal outside game will affect his draft position, and he could still return to work on that part of his game while improving his pro prospects.

The certain departure of Thompkins opens up another scholarship for the spring signing period, and that opens the door for someone like former Tennessee signee Kevin Ware. Ware is considering Georgia, but he was uncertain about Georgia’s scholarship availability. There’s more than enough room now.

But the loss of Thompkins also makes the Georgia frontcourt situation that much more dire. The Dawgs are losing Thompkins, Price, and Barnes. Georgia only returns Marcus Thornton and Donte Williams up front, and both of those guys saw limited action as the season wore on. They combined for only four minutes and no points in Georgia’s NCAA Tournament loss, and that more or less sums up their progress as freshmen. Connor Nolte also saw occasional duty in a small forward role, but he’s not what you’d consider a post player. The offseason development of that group is going to have a lot to say about what kind of team Georgia trots out in six months.

The Bulldogs have signed three frontcourt prospects: centers Tim Dixon and John Florveus as well as forward Nemanja Djurisic. All three bring something to the table, but it’s going to be asking a lot for any of them to step into the six or seven man rotation next November. Georgia might have to wait until the promising 2012 class for the next wave of impact post players to arrive.

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