Posted: 4:23 pm Friday, April 4th, 2014

Will Georgia basketball star stick with original decision? 

By Michael Carvell

One of the nation’s top college basketball prospects told the AJC that he wants to chat with Marquette’s new coach before deciding whether or not to request a release from his letter of intent.

“I’m going to wait until I talk to the coach before I think about anything,” said Ahmed Hill, a 4-star shooting guard from Augusta who is ranked as the state’s No. 2 overall prospect.

4-star Ahmed Hill (247sports)

4-star Ahmed Hill (247sports)

“My family told me (after that conversation takes place), I need to go ahead and do whatever I decide to do … to just go ahead and do it. My family said they will support me with whatever I do.”

One of the main reasons that the 6-foot-5, 190-pound Hill signed last November with Marquette over 20 other schools, including UGA, Georgia Tech and Missouri, was the presence of coach Buzz Williams, who recently left for a similar job at Virginia Tech.

“It was pretty crazy that he left,” Hill said. “Coach Williams was a big reason why I signed with Marquette. I liked his coaching style, and the way he won.”

This week, Marquette announced Steve Wojciechowski, the longtime Duke assistant who has no head coaching experience, as the new coach. Hill is anxious to see how he fits into the new coach’s plans.

“I really haven’t talked to Coach Wojo much, so I don’t have an opinion of him yet,” Hill said. “We’re supposed to talk this weekend.

“I just want to talk to him on the phone, see what kind of person he is really, and see what he talks about. I will probably stay with Marquette unless I hear something I don’t like.”

A coaching change is one of the few negatives for an elite prospect opting to sign in basketball’s early period. In 2010, the AJC’s Mr. Basketball, Westlake High School’s Marcus Thornton, signed early with Clemson but was granted a release after a coaching change. Thornton ended up picking UGA over Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Texas at the end of the spring.

Here’s where Georgia top 10 prospects are going to college:

  1. JaKeenan Gant, PF, Effingham County, Missouri
  2. Ahmed Hill, SG, Aquinas, Marquette
  3. Tadric Jackson, PG, Tift County, Georgia Tech
  4. Devin Mitchell, SG, Collins Hill, Alabama
  5. Phillip Cofer, PF, Whitewater, Tennessee
  6. Keith Pinckney, PG, Miller Grove, Tulane
  7. CJ Turman, PF, Morgan County, Tennessee
  8. TeMarcus Blanton, SF, Luella, South Carolina
  9. Isaiah Wilkins, SF, GAC, Virginia
  10. Elijah Staley, PF, Wheeler, Mississippi State

THE LATEST

DID YOU SEE THIS?

SOME OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITES

TO GET THE BIG PICTURE

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

mcarvell@ajc.com

– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

22 comments
Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Great job, Mark Fox. TWO of these kids to Tennessee. Tulane? Mississippi State? Missouri for crying out loud?! This embarrassment has got to stop. Greg McGarity, you disappoint me with that extension. There is no way Fox makes it past one more season, even with the returning players.

KBP
KBP

@POAD2013, The problem is assuming college is for EVERYONE and that is what's making it a joke. It is a waste of time and scholarship dollars for kids who truly do not have the aptitude for college level work. Some may be better off going straight to the D-League and not wasting time and money in college. Maybe Technical schools should have athletic departments so kids could learn a skill that if Pro Ball does not work,  they at least have a skill. Let's not make a college degree the epitome of financial success for EVERYONE. There are SOME people who have multiple degrees and are not financially successful. Why try to turn Albert Einstein into Michael Jordan or Michael Jordan into Albert Einstein? There is not enough will power, positive thinking, or any other power/ability in the world for Einstein to do what Jordan did or vice versa.  

I value education highly but if my kid was a legitimate 1st round pick there's no way I am telling him to forgo the draft until he completes his degree. A 1st round rookie contract in the NBA or NFL is more money than 98% of degreed individuals with a traditional 9-5 will earn in their lifetime. Even if he does not make it to a second contract, he still can go back to school and have money while he's doing it.

Charlestondog
Charlestondog

Pathetic.  Here are the top 10 players in the state and UGA did not sign any of them -- and so what does McGarity do?  Give Fox an extension.  He should have fired him and hired Tommy Amaker from Harvard.  What an idiot.

KBP
KBP

@POAD2013  My position is not to elevate athletics over education. My point is it is a very smart move to choose the Coach over the institution as that will increase a kids chances of playing pro ball more so than the institution. He can get a degree at any school he signs with if he stays there long enough and gets his work done. If a kid has pro potential, the Coach/Staff is much more important than the school.

KBP
KBP

Pick the school and not the Coach? Really? The school cannot improve your skill, Coaches do. If a kid wants a chance at Pro ball, the school only matters if it has the right Coach. Pro scouts don't scout teams, they scout players. College recruiters don't recruit teams, they recruit individual players. If the kid likes Buzz Williams, then go be a Mountaineer. Going back a few years, Matt Harpring played 10 years in the NBA because of the work done with Bobby Cremins, Kevin Cantwell, and the staff at Tech, not because of the institution.

Caius
Caius

"Tulane is a great academic school but it's not anything in basketball."

Neither is UGA and GT is getting remarkedly close to both programs.

In an ajc interview Hill said GT had a commitment from Tadric Jackson so he looked elsewhere as they play the same position.


"Marquette hired Wojo as a replacement for Buzz Peterson?"

NO,Buzz Williams.

 

hot13dog
hot13dog

Why would any kid want to play for the worst BB program in the SEC for over 35 years?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Marquette hired Wojo as a replacement for Buzz Peterson?  Yikes - I missed that news.  The Coach K tree is not the most successful in the world - Brey is a success but he proved himself as an HC at a lower level first.  Dawkins is a success and Amaker seems to be doing OK on his 3rd go around but most of the rest have been busts.

I wouldn't have listed HC in a Big East school as an entry level position.

POAD2013
POAD2013

This is why you pick the SCHOOL not the Coach. The early Signing Period in Football could be crazy.

A coaching change is a good reason to grant a release but position coaches changes jobs a lot in Football.

No kids should be recruited until the summer before their senior year and they have to have qualifying ACT or SAT scores.

ConfederateFlagBurner
ConfederateFlagBurner

How in the Hell did UGA/GT lose out to Tulane?

Alabama/South Carolina/Mississippi St should never win out of UGA/GT in basketball. 

IDK who UGA signed 

Nate-the-Great
Nate-the-Great

Based on last season's performance? Or just an idiot, that'd be you, making moronic remarks on a recruiting blog?

Brahma
Brahma

That was my gut reaction as well. Then, i thought about it. Uga is only losing 2 seniors. None of these state players are really stars anyway. Fox could have found better talent and fits for his system elsewhere. I think Fox can get the job done.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Fox will have Dawgs in NCAA tournament next season. Did he not improve this past year? Did you expect a nat. champ. In b-ball?

He's heading in right direction. Marcus Thornton (read above article), Kenny Gaines, Charles Mann are a good nucleus. He had KCP. Give the man credit for players he did get, if you want to discredit for who he did not sign.

Could It be better? Yes. Do we want and need more talent? Yes. Is Fox a good coach? Yes.

There are many reasons why a kid chooses or not chooses a school. Or why you sign some from an area one year and unable to sign any the next.

Basketball is very different in recruiting compared to football. The AAU scamsters and less elite talent for example.

The top traditional schools usually have first pick. B-ball is a harder nut to CONSISTENTLY crack for a non traditional power. And so many one and dones are looking for that immediate gratification (best shot at nat. champ.) before jump to NBA. They don't have patience or desire to build.

Catch-22....you have to win to get the players, but you can't win till you get them.

like the chicken or the egg.

Back to Fox. As long as there is continued improvement, he should stay. If in a couple years he hits a plateau, then a change could be considered.

Please get over the instant gratification, all or bust mentality. Life isn't like that. Otherwise you're gonna be miserable most of your life.

Which is how every sports fan feels many times in their life. That's just the way it is. Worry about what you can control.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@KBP Then he doesn't even need to attempt to go to college but a developmental league for a year or 2 then go PRO.

College sports are becoming a HUGE joke because of these 1/2 educated punks wasting scholarships and time. 

POAD2013
POAD2013

@KBP  But MOST players don't make it to the PROs so you pick the Education as much as you pick the coach. Even IF they make it to the PROs they don't last long. It would be nice if they were smart enough to get a real job after the sport is over and keep some of the PRO money.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Wrong. Auburn is still the worst program in the SEC over the past 35 years. Not even close.

Brahma
Brahma

Why are you people acting like these players are all-americans? They are average college players, at best. Gt and uga can find better players elsewhere.

ConfederateFlagBurner
ConfederateFlagBurner

@POAD2013 @ConfederateFlagBurner  Tulane is a great academic school but it's not anything in basketball. You UGA couldn't use this kid? Tech couldn't use this kid? Kid had offers from Harvard and it get no higher academically then that. 

POAD2013
POAD2013

@ConfederateFlagBurner it is a great academic school and it is in the new New Orleans. That town is better than it has been in 100 years.