Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Talking Scottie Reynolds, Steph Curry & Mark Fox

Scottie Reynolds and Steph Curry are both declaring for the NBA Draft for now, although both have left open the possibility of a return. Curry isn't a big surprise, and I had assumed his departure for my 2009-10 SoCon preview. As I said at the time, Davidson is the heavy favorite to win the conference next season if Curry is back, but with him gone I think they actually lose to somebody else (I picked Wofford, but it could be one of a number of different teams). Curry maybe should have hopped into the 2008 Draft, since his stock hasn't really risen since then. But he did improve his dribbling, passing and offensive creativity this past season, so maybe he'll be a more successful NBA player for that experience.

As for Reynolds, I'd actually be pretty surprised if he stays in the NBA Draft. His draft stock isn't very high, and for good reason. He's a very good college player, and he's solid in every aspect of his game, but he's relatively small and unathletic for an NBA guard, and isn't a great shooter. He hasn't really improved much since he was a Freshman, so there's no reason to believe he'll suddenly get much better in the NBA. Right now most mock drafts don't even have him getting picked. And you have to throw in the fact that Villanova returns almost everybody and has the potential for another Final Four run next season (I have them projected as the Big East Champ and #2 overall behind Kansas). Those projections, of course, assume that Reynolds does stick around. If he goes pro then Nova will drop, probably into the 4-5 seed range.

One other news item for this post is Georgia's release of 6'11" Daniel Miller from his letter of intent, and his immediate signing one day later by Georgia Tech. Some might argue that this isn't a big story since Miller isn't exactly John Wall or Xavier Henry. He is a 3-star recruit ( has him as the 28th best center in the nation) who only attracted serious attention from one other BCS school (Minnesota). But here's why this is a big story: I am not alone in thinking that Mark Fox was a questionable hire for Georgia. The guy did a good job at Nevada, but it's not like he has gotten a ton of attention from major conference schools - he's good, but not that good. And the problem is that this guy has no history with the southeastern part of this country. Is he really going to be able to settle into Georgia? Will he be able to recruit? And here you have Georgia's top 2009 recruit, the best center in the state not named Derrick Favors, and he jumps ship. And not only does he jump ship, but he jumps to Georgia's intrastate rival, where he clearly is fine sitting on the bench this season behind Favors rather than getting more playing time at Georgia. This is about as bad of a start to Fox's tenure at Georgia as he could have had.

2009-10 was going to be a long season for Georgia anyway. They probably won't be any better than they were this past season, and they were already a pretty far distance away from anybody else in the SEC East. With the SEC East improved next season, I expect that gap to grow even further. I'm pretty sure that the SEC preseason media poll will agree with me and put Georgia last in the SEC East. But the question will be Fox's recruiting. If he can prove me wrong and pull in some big pieces for the 2010-11 season then maybe things will start to look up for the Bulldogs. One name to keep an eye on is Ralston Turner (Rivals: 36th overall), who is reportedly seriously considering Georgia. Landing Turner could help lower the talent gap between Georgia and the rest of the SEC East.

We'll have to wait and see whether Fox can turn the ship around. But the case of Daniel Miller is certainly a bad omen to begin his tenure at Georgia.

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