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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fox on the Thompkins and Leslie decisions, and what it means for next season

Mark Fox just spent about a half-hour with the media. The dominant topic was the announcements that Trey Thompkins was leaving for the pros, while Travis Leslie would test the waters without signing with an agent.

Georgia was definitely prepared for both possibilities, especially Thompkins' departure. Now the waiting begins on Leslie, though Fox was clear that he wouldn't rush his junior swingman into a decision.

Here's what Fox had to say:

- Leslie is nowhere near a decision, and is testing the waters in the truest sense, to hear Fox tell it. Fox said he’s conducting his own research, trying to get Leslie as much information as possible before he makes a decision.

“There’s no guaranteed money outside of the first round. Travis is a smart young guy. And I would think he would need to hear certainly that,” Fox said. “He’s going to have to make a decision on where his cutline is: Is his cutline being the 20th pick in the draft, is it being the 25th pick in the draft. A lot of that will depend on who else goes into the draft. But if you’re projected out of guaranteed money then you certainly have to think twice about staying in.”

Fox said everyone he’s talked to thinks there will be a lockout. But there will be a draft.

Leslie is apparently still serious about going to school, because according to Fox, Leslie pushed back their Monday meeting so he could finish a class project.

“Travis deserves the right to take his time to make the decision,” Fox said. “It obviously, because he’s a great player, will impact how we’re gonna play. We’ll formulate that plan after he makes his decision. And in the meantime we’re somewhat in a holding pattern.”

- Thompkins’ decision to leave was clearly no surprise to the coaches, who may have been expecting it for a year. Thompkins was told last year that he was a late-first round prospect. This time around he was told he had improved himself.

“You saw with Trey that when he was finally healthy at the end of the year he was certainly a much more dominant player than he was the previous year,” Fox said. “The tough thing for him is really 90 percent of the year he wasn’t healthy.”

- Interestingly, Fox said he also discussed testing the waters with some other juniors. One of them, jokingly, was Connor Nolte. Fox didn’t name any other players who might takea serious look at it, but he didn’t seem to think anything would come of it.

- Whether or not Leslie returns, the official departure of Thompkins ensures that it will be a smaller team next year. That may allow the Bulldogs to play a style a little more to Fox’s liking.

“One thing that we haven’t been able to do since I came is we really haven’t been able to play the style of defense that I want to play, because we just haven’t been fast enough, quick enough, interchangeable enough, to do that,” he said. “And next year there’s a great chance we’ll look a lot more like I want us to defensively. We’ll wait and see what (Leslie) does, but there’s a chance we’ll do that.”

- But who replaces Thompkins in the post? The Bulldogs are already losing seniors Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes.

Fox expressed confidence in Marcus Thornton and Donte Williams, who didn’t play much as freshmen. He said Thornton “is going to be a very good SEC player.”

“I think that they both can be productive frontline players for us,” Fox said. “But Marcus’ versatility will allow him to play in lots of places.”


Anonymous said...

Look for the dawgs to struggle to make the NIT for the next two years. An itty bitty line up usually wont sustain winning ways throughout a long season. Just ask the midget on our football team.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Tech Troll. Still at it. Still losing.

Anonymous said...