Will Georgia Bulldogs Basketball Recruiting Equal Success?


The Georgia Bulldogs and Mark Fox have stepped up basketball recruiting in a big way, but will that translate to success on the court?

The fall college basketball signing period has come and gone. Georgia basketball fans now want to know if the Bulldogs gained ground on programs in the SEC and around the nation.

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Georgia’s signing class of Will Jackson, E’Torrion Wilridge, and Derek Ogbeide is ranked 45 nationally by 247sports.com. The Bulldogs have one scholarship to give.

What does a Georgia basketball recruiting class ranked 45 nationally mean for the Bulldog basketball program?

To find an answer, Dawn of the Dawg first identified teams with near national 45 ranked classes over the last four consecutive years. Dawn of the Dawg then compared the 2014 Sweet Sixteen teams and the recruiting classes of each the prior four consecutive years.

Only considered were freshman recruiting classes; ignored were transfers and early departures. A grain of salt is recommended – this is not a statistical snapshot, just a cave wall sketch.

Basketball teams with recruiting classes consecutively ranked near national 45

The two schools with the four most recent recruiting classes ranked near national 45 are Wisconsin and Tennessee.

From 2011 – 2014, Wisconsin’s basketball recruiting classes ranked 50, 45, 45 and 108.  In 2013, Wisconsin was an NCAA five seed and lost in the opening round.  In 2014, Wisconsin was an NCAA national semifinalist. The 2015 prediction from bleacherreport.com is, “There are multiple future NBA players on this roster, and it is clearly the best team in the conference.”

In 2011 – 2014, Tennessee’s classes ranked 40, 43, 36 and 40. In 2013, UT lost in the NIT first round. In 2014, Tennessee lost in the NCAA Sweet Sixeen. The Bleacherreport.com  prediction for Tennessee is ninth in the SEC.

Wisconsin’s and Tennessee’s recruiting rankings and on court success make it clear that high school talent ranked around 45 nationally can compete at a high collegiate level.

Comparison of the 2014 Sweet Sixteen four prior recruiting classes

Below are the 2014 Sweet Sixteen teams and the 247sports.com recruiting rank for years 2010 to 2014.

[table id=29 /]

Of the 2014 Sweet Sixteen teams, twelve had at least three national top 50 recruiting classes in the last four years and seven had at least one top 10 recruiting class in the last four years.

Four teams had only two top 50 classes, and five failed to have a top 30 class in any of the last 4 years.

In the 2014 Sweet Sixteen, all but one team, Dayton, had at least two top 50 recruiting classes. Dayton’s 2010 recruiting class – the 2014 senior class – ranked 34 nationally. (The 2012 recruiting class ranked 54 nationally, very close to 50.)

Having two national top 50 classes seems to be the only common denominator in the 2014 Sweet Sixteen.

Georgia’s 2015 recruiting class ranks 45 so far – easily Dawg’s Head Coach Mark Fox’s best recruiting effort. Georgia is also well on its way to a national top 35 2016 recruiting class.

Georgia fans can take heart at these comparisons – perhaps the beleaguered Georgia basketball program is tacking closer to success.

Next: Georgia basketball recruiting recap