Georgia Basketball: Dawgs Rebuffed by Mack and White


The spring signing period began with much promise for Georgia basketball. But it was only a promise.

And then there were none . . . .

Basketball is a humbling sport, and basketball recruiting no less so. Georgia basketball fans entered May hoping to see as many as two difference makers added to the Bulldog basketball roster. They will likely exit May wondering if the thirteenth and last scholarship spot will be filled.

More from Georgia Basketball

After Tevin Mack and James White spurned the Bulldogs, Georgia let graduate transfer from Richmond, 6’9’ 235 power forward Alonzo Nelson-Ododa, slip off to Pitt without visiting the Georgia campus. Nelson-Ododa’s family resides in a neighboring county, and the graduate of Norcross High enjoyed the Athens entertainment scene with Georgia friends literally and actually steps from the Arch after receiving his release.

On top of Georgia’s board for the last spot was Tevin Mack. Mack chose to play for Shaka Smart at Texas. The hot shooting 54 ranked forward signed with VCU during the early signing period. When Smart left for the Texas head-coaching job, Mack decided to follow Smart to Austin.

Mack visited Georgia at least ten times and family and friends hoped Mack would land in Athens. But while Mack was interested in Georgia, he is devoted to Shaka Smart. The decision was easy to predict, and Mack almost gave it away days before his signing, saying he was not nervous about his commitment press conference because he’s done it before. Indeed, and like before, he is committing to play for Smart.

More from Dawn of the Dawg

Meanwhile, Georgia’s pursuit of a one-year stopgap player in the post was derailed when graduate transfer James White surprised seers with a decision to play for Georgia Tech. The Tech program is a mess and something no doubt went awry in White’s recruitment. As usual, speculation is running well ahead of known facts, but gossip is that White was miffed at having to wait for Mack’s decision to find out if he had a spot in Athens. Could be, but it’s hard to figure out how White did not know Georgia was pursuing Mack.

If Georgia lost White waiting on Mack, that is the price of doing business. Mack is a game changing offensive player. He is an elite shooter with athleticism to make the plays late in the shot clock that advance a team through tournament brackets. If the Dawgs lost White waiting on Mack, even if it was less than a 50/50 shot, that’s the shot you take.

White would help next year. He is a 6’8” 220-pound post player that played half a season as a junior and scored 12 points a game in the Sunbelt. But it’s a no brainer. Mack will shoot the lights out for four years, and White will probably help for a season by adding an undersized, though mature, post to front line depth. If indeed the gossip is true, Mark Fox did the right thing.

Not taking a clean shot at Nelson-Ododa, a young man who attended Georgia football, basketball and baseball games growing up, that slap stings most.

Next: The Dawgs Need These Guys in 2015