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Anthony Edwards says he’s UGA-bound



What had not happened for a long time – for so long you doubted it would happen again – it happened Monday morning in a gym off Northside Drive. The best basketball player in high school in Georgia told the world: "I'm going to Georgia".

And wait. If you are a Bulldog, it improves. Anthony Edwards, known as Ant-Man, is not only the first-level player in this state. It is classified as number 1 from the sea to the shining sea. It probably will not be in Athens for long – NBAdraft.net projects it as the absolute choice of the NBA for 2020 – but even if it's on campus for only six months, those six months will change the dynamics of a long-term abject rethinking program.

Tom Crean is his first season as a coach of Georgia, and he went worse than expected. His Bulldogs are 1

0-13. They lost 24 points in Georgia State. They are 1-9 in SEC game, their victory comes against Vanderbilt, which is 0-10. They are among the worst teams of Power 5 in the earth. They will not be next year. They will be the team with Ant-Man. They will be a team with juice, a program with traction. They will be a place that wants the best players available, a place that does not have problems if these players come from the AAU system in Atlanta.

"This changes everything," said Winfred Jordan, who coached Edwards for the AAU Atlanta Xpress. "This puts Georgia back (in the sense of Bulldogs) on the map."

Said D.A. Layne, the alum of Georgia who played at Wheeler High: "This is the turning point of the game, even if it's only for a year, the cataracts will open after this."

Not to redo the 39 was by Mark Fox, but the former Georgia coach acted as if the AAU of Atlanta were under him. Not surprisingly, the flagship school of the state has had little luck to sign the best prospects of the state. Asked about his relationship with Fox, Jordan clenched his fists and squeezed them. "So," he said.

Crean has been around long enough to realize that the great appeal of work in Georgia was not – without offense to the classical city – Athens or UGA itself. It was the proximity to one of the college's most fertile crescentine. The reason why his first team is terrible is that Fox, who has been working for nine years, has left little note. Worthy of note is Anthony Edwards, a 6-foot guard for 4.

Said Jordan: "He could be the best player we've ever had in Georgia."

Someone mentioned Dwight Howard and Kwame Brown, n. 1 to be chosen in the respective drafts: they played in Georgia. So did Bill Spivey and Walt Frazier and Dale Ellis and James Banks (the UGA, not the current Tech) and Kenny Walker and Terry Fair and Jeff Malone and Cedric Henderson and Pervis Ellison and Brian Oliver and Eric Manuel and Jeff Sheppard and Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Josh Smith and Lou Williams and Javaris Crittenton and Al-Farouq Aminu and Derrick Favors and Jaylen Brown. Wendell Carter of Pace Academy and Collin Sexton of Pebblebrook were chosen lottery last June. Ashton Hagans of Newton High is the starting point for Kentucky, the nation's No. 5 team.

Said Jordan, something of a Peach State basketball historian: "Anthony is definitely in the top five."

Edwards can shoot and manage him. He's playing in a small private school, unlike a Wheeler or a Norcross – and he did not join the 2019 recruitment class until November, when he reclassified from junior to senior – but he dominated his competition as you expect. "He visited Kentucky, the Duke and Kansas," Jordan said. "He could have gone to get a half-blood, but he needed this (his year in Athens) as development."

The perception – heck, the long-standing reality – that Georgia is not in the upper reaches stops Edwards? "I want to be my boyfriend," he said.

Assuming that he sticks to his pledge – he can not sign a letter of intent until April – Edwards will be more than that. He will be a pioneer. It will be the boy who has distinguished the long-standing reality to play sport much less at the UGA, and his presence alone will make the Georgia basketball relevant in a way that has not been since Jim Harrick. (Who should be told, had his problems.) The last NCAA tournament won by the Bulldogs was March 2002, when Edwards was close to his first birthday.

"He's good enough to leave his mark wherever he goes," Anderson said. "He's good enough to leave his mark in sport."

Just for what you know, Anderson is the grandson of Lefty Driesell, the New of Hall of Famer who brought Georgia State to the Big Dance and brought Mike Maloy to Davidson and Tom McMillen and Len Elmore and Len Bias to Maryland. (Almost also Moses Malone.) Anderson is not a stunning eyed boy, who is too fascinated by the best player he has trained. He sees the whole plan, so to speak, and what he is saying is no more than most of every scout and recruitment analyst has already said: Ant-Man – Edwards himself prefers "Ant", FYI – it's the real deal.

Maybe you have a problem with Georgia that hires a player who has not been in town for a long time. If you do, you could also follow the next Mark Fox team. Crean has made it clear that it is in the market for high-end talents, and if that high-end talent goes the only way … well, that's a season where people talk about Georgia's basketball, which nobody talked about at all. for 15 years. If Edwards actually hits him as a collegiate and in the draft, he will be a beacon for the bigtimers of this state that comes after him.

"This is HUGE for Georgia," said Anderson, a Georgia Tech student. (She played a walk-on with Paul Hewitt.) And then: "One of the reasons Anthony was good with the coach Crean is because he coached two of his favorite players" – which means Dwyane Wade, who has guided Marquette to Crean-coaching the Final Four of 2003 and Victor Oladipo, who helped Crean & # 39; s Indiana Hoosiers to reach the Sweet 16 in 2012 and 2013.

That's how it works. If the players think you can take them to the NBA, they will come to play for you, and the big-timers will attract more players full time and big enough will make you a serial winner. (There is the John Calipari method written in small.) For Tom Crean, this is only a beginning, but it is the best possible start.

Crean's latest crean rook, it must be said, is to dream bigger than Sweet 16 or even the Final Four. When asked for a prediction on Georgia's basketball next season, Edwards said: "National Championship".


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