Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Georgia Bulldogs coach Mark Fox reacts during the game against the Southern California Trojans at the Galen Center in 2011.
Even as Georgia continues its summer basketball workouts, the focus this week isn't on the Bulldogs coming team, but on what they are losing.
Rather, who they are losing.
Coming off a disappointing 15-17 (9-9 SEC) season last year, the Bulldogs are also losing the consensus best player in the conference from last season in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The sophomore is expected to be drafted in the top 15 of Thursday's NBA Draft.
“He'll have a great night on Thursday,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said on a conference call Monday. “It's a terrific night for Kentavious, his dreams are coming true. It shows that at Georgia, your dreams can come true.”
And that's the point for Fox as he tries to rebuild the Bulldogs basketball team entering his fifth season in Athens.
“It is something that we will use to our advantage in recruiting,” Fox said of Caldwell-Pope's success. “Every young guy has a dream of going to play at the next level. You have to be able to prove that you can help players do that.”
In two seasons, he did that with Pope. The Greenville native improved on his points, rebounds and steals per game in his two season the lead the Bulldogs in all three categories during his sophomore season. He scored 18.5 points, grabbed 7.2 rebounds and swiped two steals per game the past season.
“I felt like from Day 1 that he was going to be a NBA guy,” Fox said. “To give Kentavious the credit he deserves, he is the hardest worker. When you go in the gym he is a tremendous worker. He's really developed.”
And that's what Fox hopes to do with this coming Georgia team. The Bulldogs are in the middle of summer workouts and Fox said every member of next year's team will be on campus for at least one of the two summer sessions.
“We are going to work on next season this summer,” Fox said. “It's been a good summer to this point. We are excited for the progress we are hopefully going to make.”