Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has spent his career in Athens doing things that haven't been done in some time. This year he became the first Bulldog named SEC player of the year since Dominique Wilkins. He was the only unanimous selection to the coaches' All-SEC first team. Now he can add being the first Bulldog selected in the first runs of the NBA Draft since Jarvis Hayes in 2003. KCP was selected 8th overall by the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night, capping a career in the Classic City which was all too brief and sadly underappreciated.
KCP is of course known as a scorer. At times last year it seemed that Mark Fox must have been threatening every other member of his squad so they didn't take a shot. But the guy's defense is criminally underrated. At 6'6 he actually blocked 17 shots in 2012-2013 and averaged 5.9 defensive rebounds per game.
He's also a team player, a leader who isn't likely to get into a lot of trouble, a guy whose work ethic has been widely praised by the Bulldog staff. In other words, KCP comes without a lot of the questions that most lottery-level bonus babies are defined by.
We here at Dawg Sports wish him all the best in his new gig, and Mark Fox the best of luck in replacing the only guy who averaged double digits in scoring for the Bulldogs last season. And the guy who led the team in rebounding. And steals. And second on the team in blocks. The fact that those are all the same guy points to the fact that we may be saying goodbye to one of the most versatile Bulldog basketball players of the modern era. You earned it KCP. We'll be rooting for you in the Motor City. Until later....