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Kevin Ware's Decision Will Say a Lot About the Georgia Bulldogs' Basketball Program

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For those of you anxious to receive some recruiting news that does not include the phrase "book ‘em, Dan-O," Kevin Ware, formerly of the Tennessee Volunteers but subsequently released following the firing of Bruce Pearl, is in play (with superfluous emphasis redacted):

UGA’s Mark Fox, Central Florida’s Donnie Jones, South Carolina’s Darrin Horn are among the college head coaches expected to observe workouts or make an in-home visit with Ware over the next couple of days during the NCAA’s "contact period." . . .

Ware likes UGA because it’s close to home and the opportunity to play with 5-star recruit Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the 6-6 shooting guard from Greenville High School that has already signed with the Bulldogs. "Coach Fox thinks Kevin and Kentavious could possibility develop into one of the top freshmen backcourts in the nation," Junior said. "Coach Fox thinks he can play well on both sides on the court, and that Kevin has some developing to do at the point guard position. He wants to work with Kevin to make sure he becomes a complete player at point guard."

Ware’s list of possible destinations is too lengthy to recount, but I’d be surprised if some of the purported contenders really were in the hunt. Yes, I know the Central Florida Knights can get in some Liberty Bowl jokes at the Georgia Bulldogs’ expense, but, at the end of the day, Orlando is where you tell the TV cameras you’re going after you’ve won something, not where you go to win something. In addition to competing with fellow SEC East suitor South Carolina (perhaps), Mark Fox must go up against Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals and Ben Howland of the UCLA Bruins, though those in the know do not believe Ware is bound for the City of Angels. If it comes down to the choice between Georgia and Louisville, well, at least our first-round exit from the tournament was nowhere near as embarrassing as U. of L.’s.

Ware, quite frankly, is a guy Georgia ought to be able to sign. The Bulldogs now have or are developing the institutional commitment, the fan support, and the coaching stability to be successful at basketball; all that remains is consistent recruiting success, and this is the moment for Coach Fox to tap into the fertile Atlanta recruiting ground. Ware played his high school ball in Rockdale County, just a short trip down Highway 138 from Athens. We need Kevin Ware, not just for what he can add to the program in the short term, but for what his decision to play for Georgia would say about the program’s trajectory in the long run.

Go ‘Dawgs!