Georgia got a late addition to the 2017 men’s basketball signing class when 6’8 big man Isaac Kante committed to the Dawgs. Kante joins fellow front court signees Nic Claxton and Rayshaun Hammonds, as well as guard Teshaun Hightower as the incoming freshmen for Mark Fox in the 2017/18 season.
Whether Kante completes the class depends on junior Yante Maten, who seems more likely than not to return to school instead of enter the NBA draft at this time. If he does remain in the NBA draft, that would open up one more spot (likely for a guard considering the make up of the roster currently). Otherwise, the Hoop Dawgs have their 13 scholarships spoken for.
Kante joins Hightower as a post-graduate player, having completed his high school career in Brooklyn before spending last season with Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut to improve his academics. St. John’s, Georgetown, and a few others were also in the mix before Georgia came out on top. They were one of the best teams in the country, with recent South Florida signee Alexis Yenta joining Kante in the front court, and mid season Kentucky enrollee (and possible NBA early entrant) Hamidou Diallo on the wings.
One thing we can be assure of with next year’s Hoop Dawgs, they will have good length on the floor at all times. Kante gives the Dawgs 8 players listed 6’6 or taller to work with, as fellow forwards Claxton, Hammonds, Maten, as well as Pape Diatta, Mike Edwards, Derek Ogbeide, Toe Wilridge comprise nearly 2/3s of the players Mark Fox can call upon. Joining them in the backcourt will be a good sized group of guards too; with the shortest among them being 6’1 Tyree Crump, Hightower checks in at 6’5, while Turtle Jackson, Jordan Harris, and Juwan Parker are all listed at 6’4 (as is walk-on and former Troy scholarship wing Christian Harrison).
Provided Maten returns, expectations for the program should continue to remain high. As a team that has the talent to make the NCAA Tournament once again looks to do so for the first time in four years after disappointing NIT bids ended the last two seasons.