We interrupt your spring filled with football decommitments, tennis teams getting eliminated from title contention, and player arrests (both actual and impending) to bring you some good news: Bulldog forward Yante Maten has announced that he will withdraw from the NBA draft and return to Athens for his senior season.
It’s excellent news for Mark Fox, who gets a first team All-SEC standout who averaged 18.2 points per game back in the fold. Maten also led the ‘Dawgs with 43 blocked shots on the season and chipped in 6.8 rebounds per game in 2016-17. The 6’8 Michigander is as complete a big man as UGA has had in some time.
With a host of talented young players set to make a contribution in 2017-18, Maten could be the glue who helps hold things together. The Hoop Hounds will now return nine of their top ten scorers from last season’s NIT squad, adding a solid four man recruiting class. While I hesitate to say the upcoming season is a make or break campaign for Fox, having the dominant big man back and healthy would deprive him of any excuse for not taking a step forward. Until later....