Fox tapping into loaded Peach State

The state of Georgia typically sends dozens of basketball players to Division I programs across the country each year, so it should come as no surprise that University of Georgia coach Mark Fox has made it a recruiting priority to stay close to home and close the borders as much as possible. His efforts, which paid dividends Wednesday with the announcement of three in-state signees, guard Kenny Gaines (Mableton, Ga./Whitefield Academy), guard Charles Mann (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) and forward Brandon Morris (Lithonia, Ga./Miller Grove), are not going unnoticed.

“Coach Fox has really taken the proper approach to getting in-state talent by being honest, and that will help them even more down the road because of just how much talent is in this area,” Miller Grove coach Sharman White said.

Milton coach David Boyd knows football will always maintain a huge fanbase in Athens and amongst fans in the southeast, but he also feels they will like what they see in Stegeman Coliseum over the next few years

“With the facility upgrades, the fact that they play in the SEC and the commitment they have made at the top to basketball, I do not think it is going to be long before Coach Fox has the Bulldogs playing at an elite level,” Boyd said.

Whitefield Academy coach Tyrone Johnson feels that Fox’s decision to focus on Georgia could pay handsomely as he continues to try and put his team on the map nationally.

“Georgia is loaded in terms of sheer basketball talent, and I have always said if you can keep the top 15 percent of in-state talent in Georgia, you will be able to compete with anyone in the country,” Johnson said. “There is no secret that is exactly what UGA plans to do.”