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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From the Mailbag: Ware Gets Some Help

Before the SEC's meetings in Destin last week, I asked some of you to submit questions for Mark Richt and Mark Fox. I've answered some already, I have more answers coming in stories I have planned for the near future. But throughout this week, I'll be posting the answers to a few of them here.

This one comes anonymously (but let's assume it was posted by TV's Erik Estrada): With the recent announcement of the transfer of Gerald Robinson and the signing of Vincent Williams in the spring period, is it fair to say your recruiting focus has shifted to signing more wings and posts, and perhaps another SG, for next year's class?

OK, Fox didn't address his new focus in recruiting directly, but he was happy to talk about the addition of the two new point guards.

First off, Gerald Robinson Jr. will have to sit out the upcoming season, but Fox said his addition will have a big impact long-term. Robinson's dad is a coach at Tennessee State, which was the reason he signed there out of high school, but Fox said his new guard is clearly SEC material.

"He has SEC and ACC offers out of high school," Fox said. "He stayed home, but I think he realized he can play at a high level and we're excited to get him. He's a scoring point guard, a great kid and just wants to come and win. That's really important to him that our team is successful no matter where he fits in, and I think he can really make a difference a year from now."

With Corey Butler graduating and Zac Swansey transferring, that left Georgia with just one point guard on its roster when Fox arrived, so finding players to fill out the roster was essential. So the first two players Fox brought into the program were Robinson, Tennessee State's leading scorer last season, and Vincent Williams, a point guard from Homestead, Fla. who averaged 26 points and six rebounds per game his senior season. Even though Robinson won't be able to play next season, his addition should still be felt during practice.

"You need three point guards ideally on your roster so you can scrimmage, practice and give a guy a break now and then," Fox said. "That position expends so much energy. You have a tendency to wear those guys down if you don't have some depth. Like everybody else, when I first started we saw there was only one on the roster, and we needed to get him some help."

That one point guard is Dustin Ware, who was Georgia's starter down the stretch last season -- his first in Athens -- and made as big an improvement during the course of the season as anyone on the roster. Fox said that he has been extremely impressed by Ware so far, saying that Ware has the best approach to preparation of any player he has ever had. That's a big compliment coming from a coach who has put a half-dozen players into the NBA.

"As a freshman he went through a lot of the growing pains most freshmen do, but usually as a sophomore the game slows down for you just because of all the experience you get as a freshman," Fox said. "I've been real pleased with Dustin and his approach and I think he's working hard to have a great sophomore year."

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