With a pair of possible 2011 NBA first-round draft picks, Georgia is the sexy sleeper that really is not a sleeper anymore because everyone is picking them to be a sleeper this season. I hope that sentence makes sense.
One of those future pros is potential lottery pick and SEC Preseason Player of the Year Trey Thompkins. Thompkins is a long, physical 6-9 player who might be the best pure post scorer in the conference. He could be a double-double guy this season and will be a tough matchup defensively.
Joining Thompkins in the frontcourt will be freshman Marcus Thornton who originally committed to Clemson but chose re-open his recruitment after Oliver Purnell left for DePaul. Thornton, Thompkins, and seniors Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes provide Fox a lot of physicality down low.
The other NBA prospect is the high-flying, posterizing Travis Leslie. Leslie played a lot of three last season, but should be more of a two as he will likely start alongside point guard Dustin Ware in the backcourt. Tennessee State transfer Gerald Robinson will provide some scoring punch off the bench.
The Bulldogs will not be a great outside shooting team. They will need to rely on their athleticism and strength if they are going to live up to the hype surrounding them this preseason.
Player to Watch: Travis Leslie, G/F
Leslie is a staple on SportsCenter during the season thanks to his rim-rocking dunks. Besides being able to rise above the rim, the 6-4 junior is very physical and a talented rebounder for a guard as he averaged almost seven boards a game last year. All those attributes are fine and dandy, but if he can become a better all-around and more fundamental basketball player while improving his jump shot, his potential is through the roof.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/16 vs. Colorado
11/20 at St. Louis
11/25 vs. Notre Dame (Old Spice Classic)
11/26 vs. Temple/California (Old Spice Classic)
11/28 vs. Wisconsin/Manhattan/Texas A&M/Boston College (Old Spice Classic)