Photo Credit: 247Sports
Georgia landed one of the most sought-after prizes on the recruiting trail Monday when shooting guard Anthony Edwards joined its 2019 class.
“Two of my favorite players, Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo, were coached by Tom Crean, and he’s a great coach,” Edwards told 247Sports’ Evan Daniels. “They came in, not highly rated, and came out really good. It weighed big on me.”
“I went to a game and I felt the fans in the gym, everybody showing love, and I felt like I was home,” Edwards added. “My sister just had my nephew, I want to see him grow, so [staying close to home] was a big factor.”
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According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Edwards is a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 overall player, No. 1 shooting guard and No. 1 player from the state of Georgia in his class.
The 6’5″ and 215-pound playmaker reclassified from the 2020 class to 2019 and still finds himself near the top of the recruiting rankings as he prepares for the next step of his basketball career.
Many of the sport’s ultimate blue bloods—Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan State and UCLA—were featured when he cut his list to eight in November, underscoring his talent level and the type of programs interested in him.
Daniels noted Edwards posted 21 points and 6.1 rebounds a night as a member of Atlanta Xpress while playing on the Under Armour circuit. He also drilled 45 percent of his three-point attempts.
Edwards’ combination of size and shooting ability makes him an almost impossible matchup.
He can either shoot over smaller defenders or overpower them by driving into the lane and playing through contact. However, bigger defenders have difficulty keeping up with his quickness and countering the separation he creates with his ball-handling.
The shooting guard can also help his frontcourt teammates battle for rebounds and either keep possessions alive or look for transition opportunities going the other way. His length and athleticism figure to help on the defensive end as well, seeing how he can challenge jump shots and cut off penetration.
Edwards is the type of playmaker who can step on campus and immediately elevate to the position of go-to option. The NBA could well be in his not-too-distant future given his skill set, and he possesses the talent to become a household name in the collegiate ranks.
Georgia hopes he delivers on that talent and helps it compete against formidable programs such as Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee and Auburn in the SEC.
The Bulldogs haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since the 2014-15 campaign and are looking to change the direction of the basketball program in the coming years. Landing playmakers like Edwards, especially when they are from Georgia, is the road map to doing just that.