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David Edole

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Still '50-50 for Nic Claxton on NBA draft, but Georgia's recruiting an enticement to return - May 8, 2019

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ATHENS - The Georgia Bulldogs secured the services of a sixth new player to join the team next season when coach Tom Crean on Monday received a verbal commitment from Sahvir Wheeler, a 4-star point guard from Houston.

For those keeping count - and the college basketball world no doubt is - that gives Georgia an unprecedented five Top 100-ranked players in its Class of 2019. The other addition is arriving via graduate transfer.

However, that shouldn't be seen as a sign that the Bulldogs are more likely to be without their best returning player. Nicolas Claxton (211-SF-99) has been paying attention as well and, if anything, all the new blood headed to Athens makes the possibility of returning even more enticing.

'It's a blessing we are getting these kids,' said Charles Claxton, Nic Claxton's father. 'If Nic comes back, it will be icing on the cake.'

Nic Claxton, a 6-11 forward from Greenville, S.C., continues to work out for NBA teams in advance of next week's NBA Combine. The rising junior declared himself eligible for the draft, but NCAA rules now allow student-athletes to return if they're not satisfied with their draft projections.

Claxton's stock appears on the rise after he was extended a combine invitation last week.

'It's going well,' Charles Claxton said of son's experience so far. 'He has several (team workouts) left after the combine. We're getting real good feedback.'

If Claxton does return, that puts the Bulldogs at 11 scholarship players for the 2019-20 season. The NCAA allows a maximum of 13 in men's basketball.

Regardless of what happens, Crean will be working with more new players than returning lettermen next season. Four players have left via transfer. Currently, only guards Tyree Crump, Tye Fagan and Jordan Harris and forwards Rayshaun Hammonds and Amanze Ngumezi are slated to return.

But Crean will be adding to that group an unprecedented level of new talent. Wheeler, the latest addition, is a 5-foot-8 ball distributor who is drawing instant comparisons to former Georgia great J.J. Frazier. Wheeler is currently ranked No. 94 in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite.

Wheeler joins No. 2-ranked Anthony Edwards, No. 64 Christian Brown, No. 75 Jaykwon Walton and No. 95 Toumani Camara in the Bulldogs' class of 2019. Also joining the team as a graduate transfer is Donnell Gresham, a 6-2 guard from from Northeastern University.

That's an enticing pool of talent for Claxton to jump back in with. But for him, the pro question remains unanswered.

'It's still 50-50,' Charles Claxton said.

By Chip Towers

Pan American Games Draw LIMA, PERU - 4 hours ago
FIBA held the draw for groups for men's basketball of the Pan American Games in Lima 2019, leaving the Virgin Islands in group A with Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the United States. A select team of men's basketball standouts from the BIG EAST Conference will represent the United States at the 2019 Pan American Game while Puerto Rico will be sending their B team as their A team is set to play in the World Games. While Group B consists of Dominican Republic, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico. Pa...   [read more]

Claxton: I would love to play with UGA's incoming class - 2 days ago
By CHANCE LINTON Georgia forward Nicolas Claxton (211-SF-99) was on hand in Chicago last week for the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, but he's facing a major decision in the coming week. Claxton declared for the NBA Draft following a breakout sophomore season, but he still hasn't made a final decision on whether to return to Georgia for his junior year. The deadline for him to withdraw from the draft and retain his college eligibility is May 29. Ahead of the NBA Combine, he sat down with Draft...   [read more]

NBA Draft Combine Notebook: Nicolas Claxton Displays Versatility - 5 days ago
CHICAGO - The on-court portion of the draft combine wrapped up on Friday, with two more scrimmages giving prospects a chance to perform in front of the entire league. As a whole, five-on-five play was heavily watered down this year as a vast majority of potential first-round picks opted not to play, aiming to protect their draft stock. Regardless, there were a number of intriguing players who benefited this week. There were also some guys who struggled. Some of the more noteworthy perform...   [read more]

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