Georgia basketball signed two more players Wednesday, the No. 2 recruit in the country Anthony Edwards and Christian Brown, to round out its 2019 signing class. They join fall signees Jaykwon Walton and Toumani Camara. Georgia finished with a No. 7 recruiting class, according to 247Sports.
The success on the recruiting front stemmed from the UGA staff as a whole, but in particular two assistant coaches. Chad Dollar and Amir Abdur-Rahim both played high school basketball in metro Atlanta and have many ties to Georgia and the Southeast. The pair previously worked together twice, at Murray State and Georgia Tech, and they found their way back to Georgia and to UGA in 2018.
Abdur-Rahim parlayed his success in recruiting to secure the head coaching position at Kennesaw State, which was announced Thursday morning.
Dollar’s ties to Atlanta run deep. He played for his father, Don, at Douglass High School. His father won more than 650 games and three state titles while a head coach, mostly at Douglass, and helped bring AAU basketball to metro Atlanta.
Chad Dollar developed his list of contacts through his dad and built his own relationships to develop himself as a coach. Dollar now has over 20 years of coaching experience around the Southeast and has developed his contacts throughout the region.
It has helped in the recruiting process, as three the 2019 signees played high school basketball outside of Georgia. While Edwards is from Atlanta, Brown is from Columbia, S.C., and Camara played in Hollywood, Fla., and Walton played his final three seasons at Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala., after moving there from Columbus. The assistant coaches all worked together to use their contacts and knowledge of the players around the region to secure these four athletes.
“So all you do is try to use all the contacts together wherever you might be to make you the best coach you can be,” Dollar said.
Abdur-Rahim said the connections he and Dollar had to the area helped in recruiting Walton. Their connections aren’t the only key aspect in the recruiting process, though. Both Dollar and Abdur-Rahim said being able to evaluate players while recruiting helped them to secure athletes like Camara.
Abdur-Rahim and assistant coach Joe Scott stumbled upon Camara while looking at another recruit, but because of previous experiences of evaluating players, he and Scott evaluated his talent and saw potential.
“Again, it’s not my guy, his guy, it’s everybody,” Abdur-Rahim said. “The relationships to the area are big, but again the evaluation is just as big. Then everybody doing what they do together was huge.”
Coach Tom Crean recognized the impact that Dollar and Abdur-Rahim made in recruiting for the 2019 class, especially in the process of securing Edwards. Crean said they both knew multiple people in Edwards’ circle that helped them in through the recruiting process. At a news conference held Thursday with Dollar and Scott present, he applauded their efforts.
“There is no possible way that we have this level of recruiting that we have, the capabilities that we have to recruit and to have the potential to bring in these kind of people not only in this class but in the future, if you don’t have the highest quality of people doing it,” Crean said. "And Amir is not sitting up here, but if he was here, he would be. But these two, along with Amir, have done a fantastic job.”
The incoming signing class is Georgia’s highest-rated class since 1992, when the Bulldogs had the No. 2 class. Dollar said the staff placed an emphasis on recruiting players who could play multiple positions.
Versatility was a key factor they looked for in their recruits, a quality all four athletes possess. Dollar said their abilities to play multiple positions and be effective in multiple areas on the court will enhance Georgia’s game.
Dollar recognized Walton’s size, athletic ability and his perimeter shooting, all qualities that help him to play multiple positions.
Camara possesses similar skills. Dollar said he has good hand speed and can shoot the ball well. Brown’s toughness and determination to win are attributes that stood out to Dollar.
As a top player in the state of Georgia and the country, Edwards’ talents to defend, play with the ball in hand and play off the ball, paired with his capability to be a teammate create a well-rounded athlete, Dollar said.
Crean expressed excitement about the four signees and what they can bring to the program. He said he felt a sense of pride to have the program right where it is with the addition of the incoming class.
“We would not have this recruiting class without what they have done,” Crean said.
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