Christian Brown could never achieve liftoff for Georgia basketball

Georgia's Christian Brown (3) shoots against Samford during an NCAA college basketball game in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

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Georgia's Christian Brown (3) shoots against Samford during an NCAA college basketball game in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

ATHENS – Christian Brown showed great potential at Georgia but never could seem to achieve liftoff. Now he is seeking a transfer.

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound wing player from Hopkins, S.C., by way of Oak Hill Academy prep school entered his name in the NCAA’s portal this week, people familiar with the situation confirmed. He’ll leave Georgia having averaged 3.7 points and 10.2 minutes per game in his career.

Injuries kept Brown from realizing his full potential this past season. He played in 16 of the Bulldogs’ 26 games with one start. Early in the season, Brown recorded career highs with eight rebounds against Auburn in mid-January and 14 points against Jacksonville the previous month.

But a hamstring sidelined him in late January and another lower-leg issue limited Brown to two games in February and March, one in each month.

Tom Crean, who just completed his third season as Georgia’s coach, has had to deal a lot with the transfer portal since joining the Bulldogs in 2018. Rising sophomore Rodney Howard transferred to Georgia Tech after last season. That followed Amanze Ngumezi being dismissed in January 2020 and then landing at Jacksonville State.

Teshaun Hightower transferred to Tulane after Crean’s first season. He played two seasons for the Bulldogs, one under Crean. Ignas Sargiunas transferred to Colorado State in May 2019 after playing one season at Georgia. A month later, Jo Jo Toppin transferred to Georgia State. Meanwhile, Isaac Kante, who played in Mark Fox’s last season, transferred to Hofstra before Crean’s first season got under way.

But Crean also has taken advantage of the portal. He brought in three players as graduate transfers this past season in Justin Kier, Andrew Garcia and P.J. Horne and they played in every game. Indications that at least two of them might return for next season.

Next season will be a big one for Crean. The Bulldogs have yet to reach postseason play in his three seasons. Georgia entered this year’s SEC Tournament as the 10th seed and lost to Missouri in the first round to finish 14-12. The Bulldogs have gone 41-49 in Crean’s three seasons, including 14-40 in SEC play (.259).

Staff writer David Wellham contributed to this article.