Georgia basketball loses player, gains another

Georgia coach Mike White (R) confers with assistants Akeem Miskdeen (L) and  Erik Pastrana. (Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

Georgia coach Mike White (R) confers with assistants Akeem Miskdeen (L) and Erik Pastrana. (Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

ATHENS — The NCAA portal works both ways. The Georgia Bulldogs experienced that firsthand this week.

Jusuan Holt, a 6-foot-7 rising sophomore from Tacoma, Washington, informed the Bulldogs earlier this week of his intentions to seek a transfer. By Friday, Georgia announced the signing of RJ Sunahara, a 6-8 forward who was the NCAA Division II national player of the year this past season.

It would seem a decent exchange.

Sunahara (pronounced SOON-uh-harr-uh) led Nova Southeastern to an undefeated season and the Division II national championship last season. He averaged 18.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks in 26.7 minutes per game for the Sharks, while shooting 59.9% from the floor, 40.0% from 3-point range and 74.3% from the line. Sunahara capped last season with a 29-point, nine-rebound outing in a 111-101 win over West Liberty University in the Division II championship game. Sunahara chose the Bulldogs over Notre Dame and West Virginia. Nova Southeastern is located in Davie, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale.

Sunahara becomes the ninth newcomer to sign with the Bulldogs for the next season, joining four transfers and four prep prospects. Georgia is one of only two programs with both its high school and transfer recruiting classes ranked among the top 20 nationally, according to the recruiting website

The Bulldogs’ new group features five transfers and four high school signees. The other transfers are Jalen DeLoach (Virginia Commonwealth), RJ Melendez (Illinois), Russel Tchewa (South Florida) and Noah Thomasson (Niagara). The four high school signees all are ranked among the top 100 prospects: No. 83 Mari Jordan (Norcross), No. 90 Dylan James (Winter Haven, Florida), No. 52 Blue Cain (Knoxville, Tennessee) and No. 41 Silas Demary Jr. (Raleigh, North Carolina).

Holt was at Georgia for only one season. Coming to UGA from Alabama last year, he primarily played a defensive role for the Bulldogs. He recorded 1 steal per game while playing an average of 19.5 minutes in 31 games and averaged 3.2 points and 3.3 rebounds. Holt’s destination is unknown.