No way to sugarcoat 9 Georgia basketball players entering portal

Georgia head coach Tom Crean during a game against Alabama at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

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Georgia head coach Tom Crean during a game against Alabama at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

ATHENS — There is no way to sugarcoat it. Nine Georgia basketball players entering the transfer portal is not good.

Bulldogs coach Tom Crean will point out that it’s happening to everybody in the SEC, to everybody in country, in fact. And he would be right.

But no team has been hit more squarely in the mouth by player free agency than Georgia. They have been picked nearly down to the bone.

From a raw numbers’ standpoint, the Bulldogs have lost 83.4% of their scoring (1,680 points), 72.5% of their rebounding (701) and 72.1% of their 3-point field goals made (119).

The latest player to fly the coop was K.D. Johnson, arguably Georgia’s most dynamic player. Johnson announced that he was entering the portal Tuesday after completing spring semester. The Bulldogs had the 4-star recruit for all of 16 games, with Johnson missing the first 10 because of NCAA academic eligibility issues. He averaged 13.5 points a game, second on the team.

According to the website VerbalCommits.com, that’s 1,579 Division I men’s basketball players in the NCAA’s transfer portal as of 7:52 a.m. Wednesday. The number will go up from there. Players on 2020-21 rosters have until July 1 to enter the portal to be on a roster of the 2021-22 season.

Johnson’s news came a day after the AJC reported that graduate transfer P.J. Horne was returning and that fellow graduate transfer Andrew Garcia was leaving. That gives the Bulldogs one returning starter from last season’s 14-12 squad. Also returning for Georgia are redshirt freshman forward Josh Taylor, senior forward Jonathan Ned and junior forward Tyron McMillan.

The Bulldogs appear to have done reasonably well with the six transfers they’re bringing in, led by sophomore guard Jabri Abdur-Rahim, who’s coming from Virginia. But along with three freshman signees, that’s a lot of newness in Crean’s fourth season.

Again, the attrition is not unique to Georgia. Let’s compare it with the rest of the SEC:

SEC BASKETBALL ATTRITION

Team: Portal + NBA Draft = Total

Georgia: 9 + 0* = 9

LSU: 5 + 4 = 9

S.Carolina: 6 + 3* = 9

Texas A&M: 9 + 0 = 9

Miss. State: 7 + 1 = 8

Arkansas: 5 + 2 = 7

Florida: 4 + 3 = 7

Missouri: 7 + 0 = 7

Tennessee: 4 + 3 = 7

Vanderbilt: 6 + 1 = 7

Alabama: 2 + 4 = 6

Auburn: 4 + 2 = 6

Ole Miss: 5 + 1 = 6

Kentucky: 2 + 3 = 5

TOTALS: 75 + 27 = 102

* Georgia’s Sahvir Wheeler and Andrew Garcia and South Carolina’s Justin Minaya have also declared for NBA draft.

GEORGIA BASKETBALL 2021

1. P.J. Horne** F 6-6, 230 Sr. Tifton

2. Josh Taylor F 6-9, 215 RFr. Atlanta

3. Jonathan Ned F 6-8, 215 Sr. Brentwood, Calif.

4. Tyron McMillan F 6-9, 220 Jr. New Orleans

5. Jabri Abdur-Rahim* G 6-7, 214 So. South Orange, N.J. (Virginia)

6. Noah Baumann* G 6-6, 215 Sr. Phoenix (USC)

7. Braelen Bridges* F 6-10, 235 Sr. Atlanta (Illinois-Chicago)

8. Jailyn Ingram* G 6-7, 219 Sr. Madison (Florida Atlantic)

9. Dalen Ridgnal* F 6-6, 200 Jr. Kansas City, Mo. (Cowley College)

10. Kario Oquendo* G 6-4, 180 So. Titusville, Fla. (Florida Southwest)

11. Camron McDowell G 6-5, 170 Fr. Powder Springs

12. Tyrone Baker F 6-9, 190 Fr. Missouri City, Texas

13. Christian Wright G 6-3, 180 Fr. Atlanta

* Transfers

** “Super senior” does not count against NCAA 13-scholarship maximum

ENTERED TRANSFER PORTAL

1. F Jaykwon Walton, 6-7, 205, So., Columbus

2. G Sahvir Wheeler,* 5-10, 180, So., Houston

3. G Christian Brown, 6-6, 215, So., Hopkins, S.C.

4. F Toumani Camara, 6-8, 220, So., Brussels, Belgium

5. G Tye Fagan, 6-3, 195, Jr., Logtown

6. G Mikal Starks, 6-0, 185, Jr., Miami

7. G Justin Kier, 6-4, 190, Gr., Grottoes, Va.

8. F Andrew Garcia,* 6-6, 225, Gr., Bergenfield, NJ..

9. G K.D. Johnson, 6-1, 190, Fr., Atlanta

* Also considering pro options

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