Also, I know everyone is anxious about Dwayne Polee's pending decision.
The two are connected. Polee isn't one of those players who is seeking a favorable depth chart or guaranteed playing time. I'm told he was happy when he heard Travis Leslie said he was coming back for another season. Trey's announcement makes Georgia even more attractive. The two text each other every day. Polee likes the idea of teaming with Leslie and Thompkins, but there is another player pulling Polee to the SEC.
Gerald Robinson Jr. and Polee have developed quite a friendship. They spent a great deal of time together when Polee officially visited Athens for the South Carolina game. Since then, they've remained in touch, and Robinson has been working Polee hard. This is where the Robinson, Leslie, Polee, Thompkins, Price starting line-up rumor began circulating. This was never a knock on Dustin Ware, who will be a prominent figure for Georgia next season, one way or another. Instead, this was Robinson insisting he'd play anywhere to accommodate the high-flying Polee. Robinson wants Polee on this team, and believes he'll push for playing time right away.
St. Johns is the latest school to jump in the mix. From what I can gather, this is all about Steve Lavin. He has Los Angeles ties, having coached UCLA seven years ago. If you'll remember, Lavin signed seven McDonald's high school All-Americans, and had the top-ranked class a couple of years. Sure, he had the tradition of UCLA, and the sunny skies of L.A. to help pull kids. Make no mistake, Lavin can recruit. He has the personality to do it.
But, I don't see St. Johns happening. Polee plans to visit the Red Storm, and I'm sure he'll have to duck Lavin's kitchen sink.
Also a source told me about UNLV: "Polee's dad played one year at UNLV, and one season is all some think they may need. That's the thought process of an 18-year-old superstar." Whatever that means. UNLV has been in this hunt from the beginning. They've got location, and distance on their side. Coach Lon Kruger has NBA experience, although it was forgettable.
But, UNLV doesn't have exposure and competition like, say, Georgia has to offer. Polee likes the allure of a big conference, and the SEC is attractive. Add to that: Polee has developed great relationships with Mark Fox, and Bulldogs' players. The biggest draw is distance. Some say St. Johns entering the race proves he doesn't care about traveling. Los Angeles to Athens is more than miles, it's a different lifestyle.
Then there's UTEP. A source told me Tuesday that Polee was 60/40 leaning to UTEP. He's liked the program for quite some time, and the hiring of Tim Floyd, who Polee committed to at USC, is an added bonus. I saw the report on Polee released this week that didn't include UTEP. I've heard that Georgia's players couldn't believe the omission. After texting regularly, they felt UTEP was the leader.
Add that Dwayne Polee Sr. is looking for a job, as he was looking to get away from Southern Cal. He served as basketball operations coordinator. Hmmm…Georgia's Mark Pope just left for an assistant's job at Wake Forest. I don't see Fox getting in the business of making hires just to pull kids, and all indications point to the NCAA not allowing this to happen in the first place.
At the beginning of the week, Georgia coaches thought Polee was going to announce his decision by the weekend. Now, that's not the case. Georgia's coaches are planning to head back to California to visit one last time before Polee decides.
At this point in this wild recruiting tale, I'll believe anything.