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Caldwell-Pope a pretty good reason to watch Georgia hoops


Mike Miller

That guy throwing down the ridiculous dunk? That’s Georgia freshman Kentavious Pope-Caldwell, a guy who you’ll probably want to watch when the Bulldogs play No. 1 Kentucky Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs (10-9) are among the SEC’s worst teams, limiting Caldwell-Pope’s nationally exposure. Pass on him tonight and that might be it for the season, which’d be a shame.

‘Cause Caldwell-Turner’s a stud.

The 6-5 guard leads Georgia in points (14.7), steals (1.8) is third in rebounding (5.1) and plays a team-high 31.6 minutes a game. He doesn’t take the majority of the Dawgs’ shots (that’s senior Gerald Robinson), but he should. Caldwell-Pope’s a more efficient scorer who’s a better shooter and commits fewer turnovers a game.

As Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal notes, Caldwell-Pope is a “once-in-20-years player for Georgia,” mostly because it usually doesn’t get guys like this.

Of course, Kentucky’s noticed Caldwell-Pope as well. Coach John Calipari’s probably going to stick his own freshman stud, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on Caldwell-Pope in an effort to slow him down.

“He’s a terrific player, and I’m telling you he’s one of the best in our league. And forget about class. Any more, when you start looking at class, you’re making a mistake. If a kid can play, he can play, and forget about age,” Calipari said. “He’s a terrific player, can get his own shot. He’s a game-changer as a player for their program. Mark (Fox) has done well in getting people like that into Georgia.”

How much longer Caldwell-Pope sticks around Georgia is the next question. He’s not on the 2012 mock draft at Draftexpress, or the 2013 mock.

Having him stay in Athens for at least two seasons would be Fox’s dream. But it sure seems unlikely given how good he is.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.