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Rayshaun Hammonds stays in state, picks Georgia

Georgia may be a fringe NCAA Tournament team this season, but Mark Fox is also building for the future.

On Thursday, Rayshaun Hammonds, one of the top local players, decided to remain in the Peach State and verbally commit to Georgia. The 6-foot-8 forward is the first commit in the Class of 2017 for the Bulldogs. Rivals lists him as the No. 60 overall player in the senior class.

The Bulldogs will be led by the pair of J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten this season. Outside of those two all-SEC caliber players, Fox will rely on a host of underclassmen, including four-star freshmen guards Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris. Like Hammonds, both Crump and Harris were regarded as four-star recruits.

The roster for the 2017-18 season projects to be a junior-heavy lineup for the Bulldogs, with Maten as one of three seniors. Hammonds, Crump and Harris will all be vital pieces for the future of Georgia basketball.

Hammonds had previously visited UConn, Alabama, Memphis and Miami before picking the Bulldogs.

The Norcross, Georgia native averaged 18.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in 14 appearances for the Alabama Challenge in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer.