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UGA men's hoops coach Fox on hand for Monroe-Americus on Friday

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- University of Georgia head coach Mark Fox was in the house Friday at Monroe High checking in on some of the top talent in the southwest corner of the state.

Fox, prohibited from speaking directly about any individual player, couldn't say exactly who he was looking at for Monroe or Americus-Sumter, but it's clear the former Nevada head coach has quickly learned there's abundant basketball talent in the Albany area.

"One thing we always want to do is we want the best players in Georgia to stay home," said Fox, whose Bulldogs are 13-4 on the season and 2-2 in SEC play. "It's always good to see the kids in the state."

Georgia will likely be in need of front-court players after this season with the loss of senior forwards Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes. Junior Trey Thompkins, who came close to declaring for the NBA after his sophomore season in Athens, will again have a decision later this year.

"We've got size issues," Fox said. "We're losing front-line players. We signed two (big men) early, but we're always looking for good players."

Fox, who was joined Friday by assistant Philip Pearson, has already inked current high school seniors Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a blue-chip shooting guard out of Greenville, and 6-foot-10 center Tim Dixon and 7-foot center John Florveous from the Tampa area. Dixon transferred to Oldsmar High from Columbus.

Georgia faces Mississippi State today at 4 p.m. in Athens after losing a heartbreaker Tuesday to Tennessee on a last-second shot, 59-57.

"Tough loss the other night, but that's part of life," said Fox, who is in his second season in Athens. "You've got to deal with it. We've got to bounce back. The good thing is we've got another game to play (today) so the kids are excited about that."