MBB: Crean on Bulldogs’ freshman standout Anthony Edwards

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MBB: Crean on Bulldogs’ freshman standout Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards (5) - Georgia vs. Arkansas 2020 - February 29, 2020
Anthony Edwards (5) – Georgia vs. Arkansas 2020 – February 29, 2020

Georgia basketball freshman Anthony Edwards declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on Friday, per ESPN’s Adam Wojnarowski.

Edwards’ decision was highly anticipated and really didn’t come as a shock to anyone because he’s projected as a lottery pick. Some mock drafts have him going No. 1 overall.

“Obviously we are proud of him. This comes as no surprise in making this decision and announcement,” said Georgia head coach Tom Crean in a Friday teleconference. “At the same time, it’s bittersweet because you knew it was coming. You expect it to come, but then it also puts into perspective that we’re not going to coach him anymore on a daily basis.”

Edwards is a 6-foot-6, 225-pound freshman whose performance was breathtaking at times. For example, in the 93-85 loss to Michigan State, Edwards scored 33 points in the final 16 minutes of play. But there were also times that he showed inconsistency.

“..He’s one of the most improved, from the beginning of June to end of season players, that I have been around in my years of coaching,” said Crean. “..He grew leaps and bounds in so many areas. Sometimes it showed up statistically, and sometimes it didn’t. But at the end of the day, knowing we were dealing with a very young man who should have been a senior in high school that had this much talent but has immense talent.

“His desire to improve and his desire to work was incredible. And the fact that he’s one of the greatest teammates I’ve ever around put the icing on the cake for an eighteen-year-old of what he meant to our program in a year’s time.”

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Edwards started all 32 games this season and averaged 19.1 points per game 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.34 steals. He scored double-digits in 27 of those 32 games and was the nation’s top-scoring freshman.

“I think he has an incredible future and I think he is going to get nothing but better,” said Crean. “I think it’s going to be crucial to get into a program at the next level that can really get him to develop while he’s playing. That is relationship-based, and people will be very happy with what will come as time goes on.”

Edwards was the No. 2 prospect in the 2019 class and chose to stay close to home to play for Georgia. He committed to the Bulldogs over offers from Kentucky and Florida State.

“Playing with your home [state] on your chest, the family in the crowd,” Edwards said back in January. “You can look at them, they right there, they smiling every time you do something. My brothers, my teammates, my coaches, they are behind me every step of the way. It’s like a dream come true.”

Even though it was just a one-and-done deal, Edwards could be the stepping stone for other big-time recruits to join the Georgia program in the near future.

“I enjoyed coaching him and he will be greatly missed,” said Crean.

Here is the video from Tom Crean’s press teleconference:


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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.