UGA Basketball

Tom Crean has yet to fill out his coaching staff. But one assistant is making recruiting trips with him

Georgia's new men's basketball coach Tom Crean speaks after being introduced during an NCAA college basketball news conference, Friday, March 16, 2018, at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.
Georgia's new men's basketball coach Tom Crean speaks after being introduced during an NCAA college basketball news conference, Friday, March 16, 2018, at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga. AP

Tom Crean made his way to see some of Georgia’s top recruiting targets and had Jonas Hayes, a current Georgia assistant coach, along with him.

The Telegraph learned from a person with knowledge of the situation Thursday that Newton five-star point guard Ashton Hagans received a visit from both coaches. Four-star wing Elias King out of Lincoln Prep -- a Gwinnett County native – revealed he was also visited by Crean and Hayes.

Both Hagans and King were originally committed as 2019 prospects under former head coach Mark Fox.

There has been no official word that Hayes will be retained by Crean. However, he still remains on contract with Georgia. But after one recruit saw Hayes joining in on the recruiting trail, it left a good impression.

“Jonas just told me that this program still loves me and would love to have me back,” said King, who de-committed on March 14 due to the staff turnover. “Yes, I believe he will be back. But I never asked.”

Adding to a busy recruiting push, Dan McDonald of Rivals.com reported that 2018 five-star forward E.J. Montgomery of Wheeler also received a stop on the Bulldogs’ trip around the Atlanta area.

For King, it was his first time seeing Crean since he accepted the job on March 15. He said he favors a lot of qualities that Crean presented, most notably his uptempo offensive style. This past season, Georgia had the worst scoring offense in the SEC at 68.1 points per game.

“It was great and I was so happy that Jonas stopped by to speak and see me,” King said. “I liked Crean’s style and how he let his players play freely. He’s got a cool personality and I can tell he’s a competitor, like myself.”

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