The Bulldogs made the tournament for the first time in three years, and for only the second time in a decade. They did so with one quality big (Howard/Trey Thompkins), two quality guards (Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson), and a load of role players.
[...] In the past, Georgia have lacked a dynamic scoring guard, a ball handler who can get to the basket, someone to whom they can turn to break down the defense or get a basket. When they landed Tennessee State transfer Gerald Robinson, they filled that hole. Despite struggling with his jumpshot, Robinson has ranked third on the team in scoring (12.2ppg) and first in assists (4.2), all while using said physical tools to play good defense as well, shutting down many of the SEC's best scoring guards. He has struggled in late game situations, as has the entire team, and has been somewhat turnover prone, but he scratches the team's biggest itch. The team's best guard defender, however, is 6'4 junior Travis Leslie, who is as athletic as any player in the country. Leslie is having to make the transition to the perimeter - with his physical tools, he's obliged to - and it's going fairly well for him. He has developed a mid-range slashing game on offense, passes well to boot, and is as emphatic as expected in transition. He puts up great rebounding numbers, plays as close to lockdown defense as any perimeter player in the SEC, and has legitimate NBA potential. He also has legitimate NBA dunk contest potential.
Off camera, the L.A. Clippers pick Travis Leslie from Georgia, a 6'4 freak athlete who could make it as a defender. LAC have now picked both of the prematurely declaring Georgia juniors, from which they may get one decent NBA bench player. Leslie is lauded as another future dunk contest participant, so apparently we're destined to have more dunk contestants than ever next season. This will certainly help with the originality of the never-repetitive event.
Travis Leslie - In terms of his style of play, Leslie is not too similar to DeMar Derozan. He employs a mid-range-and-in slashing game, lacking an outside jumpshot yet being somewhat effective on forays to the basket, deadly in transition, disruptive on defense, and incredibly helpful on the rebounding glass. Even though he's only 6'4, the athleticism and the outrageous 6'10 make that figure rather unimportant, and while Leslie's transition to the perimeter has not been without its hiccups, it's gone rather well. As a rebounder, defender, and sheer athlete, he truly intrigues.
The differentiation from Derozan comes from DD's better height and vastly superior feel for the game. And those are big factors. Leslie isn't going to score in the half court like DeMar. Doesn't have that.
Leslie was waived by the Clippers in preseason last year, and spent the season with Santa Cruz in the D-League, where he averaged 15.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. He scores through cuts and transition, rather than any real isolation ability - his strength is the defensive end, where, when tuned in, he can be truly disruptive. If he can truly plug in and take pride on that end, and gets lucky with an opportunity, he could have a career a bit like Tony Allen's. But he needs to want that first.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.