Nov. 9, 2011
ATLANTA – Two days before his first regular-season game as Georgia Tech’s head basketball coach, Brian Gregory got the Yellow Jackets’ recruiting off on the right track by signing a pair of all-state Georgia high school prospects to national letters-of-intent.
Chris Bolden, a 6-3 guard from North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Ga., and 6-6 forward Marcus Hunt of North Clayton High School in College Park, Ga., cemented their commitments to join Georgia Tech’s basketball program in the fall of 2012.
“For our great program to move forward, we must recruit high-quality players who are high-character people,” said Gregory. “This institution, our tradition-rich program, and our loyal supporters and fans deserve the very best. Today, I feel we took a big step in that direction.”
Bolden, the No. 22-ranked shooting guard in the country, is currently ranked No. 107 overall in the Rivals Top 150. Considered one of the top pure shooters in the 2012 class, Bolden averaged 15 points and two assists a game while leading Norcross High School to the state championship in the state’s largest classification. He scored the team’s final four points from the foul line in a 59-55 win over Milton in the class AAAAA finals. Bolden was a second-team all-state choice in AAAAA by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a third-team All-Metro choice by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
“We are excited to add a player of Chris’ talent and character to our Yellow Jacket program,” said Gregory. “Although he is one of the premier shooters in the country, I have been even more impressed with the expansion of his game. His ability to positively impact the game with his defense, rebounding and playmaking skills is really developing. I love his work ethic and the fact that he has been taught well by both his high school and AAU coaches.”
Chris Bolden is the No. 22 shooting guard in the nation.
A 4-star recruit, Hunt is ranked No. 59 overall in the ESPN100, and No. 14 among small forwards. Hunt averaged 26.7 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks as a junior last year at North Clayton. He was named to the first team all-state in AAAA by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and first-team All-Metro in 2011 by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
“Getting a player with the skill package and versatility that Marcus possesses was very important for our program,” said Gregory. “His size, strength and athletic ability puts him in an elite class. Marcus has the ability to score in a variety of ways and has the unique skill of being able to create quality shots for his teammates from the wing position. His humility and hunger to grow and develop will have a tremendous impact on our program.”
The early signing period continues through next Wednesday, Nov. 16. The Yellow Jackets open their 2011-12 season Friday night at 8 p.m. against Florida A&M at the Arena at Gwinnett.
Dave Telep, ESPN Senior College Basketball Recruiting Analyst
“[Marcus Hunt] is a guy that I believe will be a valuable ACC performer. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and ceiling to reach. Physically, he’ll be ready to go and has enough offense that he’ll be able to score early in his career.
“No matter the league, shooting is at a premium in college basketball, and Chris is a long-range specialist. He’s got the DNA of a bomber behind the arc. The thing about him is he’s gotten to the point where he’s consistent with his stroke and has an extra foot on his range.”
Paul Biancardi, ESPN Recruiting National Director
“Since the moment head coach Brian Gregory and his staff took the job at Georgia Tech, their focus was recruiting in-state players. In a short amount of time, the fruits of their labor have paid off in a big way. By securing the signatures of Hunt and Bolden, Georgia Tech has made its presence felt immediately under Coach Gregory and his outstanding staff.
“With the signing of ESPNU 100 Marcus Hunt, they are getting a versatile scorer who has a frame that is physically ready to produce in the ACC. What stands out about him is that he will create mismatches at different spots on the floor. In Chris Bolden, they have another scorer on the perimeter who consistently makes shots, and he is not afraid try and score at crucial times of a game and will deliver when his team needs it the most.
“After watching these two in state talents for a long time, it is clear they will be a big part of Georgia Tech’s future success and a sign that more in state talent may be on its way.”