Bulldogs sign Ngumezi, Toppin
ATHENS, Ga. – Amanze Ngumezi and JoJo Toppin, a pair of premier in-state prospects, have signed letters-of-intent to play for the Georgia Bulldogs, head coach Mark Fox announced on Thursday. Both players inked their commitments during the weeklong NCAA early signing period, which concluded on Wednesday.
“We are excited to add Amanze and JoJo to our team as they add legitimate SEC size and athleticism for their respective positions,” Fox said. “Amanze provides us a big and explosive front line player who also has great ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. JoJo is a quick slasher who is very athletic at the rim. Together, they address the needs that will be created when this senior class departs.”
Ngumezi (whose name is pronounced “Uh-mahn-zay In-goo-meh-zay), a 6-9, 235-pound power forward from Savannah, averaged a double-double of 12.8 points and 11.6 rebounds last season. He led Johnson High School to a 19-10 finish and the second round of the Georgia 3A State Tournament. The Atom Smashers, who finished the season ranked No. 9 in the state, lost to eventual state champion Pace Academy, 49-41, in the tourney’s round of 16. Ngumezi posted double-digit scoring outputs in 17 games during his junior season, including a season-high 24 against Islands High.
Toppin, a 6-6, 180-pound small forward from Norcross, posted averages of 10.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game as a junior at Norcross High School. Toppin – and current Bulldog freshman Rayshaun Hammonds – helped lead the Blue Devils to a runner-up showing in the 7A State Tournament and a final record of 26-6. Toppin, who was a second-team All-Region honoree as a junior, notched season highs of 16 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.
Georgia is currently 2-0 on the season and will return to action on Sunday when the Bulldogs host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 1:00 p.m. Senior Yante Maten, a National Player of the Year candidate and preseason SEC Player of the Year honoree, leads the Bulldogs with a double-double average of 21.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game.
Georgia Basketball is in the midst of its most consistent stretch of winning in the program’s century-plus history. The Bulldogs have won 51 SEC games over the past five years, the Bulldogs’ largest tally for a half-decade span. In addition, Fox has led Georgia to four 20-win finishes in his first eight seasons in Athens, tying Hugh Durham for the most 20-win efforts by a UGA coach.