Gibson, Moses join basketball team

Fred Gibson (Photo: Dean Legge)

Coach Jim Harrick's No. 20 Bulldogs welcomed two walk-ons from the football team Tuesday. Fred Gibson, the second-leading receiver on the football team, and Quentin Moses, a freshman defensive end held out as a redshirt this season, joined the team just in time for the official team picture.

ATHENS, Ga. - Tuesday turned out to be good timing for Georgia's team picture to be taken.

 Coach Jim Harrick's No. 20 Bulldogs welcomed two walk-ons from the football team Tuesday. Fred Gibson, the second-leading receiver on the football team, and Quentin Moses, a freshman defensive end held out as a redshirt this season,  joined the team just in time for the official team picture.

 Gibson, a 6-foot-4 wing player, and Moses, a 6-foot-5 forward, will have a lot of catching up to do before they can earn playing time for Harrick's team.

 Gibson has the advantage of also playing both sports as a freshman last year, but even the talented sophomore will need time to work into basketball shape and again learn Harrick's system.

 "I told (Gibson) it's like you're walking out for football the week of the Georgia-Florida game,'' Harrick said.

 In fact, it is the week of the Georgia-Florida basketball game. Georgia is off until it plays at No. 11 Florida Saturday at 3 p.m.

 Georgia (9-3) has won eight straight games and moved back into the Top 25 after wins over No. 2 Pittsburgh and No. 21 Louisiana State.

 The additions of Gibson and Moses provide more depth for the Southeastern Conference schedule.

 Against LSU Sunday, Georgia faced a depth problem on its front line when starting forwards Steve Thomas and Chris Daniels each picked up fourth fouls early in the second half, but the outside shooting of Ezra Williams carried the Bulldogs past that potential crisis.

 Moses (6-5, 235) could provide depth behind Thomas, Daniels and Jonas Hayes. Harrick said the freshman - who at Athens' Cedar Shoals High School was named to the Atlanta Tipoff Club's AAAA All-State team - won't be able to make an early contribution.

 "I don't think Quentin can play right now,'' Harrick said. "He needs to learn about what we are doing.''

 Though both Gibson and Moses were highly recruited football players, each chose to play basketball in their Georgia High School North-South All-Star games. During recruiting, each talked with football coach Mark Richt and Harrick about the option of playing basketball after football season at Georgia.

 "Obviously, that was one of the conditions when they came here,'' Harrick said.

 Harrick said he also spoke with Richt Tuesday morning to confirm Richt's approval of the two football scholarship players joining the basketball team.

 "(Richt) is all for it if they can contribute,'' Harrick said. "I told him 'Mark, I certainly want football's blessings' but ultimately I guess it comes down to the young guys.''

 Gibson indicated this will be his last basketball season. He was urged by football coaches to focus on building his strength in the weight room.

 Gibson, the second-leading receiver on the SEC championship football team, struggled with the decision before finally confirming Monday that he would play basketball.

 "I just want to play basketball; that's about it,'' Gibson said Tuesday. "... I just wanted the opportunity to play one more time.''

 Gibson averaged 4.9 points per game after joining the basketball team last season. Though he averaged only 11.1 minutes per game, he at times made a difference with his explosive first step. His quickness also makes him a potentially strong defensive player.

 Moses said "I think I got a lot better'' in his redshirt season in football practice, but he said he has been looking forward to his return to basketball.

 "I know it's going to be hard early on,'' Moses said. "The competition level is up a little, but after a while I think I may be able to contribute a little, maybe help with rebounding and defense.''

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