Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Peach State reaches 40 committments in 2007

Need proof that Georgia is a hot bed for college talent? Take a look at the up-to-date list of committed players in the state. The number sits at 40 and quite a few players are still undecided.

Off the board

Martavius Adams, Wilkinson County – Oklahoma State
Chris Allen, Meadowcreek – Michigan State
Kevin Anderson, Peachtree Ridge – Richmond
Bryson Barnes, Westlake – Furman
Chris Barnes, Riverdale – Georgia
Terrell Bell, Stone Mountain – Virginia Tech
Terrance Birdette, Buford – Elon
Phillip Brown, Eagle’s Landing Christian – Air Force
Isaac Butts, Georgia Military – Appalachian State
Matt Clark, Evans – The Citadel
Jordan DeMercy, Norcross – Florida State
Adam Demuyakor, North Gwinnett – Harvard
B.J. Frazier, Stepheson – Western Kentucky
Trevor Gaskins, Chattahoochee – Ole Miss
Richie Gordon, Lakeside-Dekalb – Western Carolina
Andrew Goudelock, Stone Mountain – College of Charleston
Zach Graham, Peachtree Ridge – Ole Miss
Ladaris Hall, Thomasville – South Alabama
Dante Harvey, Columbia – Toledo
Taylor Harps – Lander College
Cameron Heyward – Ohio State (football)
J.J. Hickson, Wheeler - NC State
Senario Hillman, Wilkinson County – Alabama
Bassy Inameti, Peachtree Ridge – Tennessee Tech
Lyndon Jordan, Winder-Barrow – Fairfield
Trey Lang, Wheeler - UMass
Gani Lawal, Norcross – Georgia Tech
Brian Mills, Chapel Hill – Mercer
Jamar Moore, Thomasville – South Alabama
Tony Neysmith, Norcross – Oklahoma
Connor Nolte, Milton – Furman
Jon Pack, East Paulding – College of Charleston
Jeremy Price, Columbia – Georgia
Steven Sargent, Whitewater – VMI
Lance Storrs, Columbia – Georgia Tech
Zac Swansey, Dunwoody – Georgia
Dontrell Taylor, Wilkinson County – Tennessee State
Mark Veazy, Meadowcreek – Navy
Trevor Welcher, Richmond Academy – Delaware State

If we have missed a committment, please let us know at

Monday, February 26, 2007

See the Norcross-Wheeler instant classic

If you were one of the rare people that did not see the classic Norcross-Wheeler game, here is your chance to get inside and witness one of the best games in Georgia state playoff history.

Georgia Hoops is proud to present's coverage from the game. Witnessss history inside this link:

Click on link below for my story on the game:

Instant Classic

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Our picks in 3A

Our entire 3A bracket prediction

Winners of the first round: Dougherty, Jordan, Central Macon, Northside-Columbus, Druid Hills, Gainesville, Hart County, Carrollton, Glen Hills, Monroe, Carver-Columbus, Perry, East Hall, South Atlanta, Carterville, Dunwoody

Winners of the second round: Dougherty, Central Macon, Gainesville, Hart County, Glen Hills, Carver-Columbus, East Hall, Dunwoody

Winners of the third round: Central Macon, Hart County, Carver-Columbus, East Hall

Winners of the fourth round: Central Macon, East Hall

3A champion: East Hall

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Breaking down the bracket: 4A

Move over 5A, there might be a new big dog classification in Georgia this year. The 4A state championship bracket is filled with potential champions and they are all racing to knock off Columbia, the defending state champs and pre-tournament favorite this season.

Getting to Gwinnett

Columbia’s path to the Gwinnett Arena isn’t easy as potential match-ups include pairings against Cherokee, featuring one of the top juniors in the nation Chris Singleton, and then Rome in the third round. Rome boasts Tony Woods, a potentially fantastic high-major center prospect.

But no one in the state can boast a line-up of players quite like Columbia does. Led by Georgia-bound big man Jeremy Price and Georgia Tech-bound Lance Storrs, both seniors, Columbia has a pair of bookends that played a big role in the team’s state championship run last year back for more this year. Juniors Travis Leslie, one of the rising stars in the state, and Darius Morrow, the next good Columbia big man, are tremendous options to have.

Senior forward Dante Harvey, who signed with Toledo, will have his moments as will senior guard Jordan Lemons and senior Anthony Isoms.

Of all of the divisions in Georgia, however, 4A has more weapons in the brackets to knock out the big dog. Will it be region foes Stone Mountain or Tucker? Or can Cedar Shoals and Lithia Springs continue the hot streak? Will Cherokee get over the hump? Or will Griffin continue to roll forward? Can a sophomore-led Fayette County team do it? So many questions, so few rounds to play. The answers will soon be uncovered.

First round games of note

The real treats don’t start until the second round where the potential of several big time match-ups could happen but in order to get there, the first round games must be played. Here are a few of the best games in round one.

The best game of the first round has to be Wayne County at Westlake. Both teams are coming off of big region tournaments and both teams have balance and depth. Wayne County (21-7) will look to the dynamic scoring of senior guard Daviel Clements and versatility of senior forward Rory Miller. Westlake will certainly rely on Furman bound Bryson Barnes, junior wing Gideon Gamble and junior guard Khamori Watts. Both teams have playoff experience and winning at Westlake isn’t easy but don’t be surprised to see Wayne County walk away with the victory.

Mays may be playing teeter-totter with a .500 record but don’t sell the former back-to-back state champs short. Floyd Mack has his team playing good basketball and more importantly, good defensive basketball. Mays has a tall order against Rome and 6-10 junior center Tony Woods. Keep an eye on Mays’s freshman point guard Aloys Cabel. Rome is young and Mays has seen the best (facing Westlake, Tucker, Columbia, Tri-Cities, Stone Mountain and Riverdale). Don’t be surprised to see Mays win this game. Woods needs to be the difference.

Lithia Springs won the Region 5 tournament with great play on the defensive end and with balance in the backcourt. The team has only lost two games all year, with one coming by one point, but they haven’t faced a team that has a true power big man like Dacula does inside in sophomore Brian Cole. If Dacula can slow the pace down and make the game move at their speed, then they could very well move on and knock out a No. 1 seed.

Looking at the No. 1 seeds

Lee County (13-13)
Region 1 tournament champs
Key wins: Bainbridge, Thomas County Central
Key losses: Numerous
Notes: Senior DeVauhgn Thomas is one of the most difficult players in the state to defend because of his size, strength and sheer hustle. He’s amongst the state’s leaders in scoring and rebounding even as a 6-3 post player. Lee Co. is 11-4 since Jan. 2.

Fayette County (23-5)
Region 2 tournament champs
Key wins: Westlake, Statesboro, Southside, Whitewater
Key losses: North Clayton, Westlake, Parkview, Creekside
Notes: Sophomore Noel Johnson is quickly emerging as one of the top players in the state. At 6-7, he brings a skill set to the table that can be infused at all five positions. Even thought he is amongst the top 10 players in the 2009 class, he’s still under the radar within the Georgia high school ranks. This is his platform to open some eyes.

Richmond Academy (19-9)
Region 3 tournament champs
Key wins: Centennial, Statesboro
Key losses: Statesboro, Glenn Hills, Druid Hills
Notes: One of the top teams from the Augusta area can get out and run and relies on future Delaware State guard Trevor Welcher. They could surprise people in a wide open quadrant of the 4A bracket.

Griffin (15-10)
Region 4 tournament champs
Key wins: Jonesboro, Riverdale, North Clayton
Key losses: Savannah, Riverdale, Statesboro
Notes: The Bears are a completely different team with senior forward Charles Corbin in the lineup. The 6-7 post has helped Griffin overcome a 1-9 start without him and has put the team on his back en route to a 14-1 record with him in the starting lineup.

Lithia Springs (26-2)
Region 5 tournament champs:
Key wins: Cherokee, Pebblebrook, Villa Rica, Redan, Newnan
Key losses: Carrollton, Parkview
Notes: Six wins have come by a matter of two points and one of the defeats (Carrollton by one) was also a nail-biter. These guys are used to tight, intense situation. Head coach Jason Slate has his team playing great defense and un-intimidated against teams.

Columbia (27-1)
Region 6 tournament champs
Key wins: Wheeler, LeFlore (Ala.), Tucker, Stone Mountain, Miller Grove
Key losses: LaSalle (Ohio)
Notes: Clearly the best team in the state, Columbia has weapons inside, out and on the sidelines. Columbia boasts the biggest frontline in the state and their potential games at Marietta could see a pair of teams with key players that stand over 6-9. The frontline will be tested early. Moreover, Columbia won the toughest region in the state both in standings in the tournament.

Rome (21-6)
Region 7 tournament champs
Key wins: Cartersville, Ridgeland, Dalton
Key losses: Dunwoody, Coosa, Cartersville, Ridgeland
Notes: There isn’t a better time for junior center Tony Woods to put his mark on his standing in the state as one of the to players in Georgia than now in the playoffs. In previous big stage games, he struggled. This is redemption time for the 6-10 center.

Cedar Shoals (24-1)
Region 8 tournament champs
Key wins: Loganville, Shiloh, Newnan, Winder-Barrow, Alcovy
Key losses: Clarke Central
Notes: Senior guard Chris Kupets is one of the best scorers in the state and his improvement as an all-around player has helped Cedar Shoals to a terrific record and a number one seed in the tournament.

Don’t forget about us

While the eight number one teams positioned themselves to play a more favorable schedule in the first round, there are a handful of teams that aren’t region tournaments winners that can advance to Gwinnett Arena on March 9.

Tucker is no stranger to the Final Four. For two straight years, the Tigers have made it there and this year could make it three. James Hartry has a team certainly talented enough to get there. Led by seniors Marshon Brooks and Jeremy Simmons and sophomore Manny Atkins, Tucker has the players in line to win big games. Brooks is one of the best scorers in 4A and will be looked to early and often.

The same can be said for Stone Mountain. The Pirates have star power in Andrew Goudeolock and Terrell Bell. The two Division I bound seniors are as good as you get for 1-2 punches in the state. Senior Raylin Brown is an important third option. Stone Mountain could very easily be playing in the state championship game.

Cherokee didn’t close the season out quite like they wanted but anytime you have a team that executes, shoots it very well and has an athletic and versatile 6-9 junior that can play inside and out, you can’t count them out. Chris Singleton, an all-state 4A performer, will need to rebound from a so-so region tournament.

Don’t sleep on Jonesboro either. With a backcourt that can take on a lot of teams, the Cardinals will be a fun, and balanced, team to play in the tournament.

Our entire 5A bracket prediction

Winners of the first round: North Clayton, Wayne County, Griffin, Whitewater, Lithia Springs, Tucker, Cedar Shoals, Stone Mountain, Richmond Academy, Jonesboro, Fayette County, Riverdale, Rome, Pebblebrook, Columbia, Cherokee
Winners of the second round: Wayne County, Griffin, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Jonesboro, Fayette County, Rome, Columbia
Winners of the third round: Griffin, Tucker, Fayette County, Columbia
Winners of the fourth round: Tucker, Columbia
4A champion: Columbia

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Breaking down the bracket: 5A

It is do or do time in Georgia as the high school basketball playoffs tip off on Saturday and everyone is gunning for the crown in the 5A bracket. Can Norcross win it? Or will Wheeler pick up a needed win and advance to the Gwinnett Center? Or will someone else step up? It’s time to dance.

Getting to Gwinnett

It is a question that has been asked since Eddie Martin and his Norcross Blue Devils won the 2006 5A state championship – can anyone knock them out in tournament play?

Starting on Saturday, the question will tried to be answered by a number of teams. And it begs the question, can some one else step up in 2007 to claim the coveted state championship?

There are plenty of candidates in 5A this season and several potential champs are all on the same side of one quadrant of the bracket. Norcross and Wheeler play the biggest first round game in recent memory. Meadowcreek could very well surprise teams with a big win over the winner of the prime time match-up. Marietta and Chattahoochee have coaches that know how to get the most out of their respective teams.

Peachtree Ridge, winners of region 7, and Centennial have the talent to get to the Gwinnett Center on March 8.

On the other side of the bracket is Savannah power Beach High School, last year’s surprise team of the tournament. They have a tough test right out of the gate. M.L. King and Tri-Cities aren’t easy wins.

Camden County has knocked out the Savannah powers this season and could be this year’s surprise team from the coastal region. Mundy’s Mill is tapping into its potential. Stephenson is peaking at the right time.

Anything can happen in 5A. Buckle up. It’s time to get on the road.

Must see game

With 16 games being played in each bracket on Saturday, picking just one game to see will be difficult, right? Only if you’ve lived under a rock for the last two years.

The dream match-up of Norcross and Wheeler will finally happen, pairing last year’s 5A state champions and Wheeler, winners of three state titles since 2000. However, no one saw this game happening on Feb. 24 and in the first round.

The game features in Norcross’s Gani Lawal and Wheeler’s J.J. Hickson, the top two players in the state and the only McDonald’s All-Americans in Georgia.

Norcross boasts a lineup of Lawal, who is headed to Georgia Tech, Tony Neysmith, who is headed to Oklahoma, Jordan DeMercy, who is headed to Florida State, Al-Farouq Aminu, one of the top 10 juniors in the nation, and Taariq Muhammad, one of the top point guards in the class of 2009.

Wheeler boasts a line up of Hickson, who is headed to NC State, Trey Lang, a recent UMass pledge, Adrian Williams, a Brown commitment, Dequan Jones, one of the top 150 juniors in the nation, Ari Stewart, one of the most impressive sophomore prospects in the state, and Phil Taylor, one of the best freshmen in the state.

Star power? You have it in this game. It doesn’t get any richer than this for college basketball prospects.

Our prediction? Norcross 79, Wheeler 72

Other first round games of note

Peacthree Ridge knocked off Norcross for the Region 7 championship and as huge of a win that was for the Lions, the team will need to re-focus quickly for Milton, a team that beat them in the Deep South Classic by a point.

Milton has not closed the season out quite the way they have probably wanted but there is a confidence that has to hold over from the early season win. Don’t be surprised to see Milton, especially Furman bound forward Connor Nolte, match Peachtree Ridge for three quarters.

Expect a close in the Chattahoochee-North Gwinnett match-up and a good back and forth battle between Tift County and Mundy’s Mill.

Looking at the No. 1 seeds

Warner-Robins (16-7)
Region 1 tournament champs
Quality wins: Perry, Tift County, Houston County
Key losses: Perry, Colquitt County

M.L. King (18-7)
Region 2 tournament champs
Quality wins: Stephenson, Newton, Lithonia
Key losses: North Clayton, Lithonia, Meadowcreek, Stephenson
Key players: Senior shooting guard Jihad Ali, junior wing Demetrius Bates
Notes: Only one loss to a non-playoff team (Redan). Very balanced team with good athletes and a favorable bracket to advance to Elite 8.

Beach (22-2)
Region 3 tournament champs
Quality wins: Meadowcreek, Camden County, Savannah Johnson, Statesboro
Key losses: Meadowcreek, Camden County
Key players: Senior post Ladaris Green, senior forward Markeith Cummings, junior guard James Fields
Notes: Last year’s state runner-up returns nearly everyone from the team that lost to Norcross. This year’s team might actually be better. Just how good are they away from Savannah? That is the question that will be answered in the post season.

Mundy’s Mill (18-8)
Region 4 tournament champs
Quality wins: Tri-Cities, Miller Grove, Morrow
Key losses: Peachtree Ridge, Jonesboro, Riverdale, Newnan, Tucker
Key players: Senior guard Daniel Brown, senior wing David Brown, senior forward Rod Williams, junior forward Dennis Harris, junior point guard Todd Salter
Notes: All eight of Mundy’s Mill’s losses have come against good tournament teams. They won’t be star struck this time of year. The starting five has size and skill at each position.

Marietta (21-4)
Region 5 tournament champs
Quality wins: Wheeler, McEachern, North Cobb
Key losses: North Cobb, Harrison, South Cobb
Key players: Sophomore point guard Chris Tanzy, junior forward J.C. Ward, senior forward Stephon Woods, junior wing Deandre Cannon, senior forward Tyrese Mumford
Notes: It took a while for metro Atlanta to fully realize just how good the Blue Devils are but when they beat Wheeler, everyone noticed. Charlie Hood has his best team since Ezra Williams wore a MHS jersey.

Meadowcreek (25-2)
Region 6 tournament champs
Quality wins: Beach, Archbishop Mitty (Calif.), M.L. King, Whitewater, Shiloh, Central Gwinnett (three times), Parkview
Key losses: Beach, Dunwoody
Key players: Senior guard Chris Allen (Michigan State), junior guard Teondre Williams, senior center Mark Veazy (Navy), senior Antoine Bolden
Notes: There isn’t a more dynamic scoring guard in the state than Allen and when the lights are shining bright, he’s even better. Getting the rest of the team to play well is the key. On the national stage, they did for two games before bowing out to Dunwoody at the Chick-Fil-A Classic. They could potentially knock out either Norcross or Wheeler just because Allen can expose both programs and he’s dying to do just that.

Peachtree Ridge (23-3)
Region 7 tournament champs
Quality wins: Norcross, Mundy’s Mill, North Gwinnett, Whitewater
Key losses: Norcross, Milton
Key players: Senior wing Zach Graham (Ole Miss), senior point guard Kevin Anderson (Richmond), senior forward Cameron Heyward (Ohio State-football), senior forward Bassy Inameti (Tennessee Tech), senior wing Sidney Haynes (UCF-football)
Notes: Riding high off of the emotion of beating Norcross, Peachtree Ridge put itself into position to have an easier road to Gwinnett County. Maintaining focus and staying in team mode will be the answer for the Lions in the post-season. Can they pull off a Florida and win both football (sort of) and basketball? We’ll know in five games. Ties don’t exist in basketball like they do on Georgia’s gridiron.

Centennial (22-4)
Region 8 tournament champs
Quality wins: Chattahoochee (three times), Milton, Druid Hills
Key losses: Wheeler, Richmond Academy, Milton (all three tournament teams)
Key players: Sophomore guard Lorenzo Brown, senior guard Alex Richey, senior post Leonard Carr
Notes: The Knights are riding a 15-game winning streak and are 13-0 since Lorenzo Brown returned to the lineup after missing the first semester because he was academically ineligible. When Richey gets his shot working, watch out. He’s deadly.

Marching to Macon

Every year there are a handful of teams that surprise the state with big wins and deep runs through the bracket. Who will those teams be this year? Two teams, in fact, are not only poised to surprise but could very well finish the season in the Final Four or even the championship.

Don’t sleep on Stephenson (22-6). Led by the dynamic 1-2 punch of B.J. Frazier, a Western Kentucky signee, and Adrien Coleman, one of the bright rising stars in the state’s loaded sophomore class, the Jaguars have a team and a favorable bracket to advance to Gwinnett.

Same goes for Tri-Cities. Omari Forts, one of the best young coaches in the state, has his club playing good basketball despite a tough loss to Mundy’s Mill in the Region 4 championship. Justin Inman, Rashard Wise and Chris Cromartie make for a very good backcourt and can challenge Beach’s size and athleticism in a potential second round game. Defensively, Tri-Cities can lock down a lot of teams on the perimeter as well.

North Cobb may not have a star on its roster like so many other 5A teams but they play as a well-oiled machine and don’t let a lot get to them. They are well-coached and could simply X and O you to a defeat.

Our entire 5A bracket prediction

Winners of the first round: Warner-Robins, Stephenson, Mundy’s Mill, Camden County, Marietta, Chattahoochee, Meadowcreek, Norcross, Beach, Tri-Cities, M.L. King, Newnan, Peachtree Ridge, Parkview, Centennial, North Cobb
Winners of the second round: Stephenson, Mundy’s Mill, Marietta, Norcross, Tri-Cities, M.L. King, Peachtree Ridge, Centennial
Winners of the third round: Stephenson, Norcross, Tri-Cities, Centennial
Winners of the fourth round: Norcross, Tri-Cities
5A champion: Norcross