Thursday, November 15, 2007

Big men struggle, '10 guard shines in defeat

When two of the top five players in the class of 2009 meet head to head, you tend to get excited. However, after watching a turnover-laden game between South Atlanta and Redan on Wednesday, observers were trying hard to stay awake.

South Atlanta and star big man Derrick Favors held onto a sloppy 44-41 win over Redan and its star big man Kenny Hall.

Favors, the top player in Georgia regardless of class, struggled with foul trouble and constant double teams. The 6-9 center finished with a modest 10 points (3-9 FG), six rebounds and five steals.

Hall, a 6-8 junior, struggled with fouls and Hall finished with three points (1-6 FG, 1-5 FT) and six rebounds.

South Atlanta was up by 17 at the half but scored only eight points in a 12 minute span. Redan rallied thanks in large part to the star of the night LaTerrence Carter, a 5-11 sophomore point guard.

Carter was a jet to the basket, confident with the ball in his hands and the top offensive threat for Redan all night. He scored a game high 25 points, crashed the boards (six rebounds), grabbed three steals and was a menace all over the floor.

There was little secret that the scrimmage gave each team something to think about this week in preparation for the first real game of the year. Guard play, outside of Redan's Carter, was horrendous.

Both teams have talent and developing depth but for now, each club has plenty of room to improve.

What we learned:

South Atlanta

- Favors can't do it on his own. Big men need a guard that can and will feed the post with clean entry passes. South Atlanta don't look like they had one on Wednesday night.

- The usually even-keeled Favors showed some fire on a big block (and foul) and Hall, who was trying to pull off a Greg Oden like attempt from the National Championship game. Favors stepped up the challenge on that one.

- The X-factor for South Atlanta could be DeAndre Robuck this year. After a year in Charlotte, the 6-2 senior is back and proved a spark inside with tough scores and big rebounds. He fills the junkyard dog role nicely.


- LaTerrence Carter is for real. He was the only bright spot all night. We loved his energy and determination. There were times it looked as if he was the only player on the floor for Redan. He was worth the drive alone.

- Hall wanted this game badly and it will be interesting to see how he rebounds in his next game. The big fella has a world of tools to work with and those that saw him for the first time should call for a mulligan on this one. He's much better than that.

- Redan has good depth and good size. Senior forward Leonard Carter provided the team with a spark and was great on the glass. He'll have a number of quality games this season for the Raiders.