Saturday, November 10, 2007

GA has major fingerprint on college game

J.J. Hickson (left) is now at NC State and Gani Lawal is at Georgia Tech.

The college basketball world knows about Georgia basketball. Just look at the rosters at the Division I level. All but three of the Division I conferences have a Georgia player within it. The Peach State has its fingerprint on the college game with 185 players currently on the roster at the D1 level.

Norcross, Wheeler lead the charge

It shouldn't come as a big surprise that Norcross and Wheeler have developed the most Division I talent of any school in the state. The two programs have combined for five of the last six AAAAA state championships.

Eddie Martin's program has sent eight players to the next level. Last year's class sent Gani Lawal to Georgia Tech, Tony Neysmith to Oklahoma and Jordan DeMercy to Florida State. The year before Jodie Meeks went to Kentucky and Brenton Butler is now at Fordham.

Others in Division I ball from Norcross include Daniel Emerson, who is sitting out a year at Mercer after two years at Western Kentucky. Archie Miaway went to junior college for two years before signing with Auburn. Bryan Bostic is helping Presbyterian make the transition to Division I this year.

Doug Lipscomb's Wheeler has been equally successful with seven players currently playing Division I basketball. Last year's team developed J.J. Hickson who is now a freshman at NC State, guard Adrian Williams went to Brown and Trey Lang, who is now at UMass.

J.T. Tiller and James Florence, graduates of the 2006 class, are now sophomores in college. Tiller is at Missouri and Florence is staring at Mercer.

Providence has enjoyed Sharaud Curry in it's starting lineup since he arrived at the Big East school. The same goes for Richmond and David Gonzalvez.

Rounding out the rest

Columbia, the AAAA powerhouse, is close behind with five players in Division I basketball at the moment. Georgia will lean on Jeremy Price while Georgia Tech is looking to Lance Storrs for perimeter help.

Amu Saaka is now at South Florida while Johntavious Rucker is at Georgia Southern while Jordan Lemons is now at Grambling.

Darron Rodgers has had plenty of success at Westlake. He has watched five players move on to the Division I level, too. Jerome Burney is a sophomore at Maryland. Antoine Johnson is a key member of the Georgia Southern attack.

Furman landed forward Bryson Barnes while Norris Arnold is at Alabama A&M and Patrick Hardy is at Savannah State.

Five schools each have four players currently in Division I basketball. They are: Chattahoochee, Stone Mountain, Tucker, Whitefield Academy and Wilkinson County.

Dunwoody, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge, Savannah, South Gwinnett, Stephenson and Woodland each have three playing in Division I ball.

A total of 127 Georgia high schools are represented in Division I basketball.

Where is the talent going?

There are 185 players from Georgia playing Division I basketball this year. Of those, 71 are in the low-major division, 66 are in the mid-major division and 48 are at the high-major division.


SEC – 20 players

ACC – 15

Big East – 5

Big 12, Pac-10 – 3

Big Ten – 2


Southern – 21 players

CAA – 11

Sun Belt – 10

Conference USA – 8

Atlantic 10 – 7

Mountain West – 3

Missouri Valley, Horizon – 2

Mid-American, WAC – 1


Atlantic Sun – 25 players

Southwestern – 14

Ohio Valley, Independents – 13

Big South – 10

Mid-Eastern – 6

Southland – 4

Metro Atlantic, Patriot – 3

Ivy – 2

America East, Big Sky, Summit – 1

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