Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up, Vol. 2

What we learned

If you have a chance next year to spend a day at the Dekalb County Thanksgiving tournament, do so. Dekalb County does a great job of supporting its athletics. The information is always accurate and up to date. The drive between Lithonia and Miller Grove is quick and easy. Miller Grove's gym is one of the nicest in the city, too.

I'm all for making a buck but charging for parking at the tournament is a bit, well, unthankful in a time for Thanksgiving. And I'm thankful for free parking.


After watching Columbia for the first time this year, I'll be the first to admit that I have them under-ranked at eighth in the state in our top 20 power poll (which will be updated next week). Coach Phil McCrary has a team that could do some damage this year. They are too big, too athletic and too experienced not to.

Columbia senior Travis Leslie is the state's most explosive athlete. He is a clone of former Georgia Tech star Isma'il Muhammad.


Collins Hill could be a team that will do some damage this year in Gwinnett County. Junior big man Jeremy Olsen had a great game against Milton last Tuesday. He stepped up to the challenge. He's coming into his own and his confidence is growing. A cool double-double in front of Utah assistant coach Jeff Smith was impressive.


David Boyd told us about a freshman he had five years when he was the head coach at Riverdale. We saw the rookie in his first game, liked what we saw and now he's at Georgia Tech. His name is Gani Lawal.

A couple of weeks ago, Boyd told us about a freshman he had at his new gig at Milton. We saw the 6-7 skinny forward in his first high school game and liked what we saw. His name? Julian Royal. And I think he was better than Lawal at this stage of the game.


I'll say it one more time: Adrien Coleman will lead Dekalb County in scoring this year. The 6-3 junior put up 31 points in front of us and he helped his Stephenson club pick up a big win over Chamblee. Coleman is a blur to the basket and does a great job of getting to the foul line more than 10 times a game.


Chamblee has had a rough start this year, going 1-2 in its first three games. Don't worry about it. They'll be a state playoff team this year. They have the talent. Working out the kinks now is important. Brandon O'Brien is a big time athlete that will contend for top honors in the athleticism department in his county.

Sophomore guard Chris Grier has a chance to be one of the top players in his class in the city over the next three years.


I've seen Centennial's Lorenzo Brown and Miller Grove's Mfon Udofia once already this year. I have Udofia atop my point guard power rankings and he won't be moving after seeing them both in action. Udofia has a lot of Javaris Crittenton in his game. And those that know me, know how much I loved Crittenton's game when he was at SACA.

Brown has more weapons around him and it will be interesting to see how he raises the level of play of those around him. A Centennial-Miller Grove match-up is in our fantasy top five games that won't happen this year.


Get ready for a battle on Saturday as McEachern and Wheeler square off. This will be a fun one. I've already seen Wheeler this year and they will be tough to contend. The match-up between Tahj Tate (Wheeler) and Trae Golden (McEachern) will be fun to watch. Keep an eye out for McEachern forward Kadeem Batts, too. He moved to Atlanta from the Boston area over the summer. The 6-7 junior could use this as his season spring board.


After spending a weekend in Texas for a 14 games, it was clear to me that Georgia and the Atlanta area is clearly one of the best cities for hoops. Not that that was ever a question. It was just more evident being away from our lovely city.

Week 2 Superlatives

Top player of the week: Travis Leslie, SF, Columbia

Top senior of the week: Travis Leslie, SF, Columbia

Top unsigned senior of the week: Brandon O'Brien, SF/PF, Chamblee

Top junior of the week: Mfon Udofia, PG, Miller Grove

Top sophomore of the week: Jershon Cobb, SG, Columbia

Top freshman of the week: Julian Royal, PF, Milton

Georgia teams evaluated to date this season

23 – Centennial, Chamblee, Collins Hill, Columbia, Decatur, Druid Hills, Dominion Christian, East Coweta, Heirway Academy, Marist, McNair, Mill Creek, Miller Grove, Milton, Northview, Redan, Riverdale, Sandy Creek, South Atlanta, South Cobb, Stephenson, Wheeler, Whitefield Academy (twice)

Total games: 12

On tap for next week

Nov. 27 – Blessed Trinity at Dunwoody

Nov. 30 – Tucker at Miller Grove

Dec. 1 – McEachern at Wheeler

All games are tentative.