Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up

The Georgia Hoops family vehicle logged some serious miles this week and overpaid for gas too many times to count in our first full week of work in the Peach State. But it was worth is as we saw a number of games, enjoyed great basketball conversations and saw the state at it's most beautiful time.

What we learned

The first games of the year are always ugly. Each game we saw had a number of turnovers, bad shots and poor officiating.


Lorenzo Brown stepped up in a big way in an ugly win for Centennial over Whitefield Academy on Saturday night. The junior had a solid game across the board, posting 17 points (6-9 FG, 1-1 from 3, 4-4 FT), 6 steals, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in the 51-43 win.

Centennial has the pieces of the puzzle now it is a matter of putting it all together. Key returnees Robby Johnson and Alex Coxworth combined for three of 22 shooting from the floor. They need more from them in order to win ball games. The same goes for Patrick Moynihan.


Wheeler has a load of talent but this might be a team that will be hard to really figure out until January. The talent is there. No question about. Dequan Jones and Phil Taylor are the only two players that know what Doug Lipscomb wants from his players.

Ari Stewart has plenty of talent but grasping the Xs and Os of the game is his key to playing time. He didn't play the second quarter of the Whitefield scrimmage. Richard Howell is the team's meat and potatoes guy inside. When he goes from the paint to the perimeter, he also goes from 6-7 to 6-1. Wheeler needs him to be 6-7.

Tahj Tate could be the X-factor. The South Carolina move-in is good and on the bubble or really good.


The price of playing top level teams will pay off for Whitefield Academy. Remember, Georgia Tech made it to the National Championship game with 10 losses. The Wolfpack has a great big man in Colin Reddick (who struggled with fouls against Centennial and was a non-factor) and guard Brandon Reed. Don't write them off despite a tough loss on Saturday and a defeat in a scrimmage against Wheeler.


The Derrick Favors-Kenny Hall match-up was a disaster. We're calling a mulligan on that one. It was ugly but sophomore guard LaTerrence Carter put his name on the map in a big way for Redan. We loved what he did in the game against South Atlanta.


Outside of Carter, the second best sleeper of the week was Sandy Creek guard Malcolm Jackson. The 6-2 junior is an athletic freak with a great pull-up jumper. He scored 17 points in a loss to South Cobb. He's a college prospect, without question and could be one of the top guards south of I-20.


Always double check your Mapquest directions and your final destination. If you are planning on going to South Forsyth, look that up. Not North Forsyth. Georgia Hoops had a great tour of Forsyth County on Saturday morning.


You can not beat the hospitality room at the Parkview Thanksgiving tournament. They embody the word there.


The first college coach that we saw in Georgia was Tennessee Tech assistant coach Russ Willemsen. He was all over the place on Saturday, logging even more miles than us. New Reinhardt head coach Jeff Pourchier was the second. We bumped into him at the Parkview tournament.

Week 1 Superlatives

Top player of the week: Lorenzo Brown, PG, Centennial

Top senior of the week: Dequan Jones, SF, Wheeler (MIAMI)

Top unsigned senior of the week: Jacob Pettway, PF, South Cobb

Top junior of the week: Lorenzo Brown, PG, Centennial

Top junior sleeper of the week: Tahj Tate, PG/SG, Wheeler

Top sophomore of the week: LaTerrence Carter, PG, Redan

Top sophomore sleeper of the week: Robert Sampson, SF/PF, Northview

Top freshman of the week: Kenard Bateman, PF, Whitefield Academy

Georgia teams evaluated to date this season

15 – Centennial, Decatur, Dominion Christian, East Coweta, Heirway Academy, Marist, Mill Creek, Northview, Redan, Riverdale, Sandy Creek, South Atlanta, South Cobb, Wheeler, Whitefield Academy (twice)

Total games: eight

On tap for next week

Nov. 20 – Collins Hill at Milton

Nov. 21 – Dekalb County Holiday Classic - Columbia vs. McNair (11:30 a.m. at Lithonia HS), Chamblee vs. Stephenson (4:00 p.m. at Miller Grove HS), Druid Hills at Miller Grove, 7 p.m.

Nov. 23-24 – Texas Hoops Jamboree; Houston, Texas