Friday, November 30, 2007

Wild weekend tips season off strong

The power poll is about to have a major face lift on Monday. There are a number of games that will have major implications to the poll as a number of top 20 teams in the state have important games.

The season is now officially under way this weekend and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top after Friday and Saturday's games. Here is a look at the top 10 games in the state this weekend.

Cobb County is looking like the place to be on Saturday.

No. 7 McEachern (0-1) at No. 1 Wheeler (0-0), Sat. 5:30 p.m.

The line is already starting form around Doug Lipscomb Gymnasium for Saturday's contest. Okay, maybe not just yet but you better get there early. This is our game of the week and Georgia Hoops will be there for the match-up. There will be at least nine Division I prospects in this game. The match-up to watch will be between McEachern's star sophomore and the stop shooting guard in the state Trae Golden and Wheeler's Tahj Tate, a junior move-in from South Carolina.

Georgia Hoops pick: Wheeler

No. 10 Tucker (0-0) at No. 15 Miller Grove (3-0), Sat. 6:30 p.m.

No one is hotter outside of the top 10 than Miller Grove. The Wolverines won the Dekalb County Thanksgiving tournament and Mfon Udofia is playing as good of ball as anyone in the state. Tucker, winner's of last year's AAAA crown, tip the season off officially on Saturday. Keep an eye out for Manny Atkins. He could go for 30 or more in this one.

Georgia Hoops pick: Miller Grove

Creekside (1-1) at No. 16 Fayette County (3-1), Fri. 8:30 p.m.

Two of the state's best scorers will be featured in this game. Creekside has a major scorer in the state's biggest sleeper and one of it's best senior scorers in Kevin Murphy. Fayette County has junior Noel Johnson, who is coming off a 42 point game on Tuesday.

Georgia Hoops pick: Fayette County

No. 6 Whitefield Academy (0-1) at No. 9 Marietta (1-1), Sat. 7:30 p.m.

Both teams are hungry after early season losses and this one should be an exciting one. Both teams should be full strength with the football season over and it will be interesting to see how well the point guards take over their teams.

Georgia Hoops pick: Whitefield Academy

No. 19 Meadowcreek at Beach (2-1), Sat. 7:30 p.m.

This game had a lot more umph to it last year. This year it is more of an early season test for both programs. Beach isn't the Beach from last season. The same goes for Meadowcreek. Beach has a big test the night before against Liberty County, one of the sleepers in the state.

Georgia Hoops pick: Meadowcreek

No. 20 East Hall (1-0) at Flowery Branch (3-0), Fri. 8 p.m.

This might be one of the best games in Hall County this year. East Hall is no stranger to the spotlight. Joe Dix has a full rotation of players and loves to keep his men fresh in the game. Flowery Branch is young but a team that has a lot of promise. This could be a great game that few outside of the Gainesville know about.

Georgia Hoops pick: East Hall

Collins Hill (2-0) at No. 4 Norcross (0-0), Sat. 7:30 p.m.

The two-time defending AAAAA state champs start the season off and the state is interested in seeing how well the Blue Devils do without the big three from last year (Gani Lawal, Tony Neysmith and Jordan DeMercy). The state's top senior Al-Farouq Aminu is ready but are the rest of the Blue Devils? Collins Hill is coming off two straight important road wins and big man Jeremy Olsen is off to a hot start.

Georgia Hoops pick: Norcross

North Cobb (2-1) at No. 9 Marietta (1-1), Fri. 7:30 p.m.

Keep an eye on North Cobb. The Warriors are one of the best coached teams in the state and Marietta is trying to find its identity early. Who shows up in this one? We'll see what the Blue Devils are really made out of after this weekend.

Georgia Hoops pick: North Cobb

Chamblee (1-1) at No. 2 Dunwoody (0-1)

Update: This game has been moved to Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. as Chamblee is still in the football playoffs.

East Paulding (1-1) at No. 18 Cherokee (0-0), Sat. 7:30 p.m.

This could be an interesting game. Cherokee starts life without Chris Singleton but Shawn Kemp, Jr., and Ryan Fleming had a big off-season. East Paulding will put up points and are looking to sophomore move-in Vincent Bailey early and often.

Georgia Hoops pick: Cherokee

Notable out of state games

Columbia is traveling to Nashville to play arguably the top team in the Music City, Antioch High School. The team features three players in the state's top 50 senior rankings, including Michael Macadoo.

Wesleyan has a tough road trip in North Carolina this weekend, where the Wolves will face off against the Christ School. Their opponent boasts Miles and Mason Plumlee. The Indiana natives are both skilled 6-10 forwards. Miles is headed to Stanford while Mason is one of the top 100 players in the nation. This will be a great road test for Howard Thompkins, Tanner Smith and the rest of the Wesleyan crew.

Note: All of the rankings for teams are from the preseason power poll. This will be updated on Monday.