Friday, January 25, 2008

5-AAA is the top region in Georgia basketball

After two weeks of counting down the top regions in the state, we have come to the final region. There isn't a more talented group in the state than 5-AAA. The region features the best player in the state in South Atlanta's Derrick Favors, the state's best overall dynasty in Dunwoody and the state's biggest surprise in Blessed Trinity.

1. 5-AAA

Power teams: South Atlanta, featuring the best player in the state in junior Derrick Favors, is coming together as a collective whole at the right time. The Hornets learned a lot about themselves in Charlotte at the Bojangles Shootout when Favors was out with fouls and came back against Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln and overcame a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter as well as a huge double overtime win over Campbell Hall (Calif.) at UCLA. There isn't a team in the state that can stop Favors.

Dunwoody has one of the best starting five in the state and one of the hardest players to defend in the nation in Chris Singleton. The core of the team has tasted state championship success. The Wildcats are coming together at the right time and will be a scary, scary team down the stretch. Scott Bracco has his team playing tough basketball right now.

Blessed Trinity, the biggest surprise team in the state, beat Dunwoody on the road to spring board the team into the season. The Titans have a favorable schedule ahead of them and a well-balanced attack that seems to be ready for anything. The guard play is great and there is just enough size at the center spot and just enough athleticism at the power forward position to make some noise deep into the playoffs.

Sleepers: Chamblee, Riverwood, Druid Hills

Notes: There isn't a deeper and stronger region in the state than this one. There are three legitimate state championship contenders and three other teams that could pull a surprise. With the region split into two divisions, teams like Dunwoody, Blessed Trinity, Chamblee, Riverwood and Druid Hills will all be fighting for the two playoff spots.

Random thoughts: I worry that Blessed Trinity's light schedule may hurt them come tournament time. However, in the biggest tests this year, BT has shined in the challenges. Both South Atlanta and Dunwoody are gaining steam as the season rolls along.

Don't sleep on Chamblee. Brandon O'Brien and Brandon Armstrong are two of the top sleepers in Atlanta.

There might not be a better potential match-up in the state when the region tournament comes around, pairing Favors and Singleton together in the championship game if all works out.

Playoff projection: South Atlanta, Dunwoody, Blessed Trinity and Druid Hills

Counting down the regions

2. 6-AAAA

3. 6-AAAAA

4. 4-AAAAA

5. 2-AAAA

6. 2-AAAAA

7. 5-AAAA

8. 2-AAAA

9. 5-AAAAA

10. 6-AA