Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Return of the Power Poll


Top 20 Power Poll – Jan. 15, 2008

The Power Poll is back after a month out of commission. A number of new teams have cracked the top 20 overall state rankings and a couple of familiar faces remain at the top.

1. Wheeler (14-2)
Notable victories: McEachern 87-78, Centennial 93-64, Walton 81-72, Bishop O'Connell (Va.) 76-70, Boys & Girls (N.Y.) 77-75
Notable losses: Findlay Prep (Nev.) 54-68, Duncanville (Texas) 57-69
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 at Lassiter, Jan. 18 vs. Sprayberry
Last rank: 1
Notes: The Wildcats finished second at the Beach Ball Classic, losing to the nation's second best team Duncanville out of Texas in Dec. While in S.C., senior Dequan Jones looked like a McDonald's All-American and clearly separated himself from the rest of the pack. He's on a roll right now and there isn't a player in the senior class playing with as much confidence as he is right now.

2. Columbia (15-1)
Notable victories: Antioch (TN) 85-62, Miller Grove 82-64, Mays 56-54, LaSalle (Ohio) 65-62, Stone Mountain 70-61, Miller Grove 61-59
Notable loss: Archbishop Carroll (D.C.) 38-43
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 at Tucker, Jan. 18 vs. SW Dekalb
Last rank: 5
Notes:: The Eagles could very easily sit atop the top spot in the state power rankings. Seniors Travis Leslie, Darius Morrow and Kenny Mitchell pose such a problem with their size and strength. The homestretch won't be easy for the AAAA powerhouse but the pumped up national schedule should help them in tournament play.

3. Norcross (13-1)
Notable victories: Collins Hill 76-43, Peachtree Ridge 70-37, Westlake Prep (Fla.) 81-44, Westlake 62-57, Helen Cox (La.) 59-48
Notable loss: Kathleen (Fla.) 45-51
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 at Collins Hill, Jan. 18 at Forsyth Central, Jan. 19 vs. Dillard (Fla.)
Last rank: 4
Notes: The Blue Devils, particularly Al-Farouq Aminu, shined on the nationally-televised game against Helen Cox (La.) last week. Aminu dominated the match-up against Greg Monroe, the nation's top big man and certainly earned some respect with regards to Mr. Georgia Basketball. Florida powerhouse Dillard comes to Georgia this week and Norcross's tremendous defensive attack will be tested.

4. Westlake (15-2)
Notable victories: Creekside 76-61, Fayette County 65-59, IMG (Fla.) 60-55, Riverdale 53-52, Wenonah (Ala.) 45-43, Creekside 79-59
Notable losses: Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) 58-65, Norcross 57-62
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 vs. Woodward Academy, Jan. 19 vs. Arlington Country Day (Fla.) at Norcross
Last rank: 2
Notes: The Lions won the Peach State Classic and Oklahoma bound wing Ray Willis was named tournament MVP. He was also impressive at the Amare Stoudamire Invitational in Florida, where he was one of the top five players in the field. While there, the team met up with Norcross in a tremendous battle between two of the Peach State powers. The Lions lost it 62-57.

5. Savannah (14-0)
Notable victories: Liberty County 88-82 OT, Beach 65-50, Windsor Forest 89-78, Richmond Academy 72-53, Savannah Johnson 89-75, Jonesboro 61-45, Irmo (S.C.) 62-38, Tallahassee Lincoln (Fla.) 87-67, Bradwell Institute 76-69 (OT)
This week's schedule: Jan. 18 vs. Windsor Forest, Jan. 19 vs. Jenkins
Last rank: 20
Notes: Don't look now but the Blue Jackets are rolling. Led by guards Kevin Williams and Norris Rumph, the traditional power is the top team in talent-rich Savannah and will be a contender when the state tournament rolls along.

6. South Atlanta (16-1)
Notable victories: Douglass 83-68, Jeanette (Pa.) 96-57, Lincoln (N.Y.), Southside 85-55, Booker T. Washington (Va.) 90-46
Notable loss: St. Benedicts (N.J.) 43-57
This week's schedule: Jan. 19 vs. Campbell Hall, Calif. (at UCLA)
Last rank: 10
Notes: The Hornets have the best player in the state on the roster in junior center Derrick Favors and letting the big men do what he does best. The only loss came to the nation's top team at the Bojangles tournament in N.C. after Christmas. South Atlanta is beating teams from Georgia by an average of 30 points a game this year.

7. Dunwoody (12-3)
Notable victories: Rome 67-65, Chamblee 78-72 (OT), Scott County (Ky.) 86-65, Jackson (Fla.) 85-61, Lee (Fla.) 78-59
Notable loss: Blessed Trinity 68-73, Pace (Fla.) 67-72, Bishop O'Connell (Va.) 67-69
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 at North Atlanta, Jan. 18 at Chamblee, Jan. 19 vs. American Christian (Pa.) at Norcross
Last rank: 8
Notes: Dunwoody looks to be back on the right track after a couple of tough losses, all of which came within five points or less. The Wildcats have one of the best starting five in the state and can contend with any team from Georgia. The region play is a major test and Scott Bracco and company will have their hands full with Tyreke Evans this Saturday.

8. Miller Grove (12-3)
Notable victories: Redan 51-50, Tucker 70-62, Wesleyan 53-51, Stone Mountain 83-81, Jeannette (Pa.) 76-65
Notable losses: Columbia 64-82, Archbishop Moeller (Ohio) 48-51 (OT), Columbia 59-61
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 vs. Lakeside Deklab, Jan. 18 vs. Washington
Last rank: 6
Notes: Miller Grove head coach Sharman White has a boyish face but look closely at his hair and you'll probably see a lot of gray hair sprouting up. His team likes to keep the games close. For the most part, the Deklab County school gets the win in the end. Guard play is the strength, led by junior Mfon Udofia and Justin Allen.

9. Randolph Clay (17-0)
Notable victories: Eufaula (Ala.) 90-75, Terrell Count 84-79, Eufaula (Ala.) 91-69, Terrell County 74-54, Wilkinson County 79-73
This week's schedule: Jan. 18 vs. Fitzgerald, Jan. 19 at Brooks County
Last rank: NR
Notes: One of the most storied programs in the state continues to win by big margins and knock off the top teams on the schedule. Head coach Joe Williams reached 1,000 wins in midseason.

10. Blessed Trinity (15-0)
Notable victories: Dunwoody 73-68; Marietta 50-35, Chamblee 75-68
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 vs. Riverwood, Jan. 18 vs. Westminster
Last rank: 7
Notes: The Titans have three major victories under their belt and have taken care of every challenge since the start of the year. In order to move up further the power poll and pass Dunwoody, a team they beat on the road, Blessed Trinity will need to rack up more notable victories. So far, so good in that department.

11. Centennial (11-3)
Notable victories: Whitefield Academy 51-43, Craigmont (Tenn.) 81-79 (OT), La Cueva (N.M.) 64-63, Rose Hill Academy (Ky.) 55-53
Notable losses: Wheeler 64-93, Lone Peak (Utah) 57-75, Mason County (Ky.) 57-81
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 at Northview, Jan. 18 vs. Roswell, Jan. 19 vs. Walton
Last rank: 3

12. Lithia Springs (15-1)
Notable victories: Villa Rica 88-80, Alexander 85-67, Newnan 74-58, Pebblebrook 58-55, Hiram 93-74, Decatur 55-54 (OT), Woodland 81-52,
Notable loss: Spartanburg 72-73 (OT)
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 at South Paulding, Jan. 18 vs. Alexander, Jan. 19 at Osborne
Last rank: NR

13. Jordan (16-0)
Notable victories: Shaw 71-69, Northside 74-69
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 vs. Harris County, Jan. 18 vs. LaGrange
Last rank: 12

14. Marietta (14-2)
Notable victories: Campbell 56-45, Harrison 59-53, Kansas City Ruskin (Mo.) 60-55, San Diego (Calif.) 58-46, McEachern 74-58,
Notable losses: Blessed Trinity 35-50, Whitefield Academy 54-66
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 at North Cobb, Jan. 19 vs. Campbell
Last rank: NR

15. Mundy's Mill (14-1)
Notable victories: Shaw 54-51, Druid Hills 67-60, Southwest Atlanta Christian 61-47, Riverdale 70-62, Tri-Cities 54-46, Newnan 76-62
Notable losses: Hiram 64-77
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 at Hiram, Jan. 18 at Tri-Cities, Jan. 19 vs. North Clayton
Last rank: NR

16. Douglass (12-1)
Notable victories: Newton 51-47, Stephenson 75-72, Redan 51-48, Newnan 53-44, Southside 72-49
Notable losses: South Atlanta 68-83
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 vs. Newton, Jan. 18 at Stephenson
Last rank: NR

17. Glenn Hills 13-2
Notable victories: Josey 64-53, Richmond Academy 75-60, Laney 67-52, Laney 69-52, Washington County 43-40 (OT)
Notable losses: North Augusta (S.C.) 47-49, Craigmont (Tenn.) 58-59
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 vs. Butler, Jan. 18 at Harlem, Jan. 19 vs. Hephzibah
Last rank: NR

18. Wesleyan (13-2)
Notable victories: Collins Hill 72-52, Dacula 55-48, Collins Hill 72-52
Notable losses: Christ School (N.C.) 72-74, Miller Grove 51-53
This week's schedule: Jan. 18 vs. Buford, Jan. 19 at GAC
Last rank: 15

19. Hancock Central (14-1)
Notable victories: Washington County 45-41, Washington County 50-37
Notable loss: Wilkinson County 52-64
This week's schedule: Jan. 15 vs. Twiggs County, Jan. 18 vs. Georgia Military, Jan. 19 vs. Wilkinson County
Last rank: NR

20. Appling County (14-1)
Notable victories: Bacon County 66-52, Bacon County 51-36, Long County 69-67 (OT),
Notable loss: Worth County 55-56
This week's schedule: Jan. 18 at Pierce County, Jan. 19 at Charlton County
Last rank: NR