Thursday, December 11, 2008

Notes from my notepad: Dec. 8

I was in Washington D.C. last weekend for a fine event much like the Elite 8 Thanksgiving Classic at Georgia State.

The event was four games a day for two days. What about this idea…how about the state or a third party puts together a Super Saturday series throughout the season that takes on the same idea.

The events are not tournament style. Teams won't have to commit anything other than playing at a neutral venue. Why not have the top games within in region play on the same day at the same location.

The Super Saturday series can rotate through Atlanta, Savannah, Columbus, Augusta, Albany, Macon and NW Georgia. That is 56 teams playing on an eight week tour, highlighting the best the state has to offer.

Sure, it sounds simple. Sure, it sounds like a great idea. Sure, it sounds do-able. That just means it won't happen. But we can dream, can't we?

Here are some observations from last week:

- Dunwoody will have some major growing pains this year. The Wildcats don't have a go-to guy at this point. Javon McKay, an athletic junior, needs to be the closer. Scott Bracco's club is young and they will have their challenges this season.

- Don't sleep on Chamblee. I know I say that every year but this year's team should win their sub-region. Marcus Cowan is a nice pick-up for Tennessee State and juniors Langston Hall and David Mason form a nice 1-2 punch on the wings.

- Single A might be the thinnest it has been for talent since the early 2000s. Hancock Central looks like the clear cut favorite at this point and no one really looks like much of a challenge…yet.

- While playing out of state teams like Coolidge (D.C.) and Dominguez (Calif.) are great challenges for a team like Wheeler, playing teams like Miller Grove or Westlake would be a greater challenge. Not sure why Wheeler would have out of state teams come to Marietta for a single game.

- High school basketball is not the same without my man Derrick Mahone of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution not on the sidelines this year. He is one of the best in the business and hopefully the AJC can see fit to have him back where he is at his best.

- One more quick note, I don't work for! anymore. Yahoo! made 1,500 layoffs yesterday. I was one of those numbers.

Five things I'm buying this week

1. McEachern as a Final Four team. They aren't there yet but the pieces of the puzzle are there for success. With all of the chatter going to other teams in the state, the Indians are quietly doing big work in AAAAA.

2. Hard working paying off. Former Whitefield Academy guard Kelvin McConnell is the second leading scorer for Kennesaw State (5-2) at 12.7 points per game. He is one of the top shooters in the Atlantic Sun (no surprise there). McConnell worked hard to get his body into shape and plays the most minutes of any Owl. That is a big compliment if you know how Tony Ingle runs his team.

3. Groves as a surprise team in the tournament to anyone outside of Savannah. I had a chance to see them on Tuesday night and they have a number of players that can step up and make plays. The team has size, depth, some shooters and good momentum right now. Circle Jan. 9 as the game to watch when Rebels play host to Savannah High. Should be the battle of the top team in my favorite Georgia city.

4. Dublin. The new No. 1 team in AA is quietly enjoying great success. The Irish have been clubbing teams to submission and senior guard Sherrard Brantley is the best shooter in the state no one is talking about. Remember, this team made it to the Final Four last year and won state three years ago. AA is wide open this season, too. The Irish are one of the top seven teams in the state right now.

5. A vacation. I'll be taking one next week until Jan. 3. Lord knows I need some time away right now. Anyone looking for an accomplished sports writer?