Sunday, January 11, 2009

Notes from the Notepad: Jan. 12

Five things I'm buying this week.

1. The youth in Georgia is strong. I had a chance to watch a number of young players within the state this week and I'm impressed by the future of talent within the state. Southwest Dekalb has a trio of young players that have great potential. Sophomore forward Dwight Mikele, a 6-7 combo forward, is a big time prospect. He's long and aggressive as a rebounder and showed a nice shooting touch from the perimeter. It wouldn't surprise me if he emerges as a highly coveted prospect by the high-major programs once teams get a good look at him.

Pebblebrook guard Damien Wilson had a dose of reality when Newnan came to their house on Friday night. Newnan won easily. Wilson, however, showed some good things to come. The 6-4 shooting guard scored a team high 17 points.

Osborne big man Devonte Thornton has put up big numbers so far this season. Foul trouble handcuffed him against Lassiter and his team eventually lost by two points on the road. Thornton, a 6-6 combo forward, is a tweener inside and shows some skill to make the full-time transition to the wing.

Milton's sophomore trio lives up to the hype. No need to add more fuel to the fire. Julian Royal is better because he has Shannon Scott and Dai-Jon Parker now in the lineup.

Another big week on tap for Georgia Hoops and it's quest to find the top underclassmen in the Peach State.

2. The state doesn't have any shooters. Where have they gone? I haven't seen a great shooter in the state yet this year. Lassiter is a good shooting team and that's how the Trojans kept Osborne out of the win column on Saturday and upset, if you want to call it that, Campbell. Hutson Mason, Blaise White, Daniel Garza and Alex Gilmore all played well in the win against Osborne. Gilmore, a 6-5 forward, is a good-looking non-signed senior. White is a big time competitor. When this team shoots, they are tough to defend. Heck, any team that can shoot well is trouble for defenses in the state. Very few are good at it.

3. Newnan. Led by the great play of two-sport star Russell Powell, the Cougars are undefeated and don't appear to be slowing down. Powell scored 29 points when I watched his squad on Friday night at Pebblebrook. He's a jet from end to end, one of the best ball-handlers in the state and a fierce competitor. Remember, Powell was the quarterback for Newnan's semi-final football team. In hoops, he'll have his team at least in the Elite Eight in hoops. Remember, this is the same guy that held Jalen Kendrick of Westlake scoreless. Powell committed to Jacksonville on Sunday and he'll take over for former Dublin point guard Ben Smith, who is having a tremendous career for former Georgia Tech assistant coach Cliff Warren.

4. Class of 2010 is struggling. Where are you guys? Where is the intensity and passion? Few players are playing at a big time level. Trae Golden of McEachern is doing what he does well very well. Jamail Jones of Greenforest is having a great year. Who else? It's time for the juniors to step up.

5. Lorenzo Brown for McDonald's. I'll start the PR for this one. Is there a better player in AAAAA right now than him? He has been unstoppable this season and playing at a level that very few players in the country are playing at.

Scribble notes

- Huge game on Tuesday night in Augusta. Evans (12-1) plays host to Richmond Academy (14-1). It is the biggest game in Region 3-AAAA to date and the best game in Augusta so far this season.

- Here is the slate for the great event at Centennial on Mon., Jan. 19.

10 a.m. Veritas Christian vs. Dunwoody
12 p.m. Columbia vs. Milton
2 p.m. East Hall vs. Norcross
4 p.m. GAC vs. Tucker
6 p.m. Centennial vs. Miller Grove
8 p.m. Walton vs. Whitefield Academy

- Is there a clear cut top team in the state right now? Hard to really say. Here are my top six (in order) in the Peach State regardless of class.

1. South Atlanta
2. McEachern
3. Centennial
4. Miller Grove
5. Columbia
6. Norcross

- Attention players, coaches and parents: If you haven't already joined the Georgia Hoops Facebook page, please feel free to do so. I'll post any updates regarding camps and other notices there. It is an easier way to get the information to you there. Click HERE to access the page.

- Also, there is still plenty of time to submit a question to the mailbag. For more information, click HERE.

- Congrats to coach Don Meyer of Northern State. Coach Meyer earned his 903rd coaching victory on Saturday night, passing Bob Knight for most all-time in NCAA history.