State’s best player: Let’s start with Harrow

My colleague Chip Saye wrote an article a few weeks back on the best college prospects in Georgia.

Jelan Kendrick of Wheeler came out No. 1 among boys. He’s the consensus choice of the recruiting services. I saw Kendrick play for the first time during the Milton-Wheeler game last month, and I can see why Memphis (to which he has signed) is eager to get him on campus.

But is he Georgia’s best player right now? In high school? Kendrick is outstanding, but is his status as the No. 1 recruit built partly on his upside potential? The season is still young. The state playoffs might decide that.

But here are is my choice: Ryan Harrow. Let these videos speak for the Walton point guard:

Ryan Harrow I

Ryan Harrow II

Another guy I like is Marcus Thornton Click on Marcus for some of his highlights. Not only a great talent (6-7 forward averaging 27 ppg), but a great student. Can’t remember if his coach told me 3.8 or 4.0 GPA.

I’ve seen Harrow, Kendrick and Thornton. I’ve seen the Milton juniors, Scott, Royal and Parker. I’ve seen Jeremy Lamb, Trae Golden and Jershon Cobb.

I’ve not seen the Liberty County guys, Rion Brown or Jordan McRae. I’ve not seen Kentavious Caldwell, who put up 57 points in a game last week for Greenville.

We’re five weeks away from choosing a Mr. Georgia Basketball. Who’s it gonna be?

And what about the girls? I haven’t seen as many of the top candidates. Never seen Khaalidah Miller of Douglass. I’ve seen Redan’s Nia Evans and Alisha Andrews. Briana Jordan of Norcross a couple of times. Watched Jordan and the Norcross freshman, Diamond DeShields and Kaela Davis, last week.

Meanwhile, we got rankings. Milton plays Centennial twice this week. … Whitefield loses a second game, but we stubbornly keep the Wolfpack at No. 1 in Class AA. Wilkinson is undefeated but struggled a bit last week. …

BOYS

Class AAAAA

1. Milton
2. Westlake
3. Centennial
4. Wheeler
5. Norcross
6. Walton
7. Meadowcreek
8. McEachern
9. Central Gwinnett
10. Groves

Class AAAA

1. Rockdale County
2. Miller Grove
3. Richmond Academy
4. Fayette County
5. Hillgrove
6. Chamblee
7. Bainbridge
8. North Clayton
9. Lithia Springs
10. Statesboro

Class AAA

1. Columbia
2. Monroe
3. LaGrange
4. Elbert County
5. South Atlanta
6. Dunwoody
7. Liberty County
8. Washington County
9. Hart County
10. Westover

Class AA

1. Greater Atlanta Christian
2. Northeast-Macon
3. Laney
4. Blessed Trinity
5. Thomasville
6. Decatur
7. Dublin
8. Dade County
9. Jefferson
10. McIntosh County Academy

Class A

1. Whtefield Academy
2. Wilkinson County
3. Wesleyan
4. Claxton
5. Wilcox County
6. Lanier County
7. Terrell County
8. Pace Academy
9. Greenville
10. Gordon Lee

GIRLS

Class AAAAA

1. Redan
2. Parkview
3. Mill Creek
4. Norcross
5. Westlake
6. Bradwell Institute
7. Campbell
8. North Cobb
9. McEachern
10. Stephenson

Class AAAA

1. Fayette County
2. Rome
3. Southwest DeKalb
4. Northwest Whitfield
5. Bainbridge
6. Statesboro
7. Mays
8. Osborne
9. Forest Park
10. Douglas County

Class AAA

1. Kendrick
2. Carver-Atlanta
3. Columbia
4. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe
5. Washington County
6. Westover
7. Rutland
8. Pickens
9. Chestatee
10. Liberty County

Class AA

1. Buford
2. Laney
3. Rabun County
4. Vidalia
5. Greater Atlanta Christian
6. Northeast-Macon
7. Henry County
8. Fannin County
9. Dodge County
10. Thomasville

Class A

1. Wesleyan
2. Randolph-Clay
3. Calvary Day
4. Taylor County
5. Paideia
6. Gordon Lee
7. Southwest Atlanta Christian
8. Holy Innocents’
9. Savannah Christian
10. Emanuel County Institute

106 comments Add your comment

W/E

January 31st, 2010
7:01 pm

Why’d you move Wheeler ahead of Norcross? We didn’t play anybody of note this week and Norcross beat maybe the top team out of NC this Saturday. Just saying. Harrow is good, but in their win over Campbell this Friday, he wasn’t dominant- he had 29, but most came on FT’s in the 4th. I don’t think there’s a clear defined #1 player in GA this year. I watched Kentavious Caldwell get shut down by Whitefield in December, also have seen the Milton trio a few times and while they are very good, they aren’t dominatiing. I’m still waiting for Westlake to play a GA team with a similar talent level. Kendrick has been hot lately, but he’s had a few average games. GoldenChild is good, but still needs to mature in terms of in-game conduct.

Devil Lover

January 31st, 2010
7:21 pm

OK TODD….I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOUR RANKINGS THIS WEEK. YOUR RANKINGS APPEAR TO BE DIMINISHING WITH TIME AND THE FACT THAT AJC DOES NOT PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO BASKETBALL. THIS PROVES TO ME THAT YOU DON’T USE ANY RELATIVE AVAILABLE INFORMATION TO AID YOU WITH YOUR DECISION MAKING.

LET ME SHARE SOME RELATIVE AVAILABLE INFORMATION:

*NORCROSS HAS WON 14 GAMES IN A ROW AND IS 17-2

*THEY HAVE PLAYED 6 OUT-OF-STATE TEAMS WON ALL 6 OF WHICH 5 WERE ON THE ROAD

*OF THOSE ,THREE WERE; SCOTT COUNTY, KY (100 NATIONALLY), JEFFERSON NYC (6TH IN THE CITY), AND LAST NIGHT QUALTITY EDUCATION ACADEMY, NC (3RD IN NC, HAS PLAYED 5 TOP 70 TEAMS AND HAD 3 6′10″ PLAYERS-A REAL GOOD TEAM)

*THE GASPORTS COACHES POLL HAS NORCROSS 2ND IN THE STATE

* AVERAGES 67 PTS AND ONLY GIVING UP 53 PTS

* THIS WEEK REVENGED OUR PR LOST BY 17, BEAT MILL CREEK BY 30 AND BEAT A GOOD
QEA, NC BY 2

IF AJC WOULD ONCE AGAIN KEEP UP WITH GA BASKETBALL THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN.

#2 vs #3 Tomorrow

January 31st, 2010
7:23 pm

Hey Todd,

#2 vs #3 in girls 3A tomorrow, Can we get some love in the inner city?

waltonfan40

January 31st, 2010
7:25 pm

All of Harrow’s games can be seen live and on demand on the site: playballyall.com. Ryan isn’t all the way back to playing the way he was before he got sick but he’s getting there. He had 47 in the season opener vs. Creekside and a few games later had 45 at Meadowcreek.

real milton basketball

January 31st, 2010
7:52 pm

Coach Boyd is a lying cheater who has recruited players into Milton!! It is against the rules and is unfair to the homegrown kids!!!!

Unfair

January 31st, 2010
7:55 pm

I agree “real milton basketball”. Over half the team from Milton has been recruited in purely for basketball reasons. These kids all came from schools with good academic standards, like shannon scott and Lovett. The academic hardship crap is bogus!! These kids were recruited by Coach Boyd to play basketball. It is unfair to the homegrown kids and the schools around the region who play by the rules.

Wheeler

January 31st, 2010
8:03 pm

W/E, Wheeler moved ahead of Norcross cause they beat Milton!!!

H.S. Coach

January 31st, 2010
8:04 pm

If you want someone to blame for Milton’s success then look no further than the AAU coach. He’s the one who does the recruiting form them. In fact it’s usually an AAU coach who gets top recruits to transfer to another school.

Devil Lover

January 31st, 2010
8:42 pm

HEY TODD…HERE IS SOME MORE RELATIVE AVAILABLE INFORMATION AS PER MAXPREP:

SCHOOL NATIONAL RANKING
MILTON 30
WESTLAKE 150
NORCROSS 183
WHEELER 293
CENTENNIAL 449
WALTON 1180

W/E

January 31st, 2010
8:44 pm

True on that, but wan’t Norcross ranked ahead of Wheeler last week, I’m just trying to distinguish what moves Wheeler ahead of them this past week.

Pope UGA XXIII

January 31st, 2010
8:50 pm

Newton is not even ranked in AAAAA ??
……………..at 19 – 1 ???
Give me a break,please !!

Ralph Macchio

January 31st, 2010
8:51 pm

Can’t imagine a real pole without the Newton Boys/Girls in the top 10…I know you don’t get out east much, but they may have the best two teams in the state. give them a look this week when you can.

Eastside Jacket

January 31st, 2010
9:00 pm

I’m with the others above. How do you keep a 19-1 Newton squad completely out of your Top 10 ???

wheelerfan

January 31st, 2010
9:27 pm

i will admit that harrow is the better high school player. hes an electrifying player who can deffinetly fill it up every night and when i saw him play last week at wheeler, i was very impressed.

but jelan kendrick makes for a better future prospect. hes very smooth and has great length which he uses to his advantage. there have been few defenders who can stop him when he goes to the basket. also he is much bigger than harrow which will make the transition from highschool to college to NBA much easier.

Harrow will be a great player too, but i think it will take longer for him to adjust from high school defense to ACC colegiate defenses

Devil Lover

January 31st, 2010
9:35 pm

HEY TODD…HERE IS SOME MORE RELATIVE AVAILABLE INFORMATION THAT YOU FAILED TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION;

CENTENNIAL HAS LOST 3 GAMES IN 2 WEEKS BUT THEY REMAIN AT 3RD.

wheelerfan

January 31st, 2010
9:45 pm

i agree, there is no way centennial should still remain at the top. so what they beat wheeler and walton. first, wheeler was just figuring out who they were after losing 3 key starters, as well as figuring out how to utilize kendrick. the wheeler team today would crush centennial. second, walton was missing ryan harrow who is their offense.

if those are centennials “key wins” then they havent proved much this season

YOU ARE RIGHT

January 31st, 2010
9:48 pm

Pope UGA XXIII & Ralph Macchio: I see the coaches poll don’t have Newton ranked either. It is easy not to rank them since they haven’t played anybody. There region is way down this year. The only good team they have played was Class AAAA Richmond County and they lost. Until teams in the South region (1-4) start playing and beating good teams, they will never get any respect. Newton just have to worry about beating teams from Region 3-AAAAA in the playoffs and they get to the Final Four, where they will lose against one of the teams from Region 5-8. It’s just the way it is, sorry pal.

question

January 31st, 2010
10:37 pm

is anyone still undefeated?

annoy

January 31st, 2010
10:39 pm

I WILL LOCK DOWN JELAN KENDRICK MYSELF.

Toole

January 31st, 2010
10:41 pm

All of you Atlanta people keep overlooking the Bainbridge boys and girls teams. You will get to see us in the state playoffs. We have the best gil’s player in the state.

random

January 31st, 2010
10:43 pm

those guards on norcross play crazy defense after watching that quality education game. evictor nickerson did a good job on quincy miller. so did josiah moore in the final moments of the game. norcross had key stops. i am looking forward to state. region 6 will have problems scoring onn this tough defense for sure. i mean holding teams to 53 a game? thats good.

Toole

January 31st, 2010
10:45 pm

Girl’s not gil’s. Sorry!

YOU ARE RIGHT

January 31st, 2010
11:01 pm

Toole: Bainbridge back to the Final Four where they will get thumped again to prove they didn’t belong. Hopefully they will meet a lightweight like Forest Park in an early round to save themselves another embarrassment at the Gwinnett Center. NEXT!!!

Legend of Len Barker

January 31st, 2010
11:11 pm

Not my firsthand account, but a very reliable south Georgia source says that the Lanier County boys aren’t nearly as good as advertised. Their sub-region is incredibly weak. They’ve beaten LoHi and Washington County, but those are the only quality wins on the schedule. The only other quality opponent has been Valdosta. They’ve played some middling teams, but none that have any potential to do anything in state.

Girls’ basketball is way down this year across the state. Cross Keys usually is in a class by itself, but this year they have competition. There have been a minimum of 25 games this year where one school has failed to score 10 points. Cross Keys only has five of those. Winder-Barrow won a game last week 13-9, though it was almost exclusively stall ball in the second half.

Bruin 777

January 31st, 2010
11:15 pm

The AAAA girls rankings are a joke. How do you dismiss the 8AAAA girls teams. You will see in the state playoffs. Clarke is 14-3 (11-0 in region). Salem is 18-3 (9-2 in region). Madison County 17-5 (10-2 in region). Loganville 12-8 (9 – 3 in region and they may have played one of the tooughest 4 AAAA schedules in the state if not they toughest.

Fayette C, SW Dekalb, Rome, NW Whitfield, Mays, Osbourne, Douglas I can see. However, FP, Bainbridge, and Statesboro don’t have a chance to beat any of the top four teams from region 5,6,7,8 come state playoff time. This is why Bainbridge or whomever will get wrecked in the final four. Also, why the state play off format needs to change.

Egriff912

January 31st, 2010
11:33 pm

Groves is the best school in AAAAA. Watch you see when we win the championship!Savannah schools always go to the championship.

wheelerfan

January 31st, 2010
11:37 pm

ya, because savannah schools never have to play anyone good until the championship

YOU ARE RIGHT

January 31st, 2010
11:55 pm

Egriff912: LMAO on that post. A Savannah school hasn’t won a state title since 1998. Teams from Savannah are still living in the past. So where are these Savannah teams that always go to the championships.
Two years ago top-ranked Savannah played Mundy’s Mill (Who?) in a regular season game and lost. We will send one of our lightweights from Region 2 and 4 to take care of the Region 3-AAAAA pretenders. Heck, Newton would be king of the hoops in Savannah.
Please say something else to make me laugh.

Bearman

February 1st, 2010
12:00 am

Todd,
Like football, they are on your back! Why?
Because you & ajc don’t get your facts correct. You go by
records and not schedule. A lot teams do play good national teams.
You need to also cover more gisa teams, like Arlington Christian high school.

Cobb Hoops

February 1st, 2010
12:20 am

I played and have been watching Cobb hoops for a decade plus. It’s the best hoops around. I’ve seen all the great ones come in and be dominant forces. I have never seen a player like Harrow. He is the only one I would pay to watch. His ball handling skills are off the charts (helps to have hot sauces coach) and every game he does something electrifying. It’s amazing to see considering his small size. NC State will be one to watch next year with Harrow, Brown, and if they get the next KG, Leslie. That’s some freshman class. I would definietly try to get to Walton’s games to watch Harrow in action. Check out Harrow on youtube, easy to see what he can be considered the best in the state. I’ve seen Kendrick play and I have NOT been impressed. he isn’t smooth at all.

However, if Walton had a better coach, Walton could be a great time, right now, they are good, and even that is a stretch. There is no clear cut offense, their fundamentals and lack of leadership all point to the coach. Ryan will throw the ball off the backboard in games for dunks. Seriously?? The old Walton coach, Wilson would sit him for the rest of the game. The game Ryan fanited against Milton Walton was down 30 points with 2 minutes left in the game. He was obviously sick from the start of the game. Coach Goyis still has him in the game, down 30 in the 4th and he faints. Are you kidding me?!?

Fin

February 1st, 2010
3:55 am

@Cobb Hoops…if you have been around watching Cobb hoops for a decade plus, then you ought to be ashamed of yourself for saying that you have never seen a player like Harrow. Think about players like DA Layne, Antwuan Dixon, Ezra Williams, Dequan Jones…just to name a few. I like Harrow too, I can’t wait to see him @ NC State w/ Richard Howell (Wheeler class of 08).

With that being said…I don’t see any school outside of the Region 6 out of 5A winning state. Those teams are SO dominant!!

Region 6

February 1st, 2010
7:30 am

After this week, the rankings will should shake up even more. Tuesday, Milton plays at Centennial with the regions #1 seed on the line. Milton is down 1 game and is in a must win situation.
W/E – Westlake has played at least one good team in GA and beat Centennial by 1 at GA State. Centennial had a chance to win but missed at the buzzer.

roswellbasketballfan

February 1st, 2010
8:00 am

You haters of coach Boyd at Milton should move your kids into the Roswell district and allow them to play for coach Ty Phillips at Roswell. Maybe then your “home grown kids” will be happy. Roswell basketball won 2 games this year against lower classification schools and are awful. Stop making excuses…if your kids were very good and could play, they would be playing. Your approach to winning basketball and athletics with “home grownn kids” is a thing of the past. You can compete for state titles like Milton and Centenial or have a 2-17 record like Roswell…..your choice….Roswell appears to have made its choice. They are awful…..but they play “home grown kids”.

Hoops Fan

February 1st, 2010
8:27 am

I agree with Cobb Hoops on both accounts.
No reason to continue to play Ryan in that Milton game the only way Walton had a chance to beat Milton is if Ryan is at 100% so they should have rested him.
Ryan is one of the best guards I have ever seen play in high school and by far the best guard I have seen play since I moved to Atlanta 10 years ago.

ATLChumps

February 1st, 2010
8:58 am

YOU ARE RIGHT is a moron. Basically, you are comparing the entire ATL metro area against one region out of Savannah. Of course there are going to be more teams make it further when you are comparing multiple regions to just one, but as you so nicely pointed out no one from Savannah has one it all since 1998. But you are incorrect when you say that region 3 AAAAA has done nothing since.
2001 Savannah High lost in the Championship
2003 Savannah High lost in Semi’s to champion
2004 Beach High lost in Semi’s to champion
2006 Beach High lost in Championship game
2008 Savannah High lost in Semi’s

Get your facts straight before you talk b/c obviously you know nothing about basketball. The teams that come out of this region give the ATL teams all they can handle. These teams also do it as a team and without any glorified star players like all of these ATL teams that are annointed by idiots like you.

Laney @ Vidalia girls game Friday should be a hoot

February 1st, 2010
8:59 am

Good luck Lady Wildcts.

Ozzy

February 1st, 2010
9:06 am

Unfortunately, “High School” basketball has become a fricking joke.

Does anyone really believe Wheeler, Norcross, Milton etc. aren’t recruiting players every year?

It’s now all about “exposure” for the few players with D1 talent, whose parent’s are praying and hoping for that NBA retirement plan.

Give me a break. Leave that crap to the AAU teams and let High School basketball be what it’s meant to be. The Georgia High School Association needs to do something.

hoopsfan

February 1st, 2010
9:06 am

I don’t think people really have the right to be talking about kids being recruited. Until we are actually in the living rooms with those families, we don’t know what is going on. Some people really need to step back and remember THESE ARE HIGH SCHOOL KIDS. And from what I can tell, they are nice ones too. They haven’t done anything to any of us on here. All they have done is put Georgia on the map nationally. When you were in high school, how would you feel about all of these adults just trying to put you down?

reallyNow?

February 1st, 2010
9:13 am

Unfair, half of the team has been recruited in to play basketball… REALLY? Someone is being a little dramatic. I believe that the majority of milton’s team are your “home grown kids”.

When I was in high school I didn’t make my basketball team… Because I wasn’t one of the best that tried out. Oh well, life goes on.

JD

February 1st, 2010
9:20 am

What has happened to the Lowdnes County girls basketball teams? OK……I know there are schools in ATL & SAV with dominating players, but Libery County has two players that have signed DI schollies already. Liberty County Boys and the Bradwell Girls are teams to beware of come tournament time.

Hoopsfan

February 1st, 2010
9:22 am

Bradwell Institute got beat by Rockdale County girl’s. A team that Salem girl’s beat by almost 40pts this weekend. Surely you don’t believe they are #6 in the state in AAAAA. Yes they have a good record, but do some research Todd.

Decatur 4 Life

February 1st, 2010
10:19 am

ATLChumps

Man what are you smoking? If all you wanted was “moral victories” then that’s just an excuse. Who cares how close you got in the last ten years? Once again getting close only matters in hand grenade throwing and horseshoes, so pardon me if I don’t crown you for almost getting there. I admit Savannah schools have always been very competitive when it comes to high school basketball in GA but that has changed recently even the schools in Albany don’t compete with us anymore. So actually nobody was wrong in saying you haven’t done anything since 1998, you may get close but that’s just a “moral victory”.

YOU ARE RIGHT

February 1st, 2010
10:21 am

ATLChumps : I guess you all like to count morale victories instead of actually wins. You failed to point out that in those times your BELOVED Region 3-AAAAA (just Savannah and Beach by the way) they have lost by an average of 13 points. In 2008 Norcross wasn’t even challenged by Savannah in a 79-46 loss. That’s 33 points. No way a championship game (well, it wasn’t really a game) should be like that. In 2006, Beach was no match for Norcross in a 66-49 game (sorry, that was a game neither). That was a 17-point loss.

But to be fair ATLChump, Beach only lost to South Gwinnett by four in ‘04 and Savannah lost by only seven points in ‘03 and ‘01 they really represented by losing by only two points. As you can see, they played better early in the decade, but since then the gap has widen.

The fact remains, as long as your POWERHOUSE Region 3-AAAAA teams have to go through the weak sisters of Region 1, 2 and 4, you will get to the semifinals. The GHSA should place on representative in each portion of the playoff bracket. We know if that was the case, it would be much like football and an early exit for the Savannah teams. And you all won’t have Camden to save face for that weak region.

Here is some advice, dropped down to Class A, and maybe you can bring back the glory years. Until then, morale victories are all you can hope for.

And that my friend, are some facts from this moron and idiot.

Decatur 4 Life

February 1st, 2010
10:34 am

I’m so tired of hearing all this recruiting mess, every school can’t have a good basketball team. There are schools that traditionally have great programs and that’s the reason kids want to go there, it has nothing to do with a coach asking them to come. Track records speak for themselves, if you have a program known for winning and putting kids into colleges why wouldn’t any player want to be a part of that. The success is what draws kids and if they want to move into that specific area who are you to say that they can’t. If that school excels in academics as well and that kid wants to be a part of that then how can you say that they can’t. If it’s done illegally then I can feel your pain but majority of it is not, it’s just the parents of players that don’t make the team that get upset.

TayTay

February 1st, 2010
10:36 am

Newton County is a joke. PLAY SOMEBODY OUTSIDE REGION 2 WORTH A CRAP!

YOU ARE RIGHT

February 1st, 2010
10:37 am

Decatur 4 Life: Amen, Amen.

Speedygurl

February 1st, 2010
10:58 am

You’re so RIGHT about Milton. Not sure how they do what they do. Parents, school coaches, principals, AAU are ALL down with it.

Anyway….bring it on Wheeler!!! Get it done!

Hoops Fan

February 1st, 2010
11:14 am

People move all the time to give their kid the best opportunity to succeed be it to a better academic school or a school with a great basketball program. Not sure why everyone gets so angry about this. If your kid can not make the Milton team move to a school district where he will have a chance to play if that is so important to you. Look at the top ten teams in USATODAY high school rankings they all recruit. They are training grounds for D1 basketball players just like Wheeler Magnet is a training ground for Georgia Tech engineers. Should I be all upset because there robotics team wins the national title. I look forward to games like Norcross against Milton or Wheeler against Westlake. Not too excited about Parkview against Roswell unless it is football.

Taylor Wooten

February 1st, 2010
11:22 am

well…yet more Atlanta BS in the basketball rankings. Too bad you Gay Capitol types dont make it down to South Georgia to see some games. does holcomb ever leave his home office?

YOU ARE RIGHT

February 1st, 2010
11:49 am

Taylor Wooten: We could send our lightweight teams Newton, Campbell, Pope, Kell, Collins Hill and Mill Creek to play in Region 1-AAAAA and 3-AAAAA and they would look like powerhouses against that weak competition down there.

JD: Liberty County boys and Bradwell girls will fade in the playoffs like they typically do. Don’t matter who is wearing those uniforms, they don’t face in real competition until the playoffs. They would be just another team in the Metro ATL area. They need to start testing the waters during the regular season so they won’t be overwhelmed come the playoffs.

Todd: I see you throw them a bone with Groves in the rankings. The Rebels have a pretty record, but they lost to an average Meadowcreek by 15 points. Says her Groves probably won’t make out the region and definitely no further than the second round. When Groves doesn’t make out the region, the fine folks in Region 3-AAAAA will be telling us that’s because our region is so strong and there is a lot of parity in the region. BS!!! It’s weak and so is Groves. Next week, put Campbell in there, at least they did beat Wheeler.