Who is the next Derrick Favors? What about Nick Jacobs?

South Atlanta's Nick Jacobs (No. 54 jersey) has elevated his game with the departure of Derrick Favors (AJC)

South Atlanta's Nick Jacobs (No. 54 jersey) has elevated his game with the departure of Derrick Favors (AJC)

South Atlanta’s Nick Jacobs says it’s nothing personal against Derrick Favors, his old high school teammate.

With Favors matriculated to Georgia Tech, Jacobs has rapidly developed into one of the state’s elite basketball players this season. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Jacobs averages 22 points and 12 rebounds for South Atlanta, the defending Class AAA champions.

“Derrick is a great player, but he’s gone,” Jacobs said.

Behind the all-star efforts of its junior big man, South Atlanta is making another championship run. The Hornets (28-2) have advanced to the quarterfinals of this weekend’s state playoffs, matching up with Westover (23-4) at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Columbus State.

“Nick has taken on a much larger role this year, he has made big improvements. He’s not even close to the player he was last year,” South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick said.

“Not only did we lose [Favors], but we lost nine out of our top 12 players from last year. Everyone was saying we weren’t going to be any good this year and Nick took it as a personal challenge to make sure our team wouldn’t see much of a drop off.”

Playing in Favors’ shadows last season, Jacobs averaged 8 points and tried to stay out of his teammate’s way.

Woodward Academy coach Anthony Thomas couldn’t believe the difference with Jacobs when the two teams played earlier this season, South Atlanta squeaking out a 58-56 win. While Favors was known for his all-around skills, Jacobs flourishes in the post.

“I think he realized he didn’t have Derrick Favors to fall back on and he’s stepped up big for the team,” Thomas said. “He’s a load in the post area. Once they get the ball to him in his spot, he’s pretty much unstoppable with his size, strength and athleticism.

“Down the stretch in our game, they were lobbing the ball inside to [Jacobs] on every possession and he was cashing in.”

South Atlanta may never have a player as decorated as Favors, who was named national player of the year by Parade Magazine and USA Today, along with winning MVP honors at the McDonald’s All-America game. Nearly every college in country made overtures at toward Favors before he settled on Tech.

“Derrick won national awards. Those don’t come along too often,” Reddick said. “Are we going to have other players that get national attention? Yes, and Nick is one of them.”

Jacobs has already claimed one of Favors’ old awards, winning this season’s Region 4-AAA Player of the Year. Jacobs also has a slew of early scholarship offers, including Virginia Tech, Miami, Tennessee, Xavier, Florida State, South Carolina and Georgia. He has family connections to with Georgia. A cousin David Jacobs played football for the Bulldogs nearly 10 years ago.

What about Tech? The Yellow Jackets haven’t offered and Jacobs doesn’t seem to be concerned.

“It’s a good school, but not a place I can see myself going,” he said.

That would rule out a possible reunion with Favors, who mentored Jacobs at South Atlanta last season. The competitive practices provided the then-sophomore with an inkling glimpse of his potential.

“It was important for Nick,” Reddick said. “It was a chance to go against another big guy every day. There were examples that Derrick gave to Nick to become a better player, almost like a blue print.”

20 comments Add your comment

Martina

March 5th, 2010
6:27 am

Favors hasn’t been the one-and-done hotshot he thought he would be. He needs at least another year in the ACC.

Douglas

March 5th, 2010
7:11 am

Would love to get him at UGA — if UGA can get the cream of the crop of Georigia’s talent, GT will never beat us again.

John

March 5th, 2010
7:50 am

The 6′8 freshman Desmond Ringer #32 with Eagle Landing High

Tech

March 5th, 2010
7:53 am

I’m a Tech season ticket holder and I’ll be the first to admit that UGA is headed in a better direction than GT in basketball.
Between Hewitt or myself, one of us will not be back next year.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

March 5th, 2010
8:00 am

Douglas, don’t think you ave to worry about that as long as Pewitt is still there. He couldn’t beat Georgia (at their lowest) when his team was at their highest since the run to the finals.

Walker, Texas Ranger

March 5th, 2010
8:01 am

I mean have not ave

[...] View original here: Who is the next Derrick Favors? What about Nick Jacobs? | Prep … [...]

TRU

March 5th, 2010
10:40 am

To Martina

If you ever met Favors, you would know that he never thought he was one and done….he’s a very QUIET and humble guy…..its the media and his surroundings that give me all the hype…..he just goes on the court and play ball! Very nice guy!

On “BIG NICK”……well he has been getting better and better by the day….hope he can lead the Hornets to Back to Back State Titles!!!

Eagle 2

March 5th, 2010
10:48 am

Despite whatever kind of season Favors is having at Tech, many draft boards have him rated pretty darn high….many even as a lottery pick. The kid is talented. I saw that first hand his whole career. He is just in a system that doesnt allow him to be the best he can be. The NBA knows talent and IF he leaves he will go high in the draft…but I would love to see him stay another year…I love college bball

[...] Emerging star: A look at South Atlanta’s Nick Jacobs [...]

poof!!!

March 5th, 2010
2:50 pm

Martina, I see you have read this article about a current talented South Atlanta basketball player Nick Jacobs. How did you miss the article about the former South Atlanta and current Georgia Tech basketball player Derrick Favors? If you would quit making false assumptions about certain high profile players, you would find out that Favors is nothing like you want to make him out to be.

Zone3canE

March 6th, 2010
2:23 am

Great article!

FAN

March 6th, 2010
9:28 am

Martina,
How the hell are you? Have you ever played any basketball? This kid has never said anything about one and done, so please keep your opions to yourself. Apparently you’ve never meet this kid, if so you would barely get two words out of him. So, please just keep your mouth CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BuzztheKiller

March 6th, 2010
10:37 am

Dougie- So GT will never beat UGA again huh? Wow, you get your once in a decade victory over Tech and you think its a trend. Back to earth junior. Despite Hewitt, UGA will never catch Tech in basketball. good luck with Ga State though.

EJM

March 7th, 2010
9:21 am

Hes not Favors Westover proved that last night! Lets Go Patroits

Eagle 1

March 7th, 2010
9:46 am

So much for seeing Columbia this year!!!Lmao

ghsa

March 7th, 2010
6:57 pm

If he went to a bigger school he mind contend. Try competing in 5A and see what happens. Play Wheeler, Milton, norcross or any other team that has a better “big man”

3 Straight

March 8th, 2010
7:43 am

Come to http://norcrosshighbasketball.blogspot.com/ to see the video of the Norcross Milton controversy. What is your opinion?

GAPEACH

March 19th, 2010
7:45 pm

@ TRU. Thank you very much. I dont think people realize Derrick Favors true talent. He is an amazing player and WOW what an amazingly nice, polite, intellengent young man. He plays basketball very well. The media for over a decade has put pressure on this man and he handles it like a CHAMP!!! Congrats to Derrick Favors in whatever choice you make. You will be wonderfully blessed no matter where you go!!!

Shevy

August 25th, 2010
11:39 am

He is a Clemson lean and will look good in orange.