Miller Grove, Columbia boys get ready for ‘the grind’ of regular season after glorious holidays

What is the biggest challenge with your high school basketball team making the transition from playing against nationally-ranked teams in holiday tournaments to the regular season?

Columbia coach Phil McCrary: The biggest thing is keeping the kids motivated to being able to compete on that higher level. When you go to these big-time tournaments, you’ve got to compete at the highest level or you’re going to lose. You’ve got to be at your best every game there, and you can’t afford a letdown. When you come back, you worry about a letdown, and playing down to the level of some of your competition. Now what we have to do is keep the motivated to playing at that high level against all teams. You’ve got to let them know there is still a lot of room for improvement. You set goals for the next game only and don’t look past anyone.

Miller Grove coach Sharman White: I think the No. 1 thing is being able to carry the momentum forward from playing well in your holiday tournament. You use it as a stepping stone for the second half of the season. You’ve got to look at the holiday tournament as part of your team’s journey for season but not the end or peak of that journey. There’s still the rest of the regular season, and that’s where the grind kicks in. There will be an adjustment period for where the real work begins. We’re trying to get back to Gwinnett Arena [for the state finals]. We’ve got to draw back on our experiences from the first half of the season to get there. That’s the way we look at it.

[Note: Miller Grove, the two-time defending Class AAAA state champion, won the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Columbia High, the reigning Class AAA state champion, won the Arby's Classic in Bristol, Tenn.]

  • Please click here for the AJC’s latest news on FOOTBALL and BASKETBALL … and scroll down the page.
  • Follow the AJC’s coverage of Georgia top high school teams and prospects, led by Michael Carvell, on FACEBOOK … and Twitter

12 comments Add your comment


January 5th, 2011
10:54 pm

Good write up and pub for 2 EXCELLENT DeKalb County B-Ball programs….keep up the good work guys and good luck in the second half of the season!!


January 6th, 2011
9:34 am

Two good programs, I saw them play each other earlier this year great game. Columbia has a soph point guard who is a beast. TXDawg does the TX stand for Texas?


January 6th, 2011
9:52 am

Great write up, please!!! From two of the biggest cheaters in Dekab County. Since when do we celebrate dishonesty over hard working coaches that do the right thing. So I may get some hate, but whatever. Everyone know the truth, but scared to say anything. High School sports has turned into this. Man, please.I go to games of true coaches that never get press and really coach the right way. So let the comments begin!!!


January 6th, 2011
10:23 am

Coach. You sound like a bitter man!!!! Who are these true coaches that never get press? I bet they never get kids into college and they lose all the time. Win ballgames and you will get press.And please explain how they are cheaters!!!!!

Metro ATL bball

January 6th, 2011
11:46 am

COACH.. Please give details. Who is cheating. For starter’s Columbia has been a perrenial state contender since the early 2000’s. Dr. Phil McCrary has been in the game over 30 years and has a dynamic physical style, matched with dynamic athleticism. Miller Grove has emerged into the new basketball Mecca. Coach Sharman White started his program with a point guard by the name of Mfon Udofia and developed players through a great Junior Varsity system. Outside of Tony Parker and Udofia, who developed through a rigorous work ethic-95 percent of the players started out on Junior Varsity; the same for Columbia. Recruiting has always been prevelent in high school sports since the 1960’s.. At the end of the day it is all about coaching. I have seen teams that were stacked, but lacked coaching. Sometimes it’s about the X’s and O’s and not the Jimmy’s and Joe’s.


January 6th, 2011
3:45 pm

Thank you Metro Atl bball & pjbrave! You said exactly what i was thinking. COACH sounds bitter and ignorant, poor thing is all I can say


January 6th, 2011
9:43 pm

coac I will help u. Sound like we got some people that are fans of thoses coaches. But you know whatsup. Tony played at stepenson, then redan middle. Those other players never went to miller grove middle. I mean you know the facs. Mfon was legit, but other players are from redan, salem, and stephenson middle. So there u go. And CHS been recruiting for 30 years. let’s see salem middle, redan middle. Oh how many games have columbia middle won. Ok there’s your facts. Even coaches from tennesse knoww about this. Why did the coach get suspended if he ran a clean program. 95% is such a terrible number. How about 30%.


January 6th, 2011
9:53 pm

Ok, bitter and ignorant. Please got the education and experience to back mines up. I am not wanna be aau coach or a part time father that only believes in supporting my son through sports. So drop the name calling. I am looking out for all the kids that play for their middle school team and come up through the feeder system. But will never get a chance to play for their school because coaches or student athlete or (athlete) students are bringing in 4 or 5 transfers. If they are such great coaches why not really develop your team and not practice year round. So go coach your aau team and stop being 35 and up walking around with your pants down. I mean ATL men sagging is not for you!! This is a blog, so more importantly let’s try to fix things instead of trying to call name. I think you u read my comment you see I name names. Education is important


January 7th, 2011
10:36 am

jamal: difficult to follow everything you are saying (grammar), but ok. coach: get over it and stop being so bitter.


January 7th, 2011
11:04 pm

i am over it, guess i struck a nerve. Open your eyes. u go to new birth or a follower of te school. Too funny


January 7th, 2011
11:04 pm

its a blog,stop being a groupie dst3


January 11th, 2011
6:17 pm

??? please! once again, you’re bitter! move on and stop being a