Archive for January, 2011

All-class tournament: Who would you pick?

For a couple of years in the 1970s, the GHSA put on a four-team tournament of champions after the traditional state basketball tournament.

For some reason, it was a boys only event. In 1973, Southwest Macon with Norm Nixon beat Southwest Atlanta with Tony Flanagan. Southwest Atlanta won the next year by beating College Park in the final.

What would happen if we had a tournament of champions in 2011? Most of the top teams aren’t afraid to play each other in the regular season. Miller Grove’s boys, the No. 1 team in AAAA, has played and beaten No. 1 Milton of AAAAA and No. 1 Columbia of AAA.

Norcross’ girls beat No. 1 Wesleyan of Class A, and Wesleyan is playing No. 2 Buford of AA later this season.

Is that enough, or would it be a huge event if the state champions played a tournament the weekend after? Who would win?

BOYS

Class AAAAA
1. Milton
2. Wheeler
3. Campbell
4. South Gwinnett
5. Collins Hill
6. North Gwinnett
7. Peachtree Ridge
8. Walton
9. Norcross
10. Newton

Class …

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What would you do about basketball transfers if you were in charge of the GHSA?

It’s yet another season of high school basketball in Georgia, and yet another top crop of basketball players have transferred to other schools.

How do you feel about this issue? Do you think the GHSA should address it in any way? If so, what would you do if you were in charge of the GHSA?

Here’s a great story about the issue in the AJC by Todd Holcomb

Like it or not, the trend of transfers — high-profile players going from one school to another in the off-season — is not slowing in Georgia high school basketball.

There never has been a boys champion in Class AAAAA, which started in 2001, that didn’t have at least one transfer student-athlete in its starting lineup. Now, more girls players are on the move. Defending Class AAAAA champion Norcross has four move-in players who already are making a big difference.

Here are several high-profile transfers — boys and girls — around metro Atlanta who are changing the fortunes of their schools this season:

* Lexie Brown, North …

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Another Atlanta team bids for mythical national championship in high school basketball

Miller Grove High has overtaken Milton as Georgia’s best hope for a mythical national championship this season in high school basketball.

Miller Grove is the two-time defending Class AAAA state champion and coming off the biggest non-playoff achievement in the DeKalb program’s history. Last weekend, Miller Grove won the championship at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., — generally considered the nation’s second-best holiday tournament.

“With the size and depth that Miller Grove has … gosh, it wouldn’t surprise me –if they continue playing the way they have — if they ended up as the mythical national champions,” Columbia High coach Phil McCrary said.

The Beach Ball Classic put Miller Grove on the map, if they weren’t there already. The Wolverines began to turn heads nearly a month ago when they pulled off a 71-61 upset over Milton, leading by as many as 24 points in the second half. It was the first loss for Milton, which began the season ranked No. 1 in several …

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UGA revokes football scholarship offer from WR/DB Zack Witchett, longtime Bulldogs’ commitment (Updated)

UGA coach Mark Richt had eventful day on Wednesday with recruiting. Two UGA recruiting targets picked other schools at the Under Armour All-Star game, while the scholarship of committed WR/DB Zack Witchett of Booker T. Washington was revoked (AJC file)

UGA coach Mark Richt had eventful day on Wednesday with recruiting. Two UGA recruiting targets picked other schools at the Under Armour All-Star game, while the scholarship of longtime UGA commitment Zack Witchett of Booker T. Washington was revoked by the Bulldogs (AJC file)

UGA has revoked the football scholarship offer to Booker T. Washington WR/DB Zack Witchett, who had been committed to the Bulldogs since last summer.

The news was delivered on Wednesday by UGA assistant Tony Ball in telephone calls to Witchett and his high school coach Stanley Pritchett.

“[Ball] said they were going to revoke the offer,” Pritchett said. “They said Georgia couldn’t take a chance on a guy that they didn’t know whether or not he could stay out of trouble and contribute to the team next year.”

Georgia’s decision was made with National Signing Day less than a month away (Feb. 2).

“Yes, I was surprised by the timing,” Pritchett said. “I hadn’t heard from Georgia’s coaches …

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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 …

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Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell — high school legend? Or not quite? You vote

Is Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell worthy of the hype?

  • Yes, the real deal
  • I’m holding off until I see him play a down in college

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Would you say that Isaiah Crowell is a LEGEND of Georgia high school football?

This is not about Crowell being one of the most-heavily recruited college prospects out of Georgia. That’s already a given. UGA and Alabama fans — along with Crowell himself — think he may be the “next Marcus Lattimore.”

But that’s next season. We’re talking about this season. Was he one of the greatest football players — while in high school — from Georgia?

Crowell never did lead Carver-Columbus to the state championship, as many expected him to do this year. He finished with 1,721 yards rushing on 147 carries and 18 TDs as a senior. In his last game, Crowell was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting the Calhoun crowd after a long TD run was called back due to a penalty and reportedly seen yelling and …

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Quick hits on some of metro’s top wrestlers

Marist’s Connor Carrier and Hunter Bailey combine to form one of the state’s most dominating duos in high school wrestling.

Carrier has a 19-1 record and 13 pins at 130 pounds, while Bailey has a 26-2 record and 17 pins at 140. The two senior captains are each four-year starters with more than 100 career wins. Carrier ranks No. 1 in Marist history for career pins, while Bailey holds down the No. 2 spot in the same category.

Here’s some more of the area’s top wrestlers:

*Bryson Brindle, Allatoona: The junior has a 26-0 record at 215 pounds, including first place at the McCallie Powerade and Creekview tournaments. Said coach Joe Lanier, “Very coachable kid … he listens to what we tell him and is motivated to improve. Bryson never stepped foot on a wrestling mat before his freshman year and placed fourth in Class AAAA as a sophomore.”

*Jared Hemmings, GAC: The senior has a 28-2 record at 171 lbs., including first-place finishes at Brookwood Invitational and …

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UGA recruiting target gets scholarship offer from Florida Gators

Florida's Billy Donovan wants Miller Grove junior (AJC)

Florida's Billy Donovan wants Miller Grove junior (AJC)

Florida has officially entered the sweepstakes for one of Georgia’s top college prospects. The Gators offered an early scholarship to Miller Grove High forward Brandon Morris, one of the state’s top juniors.

The 6-foot-7, 200-pounder has nearly 10 offers, including UGA, Clemson, Auburn, Florida State and North Carolina State. Morris says he has not had much contact with Georgia Tech.

“I was really surprised and happy about the Florida offer,” Morris said. “I really like the Gators a lot … their style of play. It brightened up my day when my coach told me about that.”

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Georgia flexes its muscles in elite holiday basketball tournaments

Miller Grove High’s Tony Parker was named Tournament MVP while helping the Wolverines win the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The 6-foot-9, 270-pound Parker had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in a 79-58 win over New York’s Boys & Girls School in Friday’s finals.

Earlier in the basketball tournament, Parker set the single-game record with 27 rebounds. The junior has more than 50 scholarship offers, including Duke, along with Georgia Tech and Georgia. “It was another great step for our program,” Miller Grove coach Sharman White said of his 12-0 squad, the two-time defending Class AAAA champions.

Meanwhile, Columbia High’s Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored 24 points while helping the team win the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tenn. The 5-foot-8 point sophomore point guard was the only player to score in double figures for Columbia, which defeated Germany’s Urspring 52-36 in the championship game.

“That was a big-time tournament and one of our …

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First basketball rankings: No. 1 Miller Grove proves itself in Myrtle Beach

There’s on old cliche that says you make your most improvement between the first and second week. That’s the goal in this, the first AJC basketball rankings of the season.

I’m not saying they stink or anything, but with your feedback, they should be impeccable next week. Have at it.

Anyway, how about Miller Grove’s boys? They are No. 3 nationally, per USA Today, and won the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last week. Tony Parker was tournament MVP, averaging 20.3 points and 19.7 rebounds. He had 27 rebounds in one game.

Here’s a wrapup of the c’ship game, a 79-58 victory over Boys & Girls High of New York.

http://www.thesunnews.com/2011/01/01/1897128/miller-grove-champs.html

Miller Grove (12-0) has wins over the No. 1 team in AAAAA (Milton) and AAA (Columbia). Nice to see Georgia’s best going head-to-head.

Speaking of Milton (11-2), the Eagles beat Florida champion Winter Park 75-60 last week at Centennial. Julian Royal had 19 points and Dai-Jon Parker had 18. …

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How to get a college scholarship if you’re an overlooked senior

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

Happy Holidays from The AJC's Michael Carvell

OK, so you’re a high school senior and you want to play college football and you are looking for a football scholarship!
With national signing day just more than two months away, there is plenty of time to do something about it. And you can
do it on your own, without paying thousands of dollars to recruiting services.
All it takes is a little bit of hard work, a lot of determination and about $50. There are numerous stories of seniors who
landed last-minute scholarship offers after taking some initiative. Consider:
St. Louis Rams safety Corey Chavous had only one offer (Wofford) two months before signing day during his senior year
at Silver Bluff (S.C.) High. Chavous mailed out 10 highlight tapes and got 10 offers. He signed with Vanderbilt and is
finishing his 10th year in the NFL.
Auburn wide receiver Robert Dunn didn’t mail out highlight tapes until late December of his senior year at Laney High of
Augusta. He held off …

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