Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

Well, January has arrived. We had a heck of a fun year in 2012, with tons of amazing moments, big wins, and thanks for a season’s worth of unseasonably warm Friday nights.

At The List HQ, we can’t stop wondering about what’s in store for 2013 now, though. Who will win state? Who’s going to make history? Will anyone save this column on their computer and point out later how stupid we were? These are all excellent questions.

With the power of some newfound time-machine technology, we’re going to look into the future and tell you our top 10 predictions for the new year, so we can save you the time of actually watching 2013’s sports and you can actually get some stuff done around the house.

10. Changes in Class A football

We don’t think we were the only ones a bit baffled by the new dual-bracket, power rankings-dependent playoff format in Class A this year. The public-private split did its job, but the brackets had to be released later than the other classifications’, and our addled minds struggled to piece it together. With late 2013’s reclassifications, look for some adjustments.

9. Cobb football title drought continues

The 2012 playoffs were pretty painful for the Cobb folks who thought this might be the time to break the infamous 45-year state title-less streak, as hopefuls Lassiter, McEachern and Walton all went out in the first round. North Cobb carried the Cobb flag to the semifinals but couldn’t overcome a lack of steady defense. Stars like Lassiter QB Eddie Printz and Walton RB Tyren Jones are gone. North Cobb will score plenty of points again, but the Cobb drought goes on.

8. Wesleyan girls hoops wins … again

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Wolves have won a state title in five straight years, eight of the past nine and nine of the past 11. The only season in the past nine when they didn’t win, they lost to Greater Atlantic Christian in the final. The roster is still teeming with talent, and they’re off to a 10-1 start. Pencil them in for a 10th title.

7. Watson runs for record

Gainesville QB Deshaun Watson already became just the third quarterback in state history to throw for 4,000 yards, with one more year to go.  He ended up with 4,011, 449 yards shy of the record, set three years ago by Lassiter’s Hutson Mason. Divide that out by 15 games, and Watson may need to up his average by 30 yards per game to catch Mason. He’ll do it.

6. AAU keeps gaining influence

Boys basketball fans often bemoan the outsized influence AAU seems to have on the game, on recruiting, on college hoops, etc. For those who hate it, feel free to skip to No. 5 before we tell you the future: It’s only getting worse. As we see more of the top players continue to coalesce around the same handful of programs, we can pretty safely say there’s no sign of this trend abating. And it’s growing bigger and bigger on the girls side too.

5. Chubb takes the rushing mark

Cedartown’s Nick Chubb already got the regular-season record this year, hitting 2,721 yards, but his team finished 6-4 and didn’t make the playoffs. He won’t let that happen in 2013. The total season record is 3,172. Give him a few more regular-season yards, along with two playoff games, and the record will be his.

4. Columbus baseball wins No. 4

Teams winning three straight titles in baseball has become almost routine the past several decades. Columbus, Wesleyan, Gainesville, Pace Academy, Evans, Harlem, Marist and Americus have all done it since 1964. But only one team in GHSA history has won four straight – the legendary Richmond Academy crew that rolled off seven consecutive titles from 1951-57. Columbus joins them in 2013.

3. Gwinnett rolls in AAAAAA football

Since Brookwood broke the state-title ice for Gwinnett County in 1996, a Gwinnett school has won in the state’s highest classification in nine of 17 seasons. And while Brookwood and Parkview won six of those first seven, Grayson and Norcross have broken through to help give the county three straight crowns. Look for Gwinnett’s hot streak to continue in 2013.

2. Small group dominates boys hoops

Boys basketball has rarely been as consistent and predictable as it is now. In the four highest classifications, only six total teams have won state titles over the past three seasons – Milton and Norcross in AAAAA, Miller Grove in AAAA, Columbus in AAA, GAC and Laney in AA. Now, each team has shifted one classification up, they’re all off to great starts against tough competition, and they’re in position to do it again. Three of these teams will win state titles in 2013.

1. Tony Parker will leave UCLA

The former Miller Grove star picked UCLA over some of the top programs in the country, after leading the Wolverines to four straight basketball titles. Just before Christmas, he tweeted “A lot of (people) told me this wasn’t for me I wish I would’ve listened,” igniting rumors he could be unhappy with averaging just 8.8 minutes per game. He wouldn’t be the first to leave recently, as former teammates Joshua Smith and Tyler Lamb both left a few weeks ago. Parker would have no shortage of options if he left Westwood.

Now we want to know what you think. What are your predictions for 2013? Do you think any of ours have no chance of happening? Will UCLA have any players left by 2014? Let us know in the comments here or on Twitter at @ajcprepsports.

30 comments Add your comment

Rick James

January 2nd, 2013
12:26 pm

Tony Parker will transfer to Georgia but not in time to save Mark Fox’ job..

Stockdog

January 2nd, 2013
12:35 pm

Agree Rick, Parker to transfer, Fox to be fired

Jeff Haws

January 2nd, 2013
12:37 pm

I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if you’re right, Rick.

Sven Ottke

January 2nd, 2013
12:42 pm

Rumor is Memphis or Tech. No one in their right mind would go to Georgia anytime soon.

Chicken Bone

January 2nd, 2013
12:57 pm

Mr. Parker please take a look at Ga. State for an in state option. Coach Hunter is building a program of the future…

Jeff Haws

January 2nd, 2013
12:59 pm

Yeah, I’ve heard the same, Sven. There definitely seems to be an element of him wanting to be closer to home at play here, and both of those certainly qualify. As such, UGA wouldn’t shock me, but Tech may be a better bet for a number of reasons.

No b-ball fan but I do pull for UGA

January 2nd, 2013
1:04 pm

I’m reminded of another unhappy georgia prep who left the the draw of Hollywood only to be disenfranchised, miserable, injured and came back home to UGA. In fact he may be the 1st player taken in the NFL draft. T-bag, are you feel’n me? Come back to Athens.

iSAWit

January 2nd, 2013
1:25 pm

Ask Caldwell Pope about playing at ugay. That program is terrible shape. Why would a big time recruit want to win 10 games a year in front of a half empty arena? Tech’s program is on the rise and with him sitting out a year that could Parker a year to catch up and leave Tech in good shape with the bigs.

Mark

January 2nd, 2013
1:53 pm

Saw Tony Parker in high school game and thought he was big time talent with very poughty attitude. Seems like nothing has changed. Until he matures, he will be a “coach killer”.

afan

January 2nd, 2013
2:08 pm

GT..the place to go!

nate from detroit

January 2nd, 2013
2:09 pm

iSAWit, If we are to use your logic about Parker going to Tech instead of UGA why would any kid with an ounce of football talent ever to to Tech over UGA.

Max Sizemore

January 2nd, 2013
2:10 pm

Wesleyan should be able to handle Greater Atlantic Christian again, but Greater Pacific Christian could be another matter.

iSAWit

January 2nd, 2013
2:29 pm

Nate,
The majority of kids being recruitied by both Tech and ugay in football do go ugay. Your point is useless. I know it’s hard, but try and stay on track with the conversation. We are talking about BASKETBALL.

georgedawg

January 2nd, 2013
4:17 pm

Hope you’re wrong about Fox. Playing a very young team, now and on win streak. Personally, i think they’ll improve and i hope Fox stays. Parker could really help. We need legitimate center.
Hard to believe UGA atheletics is criticized by tech fans, I was routing for Tech in the bowl game.

A person SMART enough to know.....

January 2nd, 2013
4:25 pm

WHY would he transfer to UGa? Hhahahah that is a basketball Hell Hole.
Tony and his buddies did their job. They went to UCLA and that was why McCray from the ATL Celtics AAU team was hire by UCLA. These kids got used and they were warned from the start.
Come Home and go to TECH. You will have a great time and be with a classy coach in a beautiful new building. You will like a classy coach something you haven’t been around since you were probably 10 years old.

dmr

January 2nd, 2013
4:41 pm

I think the idea that Mark Fox is going to lose his job is way overblown. Fox was able to land the first McDonald’s All American in forever in Kentavious Caldwell Pope. Georgia is an incredibly young team and as of now, they have been starting 3 – 4 freshmen and 1 sophomore. Georgia is improving.

For all of the talk about Georgia Tech and the ACC, Georgia Tech is mediocre at best. Fox made convincing arguements to Tony Parker during recruiting and it was down to Georgia and UCLA. The bright lights and idea of California and getting away from home seemed to have great appeal.

Parker has good friends playing and starting at UGA and the program is being built the right way. Very few programs are going to put together an all-star cast of one and dones like Kentucky or have a dynasty like Duke. The SEC is gaining competitiveness and there is no reason Georgia cannot build a great basketball program. We have a great A.D. in McGarity that knows how to steer the bus.

Rick James

January 2nd, 2013
5:24 pm

@georgedawg

Hard to believe UGA atheletics is criticized by tech fans, I was routing for Tech in the bowl game
——————————————————————————————————————————
You would think by the way some of them talk that they are the Alabama of the ACC in football and Duke when it comes to basketball.They know everything thats wrong at Georgia.But they just finished a 7-7 football season.They criticize Georgia but never do they talk about Tech/Georgia football on the field.I often wonder why.And to their credit they are ahead of Georgia in basketball right now.

Rick James

January 2nd, 2013
5:32 pm

@dmr

Fox was able to land the first McDonald’s All American in forever in Kentavious Caldwell Pope.
——————————————————————————————————————————–
What other all americans has he landed? None! He’s run out of Dennis Felton’s recruits and he’s not reloading.Greg Magarity came to Georgia from Florida and is used to seeing final four basketball teams.I dont think this is acceptable to him at all.He’s even said that he sees a need for improvement with the football team.

Left Coast Dawg

January 2nd, 2013
7:36 pm

That’s Rick James biaaaaccccchh!

Left Coast Dawg

January 2nd, 2013
7:38 pm

Tony to UGA (insider info)…….son went to high school with kid and is a good friend.

Birdhair

January 2nd, 2013
7:40 pm

Fox coached up the team the first season. I remember how well we played against Illinois. We were running the triangle offense, rebounding and shooting FTs well. Ever since he called that dumb timeout against Alabama in the S.E.C tournament his coaching has gone to hell. We don’t rebound and can’t shoot FTs. Fox is clearly checked-out. It’s time for him to go!!!

KBP

January 2nd, 2013
8:27 pm

If Parker transfers to UGA, then Fox will be ok because our talent level will drastically improve with Parker. Morris, Gaines, Mann, and other recruits. Fox is a good Coach but not a good recruiter right now. No one wanted him fired when he had Felton’s players. By the way, Carlos Strong from Cedar Shoals in Athens was a McDonald’s All-American in 1992. Come home to UGA, Tony.

One other thing, Brian Gregory has certainly out recruited Fox in only two years. Don’t like it but it’s true.

True Blue

January 2nd, 2013
9:06 pm

First of all, you have to earn playing tme. Just because you won 4 state titles doesn’t mean anything in college. I watch Tony in HS and he don’t play defense and that’s probably why he’s not getting a lot of playing time. Tony work on being a complete player

DwagFansRFunny

January 2nd, 2013
9:22 pm

Nate from Detroit…you must not pay much attention to football in the state of Georgia! LOL The answer to your question is “they don’t”. Maybe 3 or 4 times in a decade will a kid choose GT over Ugag in football that Ugag actually invested time with. Calvin Johnson and Stephen Hill are two examples where Tech won out. But it isn’t solely because of any success Athens has had (

DwagFansRFunny

January 2nd, 2013
9:26 pm

What one national title and that with the best collegiate running back of all time! It is mostly because of the limited majors that Tech offers. UGA like most liberal arts schools offer majors that do not require much work (shouldn’t they be called minors instead? LOL).

padre

January 2nd, 2013
10:20 pm

fox is a fine coach. parker should come to uga. universwity needs to get involved to make uga a better attraction for basketball. The problem is selling basketball–not this coach. Uga cannot win until there is a more concerted effort to promote basketball. If we could keep half the good players in state uga could rival anyone. sell the program. lay off fox. firin g him aint the answer.

Normaltown

January 2nd, 2013
10:33 pm

If Parker ends up at UGA, he could help provide inside presence they so desperately need. That said, I’d like to make my appeal again that Fox consider hiring James Banks as an assistant to help with recruiting. He was a high school All American, out of Atlanta, who was a Final Four MVP when they beat UNC, played professionally, and has returned to Athens to coach high school basketball. He’s an excellent human being and communicator; it’s hard to imagined he wouldn’t be warmly received in any recruits home. Perhaps pair him with someone well regarded in the AAU circuit; that could be dynamic recruiting presence.

Paul Williams

January 2nd, 2013
11:31 pm

With UGA, Tony does have 2 former Teammates with the Bulldogs, Freshman Brandon Morris #31 and Sophmore Donte’ Williams #15. All 3 of them played together at Miller Grove High School here in Lithonia under Head Coach Sharman White. So his two former High School Teammates could influence him to go to Georgia. Tony also has a former teammate Senior Point Guard Mfon Udofia, #0 who also played at MGHS. I saw all 5 of these guys play High School Ball and they are AWESOME PLAYERS!!!! And plus they’re winners all with a State Championship Ring for the Wolverines of Miller Grove High School and Tony Parker was our Starting Center all 4 years of High School, has 4 Championship Rings, and just recently has his #32 Jersey Retired back on December 7th vs SouthWest DeKalb.

j-dawg

January 3rd, 2013
1:14 am

@DwagFansRFunny – just want to correct your statement for you. You are partially correct in that a player will choose Tech over UGA 3-4 times a decade (closer to 1-2). However, you are wrong about Stephen Hill. He was a 3-star coming out of high school and UGA never even offered him a spot. Had they offered, he would have accepted.

JayD

January 3rd, 2013
11:01 am

Mark Fox should go….should’ve never been hired. Damon Evans pretty much got everything wrong – UGA has so much less drama, and seems to be headed in a much better direction now. Fox’s exit will close that chapter.