Class A Blog: First edition of the (Basketball) Divided Top 5 Lists

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here we go, hoops fans. Now that basketball mania has finally swept into Georgia, it’s time for the Divided Class A Top 5 Lists – Basketball version.

But first, a couple of nuggets to snack on …

Montgomery shines on the court, in the class room
Just when you began to feel good about yourself because you’ve stuck to those new year’s resolutions for a full two weeks, here comes Austin Montgomery to put you back in your place.

The 6-foot-8 senior forward at Lakeview Academy in Gainesville scored his 1,000th career point over the Christmas holiday during the Lanierland Tournament, where he was named to the all-tournament team. When he’s not getting buckets for the Lions, Montgomery is most likely studying. He is a National Merit semi-finalist carrying a 4.0 grade point average. He scored 2320 on the SAT (perfect score is 2400) and a 35 on the ACT (perfect score: 36).

But there’s more. He plans to major in biomechanical engineering before heading off to medical school. Right now he has offers from Holy Cross, Radford, MIT and BYU-Hawaii, and Utah is showing strong interest as well. However, he will not enter college until 2015 because he plans to go on a Latter-day Saints mission. Montgomery leads a senior-laden team that currently sits atop Region 8-Division A.

And you thought you had it going on.

If you know of any players, like Montgomery, who are worthy recognition, send the information to s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com.

Recruiting battle looming in Athens
Yes, it’s basketball season, but it’s prime time for recruiting season as well – especially in Athens. But there’s one looming recruiting battle that won’t involve UGA, at least not yet.

Caleb Wilson, the son of UGA’s new defensive line coach, Chris Wilson, is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound sophomore at Starkville High, who was the backup to senior quarterback Gabe Myles (senior co-captain and Mississippi Class 5A Player of the Year) and is a starter on the basketball team. (NOTE: Early in the season Caleb played well enough in relief of Myles, who sat out two games with an injury, that there was brief talk of a “quarterback controversy” – read the story in the Starkville Dispatch – even though Myles, who has verbally committed to Mississippi State, was the returning offensive Player of the Year. But Myles returned to lead Starkville to the state title.)

Chris Wilson told the AJC’s Chip Towers that his wife, Tina, Caleb’s mom, will make the decision on where he attends school, once the Wilsons relocate to the Athens area (read Chip’s story). Wilson said: “Mom is all about academics and people, so that will be up to her … She’s No. 1 on that deal.”

So, where will it be? Athens Academy? Athens Christian? Prince Avenue Christian? Or perhaps Momma Wilson will take a shine to one of the public schools – Clarke Central, Cedar Shoals or maybe North Oconee. And before all of the “unofficial Recruiting Police Officers” jump all over this, the family will be relocating (i.e., making a legitimate move) and can select any area they wish.

Stay tuned.

And now for the Divided Top 5 Lists – Basketball style.

BOYS

Public
1. Wilcox County

2. Mitchell County

3. Seminole County

4. Turner County

5. Lanier County

Trending: Wilkinson County, Portal, Claxton, Hancock County

Private
1. North Cobb Christian

2. W.D. Mohammed

3. Greenforest Academy

4. Athens Christian

5. Mt. Paran Christian

Trending: Aquinas, Excel Christian, Holy Innocents’

GIRLS

Public
1. Randolph-Clay

2. Gordon Lee

3. Towns County

4. Wilkinson County

5. Turner County

Trending: Irwin County, Claxton, Treutlen, Greenville

Private
1. Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy

2. Holy Innocents’

3. Darlington

4. St. Francis

5. George Walton Academy

Trending: Calvary Day, Paideia, Greenforest Academy

26 comments Add your comment

Metro

January 10th, 2013
10:38 pm

Whoa! This kid for real?

c.q.

January 11th, 2013
12:14 am

I think it’s “Latter-Day Saints”, not “Ladder”

S. Thomas Coleman

January 11th, 2013
6:35 am

@Metro: Yes, both Austin Montgomery and Chris Wilson are for real. Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

January 11th, 2013
6:36 am

@c.q.: Thanks for the correction and thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

NEGAbballobserver

January 11th, 2013
7:17 am

I saw the Montgomery kid play this year @ Lanierland. Def. Div I caliber (low-mid major) player.. What puzzles me is he only has four offers. Stellar academics, no behavior problems (thought I remember reading in our local paper he was an Eagle Scout too??) and 6′8″ with talent. Is it the missionwork that is scaring coaches off?

Also YAY! I got my wish for separate rankings for private and public.

S. Thomas Coleman

January 11th, 2013
9:33 am

@NEGAbball: The Divided Top 5 was a staple of the football blog, and will be for hoops as well!

As for Austin, in terms of recruiting, he’s a “sophomore” because he won’t be able to suit up for a college until November 2015. While there are scores of 10th graders around the country with offers, those kids are the “blue-chip, 5-star” types who most feel will be “one-and-done” in college. That’s not Austin.

Also, though it sounds crazy, I’ve been told by more than one high school coach that super smart kids like Austin “scare” some college coaches because they don’t know how committed a kid like that will be to improving as a player when he has so much going for him away from the sport. Sounds crazy, right?

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

Coach Bob

January 11th, 2013
10:42 am

However, he will not enter college until 2015 because he plans to go on a Latter-day Saints mission. Montgomery leads a senior-laden team that currently sits atop Region 8-Division A.

He’s not a “sophomore” he is a senior. He will not enter college untl 2015 because of his mission plans.
Which is why some schools are shying away from him.

NEGAbballobserver

January 11th, 2013
11:14 am

To think that College Coaches don’t like kids with that much brains on their shoulders is CRAZY.. Think about all the free tutoring your team could get on the away games.. Just kidding of course.
And the whole mission trip thing, could scare some away that want instant gratification. I look at BYU and they have a team loaded with these “kids” (more like men, because that is what they are) and they always seem to be in the big dance come March.
Kudos to the coaches who can see the big picture, like Holy Cross, etc.
“He plans to major in biomechanical engineering before heading off to medical school.”
Wow a kid who would rather be a Doctor than an NBA star. That is refreshing.

bballmomof5

January 11th, 2013
1:14 pm

Mr. Coleman thanks for the nice write up . I love it when kids are acknowledged for their achievements off the court as well as on the court. It is important for kids to see that it is possible to excel on the court and in the classroom!

NEGAbballobserver, you read correct Austin is an Eagle Scout. Did his project at Shiloh Elementary, which was an outdoor classroom and donated lots of $$ to their library for new books!!!

Coach Bob, We have had many coaches that have shown interest, but once they found out he was going on his mission, we haven’t heard from them since.

As for the new transfer, I am curious to see where he goes, since Lakeview is in the same region as the Privates in Athens.. We still have another 4 kids to go, after big A flies out of the nest.. ;)

Cheers!

athensbball

January 11th, 2013
1:25 pm

As far as the Wilson kid goes, I’m guessing he will go to Prince, since Mark Richt already has connections there. But as far as his decision, I would think it would depend on which sport he is best in and likes the best. If its football then Im guessing it will be either Prince or Academy, but if its basketball then thats a no branier…hes going to Athens Christian

athensbball

January 11th, 2013
1:27 pm

Turtle Jackson of Athens Christian is averaging 30 a game. Best sophmore I’ve seen play since Louis Williams of South Gwinnett.

Metro

January 11th, 2013
1:34 pm

Montgomery is a superstar for sure in school. Anyone know what his game avg. is?

S. Thomas Coleman

January 11th, 2013
1:51 pm

@Coach Bob: Read the post again. I said “in terms of recruiting he is a sophomore.” I know full well he’s a senior. In fact, I state that in the original piece. What I said applies because, like kids who are presently sophomores but who don’t plan on going on a mission, Austin won’t be entering college until 2015.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

January 11th, 2013
1:52 pm

@NEGAbball: Ditto to what you said.

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

January 11th, 2013
1:54 pm

@bballmomof5: You’re welcome and thanks for reaching out! Do you mind answering the question posed by “Metro” about how many points per game Austin averages? Thanks!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

January 11th, 2013
1:57 pm

@athensbball: I think you’re right to say that it may come down to the sport he prefers, and I’m not sure which one that is. But according to Poppa Chris, Momma Tina will make the decision based on academics. Should be interesting.

As far as Jackson is concerned, he was the best player in Class A last year not named Kenny Gaines. Could end up being a three-time Class A POTY. If you could leave high school early to go to college, like college to the NBA, he would have been gone!

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

augustabball

January 11th, 2013
2:31 pm

There is a kid over here in Augusta for Aquinas that will have something to say about the Class A POTY. Ahmed Hill is averaging 31.4 pts a game through 15 games. That is with very little supporting cast and against some very good talent. In his only trip to the Atlanta area this year so far for the Hoops In Overdrive Tourney, he poured in 35 in Aquinas’s 29 pt trouncing of 6A Centennial. ESPN has him ranked as the top Junior in Georgia and 23 overall.

bballmomof5

January 11th, 2013
2:44 pm

@Metro Just shy of 23 points per game.
I suspect it will go down, as we are in region play now and Coach Vining likes to pull the starters in the first half, if we are blowing them out of the water.

steve

January 11th, 2013
2:46 pm

Academics AA or Oconee Schools
Football AA, Prince or North though OC is catching up the spreed offense might be appealing, right now all how QB’s in next years jr class except AA
BB ACS with present soph class wow what would that would be like, would be a nice fit with Williams at AA between the two they could be a good foundation

bucket

January 12th, 2013
1:22 pm

@ STC – nice article about the Montgomery kid. Everyone always talks about the HS knuckleheads, but it is refreshing to read about a kid that is working hard on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.

BBall Fan

January 12th, 2013
8:08 pm

Thomas – Not sure I can agree with WDM at #2. They have 3 wins against teams that have no wins. Top 5 at this point sure but I think GF & AC should both be ahead of WDM.

Stan

January 13th, 2013
7:29 pm

@bball who has AC beat

Stan

January 13th, 2013
7:33 pm

Plus you don’t have to agree we’re 15 – 1 and have the toughest division in A ball

athensbball

January 15th, 2013
1:56 pm

@ Stan: AC beat south gwinnett and grayson in consecutive nights. now i realize they are not the best in 6A but its still beating two 6A schools back to back. Also, south gwinnett beat archer who everyone seems to think is a top tier team.

athensbball

January 15th, 2013
1:59 pm

@stan: i think region 6 is by far the toughest. North Cobb (14-2), Mt. Paran (12-2), Excel (15-1), not to mention the defending state champs Whitefield Academy and also St. Francis

Stan

January 16th, 2013
9:51 am

@Athensbball Region 5A has W.D. Mohammed, Greenforrest, Holy Innocents, and Mt. Vernon. Whitefield has a losing record. Holy Innocents has beaten St. Francis.