Semifinal blowouts: Where is the parity in Georgia high school basketball?

State records fell during the last weekend’s semifinals of the state basketball tournament. They’re nothing to brag about, though.

The average margin of victory of the girls games was 21.1 points, making them the most lopsided girls semifinals in state tournament history. The record had been 19.4 in 2011.

The boys semifinals last week were more competitive, with an average margin of 11.9 points, but still on the rise from 11.0 in 2012 and 9.9 in 2011. Miller Grove won 72-38 in Class AAAAA. Eagle’s Landing won by 26, Columbia by 27. Johnson of Savannah won by 22.

The lack of parity in semifinals has risen since the 1970s, when the average margin of victory was 9.7 points. Thanks to the Georgia Basketball Project for providing the scores that allowed for that calculation.

Is it the trend of transfers and the evolution of super teams? Is it the move to six classifications? Is it the way that the GHSA sets up the bracket? Or was last weekend a fluke?

Consider the shock and awe witnessed in these five girls games:

- Wesleyan’s 83-34 victory and 49-point margin over Thomasville was the most lopsided girls semifinal in state tournament history. The previous record had been 48 points when Hart County beat Rockdale County 90-42 in 1982.

- Norcross beat Langston Hughes 62-16. The 16 points are the fewest in a girls semifinal since 1960, when the girls played six on six.

- St. Francis led Calvary 50-14 entering the fourth quarter. The final was 50-27 after St. Francis was outscored 13-0 in the final period while playing its reserves.

- Southwest Atlanta Christian was up 18-2 in the first quarter on Holy Innocents’ and won 78-43.

- Miller Grove didn’t allow a field goal until 59 seconds left in the first half in a 49-23 victory over Effingham County. Effingham made only made five field goals in the game.

Why aso many blowouts?

Here are three theories:

1. The competition is diluted by the move to six classifications. From 1973 through 2000, there were only four boys and four girls state champions. Now there are seven and seven.

2. The format of the basketball bracket allows some quarters of the draw to be much weaker than the others. In football, every region has one team in each eight-team quarter of the draw. That means that stronger regions have a better chance of getting their teams to the semis. In basketball, if regions 1-4 are much weaker than 5-8, or vice-versa, some of the best teams will be eliminated before the semifinals.

3. Transfers. Today’s top players want to play on the top teams and find a way to do it. ‘’There’s no parity in high school sports anymore,’’ one semifinal coach said. “Your bigger [better] players are going to these same schools year in, year out. In 10 years, it’s going to be a disaster.’’

100 comments Add your comment

Max Sizemore

March 5th, 2013
11:16 am

Mostly, it’s No. 2 because North Georgia (i.e., the greater Atlanta area) has become dominant. The north Georgia semifinalists are usually much better, and the way to avoid that is, as you mentioned, going to a football-style bracket. But that would increase travel miles for many teams.

Facts

March 5th, 2013
11:24 am

#3 Is the answer. It was a shock to everyone that Hillgrove beat Wheeler. Look at the previous schools for Wheeler, Norcross (girls and boys), Buford., Miller Grove This is the age of super teams. Neighorhood teams have gone the way of the dinosaur and unfortunately it is difficult for them to compete against teams that “recruit” or attract those AAU teams. If you don’t have an apartment complex in your district that the players and families can “move” to or an administration that turns a blind eye then you are out of luck.

SWD Panther Paw

March 5th, 2013
11:28 am

I believe it’s theory #2. If the bracket’s are set-up like football the best teams would make it to the final four. Case in point Region 6-AAAAAA would have had all four teams(SWD, Tucker, Stephenson and Miller Grove) in the final four without a doubt. I believe the GHSA tries to rig the brackets so the South Georgia teams have a chance to make it to the finals at least in the top three classes(6A,5A,4A).

wolfbait67

March 5th, 2013
11:37 am

SWD P P:Do not forget AAA, Travelling to Savannah and playing on their second home court when they play each other, did not seem right, but the GHSA gura Ralphie must got a chunk for letting that happen……shame on you Ralphie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keno

March 5th, 2013
11:41 am

I say #2 and #3. First the GHSA need to adopt a power rankings. #1 Norcross and #2 Parkview girls met in the second round. Give me a break! That should have been a semi-final or final’s matchup. For some reason GHSA like to pair region against region in the opening round. That makes absolutely no sence. I’d also like to see the region tourney’s go away.
Lastly, the recruiting in this state is out of control!

Dwayne

March 5th, 2013
11:44 am

@SWD….without a doubt?? you got the lottery numbers for Wednesday night?

DeweyCheatem

March 5th, 2013
12:01 pm

Keno, I don’t disagree with you about eliminating the region tournament. Let the regular season determine regions champs. In regards to recruiting. It is almost to the point where GHSA should just stop acting as if there are rules and let everyone go wherever they wish. Right now, schools that abide by the rules really don’t stand a chance vs the Usual Suspects. The days of kids growing up together and winning a state championship is almost extinct. That is why Mceachern girls run last year was awesome. Homegrown talent went undefeated. I don’t think that will happen much more.

Hubert Green

March 5th, 2013
12:37 pm

Wait a minute; I thought Milton was the only team to have “undue influence” on players wanting to come. The irony is that each player who did transfer actually made a bonafide move. One possible solution in basketball only is to have a “super power” league in which if you have a certain amount of transfers, you must compete for the state championship in that division no matter how big or small your school is. It would be flexible and based on the numbers kept at GHSA from the Spring. In New Jersey, St Anothy, St Patrick do not compete against public schools for state titles until the all classification tournament. You also have schools throughout the country that do not compete for a state title. That would be fine with me in Georgia if that’s what your school decides to do.

Rossi

March 5th, 2013
12:41 pm

I wish you people would pay closer attention to the brackets. Effingham County did not play Miller Grove. Effingham lost by one point to Gainesville in arguably the best semi-final game played last weekend. The winning basket was scored with 2.3 seconds to play.

BcS2010

March 5th, 2013
12:49 pm

It’s reason 2!!! This is how it’s always been and its not fair!! This year in girls basketball the best 4 teams were Tucker,SWD,Miller Grove,and Stephenson hands down but they played each other in the elite 8 which made the final 4 less exiting. In the boys setting Miller grove played the championship already playing Tucker in the elite 8.. This is how it’s been for years the elite 8 games are really the final 4 games.. This needs to be changed ASAP!!

north ga granny

March 5th, 2013
12:57 pm

Make private schools and public schools that recruit play up at least two classes.

Johnny Too Good

March 5th, 2013
1:00 pm

I’m not sure what the reason is behind the lack of parity this year, however,
Johnson-Savannah, who blew out North Hall in the final four is not a “super team” full of transfers. Neither is Savannah High, who faced Milton’s all star team in the AAAAA finals last year, and most recently knocked off Buford.
Those kids actually live in the neighborhoods.

jimmy

March 5th, 2013
1:06 pm

Recruiting is getting out of hand in the state of Georgia, we had one school Augusta to recruit a complete Middle school team for their AP program. The test results where out last week, only 3 students out of 35 pass the AP test as of today. Now tell me how you can stay in a program and not be sent by to the school that you a zone for. You can report this to the county AD, but he isn’t worth a dang!! what a joke!!!

Question

March 5th, 2013
1:19 pm

Who did Miller Grove recruit this year?? They have a new starting five from last year and are still in the championship? I just dont see them as a super team this year? Can anyone answer that, they look like they have a bunch of role guys?

SWD Panther Paw

March 5th, 2013
1:30 pm

Dwayne – did you follow the bracket this year and the last seven years for class 4A now 5A??????? I don’t think you have. Yes! without a doubt.

Region 6 AAAAA

March 5th, 2013
1:30 pm

@Rossi – Effingham Girls played Miller Grove Girls and the results were not good. GHSA has to go to the football brackets for basketball, because all 4 Girls teams could have possibly made it to the Final Four or Finals. My bad they do have 2 teams in the Finals, and guess what they have played 2 times in regular season, once for Region Championship, and now they play for the State Championship.

Casey

March 5th, 2013
1:43 pm

Who did Miller Grove recruit this year? Referees…watch the videos of the games online….they didn’t blow anyone out until the finals…the Refs have bailed them out all season…barely, winning games with a 5 – 10 point margin..

Hubert Green

March 5th, 2013
1:52 pm

Miller Grove has had a remarkable year. The outstanding point guard moved from South Carolina; Pinckney this year. Moreso than just basketball some schools benefit tremendously with their academic programs. And programs that emphasize academics and you can tell that by looking at the colleges their players enter benefit tremendously: private schools, charter; some city; IB programs and top rated public schools.

MGHSFAN

March 5th, 2013
1:54 pm

Casey it is clear that you have not followed Miller Grove this year, Date Day Time Opponent Location/Score
Nov 14 Wed 7:00 PM Milton (5-AAAAAA) Home-Scrimmage
Nov 17 Sat 8:30 PM McEachern (4-AAAAAA) Lost 62-63
Nov 19 Mon 7:30 PM Fayette County (5-AAAA) Won 67-26
Nov 20 Tue 7:30 PM Lassiter (5-AAAAAA) Won 62-45
Nov 27 Tue 7:00 PM Stephenson (6A-AAAAA)* Won 64-42
Dec 01 Sat 4:00 PM Archer (8-AAAAAA) Won 72-70
Dec 04 Tue 7:00 PM M.L. King (6B-AAAAA)* Won 77-70
Dec 07 Fri 7:00 PM Southwest DeKalb (6B-AAAAA)* Won 72-42
Dec 11 Tue 7:00 PM Mays (6B-AAAAA)* Won 68-58
Dec 14 Fri 7:00 PM Arabia Mountain (6B-AAAAA)* Won 66-55
Dec 15 Sat 4:00 PM Norcross (7-AAAAAA) Won 64-62
Dec 18 Tue 7:00 PM North Atlanta (6A-AAAAA)* Won 69-60
Dec 21 Fri 7:30 PM Columbia (6A-AAAA) Lost 58-69
Dec 26 Wed Leuzinger Won 50-43
Dec 27 Thu Westchester Lost 50-52
Dec 28 Fri Rainier Beach, WA Won 65-63
Dec 29 Sat De La Salle, IL Won 61-51
Jan 08 Tue 7:00 PM Clarkston (6A-AAAAA)* Won 73-21
Jan 11 Fri 5:30 PM Lakeside, DeKalb (6A-AAAAA)* Won 89-27
Jan 15 Tue 7:00 PM Dunwoody (6A-AAAAA)* Won 71-36
Jan 18 Fri 7:00 PM Tucker (6A-AAAAA)* Won 80-69
Jan 25 Fri 7:00 PM M.L. King (6B-AAAAA)* Won 67-59
Jan 26 Sat Memphis East Won 104-56
Jan 29 Tue 7:00 PM Southwest DeKalb (6B-AAAAA)* Won 66-55
Feb 01 Fri 7:00 PM Mays (6B-AAAAA)* Won 64-49
Feb 05 Tue 7:00 PM Arabia Mountain (6B-AAAAA)* Won 77-61
Feb 13 Wed 5:30 PM Southwest DeKalb (6B-AAAAA)* Won 55-44
Feb 15 Fri 5:30 PM Tucker (6A-AAAAA)* Won 72-53
Feb 16 Sat 8:30 PM Stephenson (6A-AAAAA)* Won 55-51
Feb 19 Tue 7:00 PM Sequoyah (7A-AAAAA) Won 79-57
Feb 23 Sat 6:30 PM Villa Rica (5B-AAAAA) Won 74-53
Feb 26 Tue 7:00 PM Tucker (6A-AAAAA) Won 60-55
Mar 02 Sat 8:30 PM Northside, Columbus (1A-AAAAA) Won 72-38

@Hubert Green

March 5th, 2013
1:56 pm

Your are right that kid did come from South Carolina, just looked it up. But he is a DeKalb County kid. I remember watching him play in the Middle school championship a few years ago, i think with chapel hill. Not sure how he got to South Carolina, but I know MGHS is glad he is back.

Question

March 5th, 2013
2:04 pm

@Casey so what you are saying by looking at your theory is that Miller Grove plays in the toughest region because all of their tough games came against region teams, and the loss to a Mcheachern team on a last second shot, a win at archer on a last second shot, and then got the beat down from COLUMBIA, and a loss on the road in a National Tournament. I think it is insulting to say that they have won because of referee help

Dekalb Co Guy

March 5th, 2013
2:10 pm

I think its a combination of #2 and #3, 5A is the biggest example of example #2 because I agree, there would have been 3 if not all 4 teams from 5A region 6 in the semifinals.

But we cant fool ourselves and not say that a lot of the blowouts dont come from “super” teams. Do teams “recruit”, maybe slightly, but a lot of times, kids just want to go to the school with the notoriety. You want to play and be associated with winner. So I wont get into whether Miller Grove recruits or not, but I work with a guy and he says its always a kid from his neighborhood that plays for Miller Grove, yet he is in McNair area. I do believe kids and parents in some cases seek out a chance to play for the elite teams. The impacts of transfers are even greater in basketball than say football.

At my daughters school,a couple of years ago, they had an elite female basketball player commited to a Top 10 college program. She transferred prior to her senior year, to play for a better team. the team she left, won 1 game the whole year…and the school she transferred to was already a playoff caliber team so they cruised to a state championship that year winning most games by 40+ points. So yeah transfers do play a big part in it.

Greg Mack

March 5th, 2013
2:19 pm

The brackets for basketball needs to be done differently. It travel is an issue, take that into consideration, but put together a better system so that the final game is truly the championship game. Perhaps a system like it use to be when there was the NCAA tournament and then those not selected went to the NIT – have a GA-64 which would consist of the top 64 in all of GA and then everyone else would play in the GA-128.

@Dekalb Co Guy

March 5th, 2013
2:20 pm

A guy i go to church with says there is always a kid that plays for MillerGrove that lives in his neighborhood, and he lives in Savannah. LMFAO

Casey

March 5th, 2013
2:20 pm

@MGHSFAN…. I stand corrected .. I’d love to follow them in college though…where have their seniors signed or received offers?

Todd Holcomb

March 5th, 2013
2:28 pm

I’m reworking this story for the AJC print edition for Wednesday. In it, former Columbia coach Phil McCrary (now DeKalb athletics coordinator) suggests using the football style bracket, with one team from each region in each quarter, but then have those teams seeded 1-8 using the MaxPreps computer rankings.

MGHSFAN

March 5th, 2013
2:42 pm

@Casey Georgia Tech, UGA, UCLA, University of PENN, Alabama A&M, Southern, FortValley, Morehouse, and a host of other Jr Colleges.

Dekalb Co Guy

March 5th, 2013
2:50 pm

@ my namesake,

I wasnt throwing stones at Miller Grove, just stating what someone told me. I am sure there are all types of stories like that which exist. Transfers do play a big part in a lot of the super teams. as someone has stated, Miller Grove pg came from SCarolina.

We all know which teams were being implied when the story was published.

Norcross, Miller Grove, Milton, Tift Co. Eagles Landing, Columbia, Wesleyan, SACA, Wheeler. Those are just some of the “super teams” that existed this year.

Region5Guru

March 5th, 2013
2:53 pm

@Todd – There isn’t much parity at all in girls basketball at any level. Just look at the NCAA Division 1 teams. The teams at the very top of the polls can usually blowout the teams on the bottom half of the top 25 poll. Look at Baylor’s scores vs. top 25 teams this year:

Win over #6 Kentucky 85-51
Loss to #4 Stanford 71-69
Win over #9 Notre Dame 73-61
Win over #10 Tennessee 76-53
Win over # 13 Oklahoma State 83-49
Win over #25 Iowa State 67-39
Win over #17 Kansas 82-60
Win over #24 Iowa State 66-51
Win over #19 Oklahoma State 81-62
Win over #3 UCONN 75-70

7 out of 10 of their games vs. Top 25 opponents ended up in games decided by 15 points or more. You could look at most of the other top 10 teams and see more of the same. There is even less parity in high school girls hoops.

There is also a disparity between North and South.

Since 2001, 49 out of the last 60 girls state champions have come from the North/Metro Atlanta area. In Georgia’s largest classification, there has only been one girls state champion from the South in the last 20+ years (Beach in 2000)

Since 2001, 44 of the last 60 boys state champions have come from the North/Metro Atlanta area. Since the year 2000, Griffin is the only non-metro school to win a state championship in the Georgia’s largest TWO classifications (Griffin 2003)…And I would hesitate to call Griffin a “South Georgia” school. Back with Coach Ferris Qualls, the Griffin Bears would be a staple at Atlanta summer camps and tournaments.

If the GHSA would reseed the state tournament field, we would have a DYNAMITE state tournament with Georgia’s best teams playing each other in the Elite 8, Final 4 etc.

Credit the Georgia High School Basketball Project at http://www.ghsbp.com

Who cares

March 5th, 2013
2:54 pm

Girls basketball who cares?

VChandler

March 5th, 2013
2:56 pm

Is there a way we could get Hubert Green to take over GHSA? Seriously, this guy has great ideas and insight that would help. The idea of a Super Power league is brilliant. Either that or just open the flood gates and allow anyone to go anywhere and end the facade of “bonafied” moves.

Augustabred

March 5th, 2013
3:00 pm

A whole midle school team huh Jimmy…,.just like GAC was gonna beat u know who by 25 or more!!! Next 2 years will be back to back state champs!!!! By the way, kids will go to whatever school is hot at that time period! Why should a school like Wesleyan even compete in public school sports. But that same u know who school is going to shock them as well!!!!!!!

Casey

March 5th, 2013
3:00 pm

@MGHSFAN That’s good to know …it would be great if more 2013 Dekalb County graduates have the opportunity to play post high school.

Benjamin E. Mays Raider for Life.

March 5th, 2013
3:01 pm

It’s called Capitalism. The high schools are now practicing whats been going on in college since 1970. Georgia needs to follow the rest of the USA.

Manny fresh

March 5th, 2013
3:01 pm

Miller grove still good this year but I felt like AAAAA was a Lil weaker this year the teams they called strong in they religion teams like Stephenson, tucker, mays, sw dekalb wouldn’t even be a factor to teams like Columbia Marist south atlanta eagle landing. Or teams in AAAAAA like wheeler tift norcross Shiloh north cobb, all I’m saying is AAAAA was kind of weak this year if miller grove played teams like that in the state I don’t think they would have won so easily. But they don’t make the schelue and they can’t help what region they in. So shouts out to miller grove on they 5 championships.

South Fulton Advocate

March 5th, 2013
3:04 pm

I DO Know for Langston Hughes… They had 5 freshmen and two sophomores that led their team. They were definitely star struck and blinded by the lights. They played hard all year and was just happy to have made it that far, so they had no more fight left. Look for them to return with a vengence no matter the format.

E

March 5th, 2013
3:07 pm

to wolfbait67…savannah and johnson never play games at armstrong atlantic…so give me a break with the 2nd home court bs….also, neva been a problem for the metro teams to play games at gwinnette arena,kennesaw or ga tech for playoff games…people will always support recruiting cause it benefits their school and vice versa… btw..i’m from savannah does wesleyan recruit or is it a private school…just wondering how they keep winning state championships

Manny fresh

March 5th, 2013
3:13 pm

That is crazy I have to say #2 because we won our region championship but it still made us #2 in the bracket overall Columbia loses to us but still we get the #1 team overall in the final 4 how is that even possible that the number 1 and 2 team play in the final 4. And Columbia play statesboro in the final 4 that’s crazy we shoulda just lost the region championship game got on the other side of the bracket knowing we had a easy roll to the finals basically what Columbia just did.

John Wooden

March 5th, 2013
3:15 pm

Look up Oldsmar Christian in Oldsmar FL, right outside Tampa. They do not play a FL schedule. The coach admits that he is there to get scholarships, not trophies. I think Milton (under Boyd), Wheeler, GAC, Norcross, Wesleyan girls, and others would be better suited playing each other for championships and let the neighborhood schools play for their state championships based on enrollments.

Coach Who Knows

March 5th, 2013
3:31 pm

Question——-Miller Grove does recruit!!!! If you look at their top 8 players only 3 came from their feeder school. 3 of the starters were zoned for other high schools………. Out of the other 5…………. 2 from Lithonia(#3 pg is a freshman), 1 from Redan…..1 from stn mtn……… And Pinckney came back from SC but went to stephenson. However it does look like recuiting b/c he get as Freshmen not after another coach develops them!!!

the truth

March 5th, 2013
3:36 pm

I don’t think recruiting is going on as much as parents are transferring their kids to schools with strong coaches that get players recruited. If I had a son with very good basketball skills I would not hesitate to get him in a school like Norcross. College is expensive and any help I can get is good. Add to that if he is good enough to get into one of the better basketball schools it gives him a better chance to play in a pro league here or in Europe.
Many schools play in national tournaments during the Christmas break to get players exposure. Prior to the playoffs Norcross hosted a day of basketball games between local area teams and teams from out of state. It was entertaining but more importantly it exposed many players to college coaches for recruiting. This is the type of environment I would want my son in. Do not blame the parents for transferring kids into these schools, blame your coach and school for not doing the same thing.

Thanks

March 5th, 2013
3:42 pm

@ Manny, maybe Columbia knew something you guys didn’t when they blew that 17point lead after halftime.

@Coach Who Knows

March 5th, 2013
4:05 pm

So what you are saying is that all of Miller Grove kids are DeKalb County products? Why do they not choose to go to Lithonia or other schools.

Casey

March 5th, 2013
4:20 pm

@ the truth…Don’t fool yourself…no matter how notorious the program/coach, college coaches are looking for TALENT! One of the most highly recruited seniors in GA (Currently 10 D-1 offers) goes to a Dekalb County public high school no one over heard of. Some parents are more concerned about their child’s education and his ability to qualify academically to play at the collegiate level. Don’t bother tansferring your son….college coaches know how to find talent…

BullDawg Rick

March 5th, 2013
4:21 pm

@ the Truth –

You are correct.. I know that at Buford (which is near Flowery Branch – Falcons HQ) there are many players that are sons & daughters of former Falcons players & coaches. The facilities at Buford are second to NONE in the state & I’d venture to say the Country… Heck, their Gwinnett Football League (2nd thru 8th grades – having nothing to do with the high school) spent $2.7 mil on facilities…

Now tell me, as you said, if you have a child that is a good football player, basketball player, baseball player, softball player, wrestler, heck even volleyball player (in their 3rd year of existance they made the state Super 6 & have 3 girls on scholarship)….. & you want the best for them…. Where would you send your son or daughter??? And their academics are very good to boot!!!

(OK, here come the haters!)

BullDawg Rick

March 5th, 2013
4:31 pm

@ Casey – Dekalb County schools & a child’s education??? Please, this is not 30-40 years ago when DeKalb county was the BEST in the State… Because of the NAACP & their cronies with their heads in the dirt, DeKalb County school system is a step away from losing their accrediation… That means that all students going to those pathatic schools (of which I attended many years ago, Avondale, the original Blue Devils!), will not be able to have the credidation to go to college…

Better get that kid outta there & into a Gwinnett Co school..

Also, scouts also know talent by the competition it plays.. Aside fron Tucker, & Stephenson (all that talent & not a sniff in a championship game, sad. Pathatic coaching Mr. Garrells) there’s not a decent program in DeKalb anymore

the truth

March 5th, 2013
4:33 pm

@Coach Who Knows..you really don’t know. The reason they go to Miller Grove is exposure. 4 consecutive state championships help, but things such as making a trip to the MaxPrep Holiday Classic to play against 2 teams from California that are playing in their state championship, a team from Washington that is a state champion, and a power from Illinois will get players noticed. I guarantee those kids played in front of more college recruiters in that tournament than Lithonia, Redan, Stone Mountain played in front of the last two years.

AAU Rules

March 5th, 2013
4:34 pm

There is a new bylaw in the GHSA rule book that was made specifically to stop teams like Norcross and Wheeler getting around the whole “undue influence” thing. The bylaw states that if a player is training with a parent/coach at a school and ends up transfering to that school, then he must sit out for one year. Even if the parent/coach they are training with, is not offiliated with that school in any way…. Basically what was (and still is) happening is AAU coaches are working with kids in the off-season at the high schools and then getting them to transfer there. That way the actual coaches of the high schools can say “i didnt know anything about it” and just play dumb.

the truth

March 5th, 2013
4:40 pm

Casey, sure they find talent, no one will miss one of the top 10 players in the country. But if I can increase the exposure to my son by having him go to one of the premier basketball schools like Wheeler, Miller Grove, Norcross, I will do it. If it is more for education, I am guarantee I am getting him out of DeKalb County, Clayton County, city of Atlanta schools.

Gene Wood

March 5th, 2013
4:46 pm

I am with Casey. Let’s not act as if colleges don’t recruit at every high school and AAU exposure event in Georgia. How many people move to school X thinking they are going to be a part of the Super Team only to find out there are 22 other people who had the same idea. Now they are languishing on the bench or getting 3 minutes per game, when had they stayed at neighborhood school X and played on a good team in a solid region, maybe not a Super Team, they still would have gotten exposure and playing time. So unless they start only giving scholarships out to players from the Usual Suspects Schools, the argument is bogus. There are more good schools and programs than Norcross, Buford, MG, Wheeler, Wesleyan. To add to that, kids go to Alabama for instance and sit behind 5 running backs when they could’ve stayed in a SEC/ACC got a good education and great playing time. Keep chasing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or stay and build something yourself.