Auburn signee leads team to win over state champs

  • UPDATE: Tahj Shamsid-Deenhad 31 points and 10 assists in Columbia’s 69-58 win over Miller Grove

One of the state’s top point guards will be on display when state champions collide at Miller Grove High School on Friday.

The Columbia boys play against Miller Grove at 7:30 p.m. Friday, preceded by the girls teams from both schools at 6 p.m. All four teams are defending state champions.

The best player on the court may be Columbia’s Tahj Shamsid-Deen, the 5-foot-9 point guard who has signed with Auburn.

“If Tahj was 6 feet, we wouldn’t be having a conversation about how good he is because everybody would know,” said former Columbia coach Phil McCrary, now an athletic coordinator for Dekalb County Schools. “The kid is so much heads and shoulders above so many point guards that people say are better than him. The only thing that coaches question is his size. But how can you question his size when the kid hasn’t been anything but a winner all of his life?”

Since his freshman year, Shamsid-Deen has led Columbia to three consecutive Class AAA state championships. This year, he’s averaging 21 points and 7 assists, including a 41-point effort against East Memphis a couple of weeks ago.

Shamsid-Deen’s former coach had hoped that he would get a better look from UGA. The Bulldogs showed early interest but decided to pursue another player. Shamsid-Deen signed with Auburn last month.

“I don’t recruit for Coach (Mark Fox),” McCrary said. “All I know is that I sent two pretty good players down there (in Travis Leslie and Jeremy Price). I figured with that kind of track record and relationship with us, Georgia would come in and make a push for the kid. But they had other plans.

“Now you’ve got a Georgia kid going to Auburn. I would hate to see him come back and do damage to Georgia. I know what kind of player Tahj is, and I know what kind of player he can become.”

18 comments Add your comment

Hubie Green

December 20th, 2012
7:12 pm

I thought McCrary was the county AD and had given up the coaching at Columbia. What happened? Is he serving both roles?


December 20th, 2012
7:41 pm

I saw this kid play against LaGrange when he was a sophomore, and he was something else.


December 20th, 2012
7:50 pm

Tahj is the Best PG in the state regardless of his size. UGA missed out on a Good Leader, Player and Young man.


December 20th, 2012
8:15 pm

Horace Dunson (former MLKing principal and area superintendent) is the AD.

Max Sizemore

December 20th, 2012
8:30 pm

Is Tahj the son or nephew of Muhammad Shamsid-Deen, who was a very good running back in the 80s at Walker (McNair) high school?

Bernie Matt

December 20th, 2012
8:40 pm

Fox can’t take the kid, cause Mark Richt has already promised the starting pg position to a db that was a back up power forward on his high school team. Man this stuff makes you long for Felton.


December 20th, 2012
9:51 pm

Yeah Georgia is just like that period. Columbias football team has some of the best Lineman in the state dont even think Richt has sniffed at the kids. But Auburn and everyone other school has. Hate to see Georgia Kids Leave the state.

EaglePride 74

December 20th, 2012
9:58 pm

I think Muhammad is his uncle. Tahj is like a rocket on the court. And yeah Eric Smith is a beast on the gridiron.


December 20th, 2012
10:44 pm

Bernie Matt, Langley hasn’t been promised anything. If he ever sees the court, it will be during garbage time like Jay Rome last year. As much as these kids might like playing both sports, its not realistic for most at the college level. Even if they can do it, they’re better off focusing their energy on one sport. I still maintain that Fred Gibson screwed himself out of a great NFL career by continuing to play hoops instead of focusing on football and getting bigger and stronger during the offseasons.

Charles Mann is a FR and looks to be UGA’s PG of the future, but Fox took a kid named JJ Frazier from a south Georgia church league this year over this guy. I don’t know much about either kid, but based on the fact that Fox is about to get his butt fired due to his terrible recruiting, I think it’s safe to assume he made a mistake here like he has in so many other scenario’s.


December 21st, 2012
9:53 am

I’m a Bama fan, and I hope Fox gets fired so UGA will go after Anthony Grant. If you think Fox has recruited poorly…..Grant’s recruiting has been horrific. Alabama came damn near close to not signing a single player last year. The one we did get signed ‘after’ the Spring period. I’ve been following Alabama basketball for 41 years, and have NEVER seen Alabama not sign two to four kids a year. Fox has been shockingly bad at Georgia. No excuse for it. Too many talented players in the state.


December 21st, 2012
11:58 am

If I were a UGA fan of BB I would question just what direction he is trying to take UGA BB. What style of play is he trying to instill in his team? Also he has shown that he is not a very good evaluator of tallent, just look at D. Miller our center at TECH, you guys had him commited, his family has a long history with UGA, but he did not think the 7 footer was SEC tallent? Are you kidding me? So it is no supprise that he passed over this kid also, I see UGA going in the same direction as we were going in when we had BLEWITT ( UGA has now also becoming a team that cannot hit the free throw, just like us under Blewitt ). He will land a top player every so often just like KCP, but is lost when it comes to finding role players…Blewitt set Tech basketball back 10 years, CBG came into a bad situation at TECH and in his 2 year has us back on track with recruiting and we have a style of play, we play 40 min of in you face lock down def. and as better players keep comming so will our scoring, HE HAS A DIRECTION HE IS TAKING TECH BB, WITH A STYLE……………WHAT STYLE, AND DIR, IS FOX TAKING UGA????????


December 21st, 2012
12:15 pm

@ buzzarmy

Didn’t “BLEWITT” take your team to a National Championship Game !!!!
Didn’t he have your team in the NCAA tournament two years prior to him being fired.
Isn’t the NBA littered with players that coach “BLEWITT” recruited.
Let’s hold off on how good CBG is I like him and all but his offense stinks and his offenses at Dayton stunk, so lets wait until GT gets in ACC play before crowning him.
BTW what style of play has CBG installed ??


December 21st, 2012
1:08 pm

Voice of reason……….UGA’s arena is the biggest problem, Its hard to get a guy to come and play there…that place is horrible. And the dawgs better get an inside facility for football, you can hear local sports guys talking about UGA dose not have facilities that are up to par.

A person SMART enough to know.....

December 22nd, 2012
7:17 am

UGa plays basketball? Who knew?


December 22nd, 2012
9:28 am

It amazes me that year in and year out, someone talks about the facilities being the issue with recruiting at Georgia. Have you been there since the “Steg” was renovated? It is a beautiful facility. Thinking that a new facility will improve the program is like trying to repair a broken down car by giving it a good wash and wax. There’s plenty of room for improvement in UGA hoops that have nothing to do with the gym.


December 22nd, 2012
11:24 am

Always enjoy reading these posts citing Stegeman as the reason
for the team’s poor performance. If we bought Rupp Arena from UK
and moved it to Athens, is anyone really dumb enough to feel that
our team automatically becomes a final 4 threat with S R O crowds?
Give me a break please.
When I was at UGA in the late 1960’s, we finally had a strong team
and Rupp himself commented that the place was so loud, Kentucky
had trouble due to the noise. Just take a look at the concrete ceiling
and Stegeman is Cameron Hall II just waiting to happen. On the rare
occasion when UGA played a big game, my ears were ringing for two
days. Let me suggest that you Stegeman haters rent Field of Dreams.
and the aprticular line of “If you Build it They will Come”.
If UGA can ever put a consistently competitive team on the floor,
without coaches who are crooks (Harrick) and jerks (Felton), Stegeman
will be a place that opponents do not wish to play in.
Unfortuantely, I’m afraid that Fox won’t be the person to put that team
on the floor every game.


December 24th, 2012
9:58 am

It’s amazing how often UGA misses out on great recruits! It just keeps on happening! So often, the recruit will say that UGA stopped contacting them but I’m sure there is a lot to the story! Oh well, better luck next time.


December 26th, 2012
1:26 pm

Funny how this started as a high school basketball blog and the last few comments turned it into UGA and Tech. Two teams that are not even on the map. Who cares about Stegman Barn and McCamish Park. What elite high school player would choose those schools.