SSA Fall League Week 2 Recap

Up until the regular season starts, Suwanee Sports Academy is home of the High School Fall League spanning from Week 1 (Aug. 20) to Week 8 (Oct. 15). 16 varsity teams take to the court along with two AAU programs, creating a competitive atmosphere. A handful of teams are in early contention to crack the Top 10 in their respective classifications for the 2016-17 season, making the SSA Fall League an intriguing stop during the dog days of summer.

Parkview 59, Alexander 49


Two teams with high expectations that could really sneak up on the state met in Week 2. The Panthers were without 6-foot-7 sophomore Ahmir Langlais and 6-foot-5 freshman Toneari Lane who were both at North Florida Elite Camp where they picked up scholarship offers. Even without two of their brightest young talents, the Panthers still managed to lead coast-to-coast and knock off the Cougars.

Parkview entered the fourth quarter up 11 before Alexander’s Damion Howell began to hurt Parkview’s smaller interior, the beefy 6-foot-7 big man collecting six of his eight points in the quarter. The Cougars clawed to within four before Parkview leaned on last year’s leading scorer, junior Cam Chavers to carry them to the finish line. Chavers netted six of his team-high 14 points in the final frame. The Panthers’ backcourt harassed the Cougars into turnovers which led to easy hoops. (Jr.) Justin Spencer scored 13 points followed by (Jr.) Myles Joseph and (So.) Jamiel Wright scoring 11 apiece. As a team, Parkview knocked down nine threes, which should stretch defenses out to allow Langlais space to maneuver inside this upcoming season.

Alexander showed flashes of being a dangerous team in Class AAAAAA with their lineup of (Jr.) Grant Howard, (Sr.) Rod Rapley, (Sr.) Zeek Copeland and sophomore Cameron Armstrong surrounding senior Damion Howell inside. Howard provided the most consistent outside shooting, able to pull up off the dribble and drain from deep. He hit four three-pointers en route to a game-high 16 points. Rapley added nine points and Howell, eight. The Cougars’ aggressive guard play will be at its best when configured into Coach Jason Slate’s system.

St. Francis 49, Grayson 45


Junior Travis Anderson caught fire in the fourth quarter, scoring eight points and rallying the Rams to a 40-39 lead after trailing 39-32 to enter the final period. The game was tied at 45 with 1:59 left, both teams matching baskets. A silly late foul with 14 seconds remaining put St. Francis senior guard Wallace Tucker at the line. Tucker, who scored a game-high 18 points, sank the two-for-one free throw to give the Knights a two point lead. Anderson had one last chance to either tie or win the game, but the ball slipped out of his hands and a thunderous dunk by Dwon Odom sealed the deal.

Plenty of new faces will be front and center for St. Francis this year. None will be more heavily tracked than freshman guard Dwon Odom. The 6-foot-2 mega-athlete made his presence felt during the travel circuit and enters high school ball as a ballyhooed prospect. Odom stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, six rebounds, one assist, five steals and three blocks. As elite an athlete as the youngster is, he must craft his shot over the next four years. All 10 of his points came on fast breaks; three of them dunks. Once he gains more confidence in his jumper Odom has a chance to be a very special player.

Now asked to be the leader, veteran Wallace Tucker played the best game I’ve seen him put forth. He did a number on the physically smaller Grayson guards and cleaned up when sent to the foul line, scoring eight points via the charity stripe.

For Grayson, Anderson really turned it on when the game got competitive in the fourth quarter. Incoming freshman Deivon Smith didn’t play a whole lot. The little guard is crafty and has a nice future ahead of him. He hit a game-winner at the buzzer to beat Odom’s Atlanta Celtics earlier in the offseason, giving the two guards a little history. It was a downer not being able to see each other matchup more.

Outside of Anderson, 6-foot-4 senior post Kyle Butts impressed. He is a strong rebounder that gives Coach Geoffrey Pierce a lot of effort inside. He finished with six points and 10 rebounds. Another senior, Aaron Rowe, brings some depth to the wing after moving in from Parkview. He had five points and five rebounds. Terrell Greene scored six points from the perimeter to go with his two steals. The Rams were missing starting center, 6-foot-6 Kenyon Jackson inside who is currently in football season.

Eagle’s Landing 56, Georgia Elite Ballers 53


A pair of transfers helped the Eagles over a talented AAU team. 6-foot-8 senior Mohammed Abubakar led the way with 13 points. The big man from Hamilton Heights, TN was aggressive, getting the ball and attacking the rim from the high post. He even knocked down a three. Junior sweet shooter Brandon Thomas moved in from Locust Grove to hit three threes for nine points. Lengthy sophomore CJ Hood pitched in 12 points and was active on defense and the glass rebounding the ball.

Holy Innocents’ 66, Marist 54

The big three of seniors Jules Erving, Cole Smith and Richard Surdykowski overwhelmed Marist. Erving poured in 22 points followed by Smith’s 14 and Surdykowski’s seven points. Marist received 17 points from senior David Sever.

East Jackson 51, Prince Avenue Christian 42

Junior guard Kobe Haley powered East Jackson with 21 points. Prince Avenue was led by senior guard Sam Todd’s 11 points and junior forward Dalton Meeler’s 10 points.

Alexander 49, Flowery Branch 45

Behind guards Justin Quick and John Mills, the Falcons pushed the Cougars to the brink. Quick, a junior, led all scorers with 16 points. Senior Dalton Gerdts buried three threes and finished with 11 points but missed on a game-tying three at the buzzer. Mills, a senior, added 12 points while fellow starting senior guard Brannon Clark was not in attendance. Once again, Grant Howard supplied the offense for Alexander with 11 points. Zeek Copeland and Rod Rapley both went for seven points.

Johnson-Gainesville 55, Forsyth Central 49 OT


The Knights rallied from down double digits to force overtime where they surged past the Bulldogs. Senior forward Dwayne Wilson posted a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Augusta area preview podcast with Chad Cook

I was able to record a podcast with Augusta’s No. 1 basketball expert, Chad Cook of The area’s top teams and players heading into the 2016-17 season were previewed. Please follow Chad at @AugBball on Twitter for unmatched coverage and analysis of the Augusta area, and please read more about his background here:

A brief history of Savannah basketball

While we are in the dog days of summer waiting for Fall leagues to kick back off the 2016 preseason, take a minute to read this excellent piece on basketball in Savannah.

My friend Travis Jaudon (@jaudonsports) took months to piece together how basketball has grown and helped shape the city of Savannah. From Larry “Gator” Rivers to rising Jenkins senior Trevion Lamar, south Georgia has had a proud history of hoops.

Please follow Travis on Twitter for high school coverage with @savannahnow this upcoming season.


2016-17 GHSA Basketball Transfer List

Here is a rundown of some transfers I have heard through the grapevine and a summary of what the additions mean. If you know of anymore or any that are incorrect, please shoot me a tweet @KyleSandy355, leave a comment or email [email protected]



JR Dylin Hardeman – 6’3” 170 lbs – (St. Francis to Woodstock)
SR Brian Coffey Jr. – 6’1” 170 lbs – (GAC to Shiloh)
SR Brandon Blair – 6’0″ 165 lbs – (Duluth to Shiloh)
JR Joseph Toppin – 6’6” 190 lbs – (Meadowcreek to Norcross)
SR Jordan Ferguson – 6’2″ 248 lbs – (St. Francis to Norcross)
SR Jordan Usher – 6’6” 205 lbs – (Sequoyah to Wheeler)
JR EJ Montgomery – 6’9” 210 lbs – (Montverde, FL to Wheeler)
SO Terry Armstrong – 6’6” 180 lbs – (Carman-Ainsworth, MI to Wheeler)
JR Brandon Younger – 6’6” 175 lbs – (Mt. Pisgah to Wheeler)
JR Austin Johnson – 6’8” 210 lbs – (McEachern to Wheeler)
SR Jordan Tucker – 6’7″ 207 lbs – (Archbishop Stepinac, NY to Wheeler)
SO Isaac Martin – 6’5” 185 lbs – (McEachern to Wheeler)
JR Dontarius Carter – 6’4” 195 lbs – (Cherokee to Kennesaw Mountain)
JR Drue Drinnon – 6’0” 170 lbs – (East Jackson to Pebblebrook)
SO Jared Jones – 6’9” 230 lbs – (Potter’s House, FL to Pebblebrook)
SR Elias Harden – 6’6” 180 lbs – (Sandy Creek to Pebblebrook)
SO Messiah Thompson – 5’8 147 lbs (North Atlanta to Pebblebrook)
JR Julian Larrieu – 5’9” 155 lbs – (Dacula to Collins Hill)
SR JaQuan Morris – 6’2” 170 lbs – (Central Gwinnett to Collins Hill)
JR Caleb Holifield – 6’3” 185 lbs – (Pace Academy to Peachtree Ridge)
JR Travis Anderson – 6’0” 170 lbs – (East Jackson to Grayson)
SR Aaron Rowe – 6’2” 165 lbs – (Parkview to Grayson)
SO Reco Hallmon – 6’1″ 160 lbs – (East Jackson to Grayson)
SR Gerald Buncum – 6’6″ 180 lbs – (Jack Britt, NC to Grayson)
SR Isaiah Miller – 6’0” 165 lbs – (Eastside to Newton)
JR Amari Kelly – 6’7” 243 lbs – (Brookwood to Meadowcreek)
JR Cory Hightower – 6’7″ 175 lbs – (Brookwood to Meadowcreek)
SO Jamir Chaplin – 6’4″ 170 lbs – (Stephenson to Meadowcreek)
JR Daylan Smith – 6’0″ 165 lbs – (Centennial to Duluth)
SR Jaylen Morgan – 6’4″ 170 lbs – (East Jackson to Central Gwinnett)
SR Cameron Starkes – 5’11” 150 lbs – (Druid Hills to Lakeside-DeKalb)
SO Jalyn McCreary – 6’6″ 180 lbs – (Wheeler to Kennesaw Mountain)
FR Christian Wright – 6’3″ 170 lbs – (Holy Spirit Prep to Milton)
JR Ulyric Wright – 6’2″ 170 lbs – (Texas to Milton)


JR Landers Nolley II – 6’6” 205 lbs – (Curie, IL to Langston Hughes)
SO Jeremiah Sanabria – 6’5” 170 lbs – (Columbus to Allatoona)
SR Ellis Merriweather – 6’2” 200 lbs – (King’s Ridge to Alpharetta)
SO Brandon Barron – 5’10” 165 lbs – (Westlake to Alpharetta)
JR Justin Brown – 6’1” 165 lbs – (Milton to Northview)
JR Andrew Stimpson – 6’1” 165 lbs – (Etowah to North Atlanta)
SR Ma’Kel Wallace – 6’0” 170 lbs – (Veterans to Houston County)
SR Joshua Cammon – 6’3” 195 lbs – (Eastside to Tucker)
JR Jon Young – 6’4” 175 lbs – (Westlake to New Manchester)
JR Tyson Jackson – 6’7” 190 lbs – (Whitefield Academy to Creekside)
JR Jarrel Rosser – 6’6” 180 lbs – (Newnan to Gainesville)
JR Jarred Rosser – 6’6” 180 lbs – (Newnan to Gainesville)
JR KaJuan Hale – 5’11” 160 lbs – (Austin-East, TN to Gainesville)
FR Knowledge Ruben – 6’5” 210 lbs – (Texas to South Paulding)
SR Jaylon Terrell – 6’3″ 180 lbs – (Lovejoy to Jonesboro)
SR DL Hall – 6’2″ 170 lbs – (Houston County to Valdosta)
JR Dequavious Bell  – 6’1″ 160 lbs – (Whitefield Academy to New Manchester)
SO Joesph Jones – 5’7″ 150 lbs – (Maplewood-Richmond Heights, MO to Northview)
SR Clayvon Croom – 6’4″ 200 lbs – (McEachern to Mays)


JR David Viti – 6’5” 195 lbs – (Lambert to Buford)
SO Donell Nixon II – 5’8″ 150 lbs – (Mountain View to Buford)
SO Marcus Watson – 6’6” 210 lbs – (West Forsyth, NC to Buford)
SO Karston Miller – 6’1” 170 lbs – (North Gwinnett to Buford)
JR Will Richter – 6’2” 160 lbs – (St. Francis to Johnson-Gainesville)
JR Jermon Clark – 6’6” 220 lbs – (Arabia Mountain to Miller Grove)
SR Mohammed Abubukar – 6’8” 225 lbs – (Hamilton Heights, TN to Eagle’s Landing)
JR Brandon Thomas – 6’3” 170 lbs – (Locust Grove to Eagle’s Landing)
SR Kenton Eskridge – 6’2” 195 lbs – (Tucker to Columbia)
SR Reyhan Cobb – 6’7” 190 lbs – (Pius XI, WI to Columbia)
FR Joshua Taylor – 6’6″ 175 lbs – (Holy Spirit Prep to Columbia)
JR Champ Dawson – 6’2” 180 lbs – (First Presbyterian Day to Warner Robins)

Class AAAA

JR Kennedy Willis – 6’7” 190 lbs – (Therrell to St. Pius)
JR Troy Stephens – 6’1” 160 lbs – (GAC to St. Pius)
SR Eric Williams – 6’3” 180 lbs – (Fayette County to Sandy Creek)
SR Khalid Wilkins – 6’0” 175 lbs – (Mt. Vernon Presbyterian to Sandy Creek)
JR Lincoln Smith – 6’4″ 175 lbs – (Columbus to Shaw)
SR Avery Showell – 6’2” 195 lbs – (St. Francis to Cartersville)

Class AAA

SR Trey Foster – 6’2” 176 lbs – (Rutland to Westside-Macon)
SR Jaylyne Brown – 5’9” 160 lbs – (Rutland to Westside-Macon)
SR Kentrevious Jones – 6’11” 285 lbs – (Central-Macon to Westside-Macon)
JR Kylan Hill – 6’3” 180 lbs – (Jones County to Central-Macon)
SR Dalton Smith – 5’11” 180 lbs – (Rogers, AR to Bremen)
JR Brice Paster – 6’2″ 193 lbs – (Lamar County to Peach County)
SO Tyrin Lawrence – 6’3″ 170 lbs – (Monticello to Morgan County)
SR Perrell Brisbane – 6’2″ 175 lbs – (Long County to Pierce County)
JR Jace Bonds 
– 6’1″ 165 lbs – (Oconee County to East Jackson)
SR Myles Walker – 6’3″ 180 lbs – (Windsor Forest to Jenkins)

Class AA

SR Christian Robinson – 5’10” 185 lbs – (Westside-Augusta to Butler)
SR Javier Flohr – 5’11” 160 lbs – (Grovetown to Harlem)
SR Laberton Sims Jr. – 6’4” 180 lbs – (Tift County to Toombs County)
FR Julius Sims – 6’1” 160 lbs – (Tift County to Toombs County)

Class A

SR Mo Merritt – 6’7” 195 lbs – (Sprayberry to North Cobb Christian)
JR Trent Bowdre – 5’10” 140 lbs – (Grovetown to Aquinas)
JR Dajuan Hill – 6’5” 190 lbs – (Cross Creek to Aquinas)
JR Jelani Shakir – 5’10” 170 lbs – (Harker Heights, TX to Aquinas)
SO Koby Isaac – 6’2” 170 lbs – (Norcross to Southwest Atlanta Christian)
SR David Quimby – 6’3″ 190 lbs – (Dougherty to Greenforest)
SR Cameron Evans – 6’6″ 215 lbs – (Chattooga to Darlington)
JR Oliver Oden – 6’3″ 175 lbs – (North Atlanta Christian Flight to Mt. Vernon Presbyterian)
JR Ward Phillips – 6’1″ 170 lbs – (North Atlanta Christian Flight to Mt. Vernon Presbyterian)
JR Corey Myart – 6’7″ 195 lbs – (Duluth to Mt. Vernon Presbyterian)


SR Nick Hargrove – 6’0” 172 lbs – (Southwest-Macon to New Rock Prep)
SR JJ Smith – 6’4” 190 lbs – (Pebblebrook to North Carolina)
SR Jaylin Wimberly – 6’3” 165 lbs – (Lee County to Terrell Academy)
JR Gabe Bryant – 6’8” 210 lbs – (Dawson County to Dorman, SC)
SR Zach Butler – 6’5″ 180 lbs – (Norcross to Dorman, SC)
JR Juwan White – 6’0” 180 lbs – (Dacula to Norman North, OK)
SR Tajah Fraley – 6’3″ 180 lbs – (Shiloh to 22ft Academy, SC)
JR Tolu Jacobs – 7’0″ 275 lbs – (King’s Ridge to California)
SR Michael Durr – 6’9″ 220 lbs – (Jonesboro to Oldsmar Christian, FL)
SO Elias King – 6’6″ 185 lbs – (Shiloh to Huntington Prep, WV)
SO Jaykwon Walton – 6’4″ 165 lbs – (Northside-Columbus to Carver-Montgomery, AL)


Last season Region 3-AAAAAA ruled supreme as Westlake defeated Pebblebrook in the state championship game. Westlake transformed itself from a 13-15 team into a 27-4 powerhouse thanks to the transfer circuit. This season, Region 2-AAAAAAA is loaded as the arms race has begun between Pebblebrook and Wheeler.

Pebblebrook and Wheeler have been among the busiest teams this offseason trying to catch up to Westlake. Pebblebrook has landed consensus High Major D-I talents in Drue Drinnon, Jared Jones and Elias Harden (Xavier) to surround superstar Collin Sexton.

Drinnon is as experienced of a junior as they come, posting big numbers since his freshman year at East Jackson. The point guard will now be asked to distribute the ball to the weapons around him. Drinnon was named Sandy’s Spiel Class AAA Best Scorer and was a First Team All-State selection after averaging 21.3 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists.

Jones comes from Potter’s House, FL and is a handful inside. Jones can score with his back to the basket and rebounds well in traffic. He has the ability to step out to the three-point land and can help stretch the defense to allow Pebblebrook’s guards slashing lanes. Add Harden from Sandy Creek, and the Falcons have another long wing at 6-foot-6 that can stroke it from deep and also attack the basket. Harden was a Sandy’s Spiel Class AAAA All-State Second Teamer after averaging 20.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

Wheeler counters with hot prospects as well in EJ Montgomery and Jordan Usher.  Montgomery is heralded as a five-star power forward by 247Sports. He fills the role left behind by Romello White, who is now at Arizona State after decommitting from Georgia Tech. In a further effort to revamp the frontcourt, Usher joins from Sequoyah where he will see a massive step up in competition night in and night out, but brings an undeniable athleticism to the wing and can attack the basket, especially in the open floor. At Sequoyah, Usher averaged 18.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks his junior season.

The Wildcats didn’t stop there. Though they struck out in landing Zion Williamson (for now), Wheeler did add Terry Armstrong and Brandon Younger. Armstrong comes over as the No. 1 ranked player in Michigan in the Class of 2019. The long and athletic wing should thrive with the amount of talent surrounding him. Younger is young and lean like Armstrong. He averaged over 11 points per game as a sophomore at Mt. Pisgah but much like Usher, sees a major increase in competition during the regular season.

Austin Johnson moves in as the most unheard of out of the group, but the long-armed big man can block shots and also score with both hands around the hoop. He played with 16U Game Elite Orange and could be a solid rotational piece with some upside moving forward. Isaac Martin also joins the party as Wheeler’s embarrassment of riches continues to pile up. The 6-foot-5 guard played a big role with McEachern last season as a freshman. He is a good distance shooter which will help spread the floor.

On August 24, Jordan Tucker became lucky No. 7 in the Wheeler recruiting class as he took to Twitter to announce his commitment. Tucker can score inside and outside and does everything you want from an aggressive wing. He averaged 17.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks as a junior. He sank 51 threes at a 35% clip and got to the line 214 times where he converted 72%. Earlier in the day, Tucker was ranked No. 39 in ESPN’s Top 100.

North Florida-commit Brian Coffey Jr. makes the move to Shiloh after leaving GAC mid-season. Coffey will step in to fill the void left by Perry Battle at point guard. Coffey can score the ball but is best at setting his teammates up.  Also joining Coffey is Brandon Blair, a 6-foot senior guard that brings quickness to the Shiloh backcourt. At Duluth he averaged over nine points and three assists per game.

Grayson hopes the second time is a charm as D-I prospect Travis Anderson is back playing with the Rams in the offseason. After starting at Holy Innocents’, Anderson played with Grayson last offseason into the fall before jettisoning at the last moment to go play at East Jackson. Anderson, who averaged 18 points per game, is back in Gwinnett County and will provide a major boost in the Grayson backcourt after the graduation of Alphonso Willis and Austin Dukes.  Anderson’s experience could be invaluable for a young guard rotation consisting of freshman Deivon Smith and sophomore Justin Fleming.

Joseph Toppin joins the Norcross Blue Devils across the county after leaving Meadowcreek. Toppin is a long and raw athlete that has a chance to polish his game his final two seasons at Norcross. He has put in a lot of work over the summer and should be an integral piece moving forward for Coach Jesse McMillan. The emerging standout has garnered D-I offers from a handful of SEC schools and has a chance to cement himself as a top junior now that he’s in the spotlight at Norcross.

Woodstock clinched a state playoff berth for the first time in school history – 20 years – last season and looks to continue building. Dylin Hardeman makes the move from St. Francis back to Woodstock and will have an opportunity to take the scoring burden off Tyreke Johnson’s shoulders. Hardeman is coming off a strong summer season with 16U Team Atlanta where he was counted on being a top backcourt option. The 6-foot-3 guard should pair up with Johnson to form one of the best backcourts in Cherokee County with their diverse ways of scoring the ball.

Caleb Holifield brings over a deft touch from beyond the three-point line to Peachtree Ridge. Holifield played at Pace Academy last season but lost eligibility coming down the stretch. He gets a new lease on life his junior season and should bring a nice scoring punch to the Lions backcourt.

First rumored to head to Jonesboro, Isaiah Miller instead lands at Newton where the Rams backcourt is now as good as anyone’s in the state. The unapologetic pure bucket-getting senior is starting to heat his recruitment up heading into his final season. Miller was among the state’s top scorers last year, pouring in 25.3 points per game while adding 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 4.3 steals and 1 block. Couple him with Ashton Hagans and JD Notae, and the Rams have a dynamic backcourt that should overpower teams at times if Miller can fit into Coach Rick Rasmussen’s system.

JaQuan Morris exploded this summer as a name to keep an ear out for. Morris was consistently seen pouring in 20+ points on a regular basis at HoopSeen tournaments. The 6-foot-2 guard blows by defenders with his quickness and ability to finish at the rim. He’s also shown he can bang home threes in bunches as a deadly shooter. Morris averaged 11.6 points per game at Central Gwinnett last season and after his meteoric rise with 17U God’s Property, he should raise his output his senior season back at Collins Hill, where he played his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Meadowcreek receives a boost in the form of 6-foot-7 junior Amari Kelly. He averaged 6.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game with Brookwood and is continuing to learn the game and improve his skillset. Kelly has a chance to be a key cog in the Mustangs’ attempt at a turnaround.


A year after being bitten by the transfer bug, Langston Hughes gets a talented player back in Landers Nolley II. Nolley started his high school career at Lovejoy then transferred to Curie, IL where he won a state title before coming back to the Peach State this year. The 6-foot-5 guard will get a chance to play with the ball in his hands and off the ball as well with Khalil Cuffee and Derrick Cook both versatile players on the perimeter. Nolley has a dangerous three-point shot but is also a tough cover when driving the lane and creating for his teammates.

Navy football commit Ellis Merriweather brings his scoring prowess on the hardwood to Alpharetta. Merriweather is a rock solid guard that can fill up the cup. The addition of Merriweather along with first-year head coach Jason Dasigner to the Raider program could prove beneficial right away. A nice group of seniors return to a new wide open region that doesn’t have a clear cut favorite, giving the Raiders as good a chance as anybody to return to the postseason for a sixth straight season.

Northview gets a massive shot in the arm with Justin Brown returning home after spending his sophomore season at Milton. Brown averaged 15.1 points per game as a freshman at Northview and took a backseat at Milton trying to get D-I teammates Alex O’Connell, Chris Lewis and Kyrin Galloway their shots. At Northview, Brown should instantly go back to being the No. 1 option on offense.

Ma’Kel Wallace is set to play at Houston County this season after transferring last year but being ruled ineligible to play. He will be an instant difference maker his senior season with the Bears as a reliable guard that can get his own shot off. If Houston County is going to make a trip back to the postseason, Wallace must provide leadership and accountability as one of Coach Stephen Walls’ top guard.

Tucker loses leading scorer Kenton Eskridge to Columbia but replaces him with Eastside’s Joshua Cammon. Cammon was a team captain on the Eagles’ 20-win team last season and averaged 13.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game. He was overshadowed by 25-point-per-game scorer Isaiah Miller but Cammon can play. The muscular athlete has tight handles in traffic and can create his own shot. He was a streaky three-point shooter, hitting three or more in seven games and taking 187 on the year, but only connected at a 27% rate. Nonetheless, Cammon should step in and instantly be one of Tucker’s leading scorers, soothing the loss of Eskridge.

Creekside lands a big piece in 6-foot-7 junior Tyson Jackson. The long and lanky forward averaged 7 points and 6.4 rebounds while blocking 1.3 shots per game and showed flashes of his upside throughout the season. At Creekside he should see a few more touches offensively and will be asked to anchor the paint with his shot blocking in an increasingly difficult region.

Gainesville wasn’t going to have much of a drop off from last year’s 21-6 team and now with the addition of twins Jarred and Jarrel Rosser, the Red Elephants look like an early favorite to make a deep run into the state playoffs. The 6-foot-6 juniors are extremely versatile with the ability to score in and out. Adding them to Gainesville’s already free flowing offense makes the Elephants look positionless at times on the floor with each player able to play multiple positions. The Rosser twins can help the most on the glass, easing the rebounding burden that Bailey Minor and KJ Buffen shoulder.

Knowledge Ruben moves from Texas to join his older brother Jordan at South Paulding. At 6-foot-5 with plenty of meat on him, the rising freshman holds promising in the paint. Already known for his strong rebounding, if he continues to grow and polishes his game, he could bring some similar traits to the table that all-time leading rebounder Anthony Brown, who graduated in 2016, put to use.

North Atlanta fell on hard times last year, but the addition of Andrew Stimpson could help build a solid backcourt as he teams up with rising sophomore point guard, Messiah Thompson.

Jaylon Terrell, an explosive guard, moves from Lovejoy to new region foe Jonesboro.  He gets to team up with five-star guard MJ Walker and one of the best coaches in the state, Dan Maehlman. At 6-foot-3, Terrell brings with him a high motor and tenacity that should fit in well with the Cardinals. He holds an offer from Navy.


Coach Eddie Martin has wasted no time in attracting talent to Buford. With a sparkling new gym set to open up, the Wolves are starting to become a destination. Four new players have made the leap to come play for the state champion head coach. The Wolves add size in the frontcourt with David Viti and Marcus Watson while Karston Miller and Donell Nixon II provide three-point shooting and guard play. Both Viti and Watson are physical presences inside with the ability to play outside as well. Watson has spent his summer attacking from the wing with 15U Team CP3. Nixon as a freshman paced Mountain View averaging 12.4 points per game while draining 69 threes at a 45% clip. Smith is a young guard that contributed 7.9 points per game at North Gwinnett.

Another multi-state championship winning coach is back on the sidelines in the form of Dr. Phil McCrary. The five-time state champ looks to turn around a Columbia program that sunk to 14-13 last year. Outside of Miller Grove’s run of six-straight state championships, Columbia is the last team to three-peat back in 2010-12 under the guidance of McCrary. The excitement of a living legend back on the bench has prompted talent from around the area to flock to Columbia.

Kenton Eskridge leaves behind Coach James Hartry after leading the Tucker Tigers in scoring as a junior. Eskridge is a stout guard that uses his body when attacking the rim. He joins a Columbia roster that already has length throughout. A key piece to that length is the return of Reyhan Cobb. The 6-foot-7 senior played at Columbia as a sophomore and blocked 1.4 shots per game before transferring to Wisconsin where he averaged 10.7 points as a junior. The shot altering forward is athletic and will run the floor on fastbreaks for dunks.

Mohammed Abubukar could be a game-changing post player for Eagle’s Landing after transferring in from Hamilton Heights, TN. At 6-foot-8, Abubukar is a strong workhorse on the low block. He will anchor an Eagles frontline that lacked in post production. Abubukar seems confident with his back to the basket and can spin hard into the lane to set up a baby hook. Keep an eye on his senior season. Joining Abubukar is potent junior wing Brandon Thomas. The 6-foot-3 scorer has D-I interest after pouring in over 18 points per game and shooting over 40% from three with Locust Grove.

Miller Grove adds frontcourt depth with Jermon Clark entering the fold. The 6-foot-6 shot blocker averaged 5.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks as a sophomore at Arabia Mountain. He will fight for playing time between Tworn Seals and Kevin Paige.

Johnson-Gainesville continues its rebuild and adds Will Richter as a piece to the future. The junior guard is a St. Francis transfer that will be inserted into the Knights starting lineup right away. His ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shooting and his experience playing with St. Francis and the Georgia Stars bodes well for Coach Tim Slater. If Richter can get stronger and polish his dribble-drive game, he could put together a nice career in Hall County.

Champ Dawson might not be known outside of the Middle Georgia area yet, but the rising junior guard and son of a coach has high-IQ and the smooth skills to make an impact in the already young and talented Warner Robins backcourt that is now ready to step out of the shadows cast by its graduating class. Dawson led First Presbyterian Day in scoring at 10.8 points. The son of current Central Georgia Tech head coach Reco Dawson, has a soft pull-up in the lane and can find ways to get to the basket. Dawson is a willing passer as well that shouldn’t have a problem taking a backseat to get his teammates involved.

Class AAAA

St. Pius adds Kennedy Willis and Troy Stephens. Willis comes in from Therrell and brings with him length and size at 6-foot-7. He hasn’t reached his potential yet but has a nice skillset and the ability to play multiple positions. Stephens is an athletic ball handler that has a chance to earn minutes in the backcourt alongside the Gonzalo brothers and Everett Lane.

Sandy Creek loses Elias Harden to Pebblebrook, but sees Khalid Wilkins and Eric Williams move in. Wilkins, a 6-foot guard from Mt. Vernon Presbyterian, led the Mustangs in scoring last year while Williams, 6-foot-3, averaged 5.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists at Fayette County.

The addition of Lincoln Smith to Shaw not only helps the Raiders but hurts region rival Columbus where he comes from. The 6-foot-4 wing led the Blue Devils in rebounding and narrowly in scoring, posting 11.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and adding 1.1 steals and 1.6 blocks . With a strong senior class graduating, Smith will step in right away and give Coach Terry White a viable option to slide in and continue to power Shaw’s recent turnaround.

Avery Showell brings athleticism, toughness and experience to Cartersville after averaging 4.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals with St. Francis his junior season. The Wake Forest football-commit fits the Purple Hurricane mold of being a two-sport star. He should see plenty of playing time and plenty of opportunities to help out an already talented Cartersville backcourt.

Class AAA

The addition of Trey Foster bolsters the lineup around superstar Khavon Moore. Foster averaged 15 points, 8 assists and 3 steals per game as one of Middle Georgia’s toughest guards. The hard-nosed perimeter defender can push the pace and get teammates involved. Following him is teammate Jaylyne Brown, an experienced guard that will help with ball handling most likely off the bench.

Another Middle Georgia mover, Kylan Hill joins Central-Macon after averaging 8.9 points and leading Jones County in rebounding at 7.6. Hill will be a vital piece inside now that Kentrevious Jones has transferred away.

In a move that shakes the landscape of Middle Georgia and the state title picture in Class AAA, Kentrevious Jones has departed from Central-Macon (27-3) and has moved cross town to join Khavon Moore at Westside-Macon (22-7). The 6-foot-11, 285-pound center with HM D-I offers will now anchor the Seminoles in the paint and immediately makes Westside a true state title contender as he pairs with the 6-foot-8 five-star junior along with fellow transfers Trey Foster and Jaylyne Brown. Also still in the fold is guard Samone Reed. Jones brings with him his 17.3 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game. The loss is a potentially crippling blow for Central-Macon as a region rival reaps the benefits.

Class AA

Christian Robinson played a big role in helping Westside-Augusta to the Elite Eight and will now bring his tenacious downhill attack to Butler. Robinson is a powerful guard who averaged over 11 points per game last season. Built like a fullback, Robinson has a bulldog mentality when getting to the basket and defending ball handlers. Robinson should help steady Butler, a team that could be one of the best in the Augusta area this season.

Javier Flohr averaged 5.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals at Grovetown. He represents solid depth and experience for Harlem who sank to 2-23 last year.

Brothers Laberton Jr. and Julius Sims could be impact players right away for Toombs County as their father Laberton Sr., has taken the job after serving as an assistant at Tift County. Laberton Jr. saw some time on the Tift County varsity, a major step up from the type of competition he will see night in and night out at Toombs County. He should vie for a big role along the Bulldogs frontline with the ability to play above the rim while Julius could debut as a freshman.

Class A

Mo Merritt brings a much needed post presence to North Cobb Christian. The springy 6-foot-7 forward is a tough rebounder but a smooth finisher inside. He played well at Kennesaw State’s Elite Camp and only rose his stock. He’s not a hot prospect just yet, but with a year at annual powerhouse North Cobb Christian, the stretchy big man has a chance to really make a difference in Class A and build upon his interest he currently holds from Georgia Southern and Savannah State.

Aquinas lands an underrated tenacious guard in Trent Bowdre. A rivaling coach had this to say about Bowdre after he averaged 6.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a sophomore at Grovetown: “He is an animal on defense, great at attacking the basket, lefty and can shoot from the outside. He is a dawg. He is fearless.”

Dajuan Hill spent his time on the Cross Creek JV last year, but will likely play a prominent role inside for Aquinas as a junior. The 6-foot-5 post has nice footwork and physicality inside.

Koby Isaac gets to officially announce his presence to the GHSA after playing sparingly on the Norcross varsity team as a freshman. He heads to Southwest Atlanta Christian where he teams up with DeAundre Ballard in the backcourt. Isaac, pegged as a three-star recruit, already has interest from Wake Forest, Memphis, Georgia Tech, Florida State and more.

If there was ever a smidgen of a potential but still unlikely weakness for defending Class A-Private state champs Greenforest it would be the Eagles backcourt after John Ogwuche (New Hampshire) graduated, leaving Justin Forrest as the lone proven starter. Those worries of who will slide in next to Forrest are all but put to rest with the addition of David Quimby. The 6-foot-3 scoring guard exits Dougherty, a program that was blasted with controversy and suspensions due to playing illegal players which resulted in a 2016-17 postseason ban and a fine. Quimby now joins the heavy favorite to repeat for a title. He exploded this offseason as a high scoring guard that poured in 40 points in a single game. He can score from all over the floor, especially from deep when he gets hot. Quimby is a major stock riser that will garner attention his senior season.

Mt. Vernon Presbyterian took a blow last year, losing 6-foot-11 Texas-commit to La Lumiere, IN for his senior season. This year KJ Jenkins is off to Sandy Creek, but the Mustangs have talent to fill the void. A pair of home schooled guards, Oliver Oden and Ward Phillips join the backcourt. Oden averaged 16.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals. Phillips averaged 9 points per game and drilled 45 threes on the year. Corey Myart comes in from Duluth and will have an opportunity to polish his game at Mt. Vernon where the 6-foot-7 forward will see plenty of playing time.