Tag Archives: GHSA

2019 GHSA Player Rankings

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DISCLAIMER: If you are not listed, that does not mean you are not an exceptional player. There will be players omitted from this list that will go on to have outstanding senior seasons and collegiate careers. Use these rankings as motivation to become the best player you can be. The state of Georgia is wide and vast with many talented players. With that said, here are my picks for the Top 20 players at each position.


*Rankings don’t necessarily denote best college prospects
*Players are evaluated on Production, Potential & Pedigree

PG

  1. Kyle Sturdivant (Norcross)
  2. Hunter McIntosh (GAC)
  3. Mekhail Bethea (Dacula)
  4. Messiah Thompson (North Atlanta)
  5. Mitch Ganote (Lambert)
  6. Donell Nixon (Buford)
  7. Kalen Williams (Lakeside-Evans)
  8. Brandon Barron (Alpharetta)
  9. Terrell Burden (Campbell)
  10. Maurice Harvey (Miller Grove)
  11. Zyrice Scott (Upson-Lee)
  12. Kamar Robertson (Cambridge)
  13. Jevon Tatum (Grayson)
  14. Da’Marcus Johnson (Tri-Cities)
  15. Matt Gonzalo (St. Pius X)
  16. Jalen Harper (Pebblebrook)
  17. Alijah Huzzie (Heard County)
  18. AJ Watts (Carver-Columbus)
  19. Alex Kelehear (LaFayette)
  20. Jordan Brown (Westover)

SG

  1. Chase Hunter (Westlake)
  2. Brenden Tucker (Dacula)
  3. Devin Butts (Stratford Academy)
  4. Charles Smith IV (Wheeler)
  5. Jamir Chaplin (Meadowcreek)
  6. Nahiem Alleyne (Mountain View)
  7. Jaxon Etter (Etowah)
  8. Malik Battle (Alexander)
  9. Damian Dunn (Meadowcreek)
  10. Tyrin Lawrence (Morgan County)
  11. Hasahnn Reynolds (Discovery)
  12. Alec Woodard (Morgan County)
  13. Ben Sheppard (GAC)
  14. Quinn Richey (Mt. Pisgah)
  15. Tyrel Morgan (Langston Hughes)
  16. Shamar Jones (Johnson-Savannah)
  17. Cam Armstrong (South Paulding)
  18. Nicholas Watson (Tucker)
  19. Jaylen Lamar (Wilkinson County)
  20. Reco Hallmon Jr. (Grayson)

SF

  1. Marcus Watson (Buford)
  2. Isaac Okoro (McEachern)
  3. Jalyn McCreary (Legacy Charter, SC)
  4. Jaylin Williams (Brantley County)
  5. TJ Bickerstaff (Sandy Creek)
  6. Eric Coleman Jr. (Buford)
  7. Jayce Moore (Coffee)
  8. Stanley Eze (Mt. Bethel)
  9. Rayquan Brown (Mundy’s Mill)
  10. D’Antaye Page (Westlake)
  11. Luke Chism (Dawson County)
  12. Isaac Martin (Norcross)
  13. Javonte LeCounte (Bradwell Institute)
  14. Kendall Lewis (Shiloh)
  15. Jamar Moore (Loganville)
  16. Isaiah Scott (Richmond Hill)
  17. Eric Jones (Mountain View)
  18. Terrell Ard (Allatoona)
  19. Brice Martin (Jonesboro)
  20. AJ James (Elbert County)

PF

  1. Dontavius King (Dutchtown)
  2. Jared Jones (McEachern)
  3. Mackenzie McFatten (Coffee)
  4. James Glisson (Southwest DeKalb)
  5. Armani Harris (Newton)
  6. Nathaniel Ogbu (Tucker)
  7. Jay Rucker (East Hall)
  8. Josh Lusane (Americus-Sumter)
  9. Jordan Black (Mundy’s Mill)
  10. Leslie Nkereuwem (Discovery)
  11. Brandon Deravine (Campbell)
  12. Kenyon Jackson (Grayson)
  13. Sammy Mike (Northside-Warner Robins)
  14. Dajuante Williams (Evans)
  15. JD Hull (Darlington)
  16. Devin Evans (Duluth)
  17. Zeff Felton (Dooly County)
  18. Kevin Hester (North Cobb)
  19. Justin Myles (Lithonia)
  20. Niyon Ashley (New Manchester)

C

  1. Babatunde Akingbola (Reclass-Auburn)
  2. Travon Walker (Upson-Lee)
  3. Brady Spence (Alexander)
  4. Malachi Rhodes (ELCA)
  5. Nathan Presnell (Hiram)
  6. Rodney Howard (Legacy Charter, SC)
  7. Issa Muhammad (Norcross)
  8. Chris Hinton (GAC)
  9. Ibrahima Jarjou (Holy Spirit Prep)
  10. Grant Van Beveren (Chattahoochee)
  11. Jatayveous Watson (Newnan)
  12. Solomon Ray (Grayson)
  13. Nate Allison (Starr’s Mill)
  14. Lamont Sams (Johnson-Savannah)
  15. Richard Rivers (Peachtree Ridge)
  16. Micah Hodges (Villa Rica)
  17. Titus Wright (Thomasville)
  18. Kevin Powell (Woodward Academy)
  19. Amari Davis (Peachtree Ridge)
  20. Darius Smith (Morrow)

Georgia State Team Camp Session II

Sleeper Alert

Solomon Ray

No one turned more heads than 2019 6-8 C Solomon Ray of Grayson. Still new to the game of basketball, Ray played JV last season. This year, Ray could be the state’s best late blooming big man. He is an elite shot blocker and a good rebounder that attacks each carom with two hands. Offensively, he is still raw and does all of his damage on the offensive glass, but his defensive presence is game-altering. Only playing the game for a few years according to his coaching staff, Ray does a good job of not biting on too many pump fakes. He keeps his arms straight up and can block shots with both hands. Ray had games of 8, 2 and 5 blocks in the three games attended. With some more player development and a good low post teacher, Ray could end up sneaking onto some D-I radars. Western Illinois already showed interest on Sunday.

Stock Risers

Jalen Lamar

2019 6-2 SG Jalen Lamar is a three-time state champion at Class A-Public Wilkinson County. He shined on the big stage back in March, scoring a team-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting to clinch the Warriors’ third-straight title and 10th in school history. Lamar stood out at the HypeSouth30 Camp and did so again at Georgia State as he poured in 21 points and 6 rebounds against Liberty County. Lamar has a quick release on his jump shot and accuracy to boot, nailing 4 threes. He should be regarded as one of the top seniors in Class A-Public and is firmly entrenched in the discussion as a Top 20 SG.

2019 6-4 SG CJ Hood (Eagle’s Landing) has long been a steady producer, but the Region 4-AAAAA Honorable Mention selection has been in the shadows at times behind Brandon Thomas (Mercer), Tee Evans, Jacob Durmveil and Jordan Lewis in a crowded backcourt over his first three seasons. However, in 2019 it looks like Eagle’s Landing should officially be his team. Hood was the go-to guy in wins over New Manchester and Class AAA state champion GAC. Hood pumped in 24 points against the Jaguars and finished with 22 vs. the Spartans. Hood is a strong shooter that can hit the three but also utilizes the mid-range.

2020 6-5 W Terrence Edwards (Miller Grove) came on strong down the stretch for the Wolverines last year as they fell on a buzzer beater in the Class AAAAA state championship to Warner Robins. Edwards dropped in 11 points in the loss but has continued his upward trend. With a lot of inexperienced faces in the Miller Grove lineup outside of Region 5-AAAAA Player of the Year Maurice Harvey, Edwards’ usage should explode this year. His versatility was on full display in a 58-44 win over Holy Innocents’ as he posted 15 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 blocks.  Edwards hit the outside shot and crashed the glass as the Wolverines’ biggest player.

2020/2021 Guards

The top of the 2020 class is littered with star guards. Sharife Cooper, Dwon Odom, Christian Wright, KD Johnson, the list goes on and on. But there are some more great guards that get nowhere near the publicity of the big four who all lead the charge on elite shoe teams and strong high school programs.

Peyton Daniels

6-0 CG Peyton Daniels (Tri-Cities) is proving to be one of the better shooters in the class of 2021. He outplayed a great 2020 point guard in Deivon Smith (Grayson), filling it up with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in a 57-49 win over the Rams. Daniels nailed 3 threes and created his shot on an island, freeing himself with crossovers to knock down jumper after jumper.

 

DJ Wright

5-7 PG DJ Wright (Greene County) is a name you don’t know if you’re a casual fan from Metro Atlanta. The spunky guard from Greensboro plays in Class A-Public, the smallest classification in Georgia, but his game is big. Wright is quick with the ball in his hands and can score from all three levels. He made opponents pay for going under screens but also got in the lane and finished with a variety of acrobatic layups. Wright might not ever be able to carry Greene County to a deep playoff run, but he still has to be considered one of the best point guards in the classification. The edge he plays with makes up for his diminutive size. He had 21 points (3 threes) and 3 assists in a 48-46 win over Jones County and 2020 CG Bryson Wooten.

 

Demajion Topps

5-10 PG Demajion Topps has people thinking twice about New Manchester. The explosive lead guard orchestrates a relentless Jaguar attack which also features 2019 5-11 CG Jordan Bragg and 2019 6-5 F Niyon Ashley. Bragg is a knockdown shooter that sprays threes. The southpaw drilled four in a 14-point showing against Eagle’s Landing before burying 6 threes en route to 24 points against Collins Hill. Ashley is the bouncy combo forward that provides scoring inside. He had 18 points vs. Eagle’s Landing and 14 against Collins Hill. But make no mistake, its Topps that creates the action. He flourishes in transition, often pitching ahead to shooters running to their spots. Topps has a burst that lets him get to the basket, but also has a solid three-point stroke. Against Eagle’s Landing he had 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. In a win over Collins Hill, Topps tallied 15 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steal and 1 block.

Liberty County Big 3

27-year old Head Coach Julian Stokes had an up-and-down season with an inexperienced group last year, finishing 12-13 without the star power and leadership of Will Richardson who left for Oak Hill Academy.  This year, Coach Stokes is optimistic about the Panthers’ chances of bouncing back and for good reason. Liberty County has a tough backcourt trio consisting of rising seniors Jaden Young, Arieus Taylor and Keannon Taylor. The triumvirate combined for 38 points in Liberty County’s 50-44 win over Wilkinson County. Young was the engine, finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block while Arieus Taylor led with a team-high 17 points. Keannon Taylor supplied 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. The triad’s versatility will be key in the Panthers returning to statewide prominence.

Dawson County Ready to Contend

The mass exodus of Dawson Christian Academy to Dawson County has changed the landscape of Class AAA. While the Tigers might not be a favorite to win a state title, Dawson County looks like they will definitely be a fixture in the Top 10 all season long. A 59-56 win over Grayson will be a distant memory once the season tips in November, but for now it will serve as a small confidence booster and a proof of concept that there can be a winner in Dawsonville.

The offense will run through 2019 6-5 W Luke Chism. The former GICAA star will be a handful for North Georgia teams to slow down. He had 20 points in their win over Grayson, relentlessly attacking the rim. Chism has great body control going to the basket and is able to absorb contact and finish through the chest and arms of defenders. Continuing to round out his three-point shot will help him diversify his offensive game.

Chism will be a part of maybe North Georgia’s best 1-2 punch with Jefferson move-in 2020 6-2 PG Jasper Gibson. While he didn’t have a great offensive game against Grayson, Gibson scored five big points late and did a nice job handling pressure. His shots weren’t falling, but he crafted his way into the lane and found clear looks at the basket thanks to good footwork and ball fakes. 2019 6-0 G/F Ahmad Kamara and 2020 6-5 SF Eli Burruss are both huge pieces from Dawson Christian Academy. Kamara is a positionless bowling ball of effort that helps out in anyway possible while Burruss brings size and energy as a multidimensional option.

Chattooga Impresses

The Chattooga Indians from Summerville came to Georgia State with something to prove after a 23-4 season ended with a first round loss to Monticello at home in the Class AA state playoffs. The senior-laden Indians lost (or won according to who you ask thanks to multiple scoring miscues by the table) to Cedar Grove 54-50 but played with their traditional scrappiness and grit.

Jundraius Adams

The Indian starting five has starters fluctuate with height anywhere from 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-2 on a good day, but it was the smallest man on the floor, 2019 5-6 PG Jundraius “Nuk Nuk” Adams, who stole the show in the first half. Adams was fearless with the ball and was locked in from beyond the three-point line. The pesky jitterbug drilled 4 threes on the day to finish with a game-high 19 points to go with his 4 assists and 4 steals. He frustrated known commodity Devon Barnes at times with his ability to slice into the defense, hang in mid-air and find open teammates at the very last second.

Adams is probably the most skilled player on the Indians while the rest provide constant effort matched with athleticism that wears down every team they see in North Georgia.

2019 6-1 F Devin Price found himself in the right place at the right time on numerous occasions as he finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block. 2019 6-2 W Glenn Walker has a funky shot, but the lefty was able to sink 2 threes as he finished with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Chattooga’s defensive-minded style of play will muck up most games and the fact that they play so hard will lead to a ton of wins, a program that has notched an 86-17 over the past four seasons. Their December 8th showdown with burgeoning South Georgia power Woodville-Tompkins at the sportalShowcase presented by Sandy’s Spiel could be a state playoff preview.

Alexander play date notes

Alexander

Hillgrove: 53-33 (W)
South Atlanta: 76-62 (W)
Southwest DeKalb: 49-42 (L)

Through their three games on Saturday, Alexander looked like a team ready to make a run in Class AAAAAA. If they are able to navigate Region 5, the Cougars could be in good shape to take a deep march in the state playoffs. Two key additions will make an immediate impact.

Malik Battle2019 6-3 SG Malik Battle was brilliant throughout the day. The transfer from Douglas County made it obvious why he was First Team All-Region and an All-State Honorable Mention selection last year. Battle was unstoppable at times, averaging 20.3 points over the three games while drilling eight threes. He is a silky-smooth shooter but is good at getting to the rim. Outside of his knack for scoring, it was his mean streak that stood out. Battle is talker on the floor and his mouth is what ignited the final match-up of the day with Southwest DeKalb into feeling like a state playoff game with the intensity and high level of play. Battle is a no-brainer No. 1 option for the Cougars and he played like a legitimate D-I prospect this weekend.

2019 6-5 SF CJ Hawkins will fit an important role with the Cougars this season. The transfer from Maryland provides a little bit of everything. His toughness on the glass will help out Brady Spence immensely. Hawkins was consistent on the day, averaging 8.3 points, 4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals. Hawkins knocked down three three-pointers and provided energy. He had the highlight of the day when he went hard to the hoop and threw down a one-handed hammer dunk on two 6-foot-6 Southwest DeKalb defenders. Hawkins is a dangerous player that will do what he’s asked, but if needed, can be the second scoring option and give 10-12 points a night.

South Atlanta

Alexander: 76-62 (L)

Only one starter from last season and five players suited up for Coach Michael Reddick, but that did not stop the proud program from competing. With no subs to turn to, the onus was on the five to make the most out of their opportunity.

Ja'Quavian Florence2020 6-3 SG Ja’Quavian Florence will return with a good chunk of experience to a South Atlanta team that loses two of their winningest players in recent years, Dondre Barnes and Jalen Stegall. Florence looks ready to take over the mantle as being the next tough guard in the Hornet backcourt. Florence had a nice flow to his game. He not only dropped in 23 points, hitting three threes, but he led the short-handed Hornets with his overall floor game, collecting 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Florence didn’t force the issue and played within himself even though the bulk of the offense had to run through him. Florence has a nice jump shot that works best when he plays off the ball. Having a large ball handling role in the offense on Saturday should help him down the stretch to round out his offensive game.

David Hollis2021 5-11 SG David Hollis stepped up in a major way, banging home five three-pointers en route to a team-high 25 points. The lefty is a tough player. His three-point shot is his best weapon but he still found chances to attack the hole. If he is able to grow some more, he will be better suited for his 2-guard position. He’s not quite ready to run an offense at the point guard position. If he can’t squeeze out any more inches, working on his ball-handling and ability to finish in the lane would be to area to improve on. Defensively, he has the athletic and strong frame to be able to frustrate weaker guards. Overall, it was a big step forward for the D-Favors Celtic.

Southwest DeKalb

Alexander: 49-42 (W)

The starting five of Southwest DeKalb is intimidating walking off the bus, going 6-1, 6-4, 6-6, 6-7, 6-7. The Panthers will need to get production out of 6-foot-7’s 2021 Rion White and transfer from Florida 2019 Jalen Pittman. If the two bigs can control the paint and do the dirty work, Southwest DeKalb will be a scary proposition with the big three already in place.

2020 6-1 PG KD Johnson to no surprise, was the difference maker in a trash talk, highlight filled Saturday finale with Alexander. Johnson applies pressure on defenses from the second he steps foot on the court. He is in attack mode for the entire game and wears down his opponents. After scoring eight points in the first half, Johnson finished with a game-high 25 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. He buried three three-pointers and picked up 10 points from the foul line. Locked up with Jaylon Brown, a steady 2020 PG prospect in his own right, Johnson showed Brown what a D-I guard right now looks like. Defensively, Johnson rarely ever gives up on plays and notched one of his trademark chase-down blocks that stirred the crowd. His physicality can really bug guards that aren’t used to his in-your-face defending. His fire was lit after Malik Battle started jawing with him and the Southwest DeKalb bench. Bad idea. A player like Johnson doesn’t need any extra motivation, especially in a summer league game.

James Glisson III2019 6-6 PF James Glisson III can sometimes get lost in the shuffle with the high-flying escapades of KD Johnson and the sharpshooting of 2020 6-4 SG Eugene Brown III, but Glisson is uber-important to the success of the Panthers. A big body, Glisson still has the skills to play minutes on the wing, even though I feel he is at his best with his back to the basket. Glisson had 9 points (1 three), 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. He will have games this year where he will carry the Panthers with his offensive rebounding and inside scoring. I view Glisson as one of the top 2019 power forwards in the state.

Cherokee Summer Shootout notes

Chattahoochee 52, Roswell 43

2021 5-9 PG AJ White came out guns a blazin’, drilling three threes in the first half to give the Cougars an early lead that they would never relinquish. White’s shot was on point, finishing with 16 points going 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-3 from deep. It’s easy to see why White is regarded as one of the smoothest guards in the 2021 class.

2019 6-6 PF Grant Van Beveren posted 12 points (5-10 FG) and 9 rebounds. Outside of his standard productive play in the paint, never trying to do too much, Van Beveren shined as a vocal leader for his young team, encouraging and coaching on the floor and on the bench. With schools like Brown already showing interest, Van Beveren should see his recruitment steadily heat up over the course of his senior season.

First Team All-Region 4-AAAAAAA selection 2019 5-foot-10 PG Miles Herron really struggled for Roswell. He went 0-of-5 from the field and scored all 6 of his points from the line in a two-for-one setting. While his offense was off, Herron brought with him an aggressive on-ball defense. Herron moved his feet very well and used his physical frame to funnel ball handlers. He fought over top of screens and did a good job of not giving up on plays.

Class 7A Freshman of the Year Update

2021 6-4 CG Taihland Owens (Cherokee) put up 14 points in a lopsided loss against Mt. Bethel. Owens looks the part of a blossoming D-I guard. He has the height and physical frame, he can shoot the ball fairly well (hit two threes) and he can get to the basket. As Owens continues to refine his game and mature, don’t be surprised to hear his name as Cherokee County’s next D-I product.

Mt. Bethel Christian

The Eagles, two-time defending GICAA state champs, will have something to say about the GHSA Class A-Private state title next year. With a solid foundation of a three-man core, the Eagles should immediately become a contender in A-Private.

Mt. Bethel is anchored inside by 2020 6-8 PF Jordan Meka, who has the wingspan and bounce to end up being Georgia’s best rim protector in the state. Meka had a slow start in Game 1 against Walton, turning the ball over four times in the first half and failing to score, but in the second half and in Game 2, Meka showed why he is a High Major recruit. In a 52-46 win over Walton, Meka scored all 10 of his points in the second half (5-8 FG). He collected 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 blocks. In a Game 2 blowout of Cherokee, Meka impacted the game from the opening tip, finishing with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 blocks.

Meka runs the floor with grace and can put the ball on the deck in spurts when attacking the basket. He had great energy on defense and contested every shot in the paint. On offense, he showed a smooth lefty hook on the baseline to score over a smaller defender. Meka has all the tools to become bona fide star in the GHSA.

The second-head of the non-stop front court is 2019 6-5 SF Stanley Eze. Eze oozes potential. He completely dominated in both games thanks to has constant attack of the offensive glass. Eze plays extremely hard and has a motor that doesn’t quit. He gets off the ground quick with his second leap. Against Walton he had 21 points (9-12 FG; 1-1 3PT), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 2 blocks. In the nightcap, Eze went for 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. The relentless forward is always looking to get to the rim where he can finish with either hand. His athleticism and activity along with Meka can make the Mt. Bethel interior one of the most exciting offensive/defensive tandems in the state.

The point man of the attack is 2019 6-3 PG Coleman Boyd. Boyd and the Eagles like to get out and run, which is where Boyd is most dangerous. With his big frame, Boyd chooses either to take it all the way to the basket or float lobs to Meka or Eze. Offensively, Boyd didn’t have his best night shooting the ball. Against Walton he had 13 points (2-6 FG; 1-5 3PT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. He scored 7 points and had 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 blocks against Cherokee. A few times on the night Boyd attacked the basket hard but ended up forcing the issue and taking a tough shot. When in control, Boyd can distribute the ball well and create open looks for his teammates.

Mt. Bethel’s big three should be able to compete with anybody in Class A-Private. They have some quality role players who will have to hit shots in big games. Their Region 6-A battles with St. Francis could end up becoming one of the state’s best new rivalries.