Posted On: 11/9/17 8:00 AM
This season’s Georiga Elite 8 Tip Off Classic will be a loaded event this year. This is the 2nd annual event and it is yet again hosted at McEachern High School. Great matchups will be played all day and feature a lot of next level talent. The teams participating in this event include: Lincoln Prep, Miller Grove, Kipp, McEachern, Norcross, Wheeler, Shiloh, Heritage, Meadowcreek, Tift County, and out of state programs, Hamilton Heights (TN) and Rocky River (NC). This year’s matchups are listed below.
Shiloh vs Kipp – 12:30pm
The Generals of Shiloh have represented the peach state well the last few years. The Shiloh Generals return a familiar face this season with 2019 WG Elias King. Elias has transferred back to Shiloh after spending his sophomore season at Hunington Prep in West Virginia. He is a scoring wing with great length and athleticsim and has picked up a few offers this past summer running with Athletes of Tomorrow (GA) in the Nike EYBL circuit. . He would be helped by 2020 SG Toneari Lane, who has transfered from Parkview High School. Toneari is a left handed two-guard who can find his spots on the floor and drill them. Senior Justin Spencer and junior Truitt Spencer, will be a couple guys to keep an eye on in this game as well. The Generals will face the Warriors of Kipp Academy. The Warriors return a bunch of experience from last season’s squad. They are a team that is under the radar and does not have as much buzz coming into this season but everyone will be excited and looking forward to seeing them in action to tip off the Georgie Elite 8 Tip Off Classic.
Heritage vs Lincoln Prep – 2:00pm
Heritage and Lincoln Prep will tip off in the second matchup of the day. Lincoln Prep is a new school located in Suwanee, GA and will be making it’s debut this year at the GA Elite 8 Tip Off Classic. The Bulldogs are filled with size and length with their shortest player coming at 6’1. But one of the best players on the floor for Lincoln will be 6’4 2018 CG Myreon Jones. Jones was one of the best players in the state of Alabama before transferring. Myreon averaged 21.1 ppg last season as a junior at Huffman High School (AL). Jones is a pure scorer and had a great run this summer with GA Stars on the Nike EYBL circuit. 2018 SG Damion Baugh will also be a player to watch in this game for Lincoln. Baugh is a lock down defender and an elite athlete and is a real under the radar player. As for Heritage, the Patriots finished 18-8 last season and had a heart breaking 1st round lost in OT in the state playoffs last year. Senior and 6’0 PG Josh Archer, who transferred from Southwest Dekalb, will be the leader of this season’s squad and is looking to lead his new team to a 1-0 start. Archer ran with the Atlanta Lightning this past summer on the Adidas circuit. Archer has great float game and can really shoot the rock. 2018 6’5 WG Semaje Jones and 6’8 F Quez Hicks will be a couple of players to look out for as well. Semaje is a lenghty and slashing lefty who can play inside and out. Hicks will make his impact on the defensive end as he is a solid shot blocker and a force on the boards.
Rocky River (NC) vs Hamilton Heights (TN) – 3:30pm
Rocky River (NC) is a name you are probably not familiar with. But this season they have a kid named Jaden Springer, who is a nationally ranked #18 in the nation according to ESPN in the ESPN 25 for the class of 2020. Jaden is a 6’4 SG who he has crazy athleticism. Springer has a great offensive skill set. His body control when going to the rim is incredible. His court vision and creativity is also just a few of his attributes. Jaden will try to lead his Rocky River squard over one of the best high school programs in Tennessee in Hamiltion Heights. Hamilton Heights went 31-7 last season. The Hawks bring a lot of size and length to this season’s squad as well. With Shai Alexander off to Kentucky University, a couple key contributors will be 2019 C Jason Jitoboh and 2018 SG Kevaguhn Ellis. Jitoboh is a 6’11 center with tremendous size and has a soft touch around the rim. His presence in the paint will be a major impact in the game against Springer of Rocky River (NC). Ellis is a big time 3pt shooter. Kevaughn has transferred from Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas. He is a 6’4 big-bodied shooting guard who’s size helps him hold off defenders getting to the rim.
Meadowcreek vs Tift County – 5:00pm
This year’s Meadowcreek Mustangs could be a team to look out for this season. The Mustangs will be taking on the class 7A defending state champs in Tift County in this event. Meadowcreek has arguably one of the best bigs in the state in 2018 C and Duquesne commit Amari Kelly. Kelly is a 6’9 left hander who makes it look easy finishing around the rim. Amari also has a defensive presents in the paint and makes it hard for his opponents to get to the bucket. The Mustangs also have a 2019 WG named Jamir Chaplain. He is an athletic and versatile wing who is able to make his way to the cup and finish. Both Kelly and Chaplain ran with Stackhouse Elite this past summer on the Adidas circuit. Now let’s talk about the defending state champs of the peach state. I believe everyone was suprised on Tift County taking the title home last year. But the Blue Devils defeated three elite programs in route to their 2nd state championship in 4 years. With no Tyrie Jackson, who is now at Virginia Tech, the Blue Devils new leaders will now be 2018 PG Montavious Terrell and 2018 WG Rashod Bateman. Bateman is a superb athlete and also has range from behind the arc and can knock down the three ball. Terrell is arguably the most underrated guard in the state. He is a very crafty point guard who can control tempo and create plays for his teammates. Oh, and Montavious is also one of the best shooters in the state of Georgia as well.
Miller Grove vs Norcross – 6:30pm
Miller Grove and Norcross our a few of the Georgia’s best programs. There are 12 state championships between these two schools. Both squads are filled with next level talent and we should definitely expect great matchups all around. Miller Grove had a great run last season under new head coach Rasual Chester, going 21-9, capturing a region championship, and making a final four appearance. The Wolverines bring in Shiloh High School transfer 2018 PG Timothy Stargell. Stargell will have big impact on this season’s Miller Grove squad. He is a pure point guard with John Wall type skill sets. 2019 6’3 CG Maurice Harvey and 2018 forwards Kevin Paige and Jermon Clark will help and try to lead this Wolverine squad to another state championship as well. The Norcross Blue Devils come back with the elite talent they have always been known for. 2018 WG Joseph “Jo-Jo’ Toppin, 2019 CG Kyle Sturvidant, 2018 PG Dalvin White, 2020 SG Brandon Boston, and 2019 F Issa Muhammad headline the Blue Devils squad. Joseph Toppin ran with the Atlanta Celtics on the Adidas Circuit and is one of the best wings in the peach state. He is a high level athlete with great bounce and can also make an impact on the defensive end of the floor. Sturvidant has a great feel for the game and is a high volume scorer. Kyle ran with Nike Team Florida this past summer on the Nike EYBL Circuit. Sophomore guard Brandon Boston, who is currently ranked #17 in the ESPN 25, has great length for the shooting guard position and reminds me a lot of Brandon Ingram. He can score when needed and also run the floor in transition.
Wheeler vs McEachern – 8:00pm
This match up will be a rematch of last season’s Tournament of Champions championship and last year’s Elite 8. McEachern won both matchups last season against the Wildcats. McEachern is coming off their best season under Coach Thompson after going 29-1 last season and making a final four appearance. The Indians might have the best overall roster in the nation with key talents in 2019 SG Isaac Okoro, 2019 C Babatunde Akingbola, 2020 PG Sharife Cooper, and 2019 F Jared Jones. Okoro is currently ranked #40 in the nation for the class of 2019 according to ESPN. The Wheeler Wildcats will match up very well in this one. The Wildcats front court 2018 C EJ Montgomery and 2018 F Austin Johnson will make major impacts in the paint and on the glass and will match up well against McEachern’s Akingbola and Jones. Wheeler comes in with a new head coach in Larry Thompson, who recently led Greenforest Christian to back to back state championships. This will be great test for both squads as both programs have elite schedules this year.