Posted On: 02/3/18 2:21 PM
Top 25 Analysis
After what has been a dominant 2017-18 season so far for EJ Montgomery (Wheeler), he has taken over the #1 spot in the rankings. Montgomery is now considered a top-10 national prospect by many and received a MCDAAG selection. Also moving up is Landers Nolley (Langston Hughes). Nolley is the best scorer in the state, putting up absurd numbers almost every game. With these new spots, Reggie Perry (Thomasville) has dropped to #3 in the rankings. He was also selected for the McDonald’s game, but most would agree that Montgomery and Nolley are worthy of those top 2 spots. Also, with Khavon Moore’s recent injury, Amanze Ngumezi has surpassed him at #4, with Moore dropping to #5. This swap was a tough decision, but is probably warranted.
JoJo Toppin, KJ Buffen, and Devin Vassell have all moved into the top 10 now. These 3 were within the top 20 before the season, but have elevated themselves with their play this winter. Toppin, a UGA signee, does whatever his Norcross team. His motor is nonstop, he is freakishly athletic, and has improved as a shooter. Buffen (Gainesville/MTSU), always seems to step for Gainesville, using his versatility to create mismatches and give opponents fits. Vassell (Peachtree Ridge/FSU) has proven to be one of the best scorers in the state; his length, athleticism, and shooting ability allows him to take over games.
There have been some others working their way up in the top 25 as well. After a mediocre summer, DePaul signee George Maslennikov of Holy Spirit has regained confidence and has been showing has value as a stretch 4 against top competition all season. Travis Anderson (Grayson/Charleston Southern) has also moved up a few spots to #20. Anderson has led the Rams to an 18-5 record so far, displaying a mature and fearless game whenever he steps on the court. Two unsigned prospects, Cam Holden and Adam Flagler, have inserted themselves into the top 25 as well. Holden has been dominating in Middle GA for Mary Persons with huge scoring and rebounding numbers. Flagler is extremely consistent for Duluth with his effortless scoring ability, but has also shown other parts of his game this season.
Movement in the Middle
There are tons of seniors who have emerged from the shadows and made a name for themselves this winter. This trend has resulted in numerous guys making significant moves in the rankings. To start off, Jacolbey Owens has to be mentioned. Owens is now at #32, making one of the biggest jumps. The electrifying guard has been on a mission for Warner Robins the entire season, showing that size does not matter. The number 57, 58, and 59 spots are all filled with risers. First is Jamari Dean of Cedar Grove. Dean is a double-double machine who is a terror on the offensive glass especially. His activity and aggression has resulted in multiple offers with more to come. Next, Sayvon Traylor has been outstanding for Rockdale this winter. It seems like he has a scoring outburst every game, putting up 30+ whenever he desires. His unique scoring ability to go along with his big body have made him an attractive prospect. Lastly at #59 is Nick Edwards from Grayson. Edwards has been a great backcourt mate for Travis Anderson. When teams have keyed in on Anderson, Edwards has carried the load with his athleticism and finishing ability.
More Risers and Sleepers
Marquavis Carter of Maynard Jackson checks in at #73 in this update. He may not receive much recognition but he is averaging 23.5 PPG for the Jaguars. Carter is an explosive scorer who can fill it up all over the court. A region foe of Carter’s, Rudy Fitzgibbons, has risen to #98. Fitzgibbons has been such an important piece for 18-7 Riverwood, and recently went for 41 points in a huge win over Maynard Jackson. Michael Zabetakis of West Forsyth has also inserted himself into the top 100 at #98. Zabetakis is a well-rounded guard who has helped lead the Wolverines to a great season in their region.
Some more guards to remember would include Jordan Sterling (Arabia Mountain), Andrew Stimpson (North Atlanta), Ryan Jenei (Alpharetta), Isaiah Bauman (Glenn Hills), and Will Bracknell (Chattahoochee).
For forwards, coaches should get to know Blaine McDonough (Walton), Kyler Ingram (Cambridge), Jackson Baylark (Pope), Julian Baldwin (Etowah), and Elijah Austell (Stockbridge).