Posted On: 03/15/18 8:00 AM
The 2017-2018 season is officially in the books with the state championships taking place this past weekend. Cobb County had a total of 12 public schools make the state playoffs in their respective classes. Four out of those 12 reached the class 7A elite eight, Wheeler, McEachern, Pebblebrook, and Campbell. We are only in the month of March and we are far away from the tip off for the 2018-2019 season. Here we will take a look at the way too early preseason polls.
1. McEachern High School (Powder Springs, GA) – Overall 2017-18 Record: 26-3
The Indians 2017-2018 season ended with a surprising lost to the powerhouse school Norcross in their elite 8 matchup losing 75-55. Before that lost, McEachern was a nominee to compete in the 2018 Geico Dick’s Nationals. The Indians had another great season this year with several quality wins over Wheeler (GA), Christ School (NC), Holy Spirit Prep (GA), Duluth (GA), Ranney (NJ), Hudson Catholic (NJ), Simeon (IL), Westside Macon (GA), Miami Christian (FL), Trotwood-Madison (OH), Pickerington Central (OH), Village Christian (NC), and Westlake (GA). They will be returning at least 95 percent of their scoring next year in the 2018-2019 season with leading scorers 2020 point guard Sharife Cooper and 2019 forward Isaac Okoro and with their late addition 2019 shooting guard Charles Smith IV. It is without question that this squad next season will be number one in Cobb County’s preseason public schools poll and possibly preseason ranked nationally as well. Auburn commit 2019 center Babatunde Akingbola, 2019 forward Jared Jones, 2019 guard Quinton McElroy, and 2020 guard Alyn Breed will all be key returners next season for McEachern.
2. Campbell High School (Smyrna, GA) – Overall 2017-2018 Record: 20-10
Campbell, as of right now, will be the 2nd ranked team behind McEachern with the fire power they will have coming back. 2018 guard Kiya Randolph will be graduating this season but that is not a really big lost for the Spartans. 2019 point guard Terrell Burden had a breakout junior season and leading the Spartans to a 20-10 record and to Georgia’s class 7A elite 8, where they fell to the now class 7A state champions Meadowcreek. Burden will be joined by 2019 guard Donovan Grant and 2019 wing Brandon Deravaine next season as Campbell’s big three. The Spartans were one of the most balanced teams this year with Randolph, Burden, Grant, and Deravaine all at least having four or more 20+ point games. Coach Gwynn and his staff have always competed over the years, especially coming out of one of the most competitive regions in Georgia in Region 2 class 7A. With Campbell’s big three and experience returning next season, let us not be surprised if these boys can make a region championship appearance.
3. Wheeler High School (Marietta, GA) – Overall 2017-2018 Record: 19-11
I believe we can all agree that first year Wheeler HC Coach Thompson had a very good first season with the Wheeler Wildcats. After winning back to back state championships with Greenforest Christian (GA), Coach Thompson led his new Wheeler squad to the class 7A elite 8, where they fell to Newton (GA) 87-81. 2018 center EJ Montgomery was selected to participate in the 2018 McDonald’s All American game and had a great senior season averaging about 25 points per game and 12 rebounds per game. The Wildcats will be returning a future star in 2019 shooting guard Isaac Martin. Martin average about 15 points per game before he suffered a knee injury late into the season. He has not fully recovered as of yet but will be pretty soon. Isaac will certainly be the leader of next season’s Wheeler squad along with 2019 point guard Jaire Eastmond. To add, a couple key returnees for Wheeler next season will also be 2019 guard Kenny Burns and 2020 forward Darius Gaddy, who I believed will be developing into one of Georgia’s best big guys.
4. South Cobb High School (Austell, GA) – Overall 2017-2018 Record: 18-9
After making it to Georgia’s class 6A final four a year ago, Coach Moultrie and his young South Cobb squad took a lost in the first round of the class 6A state tournament to Tri Cities 55-42. The Eagles lost a lot from last season’s final four team and were very young and inexperienced coming into the 2017-2018 season. But hats off to the job Coach Moultrie and his staff have done with this 2017-2018 team this year. South Cobb was still able to capture the region 6 class 6A title and have an over .500 record playing some very quality programs. Next season the Eagles should be back up to compete for that state championship once again with key returnees in 2019 point guard Jaiden Diamond, 2019 guard Demetrius Bowen, and 2019 guard Markieth Browning. The young and inexperienced 2017-2018 squad should now be ready for the challenge and as long as Coach Moultrie is on that sideline, there is no telling how far they can go.
5. Kennesaw Mountain High School (Kennesaw, GA) – Overall 2017-2018 Record: 18-10
The Mustangs were one of the most improved teams this season winning 18 games this year and after only winning 10 the year prior. They were able to advance to the Region 3 class 7A region tournament championship but came up short after losing to McEachern (GA). They were led by their senior guard 2018 Josh Strong, who averaged 19.0 points per game, was named on the region 2 class 7A all region 1st team, and was named on the All Cobb County 2nd team. Kennesaw was also led by 2019 wing Jalyn McCreary, who will be their leader next season. McCreary averaged 18.6 points per game his junior season. 2019 guard Khalil Shaheed will also make his way back to Kennesaw Mountain. Shaheed was not able to do as much this season due to him being ineligible for the first half of the season, but he will certainly produce next year for the Mustangs.
Full WAY TOO Early Cobb County Preseason Polls:
Note: Subject to change
- South Cobb
- Kennesaw Mountain
- North Cobb