Posted On: 12/3/18 8:00 AM
Atlanta, Georgia – The 2018-2019 Georgia Preseason Gatorade Player of Year nominees list dropped about a month ago from today. There are currently 18 prospects around the state of Georgia that have been nominated and put on the preseason watch list for this season. Prospects like Brandon Boston Jr., Anthony Edwards, Sharife Cooper, Chase Hunter, Walker Kessler, Elias King, and others are the ones listed on the preseason watch list.
What prospects are missing? You may ask. There are a couple prospects who have started this season off on fire and making their case that they were snubbed. Players like Jalen Benjamin (UAB commit), TJ Bickerstaff (Drexel commit), Colin Granger, and Devion Smith are some of the main prospects who deserve to be in the race for Georgia’s 2018-2019 Gatorade Player of the Year award.
2019 PG Jalen Benjamin – Meadowcreek High School (pictured above)
UAB commit Jalen Benjamin sits at only 5-foot-11 or arguably 5-foot-10. But his size does not matter when he is on the floor and his game certainly speaks for itself. Through seven games, Jalen is averaging 18.0 points per game and has been one of the main reasons the defending class 7A state champions are sitting at a 6-1 overall record thus far. In those seven games, Meadowcreek has faced some tough competition. Facing programs like Wheeler, Discovery, Dacula, South Shore (NY), and their only lost coming to Wasatch Academy (UT). In their two games at the famous Holiday Hoopsgiving, Benjamin averaged 25.5 points per game. He is an electric and prolific scorer for a kid his size and can light you up from deep. Jalen is a transfer out of North Carolina and seems to be settling in in the peach state.
2019 F TJ Bickerstaff – Sandy Creek High School
The 6-foot-8 Drexel commit TJ Bickerstaff was right on the edge of being nominated in the first listing before the season began. But through seven games, TJ is averaging a double-double with a 19.1 points per game average while snatching 10.0 rebounds per game. He has led the Patriots of Sandy Creek to a 6-1 overall record through seven games and will look to get this program back to shape by making a deep playoff run in Georgia’s 4A classification. TJ recently deserved the most valuable player honors at the 2018 On the Radar Showcase after having a monster 27 point and 10 rebound game against Lithonia. He is a versatile defender and playmaker and is able show his inside and outside game. He is effective on the glass and his defense might be the best asset he holds.
2020 PG Devion Smith – Grayson High School
Since his junior campaign began, 6-foot-1 point guard Devion Smith has earned multiple offers. Schools like TCU, Florida, Xavier, Georgia, Mississippi State, Hofstra, and St. John’s have all offered one of Georgia’s most emerging prospects. Smith has been solid so far this season averaging 15.2 points per game, 4.3 assist per game, and 9.4 rebounds per game while shooting 55% from the field. The kid is 6-foot-1 and averaging that many rebounds. Yes that is correct. What seperates Devion from all the other point guards in the state is his athleticism for a kid his size. He contains elite athleticism and is a high major playmaker. Smith can score in the halfcourt offense and in the open floor. He has led Grayson to a 5-2 overall record thus far in the season and is certainly one of the leaders this year.
2020 F Colin Granger – Lambert High School
Colin Granger has began his junior season and is off to an amazing and impressive start. The 6-foot-8 forward is a double-double machine and is so efficient when he is on the floor. Through seven games, Colin is averaging 19 points per game and 10 rebounds per game this season and while Lambert is sitting at a 6-1 overall record. His game shows some comparison to all star forward Kevin Love. Colin is a mobile and versatile forward who is able to guard every position on the court. He has active hands and has a soft touch when finishing around the basket. Granger only has two offers as of now from Siena and Mount St. Mary’s but has expressed interest from multiple next level schools including Georiga, Troy, Rice, UNC-Asheville, Middle Tennessee State, and others.