The Shot Clock with Josh Tec
Can you feel it? Excitement is in the air. The season is palpably close to being here. Games are about to start counting for or against you sooner than later. For me, college basketball starts tomorrow, which is essentially a national holiday in my book. Tell my friends and family not to think about bothering me for the next few months.
The amount of pent-up joy I have for the beginning of the college and high school seasons is so great that it’s hard to describe. I hope you guys are as excited as I am. Let’s celebrate by kicking off the week with another edition of the Shot Clock.
Where in the Peach is Josh Tec: Last week I debuted this segment that I will be including every week. It’s a way for me to preview the week and let you guys know which games I’ll be going to.
Last week I was at Galloway for their scrimmage with Holy Spirits and Jonesboro for their scrimmage with Eagles Landing. Notes from those games can be found below.
This week, this is my schedule:
Tuesday, November 9: GAC @ Meadowcreek (scrimmage): I got to see both of these teams a little bit throughout the HoopSeen Fall League, but there’s nothing better than being able to sit down and singularly engage with one game. Meadowcreek has a crop of juniors who I get really excited to watch. I expect them to be a genuine contender in their region, which I consider the best in the state. Josh Fulton and GAC interest me too. It’s a tough, scrappy group that’s going to be hard to deal with this season.
Wednesday, November 10: Kell @ River Ridge (scrimmage): This was a great game in the first round of the 6A playoffs last season. River Ridge narrowly upset Scoot Henderson and the Longhorns. Kell went on to the championship game from there. I’m really high on this River Ridge team. They have great size and experience. Kell is going to be a really good team too. They lost most of their production from last season, but they still have a ton of talent and athleticism. I look forward to seeing how it all comes together for the Longhorns.
Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13: Double Trouble Invitational at Norcross HS: This slate is so loaded that it might deserve its own preview article. Actually, that’s a good idea. Look out for that this week. For now, let’s talk about a team from each day that I want to see the most.
Friday: TSF. Look, Kam Craft transferred to Georgia and immediately became one of the state’s best prospects. He’s been lighting it up for TSF too. I just have a genuine curiosity about this team. I like a lot of the pieces, but I just haven’t seen them all on the floor together yet. That’ll change on Friday.
Saturday: Norcross. The Blue Devils are loaded again. There’s so much talent on this roster, but a lot of it is fairly young. I have an idea of how it all works together because I saw them a decent amount over the summer, but they have had some people transfer since then. Getting to see elite talent like this will always be enticing.
Changes on the Horizon: If you missed the news, there are going to be some classification changes starting next season. These changes are scheduled to last until the 2023-24 season. Some state powers will be shifting around, which will create some interesting, fresh matchups.
Here are some of the changes to remember:
St. Pius is moving to 7A
Wheeler is moving to 7A
Milton is moving to 6A
Chattahoochee is moving to 5A
Centennial is moving to 5A
Kell is moving to 5A
Pace is moving to A
There are several others that are changing hands, but for the major basketball schools, these are some changes to make note of.
Galloway Scrimmage Notes: On Friday, I went to Galloway for their scrimmage against Holy Spirit Prep. No shade to Holy Spirit, but this is going to be heavy on Galloway. The Scots won 69-50, but it wasn’t really even that close. It’s hard to not gush about what I saw out of Galloway for much of that game. Let’s start with what I was most impressed with though.
Movement on offense grabbed my attention all night. Both ball movement and player movement were really impressive. The ball doesn’t stick with Galloway. It’s always changing hands and players are always cutting and moving off the ball.
Next, they have quality shooters all over the floor. Six Scots made 3-pointers on the night, and three of them made three or more. Movement and shooters open the floor for a star player to make plays, and Anthony Arrington is just that. He really took over in the third quarter by scoring 12 of his 20 points. That kind of takeover is going to happen a lot this season. To sum up, Galloway should be able to put up a lot of points.
Finally, their defense is going to be a problem for teams when Galloway plays with the energy I saw out of them for most of the night. This is a well-rounded team that knows how to win games. I’d expect them to make a lot of noise this season.
Eagles Landing @ Jonesboro Scrimmage Notes: The southside was ready for basketball. The buzz in the building for this game was special.
Unfortunately for the home Jonesboro crowd, Eagles Landing dominated from start to finish. The Eagles’ pressure defense, gang rebounding, and depth were ultimately too much for the Cardinals.
AJ Barnes, Jordan Fordyce and David Thomas led the way for Eagles Landing. That trio combined for 51 points. Fordyce had it going in the first half while Barnes and Thomas took the third quarter over and further blew the game open.
Eagles Landing is my favorite to win their region and classification, and if Saturday’s 86-42 win was any indication to what we can come to expect out of them, we’ll be watching them be crowned as back-to-back state champs in March.
For Jonesboro, Yannis Woods finished with 15 points. The 6-foot-7 forward should have a big season. For what it’s worth, I don’t think this is the Cardinals team we’ll be seeing all year.
Player of the Week: I’m not married to this idea long-term, but I figured it might be fun to try out for a little bit. Since I’ll be out and around town at least three times a week for the foreseeable future, it could be fun to give a shout-out to the player who stands out the most to me each week. This is only going to be for the guys who I see in person.
The honors this week can go to Anthony Arrington or AJ Barnes. Both guys led their teams in scoring in blow-out wins. Each guy added great defensive games and each rebounded well too.
Barnes was dominant around the basket and Arrington shot the ball well and made plenty of plays off the bounce.
Ironically enough, both guys did the bulk of their scoring during the third quarter of each of their respective games. Because their games mirrored each other so much, they’re both my players of the week. Sorry to start with a cop-out.
Shameless Story Plug: If you missed it, I wrote about 100 things to know about the upcoming Georgia high school basketball season. If you want to procrastinate at work, please give it a read. It should be pretty quick. 100 things is a lot, but I wanted to make it digestible, so I hope it comes off that way.
You can find the story here.