With four top-notch recruits already committed, the men’s basketball team further strengthened its recruiting class with a player who, in some circles, is considered the nation’s best prospect. Shortly before the start of the Duke game on Wednesday, South Atlanta High School star Derrick Favors turned down offers from Georgia and North Carolina State and verbally committed to play basketball for the Yellow Jackets in 2009-10.
Two of the team’s key inside players, Alade Aminu and Bassirou Dieng, will be graduating after this season, so Favors’ commitment comes at an ideal time for the Jackets—and for himself, since he will likely be able to start right away. The talented power forward is expected to team up with current sophomore Gani Lawal to form what many expect to be one of the nation’s best inside tandems next season.
Favors is best known for his ability to play the post, but he is athletic enough to play wing forward as well, and he expects to have the opportunity to play both at Tech. “[Tech] will use me for my scoring ability and rebounding, and they’ll use me on the wing for my athleticism,” Favors said.
Widely considered the top high school player in Georgia, Favors has guided his South Atlanta Hornets to a 14-1 record so far this season. USA Today has them ranked as the #15 team in the nation, and they have secured the top spot in the Georgia Class AAA rankings as well. South Atlanta has victories over a Duncanville, Texas team that was then ranked #12 by USA Today, and the Hornets have won all but three of their in-state games by at least 30 points.
The addition of Favors ensures that Tech will bring in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes for the upcoming season. He joins Miller Grove point guard Mfon Udofia, one of the top ten point guard prospects in the country; Walton guard Glen Rice Jr., a talented perimeter shooter and the son of the former NBA star of the same name; Hancock Central forward Kammeon Holsey, a dynamic athlete who could complement Favors’ size well; and Brian Oliver, an athletic combo forward from Delaware who previously played at the prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.