As the state tournament gets ready to tip off this weekend, let’s take a look back at five prospects who have improved their stock the most in the past few months.
Eric Gaines, Lithonia, Class of 2020
The senior guard won the Most Valuable Player at our inaugural Battle For Georgia in July 2018, but mostly flew under the radar since then for various reasons, including an injury that kept him out for most of the travel season in 2019. He’s more than made up for it as a senior though as he’s become a popular target for high-major programs around the country and finds himself ranked in the Top 100 on both Rivals.com and 247 Sports. Alabama, Dayton, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State and Washington State are some of the schools involved in his recruitment
Ryan Mutombo, Lovett School, Class of 2021 (pictured)
Since Memorial Day 2019, you could make a strong argument no prospect in Georgia has improved more than the 6-foot-11 son of former Atlanta Hawks star Dikembe Mutombo. He’s grown a couple inches and put on about 25 pounds of muscle, but it’s his skill level and conditioning that have also come a long way. Offensively, he’s a very good scorer on the block and can make his free throws if the opposing team gets too physical. Like his father, he’s an elite shot blocker and very tough on the boards. Georgetown, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M are his biggest offers. Kansas recently sent an assistant to watch him as well.
Ian Schieffelin, Grayson, Class of 2021
With all the talent on the floor when Grayson played McEachern earlier this year, it was Schieffelin who had the most people talking about his game when the Rams ended the Indians impressive win streak. Offensively, he’s a very complete player with the ability to step out and hit three-pointers as well as scoring inside on the block. Not as tall as Mutombo at somewhere around 6-foot-8, he too can be an enforcer on the glass and protect the rim with his shot-blocking ability. Scholarship offers have come in from James Madison, Richmond and Winthrop.
Elijah Tucker, Cherokee, Class of 2021
Tucker has been steadily on the rise really going back to the beginning of his sophomore season at Cherokee. The 6-foot-7 forward is exactly what college coaches are looking for in a 4-man because he’s equally comfortable playing in the paint where he’s a dominant rebounder and out on the perimeter where he can handle the ball and hit jumpers. He’s continued to polish up his skills to the point that high-major schools such as Georgia Tech, Iowa, Northwestern, and St. John’s have offered him scholarships. Clemson and Georgia have shown heavy interest. Tucker’s mother played basketball at Tennessee, while dad was an offensive lineman for the Volunteers and later in the NFL for the Colts and the Raiders.
Jojo Peterson, Mt. Pisgah, Class of 2021
Point guards with size will always be in high demand and that’s why Peterson’s stock has risen in a hurry this season. The 6-foot-4 lead guard is arguably the best passer in the state right now and can also create his own offense. His improvement since coming to the LakePoint Tip Off Classic last March with the Atlanta Celtics has been noticeable. Elon offered him a scholarship this season while Virginia Tech, Temple, Georgia State, Dayton, Wofford, Kennesaw State and Belmont are showing interest.