We continue our 2013-14 team previews with a look at Miller Grove of Lithonia, Ga., a program that made history by winning its fifth consecutive Georgia state title. Throughout October, we’ll preview many of the top teams from across the country as a countdown to the release of our preseason 2013-14 Student Sports FAB 50.
Note: All information that follows came from a questionnaire that was sent to and returned by the school’s head coach. If you would like your school to be profiled, please return the questionnaire that was mailed out earlier this month or it can be filled out online.
Team Name: Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
Head Coach: Sharman White (178-40 at Miller Grove, 287-79 overall)
2012-13 Record: 30-3, 10-4 (J.V.)
Final Ranking: No. 42 (FAB 50) No. 7 (Southeast Region)
Returning Starters: 4
Returning Lettermen: 9
Players Most Deserving of Preseason Honors: G Keith Pinckney 6-2 2014 (Principal’s List, All-State, Western Kentucky, Boston, Tulane, Lehigh offers), G Alterique Gilbert 5-11 2016 (Principal’s List, Student Sports Freshman All-American, Georgia State offer) F James Walker 6-5 (All-Region, Alabama A & M, Valdosta State offers).
Newcomers Who Could Make An Impact: Deven Dorsett, Raylon Richardson, Terrell Coleman.
Coach’s General Outlook: We have an experienced group with four returning starters, so that should be a plus. Our strength is strong guard play. Despite the fact we’re perimeter oriented, we have experience playing against bigger teams and I like our chances to be a top 20 ranked team.
Events Scheduled To Play In: BeachBall Classic (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), Flyin’ To The Hoop (Dayton, Ohio) vs. Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.).
Team(s) On Schedule Deserving of Ranking: Norcross (Norcross, Ga.), Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), St. Francis (Baltimore, Md.), Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.).
StudentSportsBasketball.com Comments: White’s team lost three games early last season, including its opener by a point, before reeling off 19 consecutive games to win the Class AAAAA state title. For White’s program, it was a fifth consecutive state title and no other team in Georgia history has ever accomplished the feat. In the 61-57 state final win over Gainesville, Gilbert and Pickney combined for 33 points and the backcourt duo will keep Miller Grove close in most of its big games by controlling tempo. White wants his program to be recognized as one of the nation’s best and this team will be a tough foe for any nationally-ranked program because of its championship experience. Two years ago, Miller Grove opened the season ranked No. 2 in the FAB 50 and played in three nationally-televised ESPN games. This team doesn’t quite have an elite talent like Tony Parker (UCLA), but on the other hand there will be less pressure to live up to the lofty expectations that comes with a player of that caliber on the roster and it could work to Miller Grove’s advantage.
Fast Fact: The Wolverines broke the Georgia state record of four consecutive titles held by Lanier of Buford (1925-28) and Westover of Albany (1990-93). All four of those Westover teams were led by Student Sports All-American forward Dontonio Wingfield, one of the best players ever in state history.
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RELATED: FAB 50 Consideration Form
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