Nov. 9, 2005
ATLANTA – In what might be the strongest recruiting class Georgia Tech has put together since 1989, head coach Paul Hewitt and his coaching staff signed four high school players to letters-of-intent Wednesday, including a pair of top-10 players in point guard 6-4 Javaris Crittenton of Atlanta, Ga., and 6-8 forward Thaddeus Young of Memphis, Tenn.
Crittenton and Young are the highest-rated players to sign with Tech since Hewitt became its head coach. Also signing grants with the Yellow Jackets Wednesday were 6-7 forward Zach Peacock of Miami, Fla., and 6-10 center Brad Sheehan of Latham, N.Y.
Tech’s signing class was ranked the sixth-best in the nation by Scout.com, seventh-best according to Rivals.com.
Crittenton, from Southwest Atlanta Christian School, is rated as high as No. 7 nationally (Hoop Scoop, Rivals Hoops) and is the top-rated point guard in the country according to Rivals, No. 3 by Scout.com. Young, from Mitchell High School in Memphis, is ranked No. 3 by Rivals and Lindy’s, as well as No. 7 by Scout.com, and is considered by Rivals to be the nation’s No. 2 small forward.
Young is a second-team All-American by Street & Smith’s, while Crittenton, Peacock and Sheehan earned high honorable mention honors from the magazine. Rivals rates Young and Crittenton five-star prospects, and Peacock and Sheehan three-star prospects.
“It’s a very good group because it includes a guy we’ve been recruiting for a very long time in Javaris Crittenton. He’s a great student and a local kid,” said Hewitt. “In Thaddeus, we lucked out because the academic reputation of Georgia Tech really appealed to him. Playing in the ACC was a factor, as was our success we’ve had, but the tie-breaker for us was the academic reputation. In Brad and Zach, we have two kids with great size and tremendous potential, who I think will be pillars of this program in years to come.
“It’s a good group. [The ranking] is a relative thing. We put way too much stock in ranking classes. The group that just left here, and was able to take us to the Final Four, I don’t think would have shown up anywhere near the top 10 or 15.”
Tech’s 1989 class included point guard Kenny Anderson and forward-center Malcolm Mackey, who carried the Yellow Jackets to an ACC title and a Final Four finish in 1990. Anderson was the consensus No. 1 high school player in the nation and won the Naismith Award as the nation’s top high school player in 1989. Mackey was rated among the nation’s top 30 players by all services, and as high as No. 23, while making third-team Parade All-American. Darryl Barnes, a third member of that class, was a consensus top 50 prep player who made the McDonald’s All-American team and was also second-team Parade All-American.
Crittenton played with current Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard at SACA and together they won the GHSA class A state championship in 2004. Without Howard last year, he carried SACA to the state final, averaging 28.4 points, 7.5 assists and 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game. SACA has a 58-8 record the last two years, and he has earned all-state honors twice. Crittenton also played in the 2005 USA Youth Developmental Festival, averaging 9.6 points while making 50 percent of his field goal attempts for the White team.
Young, named 2005 class AA Mr. Basketball in Tennessee, averaged 23.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 4.3 steals and 2.3 blocked shots per game as a junior at Mitchell High School. He helped Mitchell to a 31-5 record last year. Young also played at the USA Youth Developmental Festival for the Blue team, scoring 16 points in the only game he played (missed the rest with an ankle sprain). He has been named all-state twice.
Peacock, a second-team all-state choice by the Florida High School Athletic Association and an all-county pick by the Miami Herald, averaged 17.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots a game as a junior at Norland High School in Miami. He led his team to the regional finals and a 24-5 record. He also played at last summer’s National Youth Championships and averaged 19.5 points and 12.4 rebounds.
Sheehan, who earned all-league and all-area honors by the Albany Times Union, the Troy Record and the Schenectady Gazette, averaged 15.5 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots per game as a junior at Shaker High School. He led Shaker to a 14-8 record and the championship of the Suburban Council league.
More Comments on Tech Signees from Head Coach Paul Hewit
[On Javaris Crittenton]
“He’s a point guard with size, extremely athletic, both offensively and defensively in terms of the tempo that he can create. I just love the fact that he’s competitive. I like those type of guys, guys who don’t settle for what people think they are, but always strive to get better.”
[On Peacock and Sheehan]
“They both have great size. Zach is a tremendous rebounder already. Brad can become a big-time rebounder. They both are very skilled, and they can shoot the basketball. The way we like to play with posting up different positions and stepping guys away from the basket, they’ll fit in very well. Brad can run and jump very well. He just has to get stronger. He’s got a great combination of grades and basketball ability.”
[On Thaddeus Young]
“Thaddeus, No. 1, is a winner. I know in games when it gets tough and gritty, he’s down there banging and posting up. I see him as a three (small forward). He can guard on the perimeter pretty well. He’s 6-8 with long arms, which is pretty impressive the way we like to play.”