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Anderson huge key for Lions

He's one of the smallest players on his team, but point guard Kevin Anderson has been huge in his first season with Peachtree Ridge.

Tuesday night's game vs. top-ranked Norcross was a prime example. With his teammates struggling, the (generously listed) 6-foot senior took over at times and singlehandedly kept the Lions reasonably close in what wound up being a 76-59 loss.

Without Anderson on the floor, it would have been a worse loss. Much worse. Maybe in the 30-point range.

His play certainly caught the attention of his opposition.

"He's a good player," Norcross boys coach Eddie Martin said of Anderson. "No doubt about it, he can play the game. He's quick. He handles the ball well. He knows when to shoot."

Anderson, a transfer from Whitefield Academy, did all of those things on Tuesday against Georgia's top Class AAAAA team. He scored when his teammates weren't - on efficient 10 of 16 shooting - and set guys up for shots, although not many were made. He also showed the tremendous speed off the dribble that makes him hard to contain.

You would think those attributes would have colleges all over him, but some of the bigger ones aren't after the unsigned senior, mainly because of his height, or lack thereof.

"We list him at 6-foot because he plays so much bigger than he is," Peachtree Ridge boys coach Gerald Arnold said. "He can rebound from the guard spot and has several tip-ins this season. If he was bigger, three or four inches, he'd be an SEC-level prospect. In fact, Coach (Dennis) Felton at UGA would like him to walk-on in Athens and he'd be on the team there."

Anderson nearly signed a scholarship during the early period when he was considering offers from Appalachian State, Furman and North Carolina-Greensboro. Since then, a number of schools have expressed more interest, including Central Florida, Toledo and Charleston Southern, which had a coach taking in Tuesday's game at Norcross.

Eventually a school is going to sign Anderson, and that program will have a steal with a guy who led his team until a core group of football players joined the basketball squad in late December.

"Kevin was a major factor in our early-season success when we played without our football players," Arnold said. "He can obviously score, but his value goes far beyond scoring. He is a true point guard, he sees the floor well in transition and in the halfcourt. He sets up our offense and distributes the ball exceptionally well and can penetrate to create opportunities for himself and others to score."

For his new team, that's huge.

Will Hammock can be reached via e-mail at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays.