The consensus top freshman in the ACC is well known as a Gwinnett product.
Wake Forest sensation Al-Farouq Aminu, a Norcross grad, has been solid all season, earning ACC Freshman of the Week honors four times. He averages 13.2 points and a team-best 8.5 rebounds. He also scored a career-high 26 points last Sunday in a 93-76 win over Boston College.
But Aminu is far from the only Gwinnett grad in the Class of 2008 faring well as a college freshman. Here's a look at some other first-year college contributors from the county:
· Mike Chatman, Piedmont
The South Gwinnett grad averages 5.1 points and 2.3 rebounds off the Piedmont bench.
· Demarion Gordon, USC-Upstate
The Berkmar grad averages 7.7 points and 2 assists off the bench for South Carolina-Upstate in 18.2 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 22 against Mercer.
· Yaw Gyawu, Colgate
The Parkview grad averages 9.2 points and 3 rebounds, but has been surging lately. He has scored in double figures in Colgate's last six games, with a high of 18 against Harvard.
· Dillon McLaughlin, LaGrange
The Wesleyan grad is LaGrange's third-leading scorer (8.9) and ranks first in assists (2.8). He led the team with 20 points and 18 points in two games against Emory and had another 18-point outing against Methodist.
· Justin Rush, Piedmont
The Dacula grad averages 11.6 points and 2.6 rebounds, playing in all 22 games.
· Tanner Smith, Clemson
The Wesleyan grad has played in all 23 games for the Tigers, averaging 13 minutes. He averages 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds.
· Trey Thompkins, Georgia
As dismal as Georgia's season has been, it's scary to think how bad it would be without Thompkins. The Wesleyan grad is the Bulldogs' second-leading scorer (13.1), top rebounder (6.9) and leads the team in blocks (22).
· Clay Wages, LaGrange
The Dacula grad provides instant offense off the bench, averaging 6.3 points in just 12.3 minutes per game. He leads the team with a 45.9 3-point percentage (28 of 61). He scored a team-high 20 against Huntingdon.
· Teondre Williams, Oregon
The Meadowcreek grad averages 2.4 points in 9.1 minutes for the Ducks.
· Wesley Witherspoon, Memphis
The Berkmar grad started five games and played in 19 before undergoing minor knee surgery. He's expected to return as early as next week. Witherspoon averaged 5.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.9 minutes prior to the surgery.
· Abbie Daniel, Shorter
The Dacula grad has played in all 22 games, averaging 3.9 points. She scored 18 in a win over Montevallo.
· Sczeny Hartry, Valdosta State
The Parkview grad has started 18 of 22 games, averaging 8.3 points and 2.6 rebounds.
· Lauren Pace, Limestone
The Collins Hill grad has made 14 starts for the South Carolina school, averaging 6.9 points.
· Porsha Porter, Jefferson College
The Mill Creek grad averages 12.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 2.6 assists for Jefferson, the nation's top-ranked junior college team. He steals average ranks seventh nationally.
· Stefanie Schuck, LaGrange
The North Gwinnett grad averages 10.4 points and 3 rebounds, while leading LaGrange in 3-point shooting percentage (41, 32 of 78).
· Nikki Urbizo, Columbus State
The Collins Hill grad has started 10 games and has played in all 24, averaging 6.2 points with a team-best 38
3-pointers. She has led the team in scoring in two of its past five games with 15 against Augusta State and 12 against Georgia College.
Morgan sparks upset
Andre Morgan led North Georgia to its biggest win of the season last Saturday, a 77-67 upset of USC-Aiken.
The Buford grad, who averages 12.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals, scored a team-high 20 in the victory.
Norcross grad Matt Maddox also started in the upset win, tallying five points, three rebounds and three assists.
Hutcheson aids upset win
Grayson grad Amanda Hutcheson, a freshman outfielder at Ole Miss, sparked the Rebels to a win over sixth-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend.
Hutcheson was 1-for-2 with two walks, a run and an RBI.
Finney homers in victory
Auburn center field Myesha Finney hit a three-run homer Wednesday night in the Tigers' 6-0 win over Georgia State. The South Gwinnett grad also homered a day earlier in a win over Jacksonville State.
Collins Hill grad Erin Collins, a freshman, pitched a scoreless final two innings for Georgia State.
Finney leads Auburn with a .429 batting average, two home runs and seven RBIs in seven games. Her .762 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage also are tops on the Tigers.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to email@example.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.