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Basketball preview: Norcross Blue Devils

Norcross' Derrick Herbert

Norcross' Derrick Herbert

NORCROSS BLUE DEVILS

BOYS

Region: 7-AAAAA

Coach: Jesse McMillan

2010-11 record: 24-9

Returning regulars:

Derrick Herbert, Sr., 6-1

Jason Croom, Sr., 6-4

Others to watch:

Harold Givens, Jr., 6-7

Nate Sims, Sr., 6-3

Kevin Barnes, Jr., 6-5

Myles Autry, Soph., 5-10

Outlook: Three standouts that helped Norcross to the state championship are now playing in college and Georgia Tech recruit Chris Bolden transferred to North Gwinnett. But coach Jesse McMillan's team will again have to be reckoned with this season. Derrick Herbert returns at point guard after leading the team in assists a year ago and Tennessee football recruit Jason Croom is a presence inside. Also back is Nate Sims, a sixth-man last season. But the key for the Blue Devils is the arrival of 6-foot-7 junior Harold Givens, who transferred from Northside of Columbus, is rated as one of Georgia's top prospects in the Class of 2013.

Worth noting: Norcross will enter the season with a heavy heart after Darrian George and three family members died in a single-car accident in Florida during October. The 17-year-old senior had transferred to Norcross from Fort Dorchester, S.C., over the summer and was expected to be a starter for the Blue Devils.

Roster

No. Name Ht. Class

1 Harold Givens 6-7 Jr.

2 Jalen Davis 5-9 Soph.

3 Shamus Goss 5-9 Jr.

4 Brandon Goodwin 6-0 Jr.

5 Jordan Thomas 5-10 Soph.

12 James Sanders 6-1 Soph.

15 Nate Sims 6-3 Sr.

21 Kevin Barnes 6-5 Jr.

22 Derrick Herbert 6-1 Sr.

23 Myles Autry 5-10 Soph.

25 Ricky Madison 6-4 Fr.

35 Brandon Wynn 6-3 Sr.

50 Jason Croom 6-4 Sr.

GIRLS

aRegion: 7-AAAAA

Coach: Angie Hembree

2010-11 record: 29-3

Returning regulars:

Diamond DeShields, Jr., 6-1

Tori Carter, Sr., 5-7

Patrice Butler, Sr., 6-2

Bri Williams, Soph., 5-4

Others to watch:

Shayla Cooper, Jr., 6-1

Jasmine Kemp, Sr., 6-2

Lorena Hubbard, Soph., 6-3

Outlook: Diamond DeShields again leads the way as Norcross goes for a third consecutive state title. DeShields, considered one of the top juniors in the nation, led the county in scoring a year ago at 20.9 per game and also averaged 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Two key players graduated, but the Blue Devils return four starters and two key reserves. Norcross also adds even more height in 6-foot-3 sophomore Lorena Hubbard, who moved from Neptune, N.J. The Blue Devils already had Patrice Butler and Jasmine Kemp, both 6 foot 2. Shayla Cooper, playing a sixth-man role, averaged 8.1 points and 6.8 rebounds last season. Tori Carter contributed 7.0 points and 1.9 assists while teaming in the backcourt with Bri Williams, who averaged 2.7 assists as a freshman.

Worth noting: Three of the Blue Devils' four seniors have received college scholarships. Carter is headed to Charlotte, Butler to Furman and Kemp to East Tennessee State.

Roster

No. Name Ht. Class

10 Sydney Marshall 6-0 Soph.

11 Javonne Stanfield 5-7 Jr.

12 Sheena Hartley 5-9 Sr.

13 Bri Williams 5-4 Soph.

20 Kolby Meeks 5-9 Soph.

21 Deja Smith 5-7 Soph.

22 Diamond DeShields 6-1 Jr.

24 Tori Carter 5-7 Sr.

25 Jasmine Kemp 6-2 Sr.

31 Sierra Butler 6-2 Soph.

32 Shayla Cooper 6-1 Jr.

34 Patrice Butler 6-2 Sr.

42 Diamond Milhouse 5-11 Jr.

44 Lorena Hubbard 6-3 Soph.

SCHEDULE

Nov. 16 McEachern (girls)

Nov. 17 Columbia (girls)

Nov. 19 Fayette County (girls)

Nov. 23 Bishop Loughlin, N.Y. at Shiloh (boys)

Nov. 25 Long Island Lutheran at Shiloh (boys)

Dec. 3 Harrison at Wheeler (boys); Hoover, Ala. (girls)

Dec. 6 Collins Hill

Dec. 10 S. Gwinnett at GAC (boys)

Dec. 12 at Collins Hill

Dec. 16 Peachtree Ridge

Dec. 27-30 Upward Classic in S.C. (boys); showcase at Howard University (girls)

Jan. 4 at Mountain View

Jan. 6 at Duluth

Jan. 7 SW DeKalb

Jan. 13 Mill Creek

Jan. 14 Riverdale, Tenn. at Wesleyan (girls)

Jan. 16 Greenview at Dayton, Ohio (boys)

Jan. 17 North Gwinnett

Jan. 20-21 Kay Yow tourney at Starr's Mill (girls)

Jan. 21 Charlotte Christian (boys)

Jan. 24 at Peachtree Ridge

Jan. 27 Mountain View

Jan. 28 at Augusta showcase (boys)

Jan. 31 Duluth

Feb. 3 Meadowcreek

Feb. 7 at Mill Creek

Feb. 10 at North Gwinnett