There’s not as much room for debate (as there is in other classifications) when it comes to the top boys player in the classification this year as reigning AJC Class AAAA Player of the Year Tye Fagan is not only back again this year, but already off to a superb senior season at Upson-Lee. The Middle-Tennessee commit leads the defending state champion and No. 1 Upson-Lee Knights as an unstoppable scoring threat with a knack for showing up in the biggest games. Last week, Fagan helped Upson-Lee rally back from a 14-point deficit in the second half with a game-high 34 points to give the Knights a 44th straight win and the City of Palms Signature Series championship. With a lot of all-state graduations and changes since last season ended elsewhere in the classification, here’s the rest of the Class AAAA watch list for this year.
Tye Fagan, Upson-Lee
Fagan already has committed to Middle Tennessee State, but there is still a lot for the 6-foot-3 guard to prove this season as he comes off a magical junior season and state title run. Fagan was Class AAAA Player of the Year after averaging 21 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.6 steals, and most importantly for leading Upson-Lee to a perfect undefeated season and state championship. The lefty scorer has improved the consistency of his perimeter shot since last year and has already proven to be able to physically have what it takes to put in work in the paint.
Cam Holden, Mary Persons
If any player can challenge Fagan for player of the year honors in 2017-18, it might be Mary Persons’ 6-foot-5 guard Cam Holden. The biggest challenge for Holden and the Bulldogs this season will come in their own region as Fagan and the Knights are also in Region 2-AAAA. Holden opened the year with a 43-point performance against Houston County and is averaging 29.4 points, 11.4, rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocks through his eight games played. Without Holden in the lineup earlier this month (Dec. 7), Mary Persons fell 76-46 to Upson-Lee. The game to watch will be Mary Persons at Upson-Lee on Jan. 19 to see how much of a difference Holden in the lineup will make. But rematches and region rivalries aside, Holden is already on pace to finish this season in the top 10 for both points per game and rebounds per game in the entire state. Like Fagan, Holden, is one of Georgia’s most polished players in any classification this season.
Jarred Godfrey, Sandy Creek
The Patriots are fresh off a run to last year’s Final Four and 6-foot-4 senior Jarred Godfrey is back to pick up the explosive, entertaining and high-scoring pace that has become a trademark for the Sandy Creek program. Godfrey is shooting an efficient 62 percent from the floor this year and is leading the Patriots in scoring with 16.5 points per game while dishing out four assists and collecting four rebounds per game. Sandy Creek is always a fun team to watch, they play above the rim as well as anyone and Godfrey has a surrounding cast to continue getting better as the season unfolds.