There is total domination and then there is what Derrick Favors did on Tuesday night. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound big man from South Atlanta (Ga.) High School had his hand in every moment of his team's big win.
Favors scored 24 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, blocked 10 shots and collected four steals in his team's 80-48 win over North Clayton High School. His presence inside helped South Atlanta break the game open with a 26-4 third quarter and the team never looked back.
South Atlanta head coach Michael Reddick, a former professional player in Europe, says Favors embodies everything you'd want in a young player.
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"Derrick Favors is a dream come true," Reddick said. "He has gotten better every single year. And that is the important thing with him. His shot is getting a little better. His ball-handling is improving. He can handle things better. It's just amazing. He's the hardest worker you'll ever meet. He's the first one in, the last one out.
"There are no problems in the classroom, he is coachable, he loves his team and his basketball IQ is really high. Now, there are still some things he has to work one but for a player his age, wow. He's a phenom."
As good as Favors is, he's quick to point out that it isn't all about him despite his gaudy numbers and domination in all aspects of the game. Favors is a team guy. Always has been and always will be.
"We're bonded more. We're all on the same page, got that connection," Favors said of his teammates. We all know what each other is going to do. We've been playing together forever. We are all from the same neighborhood. We all know everything there is to know about each other."
There were times in Tuesday night's game when Favors just seemed like he was moving at half speed. There is a train of thought amongst those that are close to him that said he played like that simply because a good friend of his, Division I guard prospect Andre Malone and teammates, were struggling and didn't want to embarrass them on their home court.
And then there is a train of thought that says he needs more of a challenge at the high school level.
"I'm getting jealous of that college ball," Favors said with a laugh.
Favors should have the same kind of impact as a freshman that the college basketball world is seeing with the likes of Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, etc., etc., etc.
The line is getting long for those elite level programs that want to secure a commitment from the nation's number three prospect. But Favors isn't tipping his hand as to who has the upper hand. Or he just isn't interested in making any kind of big decisions right now.
"Right now it is [fair to say that]," Favors said. "I'm going to wait until after the high school season is over, that's when I'm going to get real serious about it."
There are some that stand out a little more than others, according to Favors.
"North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, UGA and Kentucky, those have been the most consistent," Favors said. "Everybody. I'm hearing from everybody."
He isn't kidding. Florida, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, UConn, UCLA, USC and others are hot in the race. Georgia assistant coach Mike Jones was in the house on Tuesday for Favors' triple double.
Reddick knows why every team that plays in March Madness wants his top prospect. However, the reason isn't so much the talent as it is the kind of player and person Favors is.
"I remember when he was in middle school and I told all of our guys [in high school] that they had to do 100 push-ups minimum every night. I told him he could do 50 every night to get stronger because he was so skinny and so weak," Reddick recalled. "I asked him the next day how many he did and he said he did 100. I asked him, 'Why did you 50 when I asked you to do 100?' He said 'I'm going to do whatever they do.' You just saw he was willing to do everything."
Favors did everything on Tuesday and will be for years to come.