There is no Louis Williams or Mike Mercer in the backcourt this year for the Georgia Stars but there are a couple of guys that have played their way onto the national radar this year. One of those guys is James Florence, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound point guard from Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga.
Florence has relished in the opportunity of stepping into the shoes left by Williams and Mercer. Florence is no stranger to the spotlight either. In fact, it was his play against the former South Gwinnett pair in the state semi-finals that helped spark his recruitment.
Florence's Wheeler knocked off the heavy favorite and was able to capture the coveted state title. Florence is now mixing his knack for scoring with being a full time point guard on the AAU circuit.
"I'm getting used to playing the point because I was a shooting guard the whole year at Wheeler," Florence said. "Now I'm doing more passing and setting people up. It's been the best thing I needed for my game. I need that experience against the best guys in the nation."
Using a mixture of confident scoring, solid ball handling, quickness and strong defense, Florence has played his way into the recruiting picture for a number of programs.
"A lot of people have been looking a lot harder since all of those tournaments. NC State and Tulane have asked about me. I've heard from Colorado a while ago, too."
He also said he's hearing from Miami and Indiana. Location will be a major factor in the decision for Florence, who also sports a 990 SAT score.
"I don't want to leave the Southeast," Florence said. "I want to stay close to home."
For now, though, his focus is on July and turning attention into offers.
"I just want to run the team and win games. You have got to win if you want people to come watch you," he said. "I need to hit my shots and find my teammates. That's what I've got to do now."
Florence's next stop will be at the Mid-America camp in Kansas City on July 5-7.