Rivals.com hit the road and traveled to the quiet town of Manchester, Ga., to see some Peach State regional action. One of the players on our must-see list included LaShun Watson, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard from Greenville (Ga.) High School. The No. 135 ranked player in the class of 2006 put his team on his back and helped his Patriots team advance another round in the playoffs. A couple of SEC programs are also keeping an eye on the dual-sport athlete.
After taking a nasty fall and slamming his elbow on the floor, Watson came back to sink the game winning free throws in overtime against Lamar County. He finished with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the victory. His versatility and play-making skills was prevalent on Thursday night.
"We're really confident in LaShun's abilities because he's not just a scorer. He's a guy that sets everyone up," Greenville head coach Bill Atkins said. "He made a pass that was a wide open lay up and that was a big time play because we were hurting right then. They were tripling teaming him and he just made the right play."
"In crunch time, the team needed me," Waston said. "I had to step up. Big players step up in big game big time. I had to sink those two free throws and that's what I did."
Watson did a little bit of everything. And Atkins, who is in his final year of coaching at the small 2A school, knows a little something about guys that go on to the next level. In his 32 years of coaching, Watson may be the most complete.
"You talk about kids that have basketball sense and he's one that has that innate basketball sense that knows when to pass it, when to shoot it and when to take a charge," Atkins said. "He's a heady kid that's stepping into a leadership role."
Still improving as a jump shooter and defender, Watson has garnered attention from several schools in the SEC. LSU assistant Butch Pierre has been out to see the wing play. Auburn has sent assistants to watch. Tennessee is also in the picture.
"Those are my top three," Watson said. "I like the coaching staffs there. I want to go to a school where the coaches can help me get to the next level and they all seem to be able to do that."
Also a football prospect as a receiver, Watson will likely play at the University of Georgia NIKE camp. That's where he'll gauge his abilities against some of the best gridironers in the country.
"I don't want to put all of my eggs in one basket so I'm going to go out there and see how I stack up against some of the other players in the country," Watson said.