Meet Derrick Favors, the crown jewel of Georgia Tech's prized recruiting class. The 6'-10" tall forward towered over his competition at South Atlanta High School as he led his team to the AAA state championship. He averaged 28.1 points, 13.3 rebounds, five blocks and three steals as a senior and dominated the state championship game with 38 points and 21 rebounds. He went on to be named the High School Player of the Year by Parade, USA Today, the Atlanta Tip-off Club and MaxPreps. His post season performances in the McDonald's All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic earned him MVP honors.
A lot to live up to, right? Not for Favors. He has picked up right where he left off in high school to begin his collegiate career. In the first real test of the season for the Jackets, Favors guided Tech to a 2-1 record in the Puerto Rico Classic by averaging 14.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocked shots from the floor. He also shot an incredible 81 percent from the field by only missing four out of his 21 attempts. His strong play earned him ACC Rookie of the Week honors, which may be the first of many to come.
Favors spoke about the tournament and areas in his own game the he would like to improve upon. "It was a good experience and we got to play against some good teams and good competition," he said. "We know where we are at as a team now and I saw some things that I need to work on. I need to get better post position and set better screens in order for my teammates to get open."
The top rated freshman in the nation by several recruiting publications benefits from an extraordinary wingspan greater than nine feet. He is also very athletic and quick off of his feet, which helps him to block shots and grab rebounds. Favors' game is very similar to that of teammate, Gani Lawal, because they both play with a high level of energy in order to control the glass and the painted area. The only difference at the moment is that Lawal's offensive skills are a little more polished since he already has two years of instruction from college coaches and developing against college competition.
Favors realizes the advantage of playing along side a gifted player like Lawal and says that it helps him tremendously. According to Favors, "He takes a lot of the pressure off of me because I'm not the only post player down low. He can also rebound and block shots well. I also ask him for advice from time to time."
Both players helped Tech to out rebound their opponents in Puerto Rico by a margin of 124 to 90. The Twin Towers have already shown the ability to take over games and the Jackets will look to continue feeding the post all season long. Tech will try and build off of their performance last weekend as they take on Mercer today at 4PM at the Thriller Dome.