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Local college freshmen making big impact

By Derrick Mahone

dmahone@news-daily.com

For many incoming freshmen basketball players, their first year in college consist a lot of sitting and watching as they try to further their skills set for the college level.

Former Henry County High standout Briana Williams has had little time to sit as she has been the focal point of the Mercer women's basketball team. The former Region 4-AA Player of the Year and all-state guard is one of the top freshmen in the country.

She was named Atlantic Sun Conference player of the week and newcomer of the week already this season.

Williams is the third-leading freshman and second leading scoring in the A-Sun with a 15.4 average. She has dished out 15 assist while averaging 24 minutes per game.

Here is a look at some of the other first-year college players from the Southern Crescent:

Zach Bradley, Clayton State: The North Clayton High product has been a steady contributor for the Lakers this season. He is averaging 2.6 points in 14.7 minutes per game. Bradley has dished out 23 assists and committed only six turnovers in 11 games.

Chris Davis, Jacksonville: A two-time Henry County Player of the Year has played in eight of the Dolphins 10 games this season. The 6-foot-2 guard is averaging only 1.6 points in 10.5 minutes. Last season, the Stockbridge High graduate averaged 22.9 points in leading the team to the Region 4-AAAA championship and second round state playoff appearance.

Tiayra Green, Tulsa: The former Riverdale standout has played in only two of the Golden Hurricane seven games. She has played only minutes between the two games and has not scored a point. It is quite a contrast from her last two seasons at Riverdale, where she earned all-county honors the last two years and honorable mention all-state after averaging 26 points. Riverdale compiled a 39-15 record her final two seasons.

Tandrea High, Southern Mississippi: A former standout at Mundy's Mill, the 5-foot-6 guard was expected to challenge for a starting position for the Golden Eagles. She has played in seven of the team's 12 games and is averaging 23 minutes per game. High, a former four-year letterwinner in high school, is averaging 7.3 points, fourth-highest on the team. She also has 18 assists and 14 steals on the season.

Cameron Solomon, High Point: The Clayton County player of the year and all-state selection last season, the 6-foot-4 guard has played in seven of the Panthers 10 games this season. He is averaging only 1.7 points in 4.7 minutes per game. Last season, Solomon led Lovejoy to the state playoffs after a five-year hiatus.

Brittney Strickland, Alabama A&M: The 5-5 point guard has started eight of the Bulldogs 10 games. She is averaging 27 minutes per contest and 8.9 points a game. She has 23 assists and 15 steals as the Southwestern Athletic Conference team has a 4-6 overall record. Last season, she was named the Region 4-AAAA player of the year after leading Dutchtown to its first region championship and appearance in the Class AAAA semifinals. Strickland finished her two-year career at Dutchtown with over 1,000 points.

Alyssa Strickland, Alabama A&M: The twin sister of Brittney Strickland, she has played in all 10 games for the Huntsville, Ala., school. Strickland is averaging 4.1 points per game in 13 minutes of play per game.