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Ethridge keying amazing season at South Ga. Tech

South Georgia Tech's Anthony Ethridge is one of the top scorers in the nation.

South Georgia Tech's Anthony Ethridge is one of the top scorers in the nation.

AMERICUS — Dallas Mavericks forward Jae Crowder is easily the top player to come out of the South Georgia Tech men’s basketball program.

For now, anyway.

Current Jets guard Anthony Ethridge could easily change all of that.

“I have told (Ethridge) to his face that he has the same potential and same opportunity as Jae,” South Georgia Tech coach Steven Wright said. “Right now, he might even be a little better than Jae at this stage in his career.”

Ethridge, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Lakeland, is on the cusp of having the best season in the history of the Jets’ program, and he is stuffing the stat book in nearly every way imaginable.

Ethridge, who has led South Georgia Tech to a 17-3 overall record, is 16th in the nation in scoring (20 ppg), 13th in blocks (43), 12th in rebounds (182) and fourth in total points scored (401).

Wright said the sky is the limit for his star player - unending potential similar to that of Crowder, who was the Region XVII Player of the Year in 2009 during his only year in Americus before starring at Marquette and being drafted by the Mavericks in 2012.

“It’s really not a basketball thing, but the biggest similarity between (Ethridge and Crowder) is that they have some dog in them,” Wright said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with basketball. If they went into a card game, I’m sure the same thing would come out in them. That’s the one thing that they have, and not every kid has that. When it’s time to make a play, they go make a play for you.”

Crowder has been making plenty of plays so far this season.

He’s scored 30 or more points three times, has had six double-doubles and is already receiving interest from Division I schools around the country - and even has an offer on the table from Colorado State.

“The stats continue to pile up and so do the phone calls (from Division I colleges),” Wright said.

Ethridge, whose nickname is “Duke,” starred in basketball and football at Lanier County High School, but his future is on the hard court.

“I see him play every day, and I am amazed at the things he is able to do,” Wright said. “He is a powerful athlete. He gets a lot of his points just off his athleticism and strength. He is a big-game player. During the game he brings it. I told somebody the other day that I am sure glad I have him on my team.”

Ethridge, however, isn’t the only reason the Jets have won three games in a row and are in third place in the region heading into today’s game against fourth-place Waycross.

Senior forward Octavius Green, a Gainesville, Fla., native, is second in the nation with 13.8 rebounds per game and has pulled down double-digit rebounds in 18 of 20 games.

“When the shot goes up he has a knack to find it,” Wright said about Green, who is also averaging 13.4 points per game. “It’s unbelievable. It happens every day at practice. He is a tough kid to block out. He just has a knack for being able to get his hands on the ball.”

But more than anything for the Jets, the 2012-13 season has been about chemistry on and off the court.

“People talk about chemistry all the time,” Wright said. “A lot of people think chemistry is just on the floor. But it’s hard to have chemistry on the floor if you don’t have it off the floor. They hang out together. They practice well together. They work hard together. They play well together. That’s not the case with every team. But so far that’s been the case this year.”

football at Lanier County High School, but his future is on the hard court.

"I see him play every day, and I am amazed at the things he is able to do," Wright said. "He is a powerful athlete. He gets a lot of his points just off his athleticism and strength. He is a big-game player. During the game he brings it. I told somebody the other day that I am sure glad I have him on my team."

Ethridge, however, isn't the only reason the Jets have won three games in a row and are in third place in the region heading into today's game against fourth-place Waycross.

Senior forward Octavius Green, a Gainesville, Fla., native, leads the nation with 13.8 rebounds per game and has pulled down double-digit rebounds in 18 of 20 games.

"When the shot goes up he has a knack to find it," Wright said about Green, who is also averaging 13.4 points per game. "It's unbelievable. It happens every day at practice. He is a tough kid to block out. He just has a knack for being able to get his hands on the ball."

But more than anything for the Jets, the 2012-13 season has been about chemistry on and off the court.

"People talk about chemistry all the time," Wright said. "A lot of people think chemistry is just on the floor. But it's hard to have chemistry on the floor if you don't have it off the floor. They hang out together. They practice well together. They work hard together. They play well together. That's not the case with every team. But so far that's been the case this year."