Category Archives: Analysis

Georgia Tech team camp Day 1 notes Part 2

By Rameen Forghani

South Cobb 44, Shiloh 37

It was a tale of two halves for South Cobb, who after falling behind 19-12 to Shiloh in the first half, took advantage of a barrage of floaters and fouls to open the second half and give them just enough firepower to overcome Shiloh in what was the closest game of the night. Shiloh shot 41.2% from the field in the first half (7-17) while South Cobb shot only 25% from the field (4-16).

Shiloh fell into foul trouble early, surrendering seven fouls in the first eight minutes of the first half, compounded by early point guard troubles turning the ball over too often before the team could fall into an offensive set. In an otherwise poor half of basketball, Shiloh ended the half with 9 defensive rebounds and 5 offensive boards, compared to South Cobb’s 10 and 5 rebounds, respectively.

An early run of easy buckets in the paint to open the second half for South Cobb propelled them to the victory, making three straight from the field and two from the stripe before missing. Although outrebounded by Shiloh in the second half, South Cobb shot 71.4% from two-point land (10-14) along with 73.3% from the free throw line (11-15), superior to Shiloh’s 31.8% from the field (7-22).

Shiloh’s inexperienced squad stayed in the 2-3 zone, whereas South Cobb played man with a high press, which at times gave Shiloh issues moving the ball. A technical foul called against a Shiloh guard for complaining about a no-call gave in a tight game gave South Cobb the momentum to finish the game a combined 5-for-7.

Sandy Creek 49, Upson-Lee 34

Upson-Lee head coach Darrell Lockhart elected to sit his frontcourt for the first half of this contest and Sandy Creek took advantage. The lack of depth was evident for Upson-Lee as they struggled to move the ball offensively and get themselves good looks. Indicative of the half that the Knights were enduring, an Upson-Lee assistant coach yelled prior to a trip to the line, “Can you make a free throw?” The answer to his question was promptly answered by the ball’s clang off of the rim.

Sandy Creek was able to build off of their point guard’s energy and post a respectable first half performance. Sandy Creek led 20-8 at the half.
​Despite Tye Fagan and co. checking in to start the second half, Upson-Lee was unable to legitimately contend with the Patriots, a bit worrying for a reigning state champion. As the final score reflects, the Knight starters were unable to close the deficit or stop the Patriots defensively.

Despite rough shooting in the first three halves of basketball on the day for Sandy Creek, their jump shooting improved markedly in the second half. The Patriots were also able to force turnovers and wreak havoc in the waxing seconds of Upson-Lee advancing the ball past midcourt. Sandy Creek was impressive in their ability to stay tough and maintain their aggression throughout the game, attacking the ball handler and leaving them little room to make a play.

Shiloh 66, Duluth 50

Shiloh exploited a tired Duluth early and never looked back cruising to a 66-50 victory in a game that was, for all intents and purposes, over before the half. Shiloh harassed Duluth early in the paint on both sides of the ball, driving and seemingly scoring at will. Shiloh’s early successes in the paint freed up the perimeter, which Shiloh aptly recognized and scored by.

Duluth was simply a step behind and a step too slow to stop Shiloh’s offense; their fatigue showed on jump shots, which consistently came up short of the basket.

The box score is very indicative of the general disposition of the game. With 8 minutes gone in the first half, Shiloh led 16-5. At the end of the first half, the score was 45-21, again in favor of Shiloh. With only 6 minutes played in the second half, the scoreboard showed 57-29.

Georgia Tech team camp Day 1 notes Part 1

By Rameen Forghani

Format: The Georgia Tech summer league camp featured a matrix of teams from across the state of Georgia (and a few from neighboring states) from varied classifications and regions. The games were played on McCamish Pavilion, the Zelnak Practice Court, and multiple rec courts on the Georgia Tech Campus. Each game consisted of two 22-minute halves, with a 2-minute halftime and six minutes in between games. The clock was running through all game situations except for timeouts (each team having two timeouts per game).

Westlake 64, Sandy Creek 39

Westlake overpowered Sandy Creek throughout the game with their depth and size, leaving a smaller Sandy Creek scrambling to create offensive opportunities. One of the hallmarks of this Westlake team two years removed from a state championship is their discipline. They play well as a unit and know their team’s schemes. Throughout the game, Westlake transitioned seamlessly through a 2-3, 3-2, and 1-3-1 zone, while mixing in some man defensively. Their pair of big men inside and good rotation and help-side defense left Sandy Creek with only 4 made field goals in the second half.

Offensively, Westlake appears to be trying to get guard Chase Hunter more involved; throughout the day, Hunter looked inconsistent as the decision maker, often forcing bad passes which led to turnovers or ill-advised shots. Despite being overmatched in terms of size, Sandy Creek was only outrebounded by 6 (32 to 26), and one of the saving graces for Sandy Creek was their speed, which allowed them to harass Westlake on the offensive glass and keep the game closer than their poor shooting performance would suggest (30-24 Westlake at the half).

Sandy Creek’s aggressive man defense swarmed the ball and their active hands wreaked havoc outside of the arc in the first half, although more controlled passing into the posts for Westlake in the second half allowed them to pull away for the victory.

Duluth 67, South Cobb 44

Duluth topped South Cobb 67-44 in a showing of aggressive defense and a blazing fast offense. Although South Cobb came out with a designed tip-off play to set an early tone, Duluth answered in spades with a suffocating full court press that left South Cobb looking a step too slow. Off the inbounds, Duluth’s tall and athletic guards would double the ball, often to leading to a discombobulated press break and offensive set for the Eagles.

With both teams playing fast, transition, up-and-down basketball, Duluth had the edge over South Cobb, scoring a significant chunk of their points in transition. In the half court, Duluth swung the ball with alacrity around the perimeter and left the South Cobb man defense looking confused at times, leading to drive-and-kick opportunities to complement the Wildcats’ good perimeter shooting.

At the half, Duluth led South Cobb 32-16, and the second half didn’t see much change. In a sequence perhaps indicative of the tide of this game, Duluth sinks a tough shot through contact in the paint, misses the and-1, grabs the offensive rebound for a putback and another and-1. In a seemingly tireless display, Duluth stayed in the full court press with man defense and frequent traps throughout the whole game.

Their swarming style of play forced more than a couple of turnovers and unsavory shots, although they had moments of indiscipline where they over-pursued and failed to pick up the open man or relied on their athleticism to rebound instead of boxing out.

If South Cobb could establish the ball in their offensive half court, they stood a better chance of moving the ball selectively from outside to inside, although South Cobb’s constant attempts to ram the ball inside was met with a stout Duluth paint defense.

Upson-Lee, 52 Westlake 35

In a match-up of two championship-caliber teams, the Upson-Lee Knights defeated the Westlake Lions 52-35 in a game where Upson-Lee simply executed better than Westlake in all phases of the game. Fundamentally, not much has changed for Upson-Lee since their AAAA championship run last year. The Knights still rely on Tye Fagan to orchestrate their offense and create chances and buckets. Fagan opened the game with the Knights’ first four points and six of their first ten. Westlake played a 2-3 zone, that although looked sharp in the game versus Sandy Creek, was a bit slow in rotating help on the faster Upson-Lee and continued a trend of being slow to close out on perimeter shots when in zone sets.

Late in the game, Westlake went to a full court press and doubled Fagan when he touched the ball, but Upson-Lee’s speed proved no match for the enhanced coverage.

Westlake had to match up against a fast and active man defense in Upson-Lee. Again, they tried to involve Chase Hunter as the point man in offensive half court sets, although he was mainly made a non-factor save for some perimeter shots throughout the game, in part because of the Upson-Lee defense and in part due to a left lower leg injury he sustained on his way down from a mammoth block at the rim on the defensive end.

Westlake attempted to force the ball inside against Upson-Lee, but active hands in the passing lane and pitting size against size gave Upson-Lee a slight advantage. Westlake was stout in the paint on initial defense, but deflections and offensive rebounds often led to easy buckets for Upson-Lee, which along with Fagan, has an explosive backcourt of small-but-shifty guards that can penetrate off of the dribble or shoot the three.

Wesleyan summer league Day 1 notes

By Bre Singleton (@bre_singleton_)

Wesleyan is hosting a batch of Varsity summer games this week and next as teams gear up for camps and various leagues. Walnut Grove and Johns Creek both made the drive to Wesleyan for Tuesday night’s games. Here’s what happened:

Wesleyan and Walnut Grove faced off in the first matchup of the afternoon. At first glance, Wesleyan won the depth war, coming in with over twice the players the Warriors brought. After summer cuts, Head Coach Adam Griffin would like to have a 12 to 13-man roster. But for now, the depth was surely an advantage in the 30-9 lead the Wolves built at the half. Grant Summers and Micah Smith both pushed the ball in transition from the point guard spot for the Wolves.

The lead wouldn’t last though, as Walnut Grove started the second half with a 16-0 run to get back into the action. Rising senior, RJ Selman led the way for the Warriors, putting up 13 points and adding four rebounds. Six-foot sophomore Ryan Landers got to the basket for a few nice finishes. He managed eight points in the game.

Despite several defensive lapses in the second half, Wesleyan was able to hold on to win by a slim margin, 47-40. Grant Summers finished with nine points and six assists. He’s running with Atlanta Xpress 2019 on the AAU circuit this summer. Christian McLean of Inspire Atlanta had seven points and six rebounds.

Grant Summers
Grant Summers

The 5:30 p.m. Varsity matchup between Walnut Grove and Johns Creek was a tough one. No one in the gym could tell that the Warriors had just finished playing the way they shot out to an early 19-6 lead. What was obvious, however, was that Walnut Grove was the faster and more athletic of the two teams. RJ Selman picked up where he left off in the previous game, pouring in 10 of his 12 points in the first half. Ryan Landers and Nick Jones helped out with 10 points each, both controlling the boards and slashing to the rim. Walnut Grove big man Jailen Robinson had command over the boards on both ends and dropped in seven points to give Walnut Grove a 34-19 lead at the half.

Johns Creek shot the ball extremely well in this one. Nathan Gauthreaux had it going from beyond the arc, knocking in five threes for all of his 15 points. Standing at 6’2, Gauthreaux doesn’t need much space to get his shot off. Neil Ilenrey, a bigger guard and rising junior, was a tough matchup for any defender. Ilenrey punished smaller defenders with his back-to-the-basket game and hit a few threes as well. Full court pressure from Johns Creek forced the Warriors to turn the ball over a few times late in the game. The Gladiators would capitalize off of this to seal a 57-52 win. Jack Greenslit and Will Penland added 10 and 11 points respectively. Greenslit did his damage in the paint while Penland hit three threes.

RJ Selman
RJ Selman

Johns Creek played their back-to-back game against Wesleyan for the final tilt of the night. The host team found its rhythm early. Warner Peaks had very little trouble getting to the rim. With a lanky frame, Peaks snagged rebounds and took it the distance on several occasions on his way to 10 points. One of the more impressive players of the day was rising sophomore Micah Smith. Smith showed poise in handling the Johns Creek pressure and let the Wesleyan offense work for him. He also put up ten points, helping the Wolves take a 27-19 lead into the half.

The scoring and shooting slowed down for Johns Creek in this game. The eye test would blame fatigue. Neil Ilenrey was the only Gladiator in double digits with 10 points. Will Penland and Micah Chadwick both managed five points. Wesleyan cracked down on the defensive mistakes made in their first game and took home the 57-41 win.

Neil Ilenrey
Neil Ilenrey

 

Bob Gibbons – Saturday 17U Eye Openers

Contributed by Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14)

Riley Wolgamott (Pro One Select White)– Wolgamott showed a lot of different parts to his game in a tight afternoon win. A very quick, deceptive PG, Wolgamott sliced through the defense relentlessly throughout the game and made crafty passes to his teammates often. He also used his quickness and ball-handling ability to attack the rim himself, while also showing he could shoot from the outside, finishing with 16 points for the Alabama-based program in a win over Game Elite Blue.

Evan Spiller (CBA United)- Spiller is a solid wing out of Florida who stayed within himself and never overdid things. He used his length and athleticism to his advantage, penetrating inside quite often where he displayed a nice in between game and soft touch around the basket. It was clear that Spiller has a high IQ, making the simple, correct play time and time again. The smooth lefty was a vital part in CBA’s comeback win over Palmetto Elite, ending the game with 18 points.

CJ Sabb (Palmetto Elite)- Sabb is an unsigned CG from South Carolina and definitely played like it today. Sabb looked like a veteran in the first half against CBA United and led his team with 12 first-half points coming in a variety of ways. As things got going for CBA in the second half, Sabb tried to get others involved and keep his teammates composed. Although Palmetto suffered a 2-point loss, it was an impressive performance overall for Sabb, who finished with 17 points.

Raphael Rogers, Christian McLean (Inspire Atlanta)- This wing duo accounted for nearly half of Inspire’s points (14 each) in their afternoon battle against Sports Academy South. McLean (Wesleyan) showed furious aggression in transition, almost too much for his own good at times, but this attribute is what makes him go. After getting to the basket a few times for scores, McLean had some nice dumps to teammates for easy buckets. If he continues to develop as a distributor as well, McLean will be a scary prospect. Rogers (Douglas County) has a nice, strong body for a perimeter player and displayed some good versatility to his game. He knew when to use his strength to get inside but also knocked down open outside shots and was quite unselfish in sharing the ball when he could have looked for his own scoring opportunities. It will be interesting to see how these two improve before the July live period.

Isaiah Bauman (Sports Aacademy South)- Bauman is a speedy guard out of Augusta and showed a full offensive arsenal in an OT win over Inspire Atlanta on Saturday afternoon. Whether it was a deep-ball, a mid-range pull-up, or a drive to the basket, it seemed that Bauman always had something up his sleeve for Academy. Whenever Inspire looked like they were gaining momentum, Bauman responded with a big play for Academy. Bauman controlled the game, played with solid change of pace, and finished with an impressive 18 points in the win.

Chris Barnette (NC Runnin’ Rebels)- Barnette, a guard from North Carolina, may have been my favorite player from the whole day. Barnette played with an endless motor and was bouncing around the court each and every play. He hounded the opposing team’s primary ball-handler every possession, got in passing lanes off the ball, and even snuck in for a few offensive rebounds. This goes without mentioning his superior shooting and passing ability; Barnette had 14 points on (3) 3’s, a plethora of assists in transition off his steals, and made sure there was crisp ball movement in the half-court. Barnette may not be the biggest player but his tremendous energy and activity really make up for it.

Bob Gibbons – Saturday 16U Eye Openers

Contributed by Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14)

Bryson Childress, Levontae Knox (PSB Select)- Starting off with an early morning game in an off-site auxiliary gym didn’t seem to have any effect on the play of this PSB duo. Childress, a PG, and Knox, a wing, have nice chemistry together and had things rolling early against Vanguard Elite. Childress hit a few outside shots early and then began to facilitate to Knox and other teammates, a role in which he excelled. Knox was at his best attacking the rim in transition with the help of pesky defense by Childress, but also had some nice moments in half-court offense putting the ball on the floor to get inside and taking a few perimeter shots. Childress (9 points) and Knox (13 points) were two of the main pieces in securing the win for the NC program.

Jaxon Etter (North Atlanta Orangemen)– After a strong performance in the morning against Game Elite, Etter (Etowah) followed up with another effective outing against BCB on Saturday night. Etter has impressive size and physicality for a guard/wing at the 16U level, bullying his way to the basket where he both finished through contact and drew fouls. Etter also showed the ability to grab rebounds and push down the court into pull-up jumpers. His attack mentality led to 17 points on the night.

Ashton Young (BCB Black)- Going against Etter for BCB was Young, and he was an absolute beast. Young (Buford) scored solid 6 points in the first half, but took it to another level in the second half. The athletic, active wing was grabbing offensive rebounds, slashing from the perimeter, and ran hard in transition throughout the game. The Orangemen could not keep him away from the basket or free throw line and Young eventually finished with 27 points for BCB. His effort helped lead them to a close 58-56 win.

Drew Pember (EOTO TN)- In a bracket play matchup against Stackhouse Elite, Pember and his EOTO looked to continue to prove themselves on the big stage. The EOTO team encountered a lot of foul trouble and struggled to score in the first half, facing a 30-21 deficit at halftime. After a scoreless first half, Pember turned things around in the second half. Pember, a long, lean forward, proved that he can step out and shoot from the perimeter but also showed impressive mobility and athleticism. Pember scored 9 points in the second half and although the EOTO comeback just barely fell short, he and his team look like they should be followed closely in the future.