With brand new audio quality, the entire Sandy’s Spiel staff gathered to share their thoughts on team camps across the state. Trent Markwith debuts on the podcast, while Kyle Sandy hints at bigs things in-store over the next upcoming weeks.
By Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14)
Holy Innocents’: Garrison Powell, Alex Hyatt
Powell and Hyatt look like they’re ready to take the reins at Holy Innocents after the graduation of three important seniors. Powell is only a rising freshman but he is extremely confident on offense and for good reason. He gets to wherever he wants on the court and can score in a variety of ways, Powell always plays with an intensity about him that you don’t usually expect to see from such a young player.
Hyatt had a strong sophomore season for the Bears but is looking to take on an even bigger role this season. Hyatt has an exceptional mid-range game, hitting time and time again with his soft shot. Although undersized for a forward, Hyatt has solid length and good touch around the basket. Look for these two to have big seasons for HIES.
Milton: Brady O’Connell
After the Georgia Tech team camp, I mentioned O’Connell as a long, athletic prospect who could help himself with a more active approach. O’Connell did just that this weekend at GSU. He was much more aggressive in half-court scoring opportunities, slashing from the wing and using his length and touch to convert inside frequently. O’Connell also got out in transition often this weekend, getting out ahead of the pack and putting his athleticism on display with some impressive dunks. If O’Connell continues this type of play, it will add another dimension to this Milton team and will go a long way in their success.
Northview: Matt Davis, Joseph Jones
Northview’s team is highlighted by PG Justin Brown who had some absolutely dominant stretches this weekend. Brown is a well-known commodity for the Titans but Jones and Davis are both nice pieces on the perimeter for this team as well. Jones has made some noise on the travel circuit with AC Georgia and is one of the more athletic players you’ll see. He blows by defenders with tremendous speed in the half-court and transition but is not just an athlete, Jones has a good feel for game and nice skill-set to go with it.
Davis a lanky player on the wing for the Titans; he has a high, quick release from the outside and is very confident shooting. Davis is not afraid to go inside and while his lack of strength can limit him there at times, it is nice to see that he is willing to attack. Only a 2020 prospect, as Davis gets stronger he could turn into a very good all-around scorer for the Titans.
Dawson Christian Academy: Luke Chism, Ahmad Kamara
Dawson Christian went 27-5 this past season but now the Eagles have lost their three top scorers to graduation and are looking for others to step up. Chism played a big role as a sophomore last season and will now be the main guy for DCA. Compared to his JC Ballers team that I saw in May, it looks like Chism will have to be more of a scorer for this Eagles team, a job that he has embraced. He is very aggressive attacking the basket and has good touch and length when he gets there. Adding strength and consistent perimeter shooting should be his areas of focus over his last two years.
Kamara gives DCA another aggressive scorer. You can tell Kamara plays football, he loves contact and is fearless going inside with his strong build. I like how Kamara bangs down low and knows how to use his body even though he may lack height.
Duluth: Will Huzzie, Lamont Smith
Adam Flagler has been getting some publicity for the Wildcats recently and he displayed his scoring ability at all three levels again this weekend, but Huzzie and Smith are two other guys to keep an eye on this year for the Wildcats. Huzzie an ultra-athletic wing forward for this team and sets the tone for Duluth with his energy. He excels at the top of Duluth’s full-court zone press, wreaking havoc with his active hands and forcing turnovers that turn into powerful dunks for Huzzie at the other end.
Smith is a speedy guard who handles PG responsibilities for the Wildcats. Smith has scoring ability but it looks like he enjoys being a distributor for the team whether it’s him getting a steal and finding guys in transition or controlling things in the half-court. Smith averaged over 4 APG last season and I expect this number to rise this year. These two to go along with Flagler and Christian Kelly in the backcourt forms a very good core for Duluth.
King’s Ridge Christian: Eric Coleman
Coleman has been on the rise recently as a prospect, receiving offers from Mercer, Kennesaw State, and Western Carolina over the past few weeks. After seeing Coleman this weekend, it is easy to see why college coaches are starting to give him attention. Coleman is going to have to do a lot on offense for a Tigers team that lacks scoring but it doesn’t seem like he has a problem with that. At about 6’6”, Coleman has a very smooth outside shot for his size and has solid athleticism when attacking the basket. It also looks like he has improved his ball-handling ability, which is a big plus for a wing with his size. Look for Coleman to continue to solidify himself as one of the better 2019 prospects in Georgia.
By Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14)
The Gladiators are a team that doesn’t have a bunch of size down low, but this squad has a trio of guards that will be expected to do a lot this season. 2019 Neil Ilenrey is a really strong, physical guard who seeks out and absorbs contact on his way to the basket. Ilenrey finished through hits with regularity and was not afraid to take perimeter shots either. Will Penland is an outside specialist for Johns Creek; he can get hot quickly with his high-arcing shot and when he does, it is big trouble for the opponent. Rising senior Nate Gauthreaux may have been the most impressive of the three Gladiators. Gauthreaux is an exceptional shooter who can hit from a lot of different areas on the floor. He also displayed the athleticism and ball-handling ability to push in transition and weave through the defense for layups. Johns Creeks will depend on these guys in 2017-18 and it looks like they are ready to carry the load.
The Wildcats came to Georgia State without two key players in Paris Howland and Carter Oesterling, but others rose to the occasion and the team had some nice moments during the camp. Westminster sported an undersized squad this weekend but was successful on offense with a lot of half-court movement, unselfish play, and outside shooting. Niki Manocha, TJ Malloy, David Perchik, and Chance Hausman all showed confidence shooting from deep in different games for the Wildcats. Eli Barry is another Westminster guard that played well; Barry is a high IQ player who consistently scored and facilitated while also having an impact on defense. Matt Howard and Charlie Ham manned the forward spots for the team; although neither are the tallest, Howard used his wide body and Ham used his athleticism to be effective inside. Oesterling and Howland will give Westminster two needed ball-handlers to deal with pressure and score. This team may struggle against bigger, more athletic opponents in 2017-18 but the Wildcats will be able to find success due to their fundamental, patient style of play.
This weekend was my first time seeing the Lovett squad without transfer Ryan Greer. Although they will definitely miss Greer, the Lions have several capable players that will have solid seasons. Nick Jackson looks ready for a big year; you can’t label him with a specific position but Jackson has a non-stop motor on both ends and makes things happen on offense with great strength and the ability to penetrate. Lovett has two players that can light it up from the outside: Crawford Schwieger and Lance Beck. Schwieger has made his mark previously as a shooter and can hurt teams with either threes or mid-range jumpers. Beck has good size for a shooter and a quick release to go with it, he also showed glimpses of slashing ability when defenders flew at him on the perimeter. Mike Hardee saw a lot of time at PG for the Lions this weekend and showed the potential to make plays off the dribble, which Lovett needs more of. Evan McKown and Peyton Ringer were both out this weekend but will help the Lions a lot. I’m interested to see what Ryan Koudele has in mind for this team, he always gets the most out of his guys.
Holy Spirit Prep
The Cougars are a team that I highlighted after the Georgia Tech camp, mentioning Ant Edwards, Kamani Johnson, and Kye Jeremiah. This trio performed well again this weekend, but there were a few other HSP players that also showed they will contribute this season. Incoming transfer Jaylen Dunham was with HSP for the first time at GSU and had some solid performances. Dunham is a strong lefty with some shooting ability, but he is at his best when he gets to his left hand where he slashes aggressively and finishes through contact. Nick Maddox played with a lot of aggression for the Cougars; Maddox used his strength to get inside and go into defenders for layups while also showing some touch on his mid-range shots. Christian Fussell is another transfer that could end having an impact for HSP. Fussell is a long forward that has a smooth, soft shot with range out to the 3-point line. Fussell is pretty mobile and athletic also, as he gets stronger he could be a problem around the basket, which would create a nice inside-out package for the 2020 prospect.
By Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14)
There was some talk surrounding the Panthers coming into June after losing three key transfers to Shiloh, but this team used the GSU stage to show that they are just fine. Anchored down by Ahmir Langlais inside, Parkview has a dependable post presence in the 2019 big. Langlais is tough and very active down low, but is also smart in the post, knowing when to kick to guards if he is doubled.
The Panthers made their mark this weekend with pesky defense in each game; they have a plethora of tough guards who take pride in locking down on every possession. Their guards were also reliable on offense with good production from Wilfred Campbell, Brandon Harvey, Jamiel Wright, and others.
The Parkview guards can shoot outside and penetrate, which ensures that teams cannot just harass Langlais in the post without any worries. This combination of defensive pressure and an inside-out presence on offense propelled the Panthers to impressive wins throughout the weekend, which ended with them winning the championship against Cedar Shoals, who had beaten them earlier on Saturday. New Head Coach John Collins should be excited to see what this group will do in the winter.
Cedar Shoals Reloads
With the departure of nine seniors, there may have been some uncertainty heading into 2017-18 for the Jaguars. However, the defending Class AAAAA state runner-up gained two nice additions in 2020 players Tyler Johnson and Quincy Canty from Athens Christian, to go along with some returners who are ready to step up. The Cedar Shoals squad looked very good at GSU, with wins over St. Pius and Miller Grove in bracket play before losing in the aforementioned championship game against Parkview.
Johnson showed a nice all-around offensive skill set for the team, capitalizing on catch and shoot opportunities and scoring off the dribble consistently during camp. Canty provides versatility as a forward for the Jaguars; he was effective on mid-range jumpers and was aggressive inside on both ends, using his athleticism to rise over defenders for rebounds and buckets.
Rising seniors Jaivanni McDavid and Keivaziay Ball also had solid performances for the team, putting them with Johnson on the perimeter creates a very nice trio of guards for the Panthers. McDavid and Ball both know how to fill it up and will provide toughness and leadership for the Cedar Shoals team this year.
St. Pius Strikes Again
St. Pius was one of my favorite teams at the Georgia Tech team camp and this weekend they were back at GSU with more impressive play. The Golden Lions displayed the same fundamental, energetic play throughout the camp that I saw before, but I also had a few new observations this weekend.
Both Gonzalo twins missed some time at GSU and without two main guys, I felt like Everett Lane solidified himself as the go-to guy and clear leader for the team this upcoming season. Lane is such a competitor and thrives in big moments when his team needs someone to step up.
Along with Lane, Troy Stephens and Niko Broadway both picked up their play at the camp, further proving themselves as key pieces for St. Pius in 2017-2018. Both of these guards showed good toughness and scoring ability for the Golden Lions. Zach Ranson, who always plays with a lot of passion, seemed to have raised his level of intensity even more this weekend. Ranson was fierce inside, converting on crafty reverse layups, throwing his body around, and running hard in transition for easy baskets.
Time To Shine For Harvey And Co. At Miller Grove
With the graduation of Tae Hardy, who averaged nearly 20 PPG last season, several players now have the opportunity to step into the spotlight for Miller Grove. Maurice Harvey is now the primary ball-handler for the Wolverines and excelled in his role at GSU. It was already known that Harvey was a freak athlete in transition and while he put that on display this weekend, he also showed some nice point guard skills. Harvey made good reads off the pick and roll, dumping down to the roll man and hitting mid-range pull-ups when defenders went under the screen.
Other standouts for the Wolverines were Jermon Clark and Kevin Paige, who have big, physical bodies that they used to their advantage during the Wolverines’ games. These mobile, athletic forwards were very aggressive and productive for Miller Grove during their time at GSU; they scored and rebounded with ease for the Wolverines and showed that they form a post duo that will create issues for opposing teams this season.
By Bre Singleton (@bre_singleton)
Reigning Class 6A State Champion Mays faced Peach County in what ended up being a battle. Down by just two points at the half, Peach County had a few bigger guards on the roster to help combat Mays’ quickness. One player in particular stood out. Daishai Almond, a 5’9” point-forward is a baller. On several occasions, she snagged a rebound and pushed it the length of the floor for a smooth bucket. Almond has recently gotten interest from the host team, Georgia Tech to go along with offers from Louisville and Kennesaw State. Whether she chooses to stay in-state, or to take her talents elsewhere, I’m confident that Almond will be able to step in and immediately bring scoring and versatility to any program.
Life after Kamiyah Street will be difficult for Mays but Natoria Hill will look to step up and run the point guard position. Hill, a 5’8” junior, has the length to be a pesky defender and the aggression to get to the rim. With a little more work on her mid-range game, I think she has the potential to be a very solid player. Chardae Bell also contributed with a scrappiness on defense that would frustrate many. Much like Hill, the addition of an outside jumper to Bell’s game would really help her stretch the floor in that Raider offense.
After picking up the win over Peach County, Mays had a state championship rematch with Harrison, who I had the chance to watch a week or so ago and Georgia State’s team camp. I profiled Harper Vick at GSU, but Sarah Woghiren had a command over the court on Saturday for the Lady Hoyas. She put up 17 points and pulled six boards against the defending champs on their way to a win. Woghiren is strong and finishes well at the rim. If you’re going to foul her, you’ve got to make sure she doesn’t get the shot up at all, because if she does, there’s a good chance she’s getting the and-one.
Vick did not disappoint either. Her quickness led to easy leak-outs as Mays defenders had a hard time keeping track of her on the court. Finally for the Hoyas, Mae Willis had a solid game, getting to the free throw line early and often. Willis turns defense into offense for Harrison, coming up with steals and forcing the issue on the break.
Duluth leans on upperclassmen
The last game of the day that I was able to catch was Duluth vs. Hardaway out of Columbus. As Endia Banks gets settled into college life in Miami, the Wildcats will have some work to do to replace her and Brianna Dixon in the backcourt. Victoria Oglesby is still looking very strong, coming off of several great performances in the state tournament. She was aggressive, getting to the line at will. She’ll look to decide on a school either later this month or early in July after re-opening her recruitment.
Zaniaya Williams is also on top of her game this summer. She pounded the boards hard for Duluth and had several putbacks for scores. Torey Walker, a 5’10” point-forward also looks promising going into her junior year. She seems to be getting more comfortable with her game which ought to bode well for the Wildcats. The only problem that stood out for Duluth was its inability to score. Oglesby broke Hardaway’s pressure but Duluth couldn’t seem to put the ball into the basket very much in the second half. Hardaway on the other hand attacked the basket and finished more often than not. It’ll be interesting to see how Duluth’s rotation shakes out when the GHSA season rolls around. They’ll need to address the backcourt to keep up with the likes of Collins Hill in Region 6-AAAAAAA.