adidas Memorial Day Classic

The GA Elite Ballers and the D-Favors Celtics locked horns at the adidas Gauntlet Regional Qualifier. The Celtics won 64-56 behind the sweet shooting of their 2019 backcourt.

Hunter McIntosh

6-2 PG Hunter McIntosh (GAC) was lights out. The state champion guard with a 4.57 GPA and only a FGCU offer reveled in the head-to-head matchup with fellow elite guard, Mitch Ganote. McIntosh drilled 4 threes on his way to 22 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. Though he might not have the same fanfare and the offers that other lead guards have, McIntosh is firmly entrenched in the discussion for best point guard in Georgia. He averaged 20 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals this season. His ability to control a game and score from all over the court makes him the ideal floor general. Expect Ivy League schools to start pulling the trigger soon. D-I schools will want to move quickly before they get left behind.

With older brother and current Auburn Tiger Jared Harper in attendance, 6-0 PG Jalen Harper (Pebblebrook) shined. Just like the Harper family tradition, Jalen was instant offense from beyond the arc, drilling 3 threes and finishing with 21 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. It was a great first impression for a player who hasn’t been asked to carry the load during the high school season. Harper has played rotational minutes and will try to follow in the footsteps of 2018 PG Dwight Murray, who patiently waited and eventually cashed in on an Incarnate Word scholarship.

2018 6-9 C Brandon Favors (Westlake) anchored the paint for D-Favors. The big man says he will reclassify to 2019 and head to The-Skill-Factory. Favors is a strong lean athlete that moves very well. He can face up in the low post and attack the rim. He posted 7 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 blocks. Favors is a bit of a lit bloomer production wise. His senior season at Westlake he averaged 6.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He has the natural tools to become a quality college player with the right work.

Even though they were outshot from deep, unable to withstand eight D-Favors threes, the GA Elite Ballers still had a good showing.

2019 6-1 PG Mitch Ganote (Lambert) brought his toughness in a showcase matchup. A slick competitor, Ganote was up to his old tricks, probing defenses until he found what he liked. Ganote uses his body well to shield defenders, backing down his man before making a decision. He crafts his way to the basket and can finish through contact and is a great passer when he drives and kicks. He finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals before suffering a possible concussion after a collision.

2019 6-6 F Brandon Deravine (Campbell) did damage inside and out. The combo forward can bang down low and has a few nice post moves. His quickness inside makes him a mismatch problem while against bigger defenders, he can pull them out and attack from 15-feet. Deravine finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. He averaged 12.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks at Campbell. With the Spartans set to return a bulk of their Elite Eight team, expect Deravine to have plenty of opportunities to impress college coaches.

2019 6-4 SF D’Antaye Page (Westlake) brought his utility belt, doing a little bit of everything. He had 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Page averaged 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds at Westlake, but it seems like his confidence is growing and he can provide even more production his senior season. Against Ball4Lyfe, Page erupted for 37 points hitting 3 threes in a 76-75 win. Page put himself on the radar as a player to track heading into his final season.

Team Power

MacKenzie McFatten

When I saw 2019 6-7 F Mackenzie McFatten (Coffee) earlier this year on Senior Night against Tift County, I knew I had to see him again. Fast forward four months later and the relatively unknown eye-catcher is now a legit D-I prospect with a North Alabama offer. The long lefty averaged 11.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2.3 blocks down south. Now playing with Team Power, the rest of the state can see his potential. He is a menace on defense, not only protecting the rim but using his wingspan to key the top of the press, gobbling up guards. Offensively, McFatten can knock down the outside jumper and plays with a toughness inside, finishing through contact on the low block. McFatten should end up being one of the top 2019 big men in the state of Georgia.

2019 6-5 F Stanley Eze (Mt. Bethel) is a lengthy defensive-minded wing. He shows some good instincts and uses his wingspan to guard multiple positions. Offensively, Eze is a slasher but also has a trusty mid-range jump shot at the foul line.

sportalSlam I notes

17U Georgia Man Up

2019 5-10 PG Josh Guilford (Heritage-Conyers) shined in Georgia Man Up’s 67-64 championship victory over Team Affect. He was tricky, using his experience to coax three fouls on three-point attempts. He finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Guilford has a good feel for the game and has momentum coming off of Heritage’s Final Four run in Class AAAAAA. He was the team’s third-leading scorer at 11.3 points per game and will bring with him some veteran savvy his senior season.

Khobe Comer

2019 6-2 SG Khobe Comer (Stockbridge) caught my eye with his pretty shooting stroke and nice size. He was a role player for the Tigers last season but should move up in the rotation. He was a crucial floor spacer for Georgia Man Up and hit three timely three-pointers down the stretch in the championship, hitting four for the game and finishing with 15 points and MVP honors.

2019 5-foot-10 PG Trillis Brown (Stockbridge) averaged 7.3 points during the high school season. He was a playmaker this weekend at sportalSlam I. He came in off the bench to affect the game in ways that don’t always show up on the scoresheet. He netted 6 points, but it was his defensive pressure and decision making with the ball that shined. He had two nice assists and knows how to set up his teammates.

17U Team Affect

Tabais Long

2018 6-5 SF Tabais Long (Salem) is a player that has long interested me. With such size, at first glance you would think the Scotland Prep bound swingman is more akin to playing the role of bruiser on the block, but instead it’s his mixture of skill and physicality that sets him apart. Long can handle the ball like a guard, but punish you on downhill assaults like LeBron James, using his body to absorb contact and finish at the rim. He posted 32 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 block in a blowout win and showed all the tools that makes him a prospect to keep tabs on. In the championship game, he struggled with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, airballing two three-pointers. Over his senior season, Long averaged 11.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals while hitting 45% of his three-point attempts (25-of-55). He has the physical tools to be a productive college player.

Jalen Horton

2019 5-10 PG Jalen Horton (Rockdale County) showed some flashes of being able to carry the load offensively for the Bulldogs next season. After averaging 5 points and 3.6 assists, Horton will be asked to play a much more substantial role in the offense with Sayvon Traylor graduating his 21.9 points per game. Horton is a spark plug guard that likes to break his man down off the dribble. He has to be careful not to over dribble too much. The only time he might force the issue is when he tries to get into the paint. He didn’t take too many bad outside shots this weekend and moved the ball around. He had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in a 35-point win. In a championship loss, he finished with 6 points, 4 assists and 3 steals.

2018 6-5 SF Tehjuan Powell (Salem) is a rugged slasher that finishes with authority at the rim. He led the Seminoles in scoring his senior season at 13.3 points to go with his 5.2 rebounds per game. Everything was towards the basket. He reminded me of Central-Talbotton’s ZyTavian Hill, a physical specimen that imposes his will. Powell had 12 points and 4 rebounds in a rout and posted 16 points and 5 boards in the championship. He must develop an outside shot to keep defenses honest and round out his offensive game. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and isn’t afraid to talk during games.

2018 6-5 PF Jalen Reynolds (Salem) was a space eater inside. He used his wide frame well and showed some back-to-the-basket post moves. He has a strong drop step that freed him up consistently throughout the weekend. One he got his shoulders past the defender, he was strong enough to keep any would-be shot blockers from affecting him. His best game came in the championship with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

2020 5-11 CG Jeremiah Venson (Salem) rose his stock at sportalSlam. The lefty played sparingly this season, averaging 2.9 points per game, but that should change next year. Venson is a microwave from deep, that can get hot in a hurry. He is composed with the ball and can catch defenders off balance. Once his three-point shot is established, Venson can attack the paint and finish in traffic. He had 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals against the Georgia Livin’ Legends and followed up with 14 points on 4 threes in the title game.

16U Georgia Grizzlies

Kedric Barrett

2020 6-6 C Kedric Barrett (Lambert) was so impressive throughout sportalSlam, capping his excellence with MVP honors after wrecking the Smyrna Stars for 25 points and 15 rebounds. Barrett is a big boy and uses his size to his advantage. He is a throw back post that knows how to score around the rim. He loves to turn over his left shoulder to get to his baby hook which he kissed off the glass consistently. The Grizzlies high-lowed teams to death this weekend, using duck-ins to get Barrett free. He has a nice touch that can extend to 15-feet and was money from the line, going 9-of-10 in the championship. Barrett can sometimes incite altercations with his play inside, but when he is locked in and doesn’t get involved with any head games, Barrett is a solid foundation player. Currently, he is stuck behind fellow sophomore 6-foot-8 Colin Granger on the Lambert depth chart.

Franklin Bailey

2020 5-11 SG Franklin Bailey (Chattahoochee) was money from deep. Bailey overall may have been the Grizzlies’ most consistent scorer. He drilled 13 threes in the three games I watched, posting 20, 20 and 11 points. Bailey can’t be left open from deep or he will burn you. He can get his shot off the bounce when needed, but he’s at his best when he keeps his dribble to a minimum. He can be a plug-and-play three-point specialist in a pinch for a young Chattahoochee team.

2020 6-6 F Javani Brown (Johns Creek) has outstanding bloodlines, the son of former 15-year NBA veteran PJ Brown and coaching maestro Dee Brown. Javani is long and lean and has his best ball ahead of him. He can knock down the three, hitting six in a three-game span. He came on strong in the championship game, sinking three deep balls en route to 12 points. Right now he is a bit of a tweener at forward. I’d like to see him work on his post up game to really make him a three-level threat.

16U Smyrna Stars

Sean Rutledge

2020 6-5 PF Sean Rutledge (East Paulding) is a workhorse post with ball skills that will play a big role in new coach JW Cantrell’s offense. I fell in love with Rutledge’s toughness and agility. He is a big bruiser inside but he can ignite his own fast breaks with the dribble. He handles the ball well but is definitely at his best when anchored on the block. He is a bully on the boards with soft hands. He had 11 points and 13 rebounds in the title game. Rutledge has an up-and-under along with some ball fakes in his post arsenal. He plays the angles well and understands how to use his shoulders to score in defenders’ chests. Playing in a more traditional offense will suit his style of play well.

2020 6-2 PG Jordan Jefferson (Hiram) has length at the lead guard position. He possesses a nice three-point stroke as well, hitting four threes on his way to 14 points in the championship game. To no surprise, Jefferson uses his long arms to help out on the boards, corralling 5 rebounds and earning 3 steals. Jefferson could be a useful rotational piece his junior season.

16U Dynasty Elite

2020 6-5 SF Sterling Johnson (King’s Ridge) is a well-built swingman with a dangerous outside shot. He can slash effectively and makes him a threat to score from all three levels. Johnson has the makings of becoming a breakout candidate his junior season considering that Eric Coleman Jr. has transferred to Buford. It should be Johnson’s team at King’s Ridge. It will be interesting to see how new head coach Bob Martin uses Johnson in his offense.

Chase McKey

2020 6-6 F Chase McKey (Mt. Pisgah) is a long forward that is transferring from Johns Creek. He will need to get stronger, but McKey can score inside and out. He can knock down the three-point shot while also using a soft touch around the rim. He should be a quality piece at Mt. Pisah and provide help on both ends of the floor.

15U D-Favors Celtics

Marcus Samuel

2021 5-11 CG Marcus Samuel (Langston Hughes) is physically cable to handle the rigors of the varsity level. He already has one state championship ring as a role player off the bench for the Panthers. Samuel is a bowling ball powerful guard that put defenders to sleep once he got his shoulders by them. He turns the corner, he has a variety of nifty finishes at the rim. He piled in 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in a blow out win. Samuel knows how to get two feet in the paint. The next part of his game that needs to develop is a three-point shot.

2021 5-9 PG KJ Webb (Langston Hughes) is a lengthy playmaker that gets after it on both sides. He can disrupt offenses with his on-ball defense which leads to opportunities on offense. He stuffed the stat sheet with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals. Webb is a tough guard that should be a valuable piece at the varsity level in due time.

14U Cherokee Legacy

DJ Potts-Heard

2022 5-10 SG DJ Potts-Heard is a floor spacer and a varsity ready three-point shooter. He nailed 5 threes in his 25-point outburst to open sportalSlam. When his feet are set, Potts-Heard can carry a team from deep. He has some nice moves when getting to the basket as well. He is wired to score at this stage of his career. Once he develops more of a floor game as a playmaker, Potts-Heard could really become a big-time player. Either way, he is a sought-after freshman that will need to decide whether to play in Cherokee County or to venture out to private school. Depending on which route he chooses, he could make an impact as a rotational player right away.

2022 6-0 F Robbie Roper (Woodstock) provides energy as a garbage guy. He can do a little bit of everything out on the floor and has a good IQ that often puts him in a position to succeed. He sparked the Legacy in their opening game, springing the eventual champions to life with 6 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals.

2022 6-1 F Ezra Milton (Cherokee) is a physically mature forward that can knock down the three and use his athleticism to score inside. Milton is a banger that has skill offensively. He is another quality player that will be a part of Cherokee’s youth movement.

14U Georgia Grizzlies

2022 5-10 G Maestro Shadburn was aggressive getting to the basket all week. He is a true downhill slasher that does all his work around the rim. He can finish with both hands. Shadburn is a bundle of energy. He posted 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals against the Cherokee Legacy. Developing an outside shot will be the next step in his offensive development.

14U Team MTXE

Grant Rowe

2022 5-7 SG Grant Rowe (St. Pius X) is a money shooter. Rowe has the clutch gene, drilling a deep two off a head fake as time expired to advance onto the championship game. He may be little, but Rowe has a good feel for the game and can get red-hot from deep.

2022 5-10 G Cam Wingo (St. Pius X) was non-stop effort this weekend for Team MTXE. He embodies what being a future Golden Lion is all about: Mental toughness, Extra effort. Wingo is built like a football player and plays like it on the court with a controlled aggression. He is a leader on the floor and will do whatever it takes to win. He reminds me of 2019 6-3 F Zach Ranson, a Wake Forest football-commit, who played an integral part in St. Pius making back-to-back state championship appearances.

2018 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions notes

Friday night of the 2018 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions supplied a look at some of Georgia’s top players. Though the majority of the games were blowouts in the first round of bracket play, there was still valuable intel collected at Suwanee Sports Academy.

Atlanta Celtics 82, Palm Beach Bulls 30

Alec Woodard
Alec Woodard

The Atlanta Celtics overwhelmed a smaller Palm Beach Bulls team. The Celtics were sparked off the bench by Morgan County 2019 standouts 6-foot-3 Alec Woodard and 6-foot-4 Tyrin Lawrence. Woodard played centerfielder in the Celtics’ full court press and nearly posted a triple-double thanks to his quick instincts. The three-point marksman showed his entire skill set finishing with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists and 9 steals.  Lawrence, who holds offers from College of Charleston and Robert Morris, collected 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 block.

2019 6-foot-7 forward Armani Harris (Newton) played well inside. He provided physical play with some nice offensive footwork, able to attack from the foul line and spin his way to the cup. He had 9 points and 8 rebounds.

Ole Miss-commit 6-foot-10 Rodney Howard (Centennial) continues to improve. He did the majority of his damage on rim runs, finding and sealing his defender deep underneath the basket for easy finishes. He used his size to his advantage and was unstoppable against the smaller Bulls when he got good position. Howard is still a little mechanical and stiff in his movements however. He has a high arcing release on his jump shot and a nice touch on it, but it can be a slow developing stroke that might not be as effective against taller defenders. Overall, Howard dominated like an SEC big man should against a small 6-foot-4 front line, finishing with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block.

Brenden Tucker (Dacula; 15), Kamar Robertson (Cambridge; 12) and Reco Hallmon (Grayson; 9) combined for 36 points in the lopsided blowout. Tucker had three breakaway dunks. Hallmon added 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Atlanta Xpress 80, HESE Wolverines 20

No Anthony Edwards, no problem for the Xpress on Friday night. 2019 6-foot-3 CG Chase Hunter (Westlake) was electric with his trademark tenacity. Hunter is the epitome of a two-way player, a guy who will hound you on one end and dunk on you on the other. Hunter is much more than just a YouTube sensation with his aerial assaults on the rim. He has deep range, knocking down two threes with a handful of pull-up jumpers from the mid-range as well. Couple that with his quick first step that lets him get to the basket and its easy to see why High Major offers have been pouring in this spring. He had 22 points, 5 steals and 1 block.

6-foot-8, 215-pound 2019 PF Ibrahima Jarjou tallied 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals and 3 blocks. The Greenforest big man follows in the school’s tradition of finding mature built forwards. He is an active rebounder that is rounding into form offensively. He knocked down a jumper and showed the ability to put the ball on the floor on some straight-line drives to the rim.

2019 6-foot-8 F Ahmir Langlais (Parkview) picked up 7 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks. Langlais is very young and very skilled for his age. Reclassifying is not completely out of the realm of possibility. With that being said, Langlais can sometimes fall in love with his finesse side. He can tend to do a little too much and be too flashy with the ball when showing his ball-handling and passing. In a closer, more structured game I think Langlais is a tough cover on the block with his lefty hook and spins inside. He just has to bring that same focus and toughness whether it’s a blowout or a close game and avoid drifting too far away from the paint.

Game Elite 77, ALLBALL 56

Before he even played a varsity game, I tagged 2019 6-foot-7 F Jalyn McCreary (Kennesaw Mountain) as a potential big-time difference maker in the state of Georgia. So far, McCreary has lived up to the billing and is getting even more traction with nine offers in hand. The lefty can score from all three levels. He plays above the rim, rebounds, handles the ball and can block shots. McCreary is a one-man fast break when he gets the ball off the backboard. He posted 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. With his size and versatility, McCreary should be destined to become a High Major signee when all is said and done. As long as he stays focused and doesn’t get too high or too low during the flow of the game, McCreary should be the best player on the floor in almost every game he plays his senior season.

2019 5-foot-9 Jaire Eastmond (Wheeler) hooked up with McCreary for three alley-oops. Eastmond has a nice touch on his lob passes. He finished with 7 assists. He must improve defensively and make up for his small stature. He was able to come away with three steals and does good work in transition.

Georgia South 59, Manzer Black 54

AJ Watts
AJ Watts

5-foot-10 scoring dynamo AJ Watts (Carver-Columbus) netted nine of his 11 points in the first half. The 2019 guard is a competitor. He uses a nice crossover to get free and attack the paint. Defensively, Watts has active hands, swiping at the ball-handler. He produced 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block.

Westover’s 2019 trio of Jordan Brown, AJ Jackson and Mike Todd Isler combined for 28 points, doing it in different ways. Brown, 5-foot-9, struggled with his outside shot, going 2-of-8 from three. He finished with 7 points. Like all great shooters, Brown must ask himself how can he positively affect the game if his shots not falling? He had one nice finish at the rim in transition. I think getting into the paint should be a priority for him when his shot isn’t on.

Jackson, fresh from Father Lopez, FL, is an absolute jumping jack at 6-foot-2. He is an explosive athlete that will supply plenty of highlights. His downhill attack should couple nicely with Brown’s outside shooting. Jackson had 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Isler is might be the least skilled out of the trio but brings maximum effort to cover up for any shortcomings. He is a 6-foot-4 combo forward that is a garbage guy. The lefty finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks. You will never have to worry about asking Isler to play hard from what I saw on Friday.

REPORT: Seven-time state champion Sharman White set to return to GHSA

According to 247Sports’ Ben Moore, after two seasons on the bench as an assistant coach at Georgia State, seven-time state champion Sharman White returns to GHSA basketball at Pace Academy.

White compiled a 264-47 record at Miller Grove, while adding multiple Coach of the Year accolades to his resume. He was named 2014 USA Today All-USA Coach of the Year after guiding Miller Grove to six-straight state championships. White concluded his stint at Miller Grove by beating Allatoona for the Class AAAAA State Championship in 2016, winning 50-48. White took his underdog Wolverines to the DICK’S National Tournament where they upset Findlay Prep 67-65 before falling to Oak Hill Academy 47-46.

Since White’s departure, Miller Grove has gone 43-17 with a 2017 Final Four appearance and a 67-64 loss in the Class AAAAA State Championship to Warner Robins this season. White is expected to join the Athletic Department at 2016 & 2017 state champion Pace Academy. The Knights won consecutive state titles under Coach Demetrius Smith, led by future NBA Lottery pick, Wendell Carter Jr. This past season, the Knights finished 17-12 with a 57-54 loss in the Sweet 16 at eventual state champ Greater Atlanta Christian.