Tag Archives: Trent Markwith

2019 Hidden Gems Watch List

By Trent Markwith   (@TMarkwith14)

A player’s junior season is a very important one. While some prospects have already solidified themselves early in their high school careers, there are many rising juniors who are under the radar and looking to make a name for themselves. In a state like Georgia that is filled with talent, it is easy for solid players to be overlooked. I saw a bunch of Georgia prospects in June and July who either aren’t getting the recognition they deserve, or have shown the potential to emerge from the shadows and be a key contributor on their high school team. Here are some of the hidden gems that could make noise in Georgia this winter.

Note: This is a list of under the radar players; if you are already well established as a prospect in Georgia, you won’t be on it. Also, this list is composed of players I saw this summer, so if I haven’t seen you play, I can’t include you. As necessary, I will make additions to this list between now and the start of the season after watching fall league games and individual camps.

*Listed Alphabetically

David Banks (Cambridge)- SF
Eli Barry (Westminster)- PG
Lance Beck (Lovett)- SG
Ryan Billig (Pope)- SF
Bryce Boutelle (Cambridge)- SG
Niko Broadway (St. Pius)- SG
Terrell Burden (Campbell)- PG
Luke Chism (Dawson Christian)- PG
Jaylen Dunham (Holy Spirit)- SG
Roscoe Eastmond (Wheeler)- PG
Jaxon Etter (Etowah)- SF
Christian Fussell (Holy Spirit)- PF
Mitch Ganote (Lambert)- PG
James Glisson (Southwest DeKalb)- PF
Matt Gonzalo (St. Pius)- PG
Donaven Hairston (Milton)- PG
Reco Hallmon (Grayson)- CG
Armani Harris (Newton)- PF
Davis Herndon (Riverwood)- SG
Miles Herron (Roswell)- PG
Kevin Hester (North Cobb)- PF
Neil Ilenrey (Johns Creek)- SG
Nick Jackson (Lovett)- SF
Luka Jaksic (Furtah Prep)- PF
Kye Jeremiah (Holy Spirit)- CG
DaMarcus Johnson (Tri-Cities)- CG
Josh Johnson (North Atlanta)- SF
Joe Jones (Northview)- PG
Jordan Krueger (Walton)- SF
Brady O’Connell (Milton)- SF
Carter Oesterling (Westminster)- SF
DJ Patrick (Sprayberry)- SG
Micah Paulk (Pope)- CG
Zach Ranson (St. Pius)- PF
Kamar Robertson (Cambridge)- PG
Andrew Robinson (North Atlanta)- SF
Zyrice Scott (Upson-Lee)- PG
Romano Solis (Furtah Prep)- C
Brady Spence (Alexander)- PF
Messiah Thompson (North Atlanta)- PG
Myles Todd (Pace)- SG
Kalen Williams (Lakeside)- PG
Kalik Brooks (Alpharetta)- PG
Brandon Barron (Alpharetta)- PG

FreshmanU player evaluations

By Trent Markwith   (@TMarkwith14)

The inaugural FreshmanU camp was held this past Saturday at Central Gwinnett High School. This showcase brought about 100 of the top rising freshmen in Georgia together, and provided a great platform for these young prospects to display their skills. Talent was abundant at the camp, but a few players rose to the top and stood out. Let’s see who made their mark on FreshmanU.

Out of all the players in the camp, there were three in particular who really separated themselves from the rest of the field: Tyler Shirley, Travis Burrus, and Ashton Malone.

Tyler Shirley | @AllMetroHoopsJ

Shirley (Pebblebrook) was the best performer at the camp and made it known every game. He is a versatile forward who can bang inside, slash from the wing, and connect on outside shots. Shirley played with a great motor, putting that together with his skills and physical tools created a nightmare for opponents.

Burrus (Marietta) is a skilled lefty PG who dominated with his ball-handling and scoring ability. Burrus broke down defenders and got into the paint whenever he wanted, showed an exceptional outside stroke, and plays with a competitive fire that you love to see.

Ashton Malone | @HypesouthMedia

Malone (Norcross) proved to be the best defender at the event early on. Malone is feisty on the perimeter and will lock down anyone you put in front of him. The tough PG is an effective scorer and displayed excellent passing ability as well.

The camp was guard-heavy and there were numerous lead guards outside of Malone and Burrus who impressed throughout the day. If you were looking for a floor general on Saturday, Sutton Smith (King’s Ridge) was your guy. Smith’s poise and IQ with the ball allowed him to make the right pass time and time again, setting up his teammates for easy baskets often. Smith is a serious threat from the outside and knows how to finish inside around bigger defenders.

Two other crafty guards were Broc Bidwell and Will Kolker. Bidwell (West Forsyth) is patient off the dribble and can score from anywhere on the court in a variety of ways. Bidwell has good vision on the move and has added some athleticism to his game, which proved to be a big boost at camp.

Kolker (Pope) carried on his confidence from July, when he made some noise at Best of the South. The deceptive lefty was one of the best passers in the camp, dropping pin-point dimes through traffic that caught everyone’s attention. Kolker also scores well with soft floaters in the lane and a consistent shot from deep.

Danny Stubbs | @freshucamp

Rounding out the group is Danny Stubbs of Pebblebrook. Stubbs has a solid frame and an aggressive mindset, which he uses to attack on offense and impact the game on defense. Stubbs also made some tough pull-ups and played with a lot of energy whenever he was on the court.

RJ Noord | @Momarazzii

There were also some good-looking wings prospects at camp who showed promise that they will be key contributors during their high school careers. At a very young age, RJ Noord (Columbia) has already made a name for himself in Georgia’s 2021 class. Noord’s smooth game was on display again on Saturday, letting things come to him and making it look easy on offense. Another thing you have to love about Noord is his defensive desire; he takes pride in his defensive effort and uses his length well to cause problems on that side of the floor.

One of my favorite players at the camp was Chance Moore. Moore (Chamblee) is an effortless scorer; he glides by defenders with long strides and takes whatever the defense gives him. Moore’s patience and well-rounded skills on offense will allow him to have an easy transition to the high school level.

Jamill Giles (Wheeler) is used to playing on the wing but had to take somewhat of a different role at camp. He was one of the bigger guys on his team and made a point to run the floor hard and live around the basket. He was great inside and you have to appreciate his determination to contribute without having the ball in his hands a lot.

The last two in this group are Matthew Cleveland and Davon Cottle, both versatile prospects with a lot to like.

Matthew Cleveland | @freshucamp

Cleveland (Cambridge) has a good feel for scoring in the half court and showed some ball-handling ability in transition. He has the size, length, and touch to finish all over the paint, he should be a very good player for the Bears down the road.

Cottle (Westlake) shot the ball very well at camp and was smart off the ball, moving and spacing to create good looks. Cottle also rebounded consistently and had some good moments on fast breaks.

Size was at a premium at FreshmanU but for the few true post players, it was a perfect opportunity to assert themselves and make big contributions.

Julius Lymon had a very good showing at camp. Lymon (South Atlanta) is a physical forward with athleticism and an impressive motor. Lymon overpowered defenders inside on both ends and showed some confidence from the mid-range area. As he continues to develop his touch and dexterity at the basket, he will be a problem.

Dara Olonande | @freshucamp

Dara Olonande was one of the more steady, consistent performers on Saturday. Olonande (Berkmar) has some strength to him and knows how to use his length around the rim. Olonande stayed within himself at camp; he did not overdo things with the ball, protected the rim and rebounded, and converted inside frequently.

Isaac Abidde created buzz all over the gym at camp because of his upside. At 6’6”, Abidde (Westover) has good mobility and can step outside to slash from the wing. Abidde was an excellent rebounder and rim protector at camp, there weren’t many people who could challenge him inside. You would like to see him get more aggressive and physical on the block offensively, but the potential is definitely there for Abidde.

Best of the South/Summer Classic 16U Team Spotlight

By Trent Markwith    (@TMarkwith14)

The majority of my time at Best of the South was spent watching 17U games, but I was able to take in a good amount of 16U action at the Champion’s Summer Classic at Wheeler and a few good 16U games at BOTS as well. Here are the 16U teams that I saw a lot of and impressed me with their play.

Game Elite (Hallmon)

This group was the most impressive 16U team I saw the whole weekend, they are loaded with prospects and have incredible size for this age level.

Electric guards Brenden Tucker and Reco Hallmon lead the Game Elite backcourt. Tucker is a freak athlete who throws down huge dunks and wreaks havoc on defense. Tucker has improved as a shooter and this really opens things up for him as a scorer off the dribble, which is where he excels. Hallmon has good shooting ability also and is super energetic on both ends of the floor. He gets the team going with his intensity on defense and puts pressure on opponents with the ball in his hands.

Dacula standout Mekhail Bethea and Kamar Robertson also get a lot of time at the guard spots. Bethea just joined the team and is still getting a feel for being with them, but his scoring ability was on display as usual. Robertson is a solid PG who has a smooth game off the dribble and a nice stroke from deep.

The Game Elite frontcourt is a huge problem too, composed of Rodney Howard, Luka Jaksic, Romano Solis, and Armani Harris. Howard is a fast-developing big who is a great rim protector and a physical presence inside on offense, his recruitment is really starting to pick up.

Jaksic and Solis both bring versatility to the team with good touch from mid-range and around the basket while also providing rebounding. Harris does it all as a forward; he is a bouncy athlete, a great mid-range shooter, and is extremely active on defense with tons of rebounds and blocked shots. This team is a scary sight for anyone in front of them.

Vanguard Elite

After seeing this team multiple times during the spring, I was excited to see how they have developed since May. The group challenged themselves against multiple Adidas teams this week and I had a few new observations after watching.

First, I felt like Terrell Burden established himself as the leader and alpha-dog on the team. Burden won’t let his lack of size stop him from being effective; he is ultra-competitive, fearless when he weaves through defenders on his way to the basket, and showed an improved jumper.

A very undersized team, I liked how Abraham Onkoyi and Sebastian Mallory used their athleticism and energetic play to provide toughness and rebounding inside for Vanguard.

Alongside Burden in the backcourt, Donaven Hairston continued to show that he is a solid 3-level scorer and looks even better slashing and finishing at the basket. The same goes for Myles Todd, who displayed more of a willingness to attack the basket and was hitting mid-range shots with consistency.

Already a very good shooting team with a bunch of guys who can heat up from deep, Vanguard has added two more perimeter players in Davis Herndon and Sam Jennings. Both Herndon and Jennings are smart shooters with decent ball skills and good feel for how to score. Only their first week with the team, if these two are productive in Orlando and Vanguard can get DJ Patrick and Morgan Mulrain going from 3-point land, this team will be dangerous during the last live period.

Game Elite Orange

This 16U Game Elite crew, just like the other, has some prospects that will attract a bevy of coaches. This team is led by Malachi Rhodes, Isaac Martin, and Roscoe Eastmond. Eastmond sets the tone for the team; he plays gritty defense, forces turnovers, and pushes the pace off of these turnovers. Eastmond is no slouch on offense either, he makes good reads on pick and roll opportunities and makes up for his size with a variety of finishes and floaters inside.

Rhodes had a good start to July during the first live period and maintained this momentum at Wheeler this week. Rhodes has a non-stop motor and grabs every rebound in sight, which are both qualities you love to see from an athletic forward like him. Rhodes stays within himself and keeps things simple, making his mark with activity and toughness in the paint.

Martin pairs with Eastmond to form a solid backcourt duo for Game Elite. He has great size for a shooting guard and a nice lefty stroke to go with it. Martin has shown some strides off the bounce as well; he is more determined to drive to the basket and is looking for his pull-ups often instead of settling for threes.

Another productive player for this team is Kevin Hester. The big, burly forward provides physical play for the team and showed a nice skill-set from 15 feet and in. Hester isn’t a guy who demands the ball much but he is efficient and makes the most out of his opportunities.

Best of the South 17U Team Spotlight

By Trent Markwith    (@TMarkwith14)

Atlanta All-Stars

Ben Miller has cemented his All-Stars program as one of the best in Georgia from year to year and the story is no different this season. Alex Jones is the unquestioned leader for this team; he is a proven winner and floor general who controls the game with great poise. Jones can take over a game with either his passing or scoring, it is not hard to see why he has become such a hot recruit this year.

Adam Flagler and Arusha Hunter are pure scorers for the All-Stars, coming into each game with an aggressive approach and understanding how to score in a variety of ways.

David Viti and Austin Deckard are excellent shooters on the outside for the team, connecting on 3’s consistently when Jones found them. It seems like Viti made a good choice to come over to the Allstars from Southern Stampede for July; he had a big weekend and should be getting calls from coaches.

Cole Guenther is another solid shooter for this team and has great height and length to go with his shooting ability. When you pair him with Adrian Cohen and Christian Koneman, you have 3 versatile forwards who can go inside or outside and give good boosts to the team.

Last but not least is Gabe Bryant, an explosive forward who puts his imprint on games with physical play and thunderous dunks in traffic. The All-Stars have taken home championships in both live periods so far, look for them to end with a bang in Orlando this week.

Georgia Bulls

I watched this Bulls team a good amount during the first live period and I was impressed with them once again this week. They have a lot of solid prospects who aren’t always talked about much but who will be good additions to a college team.

The Bulls are led by Ryan Jolly, a calm, smooth PG who can dominate with his scoring ability. Jolly is also a very good passer and has a nice understanding of when to distribute or get his own shot. Also in the backcourt with Jolly are Michael Dukes and 2019 Kalen Williams.

Williams is an ultra-quick guard who can really fill it up and plays with a lot of confidence and energy. Dukes has a strong build for a wing player and used that strength and his athleticism for some eye-popping dunks this week. He is also skilled on the perimeter, hitting 3’s and getting by guys for tough layups.

Austin Canaday and Cameron Armstrong are two other productive perimeter players for the Bulls; both of them are good shooters and have a solid feel for scoring the ball.

The only true big man for the Bulls is 6’8” Brady Spence, a 2019 player. I had heard some good things about Spence when he was with Team Forrest in the spring and he has now made the jump to 17U with the Bulls. Spence has had some good moments so far with his new team; he moves well and is seen blocking shots and running the floor in transition frequently. Spence also has good touch inside and from the mid-range area, he is a prospect with a lot of upside in Georgia’s 2019 class.

Atlanta Timberwolves

The Timberwolves had a very good weekend going 5-1 and are another team with some nice prospects who are overlooked. Controlling the team at point guard is a player I loved in June: 2019 Matt Gonzalo. Gonzalo is exactly what you would call a pass first PG, always keeping his head up and finding guys at the right time and in the right place. He uses his speed to blaze past people and create things on offense with regularity, whether that’s for himself or others.

Dylin Hardeman was great this week for the Timberwolves, giving defenses fits with his scoring prowess. Hardeman is a knock-down shooter from the outside and showed a lot of craftiness on his drives to the basket. It seemed liked every few possessions Hardeman showed me something new in his offensive repertoire.

Along with Hardeman on the wing is Will Bracknell. Bracknell had some excellent play with his Chattahoochee team and kept it up this week. Bracknell is just one of those guys who knows how to put the ball in the basket. He never seems to be in a rush, using his strength and ball-handling ability to get to his spots with ease. Bracknell can score from all 3 levels and takes whatever the defense gives him.

Ryan Jenei also impressed me with his play this week. Jenei has a good body that he can use to get inside from the wing but what stood out to me this week was what looks like an improved outside shot; he was confident and effective from deep, which is a huge boost for the Timberwolves.

FCI Warriors

This team comes out of the Southeast Basketball Academy (SEBA), and although they may not have players who are garnering Division 1 interest, they carry a handful of guys who should have the attention of lower level coaches.

Joshua Strong takes a lot of ball-handling responsibilities for FCI and pushes the pace whenever possible. Strong can score from anywhere on the court, whether that be draining 3’s, hitting tough floaters, or shifting past defenders to reach the rim.

On the wing for FCI are Christian Kelly and Micah McCuen. Kelly and McCuen have different offensive games but both can be effective. McCuen excels in transition, where he takes the ball down the court himself and uses his length to finish and draw fouls. Kelly is more of a half-court player, he is very patient in looking for opportunities to score and had some good moments off the dribble but also has an effective outside shot.

Jackson Baylark is basically a hybrid for this team, doing whatever the team might need depending on the game. He is really athletic, plays extremely hard and uses his athleticism to the best of his ability; you’ll see him flying in for blocks, rebounds, and dunks with regularity.

Down low for FCI is Kyler Ingram. Ingram has a big, wide body and is an enforcer inside both offensively and defensively. Nothing gets past him in the paint, swatting shots like nobody’s business and securing big rebounds. On offense, Ingram moves defenders wherever he wants and puts himself in easy positions to score around the basket, where he finishes through contact consistently.

Spielin’ & Dealin’ Ep. 21: Summer Ball Roundup II


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.