Posted On: 07/3/18 10:22 AM
Greenforest– The Eagles brought lots of new faces to camp, and they did not disappoint. Lamar Oden has now come in from SACA; he was dominant the whole weekend. Oden can be a primary ball-handler and can facilitate the offense. He is a versatile scorer, hitting some difficult perimeter shots off the dribble and scoring in the paint frequently. 2021 RJ Noord has made the move to Greenforest from Columbia and looked good at GSU. I have always appreciated the young guard’s effort on defense, but he showed some more aggression on offense this weekend, doing a little bit of everything for the team. Christian Fussell has transferred from Holy Spirit; he has nice touch at 6’10” and will be a solid prospect as he gets tougher. Ibrahima Jarjou has shown some strides also. His feel for the game has improved, which is a scary sight when you mix that with his strong build and explosive athleticism. He even took the ball coast to coast straight to the rim a few times and didn’t look bad doing so. Greenforest has a few solid role players off the bench who play defense and hit outside shots, which is a huge boost.
Grayson- The Rams had a pleasant surprise in 2019 big man Solomon Ray this weekend. He came off the bench for them and made a huge impact on the defensive end with his shot-blocking ability. Ray rebounded on both ends as well, it’ll be interesting to see what he does this year. Deivon Smith had a very good weekend for the Rams. He is electric with the ball in his hands and explodes to the rim quickly when he gets inside. Smith has an effective pull-up jumper and uses his athleticism on the defensive end. 2021 post Ian Schieffelin showed a lot of potential this weekend. He rebounded at a high rate, hit some outside shots, and defended well inside. As he becomes more polished inside, Schieffelin will be a load to deal with. Absent on Friday, Reco Hallmon came in on Saturday and made a nice impact during bracket play. He shot confidently from the outside, but also made a point to attack the rim. He was patient on offense and impacted the game in other areas when he went through some rough patches shooting the ball.
Milton- Milton looked much different at GSU than from when I saw them at GT, with 4 new guys in action. Rising freshmen Bruce Thornton and Cam Walker, transfer David Banks, and returner Matt Bennett suited up this weekend and all 4 were productive. Both Thornton and Walker play with a lot of confidence for such young players, and for good reason. They both had nice moments throughout the weekend, adding important depth to the Milton roster. David Banks has come over from Cambridge and fits well with this Milton team. A hybrid forward, Banks runs the floor hard and is active on both ends, which is perfect for this fast-paced, guard-oriented team. Bennett was the only true post suited up; he looks stronger and provided rebounding and physical play inside. Christian Wright, Donaven Hairston, and Malachi Martin played well as expected, but Evan Hurst really stepped up this weekend. He had a good showing at GT also, and has continued to solidify himself this June. Hurst is patient with the ball and has a wide variety of shots off the dribble in traffic. His athleticism should not be overlooked either; I expect him to carry this momentum into July.
Miller Grove– The Wolverines lost a ton from their 2017-18 state runner-up team, but MG still has some nice pieces that will help them this year. 2019 PG Maurice Harvey went missing for a while on the travel circuit this spring, but looked just fine at GSU. He is an intense competitor who is a terror in the open court because of his speed and leaping ability. Harvey will need to make a lot happen for the Wolverines. 2020 Terrence Edwards looks ready to have a big season as well. He shot the ball very confidently and scored in a variety of ways. Although not a post, Edwards scores well inside at 6’5”, which Miller Grove needs without Jermon Clark and Kevin Paige. The shooting of 2021 Shomik Shahjahan and tough play of Solomon Holmes well help this team a lot as well.
St. Pius– I was able to see Pius at Wofford’s team camp earlier in the month, and they have improved since then. The defense is always there for the Golden Lions, but they will need reliable scoring with Everett Lane graduating. Just a rising freshman, Chase Cormier will help there. He is a deadeye shooter who needs no time to heat up and has some ability off the dribble as well. The Gonzalo brothers were solid as usual, Brian hit some outside shots and made pesky plays while Matt orchestrated the offense well and also looked to be more aggressive scoring. Niko Broadway was all over the place; he has continued to form into a very well-rounded player who should have a big senior season. Riley Costas also did some good things, staying active inside and playing physically. Zach Ranson and Patrick Snipes were not in action Saturday, but they will both be key contributors for Pius this season.
Westlake- Most know about Chase Hunter and Frankie Anselem, but I liked what Quincy Olivari and Kaleb Wallace did this weekend in particular. Hunter displayed his athleticism and finishing ability as usual, but also showed some improved efficiency beyond the arc. Anselem was an intimidating rim protector at camp, swatting and altering nearly every shot he saw in the paint. Olivari and Wallace both brought aggressive mentalities to camp and were productive in each game I watched. Wallace is a long, athletic wing who made some impressive plays in transition while also producing in the half court. Olivari is a well-rounded scorer who is more athletic than you may think and makes good decisions in traffic. D’Antaye Page was only present Friday, but continued to show why he is on the rise as a prospect with solid production against Milton. 2022 Dillon Hunter could be another solid piece as he becomes more comfortable with the team.
Dawson County- With the closing of DCA, Dawson Co. will now have the trio of Luke Chism, Ahmad Kamara, and Eli Burrus. Jasper Gibson comes in from Jefferson as well. Chism looked comfortable and confident this weekend, back to having the ball in his hands a lot where he can attack and make decisions. He creates mismatches as a guard at 6’5”, has nice vision for his size, and excels as a scorer in the paint. Kamara is undersized but his burly football build helps him inside. He is physical and finishes well through contact. Burruss has good size on the wing at 6’4” and will play in the paint as well. He can hit outside shots, positions himself well around the basket, and can rebound effectively. Gibson did not have his best day scoring the ball, but played a solid all-around game for Dawson. He is a high-IQ player who passes well, will grab rebounds, and understands how to move without the ball. 2020 Campbell Reed should provide some perimeter shooting for the team and Dawson has a few other guards who know their roles and fill them well.