There were a ton of thrilling Sweet 16 games throughout Georgia on Wednesday and Thursday of last week and this Top 5 7A matchup between Wheeler and Shiloh was right up there with the best of them. It was a tight one the entire way; the game was tied after the 1st quarter, Shiloh led by 4 at halftime, Wheeler was up 2 after 3 quarters, and then we went to overtime. In the extra period, Wheeler went on a 7-0 to start but Shiloh came back with multiple clutch outside shots. Wheeler connected on almost all of their FT’s in OT thanks to Sam Hines, but the Wildcats missed two in a row while leading by 1 with 5.4 seconds left. Shiloh got the rebound but couldn’t get a shot up, giving Wheeler the victory and Elite 8 berth. Both teams featured quality unsigned seniors and solid 2021 prospects. They are highlighted below.
Note: Sam Hines was Wheeler’s leading scorer in the game with 23 points, but he is not included in this article as he is already signed with Denver. The intention is to highlight available seniors and productive younger players.
*Our individual showcase for 2020 prospects, the Senior Showdown, will be held next month on March 22nd. Players like the ones talked about below will be participating. Spots are filling up and college coaches are marking the date on their calendars. You can find more info at this link:
2020 W Prince Davies (Wheeler)- 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals
Davies has been superb each of the last 2 times I’ve watched him, and both games were against extremely talented teams. His length, activity, and shooting ability have continued to help Wheeler in what has been a very successful season for the Wildcats. Davies was particularly good on the offensive glass in this game, sneaking in for putbacks and extra opportunities more than a few times. He scored 11 points in the 2nd half and gave great effort on both ends in the victory. Davies is a late-bloomer but he is starting to gain significant traction among college coaches.
2020 G Nash Kelly (Wheeler)- 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Kelly didn’t put up gaudy numbers last Thursday and he’s not a guy who usually has big stat lines, but he is a very important piece for Wheeler. He hit a key 3 in overtime and was solid on the defensive end throughout the game. He has a sturdy body, moves his feet well, and commits to keeping the ball in front of him defensively. Kelly lets things come to him and is willing to fill various roles, which you like to see from a senior PG.
2021 SG AJ Burke (Wheeler)- 8 points, 2 steals, 2 made 3’s.
Similar to Kelly, Burke didn’t won you with his final stats, but his production was helpful in the game. He hit 2 of the team’s 5 made 3’s, connecting on a triple in each half. Burke is always a threat to get hot from the outside and could be an X-factor in the Elite 8 against Berkmar if he is on. Burke moves well off the ball, doesn’t try to do things that he isn’t capable of, and has active hands on defense. He has had some nice moments for Wheeler this year and should benefit from continued development and increased opportunity next season.
2020 G Caleb Golden (Shiloh)- 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals.
Golden only played 1 year in Georgia, but he proved to be one of the better pure scorers in the state’s senior class this winter. He can fill it up from all levels and is extremely confident when looking to score. Golden is an exceptional slasher and finisher due to his body control and dexterity when attacking the rim. He is pretty athletic, takes contact, and is creative in the paint. Golden also possesses a unique ability to knock down jump shots with a hand in his face; he gets to his spots well off the bounce and gets good hang time and elevation on his pull-ups. Golden is a joy to watch because of the passion and energy he brings. He’s best as a scorer but also brings it on defense and doesn’t dominate the ball despite his high skill level. I expect a lot of schools to jump in on his recruitment in the coming months.
2020 G Anthony Canada (Shiloh)- 17 points, 2 assists, 5 steals, 3 made 3’s.
Another senior guard who brought lots of energy and consequent production, Canada formed a great wing duo with Golden in the contest. He racked up steals left and right all game, hounding ball-handlers and using his quick hands & feet to wreak havoc on defense. Canada gets off the floor quickly, which helps him to get off clean looks from the perimeter consistently. His 3-point shot was effective in both halves and he also looked good on a few mid-range opportunities. Canada is a low-maintenance player who is efficient offensively and has athleticism that is evident on both sides of the ball. He is a sleeper that could be a steal for a program this spring.
2021 F Jordan Mitchell (Shiloh)- 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals.
Mitchell is more of a traditional forward despite being a bit undersized. He makes up for it with a solid body and long arms that he uses on both ends. Offensively, Mitchell is active on the baseline and positions himself well off the ball for drop-offs. He keeps things simple when going up to score inside and takes contact pretty well. Mitchell has a good motor, can defend multiple positions because of his ability to move, and will kick out to others from the post. I appreciate Mitchell’s type of production; he just gets the job done and doesn’t worry about highlights or anything like that.