5’10” 2021 PG Julius Brown (Grovetown)
The best individual performance of the tournament undoubtedly went to Brown after his 41-point outburst in Grovetown’s thumping of Heritage-Conyers. A lot of guys like to claim that they’re dogs without much substance behind it; Brown really is one. Listed at only 5’10’ & 155 lbs, Brown plays like he’s a foot taller and brings the intensity & determination that you have to possess at his size. He was locked in from the start and helped Grovetown build a 50-26 lead at halftime over Heritage. Although he went for 41, Brown is not selfish at all. He uses his speed & quickness to penetrate and make plays constantly, creating for both himself and others. Another vital skill for smaller guards is shooting and Brown has that. He rained in 6 3’s and his makes came in a variety of ways. Brown brought it on defense too, as required on a Darren Douglas-coached team. He and the rest of the Warriors played tough, fearlessly, and caused headaches for their opponents on defense throughout. Denmark Tech quickly offered Brown after the game and more programs are starting to take notice.
Similar to Grovetown, the Evans Knights came from Augusta to Lemon Street with a chip on their shoulder. Kevin Kenny’s group ran out of steam in the championship against McEachern, but their performance the previous night was noteworthy. They connected on almost 15 3’s as a team with multiple guys having big games. Seniors Rashad King and Joshton Mincey both had nice showings to lead the Knights. King’s versatility was on display with his finishing & facilitating at 6’4”+, but also hit 4 shots from beyond the arc in the game. Every college coach in attendance was talking about his play; Arkansas-Monticello and Voorhees quickly offered following the game. Mincey is a confident lefty shooter with good range. He can play on or off the ball because of his shooting and vision, as well as being a pesty defender. 2022 SG Brasen James also gave them some good production too, going for 17 points on 4 3’s. He’s lethal from the corners, but will make athletic plays as well. His leaping ability off of two feet is powerful and he doesn’t need much momentum to get up, leading to some unexpected moments athletically. Another junior to keep an eye on at Evans is Devin Story, who is a lengthy 6’3” with good shooting ability. The Knights made their trip well worth it.
Rashad King Mid-Season Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-Z5EynmVgw&feature=youtu.be
Joshton Mincey Mid-Season Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAyxmVTSW2I&feature=youtu.be
Brasen James Mid-Season Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYN3ziR-Iwk&feature=youtu.be
6’2” 2021 SG Zyair Greene (Miller Grove)
Greene is a guy who we’ve seen since he was a freshman and while he did boost his stock some at Lemon Street, he’s mainly being included in this piece because of how undervalued he has been on the recruiting trail. After going for 35 on Day 1, Greene came through with another good showing against McEachern, scoring 27. Although he was held to 10 by Norcross, I think 24 PPG in this type of tournament is pretty good. Greene is super calm and never gets too high or low throughout the course of a game. He has a strong build, is effective as a spot-up shooter from both the wings & corners, and gets to his spots off the dribble well. A lot of programs claim to be looking for shooting, and Greene brings that to the table. Adding in his mature approach and physical stature just make him an even more attractive prospect. He’s starting to garner some attention, continued production should ramp things up for him.
6’3” 2022 SF Jahmil Barber (Miller Grove)
Also at Miller Grove, Barber had a decent game against McEachern but really elevated his play when the Wolverines took on Norcross. The opposing defense made a point to key in on Zyair Greene in this game and Tyreik Boyd couldn’t do it all by himself, so Barber answered the bell. He’s only about 6’3” or so but has to man the paint a good bit for an undersized Miller Grove team. He has long arms, doesn’t play timid, and plays with a solid motor. The combination of those traits allows him to be effective among bigger opponents. Offensively, Barber has an inside-out game that he balances well. More than a few times he utilized mid-post face-ups and connected on a jumper, or ripped & finished on the inside. Barber can step out to 3 as well where he is a comfortable shooter from the corners. If he can prove to be a consistent offensive option alongside Zyair Greene and Tyreik Boyd, it will go a long way for the Wolverines success.
6’7” 2022 F Delrecco Gillespie (East Coweta)
A completely new face to everyone, Gillespie has made his way down to Georgia from Michigan, where it seems like he had some buzz around his name. He had to deal with foul trouble against Tri-Cities but had some flashes of good things for a 6’7” prospect. East Coweta doesn’t sport any other true forwards, so his production on the interior is a big help for them. It seems like he’s still developing his mobility and athletcisim, but Gillespie has some fundamentals and footwork when posting or facing up. His activity on the glass is good on both ends, extending well for rebounds, anticipating, and using good hands to secure traffic boards. With him on the floor, East Coweta can also do some 5-out as Gillespie can play on the perimeter with some ball-handling ability and feel for what to do. Gillespie reported an offer from Eastern Michigan in October and is sure to catch the eyes of college coaches in the Southeast soon.
5’11” 2021 PG Kawasiki Ricks (Columbia)
Columbia dropped a nail-biter to Gainesville over at Marietta MS, but Ricks had a really nice showing and led the Eagles with 22 points. He’s small, but extremely quick and finds way to be effective in tight spaces. Ricks’ quickness allowed him to get past initial defenders and create opportunities off the bounce throughout the game. He started aggressive and stayed aggressive, playing in-sync with the other Columbia guards but also taking it upon himself to manufacture points when needed. There were multiple instances where Ricks was able to offset his size disadvantage. The Eagles have started out 5-3 since finally being able to get back on the court and have the pieces that are needed to make a run in 2A.