7A Playoff Impact Sophomores

CUMMING, GA – With the Region playoffs and state brackets just off on the horizon, experience is always a welcome recipe to any deep playoff run.

But here we look at players from a strong 2024 class here in GA who have a chance to be impact players for their teams in the postseason.

We start in 7A:

By: Keith Agran

Ace Bailey | SG | McEachern | 7A-Region 2

Ace Bailey

For my money, the state’s best sophomore at a highly-skilled 6-7, he was the best 8th-grader I saw 2 years ago while still up in Tennessee and little has changed. A truly exceptional all-around talent, and among many potential keys on a McEachern team fully capable of winning it all.

Will Moore | 6-4 | SG | West Forsyth | 7A-Region 6

Seeing more and more meaningful minutes as the season wears on for what is a mostly senior-dominated rotation. But it’s difficult to keep the exciting wing off the floor, as he can seriously get off the deck as an attacking player or as a finisher on the break. His outside shooting is a weapon we’d expect to see more of next season as he steps into a feature role, but for now it’s a solid complement to the explosive, momentum-changing athleticism he shares with older brother 2022 Grant. An absolute future star to watch up north of the perimeter.

David Clark | 6-6 | SG | Campbell | 7A-Region 2 (pictured above)

The Spartans sit 5th in a really tough 5-team region at the moment, but with 4 teams advancing to state they only need a win in the opening game of the Region tourney to secure a spot somewhere in the bracket. Should they get there, Clark is definitely a talent to watch, and a name to know as we head into summer for sure. The lefty as he’s been tearing up opponents all season long, he’s such a tough matchup particularly for smaller guards, as Clark plays predominantly facing the basket. He’s quick off the bounce and has a smooth stroke from distance, and when he does get down and catch it in close, you’re impressed with the creativity and lengthy-power he displays.

Jeremiah Wilkinson | CG | Hillgrove | 7A-Region 3

Jeremiah Wilkinson

Clark’s former teammate at Campbell has settled in nicely as the main man in the backcourt for Coach Greg Moultrie. His game is advanced, and as his body now matures as well to go with the game and the mind it’s developing into an elite package. Playing either guard spot, he can take over a game already at an early stage, as the multi-level scoring prowess together with strength and speed means defenses are working at 100% against him all game long. Another one who can help the Hawks go deep, and surely one to watch closely over the summer too.

Braylin Giddens | SG | Cherokee | 7A-Region 6

The enormously entertaining and highly productive duo of Tayden Owens and Cam Pope often steal headlines and stat sheet highlights, but when sitting down to watch the Warriors Giddens is still hard to miss. He makes a nice complement to the two star juniors, as he feeds off the attention they draw and uses a keen eye for openings and opportunities to get his buckets. Can shoot it from deep as Cherokee thrives on the 3-ball, and gets out in space making things happen with the ball in his hands scoring and feeding as well.

Dimitri Angelakos | SG | Etowah | 7A-Region 6

Featured in our non-senior backcourt series with 2023 Brandon Rechsteiner, Angelakos is quite simply one of the state’s best and most consistent long-range shooters. He absolutely must be marked when he’s spotting up at the line, as his volume-makes from deep can change the game for Etowah putting teams away or helping to storm the Eagles back into it. Intrigued to see his game blossoms closer to the basket as he moves along.

Samarion Bond | SF | Norcross | 7A-Region 7

The Blue Devils are hitting their stride at the right time playing excellent basketball right now despite some roster turnover that might have crippled others. That aside, there’s still a ton of talent on this squad and Bond’s combination of pure athletic ability and a body built for contact makes him an impact guy for sure. The expansion of his shooting range has been key to advancing his already high prospects, now as you are forced to attend to him further out his devastating downhill driving game is even more lethal. Can’t sleep on Bond or this team’s ability to get to Macon.

Gicarri Harris | SG | Grayson | 7A-Region 4

Right up there with McEachern’s Bailey at or near the top of the state’s 2024’s, as the 6-4 sharpshooter has stepped into a major role for the powerhouse Rams and made his presence felt in a big way. Playing alongside two highly regarded seniors in the backcourt, he’s expanded his game well beyond just the perimeter prowess we’ve seen the last year or so and shown uber amounts of confidence along with it. That versatility is being noticed in wider circles, and he’ll have a ton to say about any deep Rams run.

Trajen Greco | CG | Mill Creek | 7A-Region 8

Trajen Greco

Another 5-team Region means the very-capable Hawks need only to get out of the first game to secure a spot in the 7A bracket, and Greco will have a ton to say about that I’m sure. Earlier in the season coming right off of football, Greco looked the part of a star on the rise as he went toe to toe in some Christmas-time action with some top guards in the area. He features a really pretty and efficient stroke from beyond the arc, and that with his ballhandling, passing and defense brings the full package into focus.

Mike Matthews Jr | SG | Parkview | 7A-Region 4

Unfortunately for me I only saw a few minutes of Matthews before he was injured vs Mill Creek, but since then he’s continued his upward trajectory, as the highly-regarded football prospect has begun to draw eyeballs for his hooping as well. His elite athleticism and ability to explode and power to the rim is a nice complement to the senior perimeter weapons who can shoot it so well for the Panthers. If football doesn’t steal his attention away too much, this is surely a 2024 to keep an eye on.

Michael White | SG | Mountain View | 7A-Region 8

Michael White

Pick your poison among 4 key sophomores for the Bears as all can affect the game at any juncture, but White has certainly established himself as the kind of player who can take over from multiple levels in spots. The pace with which MVHS plays can be dizzying, and all 4 sophs take advantage of the run-outs, but when bogged down in the halfcourt, or in need of a key bucket, it seems the ball finds its way to White, and he’s been delivering. A team to watch as they can be a serious thorn come 7A bracket time.

Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019 and has both a championship-coaching background on the HS-level and daily newspaper writing experience, both from New Jersey. You can reach him at keithagran1@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.