“Deft Handle” – Road-Wise Roundup

ATLANTA, GA – With still more now Christmas-themed tournaments starting up this past weekend including a long-distance drop-in on Savannah, I did get in the gym for two regular season contests earlier in the week.

Some Road-Wise observations in the latest Deft Handle segment:

By: Keith Agran


THE SKINNY: Hooch appears to be finding its footing with a now healthy lineup in support of the dynamic Cam James.

COLLINS HILL NOTES: The Eagles can appear to rely almost too heavily on senior guard Keishawn Hampton, as other options exist with athletes in the frontcourt as well. But their resume has some solid wins including three out-of-state against good teams, and speedy Kai McArthur and high-riser Amare Banks can do damage in the backcourt as well.

HOOCH NOTES: Teams are doing a lot to contain James, leaving opportunities abound for some of the other very capable pieces on the roster. The healthy return of junior Guillermo Esparza is massive for this team, as he plays an undersized 4 at 6-3 but does a ton of dirty work and little things to help you win. In a stretch-5 role, Aidan Temple has been a stalwart for 2 years now with a soft touch and improved movement around the basket, and his maturity is showing as another critical scoring option for the Cougs.


THE SKINNY: West is without junior star Will Moore for the rest of the season with an injury, but this was still a solid home win for a Raiders team that can score the ball when they get going.

WEST FORSYTH NOTES: No Moore means an attack that will require considerably more assertive play from their bigs Chase Damerell and Sam Maynard. Damerell on this night was particularly on the look for his offense and showed more toughness and grit than I’d seen in the recent past. If he continues that maturation, together with Maynard the two 2024’s give them size that can hurt opponents on the glass and around the cup.

Christian Brown

ALPHARETTA NOTES: The Raiders were without energy guy Will Kimes from their deep backcourt rotation, but this team kind of ebbs and flows off the play of junior guard Christian Brown. He’s a volume-scoring type, able to break down off the dribble or launch from deep ranges, and alongside Jacob Bryant makes for a skilled 2024 backcourt combo to watch for sure. And when seniors Josh Unger and Soloman Jones are also thinking attack, it can be a difficult perimeter package to stay in front of.

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 also spent 3 years as a sports writer at two newspapers in New Jersey. After a championship-coaching background on the HS-level also in NJ, he accepted the Girl’s Basketball Head Coaching position in May 2022 at Mt Bethel Christian Academy and now balances scouting and coaching still with a keen eye on talent around the region. You can reach him at keithagran1@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.