#GBCALive – Friday Court to Court Observations
EMERSON, GA – Following up an entertaining Regional turnout the prior weekend, the GBCA put on its second weekend Live period extravaganza at LakePoint June 23-25.
The all Georgia team list was large and stacked with guys who emerged as our staff walked the grounds.
Here were some of my observations, lastly from Friday action:
By: Keith Agran
WINDER-BARROW already features one of the state’s best 2026 guards in Jerrin Samuel, so when they added 6-5 Athens Christian transfer Jaden Baskin to work alongside Samuel and emerging PG Tyrin Sims (pictured) things got a lot more intriguing out in Barrow County. All 3 looked sharp at #GBCALive in spots, Sims in particular looks the part of the fully poised and controlled 2024 lead man and I love the shooting stroke. There are other pieces for the Bulldoggs that could make them even more dangerous as Samuel, even as just a sophomore-to-be, can take the game over when he wants to.
Transfer news is hot stuff on the lips of basketball folks around town, so MILTON welcoming Grant McDuffie and Cedric Haynes (Haynes was not suited up as of #GBCALive) from Mt Pisgah and Daniel Ogunyemi from Valor Christian (not present at #GBCALive) wasn’t all that big an eye-opener, but it was 2024 guard Anthony Gause’s (pictured) arrival from St Louis (MO) that really caught eyeballs over the critical live period weekend. A very skilled guard who had been listed as a 4-star prospect by more than one publication coming out of the Midwest, he was easily among the best backcourt guys I saw during Friday action. Getting interior play from 6-4 2025 forward Ben Powell and his uber-athletic frame could be key to stuffing the stat sheet in non-scoring areas.
The highly successful 2023 class is gone and even though we don’t think of PEBBLEBROOK as ever being in rebuilding mode, they certainly will look to some of their youth to continue the high standard. 2025 transfer Max McNeill (pictured) arrives just in time to give them some much needed scoring punch as he can be a real marksman from the perimeter and is crafty and clever on the attack. He joins Cam Smith and Caleb Thomas to form a highly regarded junior-to-be trio, the kind of core that can really grow as the season goes on and be the forefront of the typical major problem the well-coached Falcons always are.
Yearly one of the best defensive units in the state, LANGSTON HUGHES too said goodbye to some highly impactful 2023’s in addition to losing John McQueen to transfer. But in comes 2024 guard Cameron Catholic from Arlington Christian to join rising 6-7 2025 forward Jaron Lemelle (pictured) forming a tough twosome to deal with. Catholic sets up as a fascinating breakout guy this year after putting up consistently good production at ACS, while Lemelle has sweet touch on his J and can be a bull inside. They don’t lack for experience in the backcourt as the Panthers always play a ton of guys, 2024’s Brentis Schaeffer, Christian Walthour and Devin Smith have all logged minutes in the past and like all Hughes guys guard the heck out of you.
Much like my South Paulding prediction as a potential sleeper in 6A, don’t sleep on the possibilities of WEST FORSYTH making a run in February in 7A. Much of that will depend on 2024 stud Will Moore (pictured) staying fully healthy and knocking down his dominant jump shot at a high clip, during June he posted some gaudy scoring numbers but also had some instances where streakiness was a factor. He’s still a dynamite talent, and monster risers Sam Maynard and Chase Damerell man the frontcourt both having put together notably strong spring seasons with GA Legacy. They’re looking full of confidence and showing off improved strength to potentially match other prominent 7A frontlines. Unheralded production from guys like guards Lachlan Povenz and Gray Smith will be needed to be the kind of contender at their peak I believe they can be.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
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