Georgia Hardwood Classic – Top Forwards
ATLANTA, GA – We move to the big guys from the first 5 of 6 games played at Saturday’s Georgia Hardwood Classic at Mays HS.
By: Keith Agran
John McQueen | 6-5 | SF | Langston Hughes | 2024
Has benefitted nicely playing alongside powerhouse junior Jelani Thurman, McQueen has a little more wiggle and shooting range than the bullish Thurman and has begun to solidify himself as a fast riser in the class, a sleek mover at both ends he has a sweet touch on the mid-range jumper and the same kind of Panther motor Coach Rory Welsh instills in all his guys, one to watch as a good number of these Hughes guys will be back next year.
Cris Carroll | 6-4 | SF | Osborne | 2022
Another Showcase tournament and another strong performance from Carroll who continues to draw raves from scouts and evaluators on hand each time out, the drive and activity be it going to the glass, defending multiple spots, or attacking the paint as a wing player, all of it has been at a high level and a key reason the Cardinals are off to such a great start, as said before he remains a solid recruiting steal out there for the staff that isn’t defining him by position.
Micah Smith | 6-7 | SF | Sandy Creek | 2024
The two Patriot sophomore stars (the other Amari Brown) make for as good a 2024 1-2 punch as there is in the state, Smith is just returning from a wrist injury that sidelined him for several weeks but it certainly didn’t hamper his effort level (which is always high) or his willingness to seek out contact using his superb hands, just so much to like about where his game is and what the ceiling is for this exciting performer as he and the defensive-minded Pats are among the 3A favorites yet again.
Ethan Davis | 6-5 | PF | Collins Hill | 2023 (pictured above)
Awesome to see the future Tennessee Volunteer gridiron star on the hardwood again after he has impressed me so much in the past both on the summer circuits and for the Eagles, is an absolute runaway rhino down near the basket with a body built for SEC football already and a motor that runs on the highest possible octane, love the way he battles at either end like every rebound is crucial and every layup could be his last, his 20 hard-working points in their win over Solid Rock in a terrific game was the day’s highlight for me.
Eltramon Smith | 6-6 | SF | Solid Rock Academy | 2023
Was with Tri-Cities in the fall but has gone over to Solid Rock to join their group of athletic scorers and given them some nice size crashing in off the wing, add to that his still lethal ability to stroke it from 3-land and we saw quite a bit Saturday of what made him so tantalizing over the summer and this fall, a nifty and creative driver as well he has a big summer ahead of him to find the right fit to show off his multi-faceted offensive game.
Percy Daniels | 6-9 | PF | Madison Prep | 2022
A serious mountain of a man at the high school level it quickly became easy to see why he’s headed to Seton Hall, while the polish on the full offensive package could still use a little brightening there’s no denying the massive physical gifts packed into a frame straight out of the WWE, there was no answer on any roster the whole day that could have withstood him after he caught it within a step or two of the goal, nice timing as a shot-blocker and vise-like hands on the glass made him look even more Big East worthy.
Airious “Ace” Bailey | 6-7 | SF | McEachern | 2024
Could have easily been mentioned in the guard roundup as well and he fits the hybrid SG/SF role really well, saddled with foul trouble in their win over FSUHS out of Tallhahasse we didn’t get to see the full ensemble of abilities we know he’s capable of, but still he showed some flashes of the brilliance that has accompanied him from Tennessee to Powder Springs as he can handle the ball, shoot it from distance and get at the rim with style and force, he is absolute must-see stuff now in the ATL-Metro and will unquestionably be regarded as one of the top 2024’s in the country before long.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.