Midwest Memorial Classic – Impression-Makers Pt 2
WILDER, KY – Back to northern Kentucky OTR went, to host our 2nd trip to the region and another impressive field of teams from the Bluegrass and surrounding states.
We played tournament-style basketball for this one rather than our more traditional pool play, and the intensity as we got down to a champion in the 3 high school divisions was fun to watch.
We look at guys who made an immediate impression, part 2:
After being in the conversation for best player in the gym at our first visit to Kentucky Enis and a slightly altered Wildcat Select crew were back and he again made a strong case for best player I saw, his Saturday 27 pt performance was as good an individual outing as I’ve seen this spring travel season from anyone as it was quite simply up and back dominance, can’t sleep on his superb passing and on-ball defense, such a bright future for a fine young man when you talk to him as well.
Griffin was playing with Rose and all 16s populating their roster and still made the 17U final vs Wildcat Select 3SSB, missing some of their key 17U pieces meant even more of a chance for Rose to show his dynamic and confidence-filled scoring variety, watching him pick apart defenses with such an array of old and new school maneuvers has been a two-weekend treat during my jaunts to the Bluegrass state, looking forward to seeing him on the college level.
Super deep at the 1 and 2 was this group so it was hard to nail down one (Mason Shrout and Makhai Valentine among the others), Jackson’s passing and unselfish play drew me to him and I always appreciate on the travel ball courts a guy who is willing to excel at things other than scoring, when he had his chances to get to the basket he was springy and strong at the rim, has the look of a D1 point guard adding the nice intangibles to the skillset.
Brewer Carruth | G | 2024 | Hawks Elite (pictured at top)
This particular Hawks bunch has been all over the OTR circuit with different stars emerging seemingly each weekend, Tristan Gilmore was in Kentucky and had some wow moments consistent with his season so far but you’d be remiss to sleep on the all-around contributions Hawks get from Carruth every weekend, he stuffs the stat sheet game by game playing a hybrid 2/3 type who is plenty athletic enough to affect the game in the backcourt and big enough to play in the frontcourt and stack stats there, having had a chance to see more of the 17U Hawks in Kentucky than anywhere else Carruth easily makes my favorite all-around guys of the season to this point.
Good-looking roster for Mason as they were feisty and tough, Littlejohn was perhaps their best overall athlete and that allowed him to accomplish more off the bounce and up at the rim, but this was a solid team and fun to watch, Littlejohn handled the ball some and played off the wing and each is in the cards as he moves forward as his lift makes him a good rebounder from the guard spot as well.
Another consistent performer for Hawks all spring has been McCall, doesn’t get quite as much pub as Gilmore or Carruth for example as he grinds a bit more and is a hustler who can score it though, it’s not filled with a ton of flash or above the rim antics but it’s just sound, fundamental and gritty basketball, a low to the ground bullish guard he epitomizes Hawks-type play and brings the hardhat and produces.
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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