Midwest Memorial Classic – Top Backcourt Combos Pt 1

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.

Quite a few backcourt combos stood out as these duos did damage in a lot of ways:

By Keith Agran:

Athens McGillis

Athens McGillis & Bryce Snell | All H.E.A.R.T. 16U

The 16U bracket champs vanquished all foes on the way to an impressive weekend showing and the title banner, at the core of it all were McGillis and Snell alternating as PG’s or playing together on the floor and making life hard for defenses, both play with a little flair to their game but the predominate visual was the solidness of their fundamentals, passes on were on point and on time and the quick decisions surprised defenses but not their All Heart teammates who know what these two can dial up (bruising big man Caden Piening was also a weekend standout and benefitted from the two PG’s outstanding vision), Snell can score it from multiple ranges but was particularly noticeable as an unselfish distributor while McGillis also was a prime dish-man but had one of the best individual scoring performances of the weekend with a 26 pt gem in a high-quality win over a very strong Griffin Elite 16U bunch.


Mason Shrout & Makhai Valentine | Wildcat Select 3SSB 17U

Shrout seemingly had a bloody nose all weekend it appeared as he played with an abandon that took about 5 minutes to notice and appreciate, as a scorer he was impressive in spurts both with some dribble movement into the mid-range and barreling his way through bodies (and bloodying the nose) and traffic, Valentine is a supremely gifted athlete who is a something of a glider out there until he exploded at the rim on you, good touch on the shot and a body made for guarding virtually the whole floor.


Breyon Faulkner

Dayvone Harrison & Breyon Faulkner | Griffin Elite 15U 

Played a bit together on the floor but truly each is a lead guard and when they were on their own they each did damage with pace and instinctive play, Harrison (pictured at top) dissects and reads the defense really well before showing off a good burst and a willingness at under 6-feet to get into the lane and finish, had a nice jumper from distance, Faulkner was pure jet speed up the floor and on the dribble drive and played a confident style at both ends that included his status as one of the top defensive whiz’s of the weekend, both at the 15U stage look like they’re paced to become big-time prospects.


Jerry Trout

Jerry Trout & Spencer Williams | Midwest Basketball Club Zolman 17U 

Trout technically might have fallen into a forward category at around 6-5 but the way he shot it he could be a really solid 2 for a small college program, his deep shooting range initially caught the eye but he began to mix it up closer to the basket both on the boards and as a driver, Williams was a do-it-all guy for Midwest handling the ball a bit as well as playing the same role as Trout as wing shooter and attacker, defensively they were salty and engaged and both impressed with a ton of overall guts against a very competitive schedule.


Cooper Taylor

Cooper Taylor & Terrance Yarbrough | Cincy Lakers 17U

The truly fun part of OTR expanding into the midwest region is getting to see teams like the Lakers for the first time, Taylor was really interesting as he flat-out had a great nose for scoring and was a tough matchup all weekend, it was sort of just a superbly well-rounded scoring package that didn’t have a noticeable weakness and screamed to me a future college player, Yarbrough was like Taylor fearless in his approach as he took on all comers with a quick burst and an up-tempo approach, had some scoring runs where he got 3 and 4 straight buckets pressuring the defense with dribble penetration, energy and motor were a problem for foes.

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.