OTR Carolina Mania Standouts Part II – April 5, 2023

BOILING SPRINGS, South Carolina, – On the Radar Hoops took to the road last weekend to bring exposure and competition to the Palmetto State with the Carolina Mania. The main site of the event took place at Boiling Springs High School, which is located just outside of Spartanburg. Teams from South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina received top competition and attention at the event. Here is a second look back at a few of the notable names from the event.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

Class of 2024 point guard Evan Morton of Team Synergy has a mature game. He is physically fit, able to elevate and exert his will with the ball in his hands. He is poised handler and decision maker. We saw him make the right play consistently as a lead playmaker for his team. His 27 points in a win were a highlight of the weekend. He shoots the ball well off the move as well on the spot up. We believe that Morton should on the radar of coaches in the Southeast Region.

Last weekend was a weekend of buzzer beaters. In our previous article we detailed DJ Shine’s event ending shot and not to mention San Diego State’s last second shot on Saturday Night to punch their ticket to the championship game. Class of 2024 point guard CJ Vaughn joined in that action with his own buzzer beater with Team Curry. With just a few seconds left in a match-up with the Upward Stars, Vaughn dribbled through defenders and nailed a 25-foot plus jumper as time expired. Vaughn’s weekend was solid beyond this last second shot. He proved to be a steady ball handler and perimeter defender for his team. He fits well within the fabric of Team Curry’s roster.

Class of 2024 Jayden Pretty of Carolina Pressure earned praise from multiple members of the media this weekend. He is a blue collar forward who puts up numbers consistently. While other prospects may put effort in flash or flair, Pretty puts his energy in getting buckets and making winning plays. We took note of his footwork and touch in traffic. These skills translate and Pretty should stay in the headlines.

Looking for an available senior who is skill ready for the collegiate level? Put Jakel Powell from Team Push on your list right now. He is a 6-foot-6 wing with explosive athleticism and shooting range. We watched him scored 20 plus points on two different occasions on Saturday afternoon. Powell drips with confidence and skill. His game ought to fit well at the next level regardless of the system.

Class of 2024 guard Kayzzin McDowell with the Upward Stars Harvey squad showed promise at the Carolina Mania. He is a combo guard with size and ball skill. McDowell split time at the point guard spot, which appeared to be where he was most comfortable. He showed consistency on his 3-point jumper as well as his passing ability. His vision as a passer is an indicator for big things for him in the future.

Class of 2024 guard Jayan Walker with 1 of 1 Elite is a player to put on the list. Do not let this kid slip beneath your attention if you are looking for a scorer. He has a knack for scoring the ball and brings great athleticism to the court as well. Walker has combo guard skill in that he can run the point in spots while also being a lead scoring option.

Jacob Zhu earned his way onto this list that is filled primarily with upperclassmen. We watched the freshman score 23 points in an opening game on Saturday with Team Person. This outburst included five 3-pointers. His game is more than shooting as he proved to be a slick handler who can shake defenders and slip into the lane to make plays. He flashed some vision as a passer, which will come in handy as defenses look to jump him and take him out of rhythm in the future. Zhu still has some physical maturing left in front of him. When he does fill out, we expect to be one of the top point guards in the state of Georgia in his class.

Jonathan Hemingway has been a National Evaluator for On the Radar Hoops since 2013. He has been involved in the basketball community since 1995 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him at JLHemingway@gmail.com and follow him on twitter @JL_Hemingway.