OTR Elite 32 – Opening Day Impressions – July 6, 2023

MARIETTA, Georgia, – The July live period kicked off for On the Radar Hoops with Elite 32 hosting games at two venues. More than 200 travel teams will compete and look to earn scholarship offers over this weekend. Here are a few highlights from day one.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

Ace Bailey notches a Triple-Double

With his future college coaches sitting courtside, the Rutgers bound wing put on a show to remember with his AOT squad. In a high scoring game, Bailey dropped 30 points and then proceeded to fill up every other stat category in the process. The 6-foot-8 wing has risen to No. 2 in the 247 Composite Class of 2024 rankings. He handled lead guard responsibilities and showed his vision as a passer in addition to delivering highlight dunks. Bailey’s game is polished. He affects the game in every way on both ends of the court. He is positioning himself as one of the better players to emerge from Georgia in recent years alongside of Anthony Edwards and Jaylen Brown.

National Talent on Display

The opening day of the Elite 32 featured talent from across the United States. All Iowa Attack brought multiple teams to compete while the states of Texas and Colorado had several programs representing. Michael Porter Junior Elite from Missouri went head-to-head with AOT in one of the feature games of the day. Look for teams from Michigan, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kansas to emerge upon the stage tomorrow.

Team Florida Stacked with Talent

The addition of class of 2024 forward Sammie Yearnay cemented an already solid roster for Team Florida. The 6-8 prospect showed his ability to impact the game on either end of the hi-lo game on the offensive end. The guard duo of Julian Clarke and Kaiden White got going quickly today with White being the beneficiary of Clarke’s timely assists. Joshua Harris, fresh off a North Florida offer, played with confidence nailing 3-point jumpers and finishing with dunks in transition. Add in the emergence of Carter McDole, a 6-7 wing-forward, who gives timely buckets and Team Florida looks to have momentum this weekend.

Familiar Faces, Repeat Performances

Although this tournament features many new teams, new names, and new storylines to track, there were plenty of prospects who we have come to grow accustomed to seeing perform at a high level. Here are a few of those names that we saw standout today:

Class of 2024 point guard Caleb JonesDicks is a trending name over the last six to eight weeks. He put up big numbers with his high school team (North Gwinnett, GA) in June. He continued that movement with another solid outing with Sunshine Elite. The southpaw lead guard shoots it a high clip and uses his body to clear out space off the dribble.

Class of 2025 guard Gregory Howard is another guard that caught fire in June and stayed lit today with Team Dickerson White. He is a high energy guard that finds a bucket consistently in transition. He turned the momentum of his team’s favor this afternoon, which ended in a win over Mountain West Premier.

Class of 2024 forward Sam Maynard of Georgia Legacy is quickly picking up momentum. After a few consistent outings in the spring, he exploded for a 40-point outing last week in front our Keith Agran. He then backed that up with an all-around effort today in a win. His ability to blend into the fabric of a team speaks to his versatility and basketball acumen.

We took note of Carolina Pressure class of 2024 forward Jayden Pretty at the Carolina Mania in April. He was back at it today scoring buckets and snagging rebounds. He is a 6-6 prospect that figures to be an immediate contributor in the right situation at the collegiate level.

It is hard not to brag too much about the inside-out duo of Zayden Edwards and Blake Wilson with ATL Pivot. Edwards is a terrific athlete with great basketball instincts. Wilson is a blue collar forward that puts on his hard hat every game and produces. Coach Chadwick Hixon has plenty to work with for the rest of the month with these two.

Elijah Lewis has been a steady performer with Greenforest Academy and Team Forrest over the last 12 months. Today he caught fire scoring 15 straight points in a win. Lewis may often get overlooked because of his size, but his production is big enough to draw attention.

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.