OTR Hoops – New Year’s Classic Backcourt Standouts – January 10, 2024

LOGANVILLE, Georgia, – Grayson High School hosted the annual New Year’s Classic last weekend. A seven-game lineup with a few of the top teams from around the state of Georgia gave fans and onlookers a day of basketball to enjoy. Here is a list of back court players who ought to be tracked for the remainder of the season.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

Marc Chavenet – South Gwinnett – 2025

The Comets fell to North Gwinnett narrowly in double overtime. But what should not be forgotten in this game was the performance that Chavenet put forth. He scored a team high 26 points with six 3-pointers in the contest. The 6-foot-3 guard is earning a reputation as one of the best shot makers in Gwinnett County this season. In addition to being proficient as a long-range marksman, Chavenet is as effective off the dribble in traffic. We will keep tabs on him as he enters the spring travel circuit.

Bronson Blair – Mountain View High School – 2024

Blair is earning attention this season with his steady hand for the Bears. The 6-1 point guard is proving to be a capable play-maker and a consistent scorer for coach BJ Roy. Blair is well built and able to give the contact on the interior drive as well as take it when the shot clock winds down. Also pay attention to his passing abilities within the half-court offense. I have noticed how his creativity is infectious with his teammates. Blair will typically find a hidden angle to slip an interior pass to a cutting teammate, which then leads to the entire Bear squad wanting to replicate the generosity. On the year, Blair is averaging 17.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.

Russ White – Greenforest Academy – 2024

White is a unique type of player and stands apart in this list of prospects. He is a 6-3 guard with broad shoulders and strength that is normally reserved for interior players. The lefty is an adept passer too. He sees the court well and is quick to pitch a dime to a cutting teammate. Playing alongside Elijah Lewis on the perimeter, there is plenty of opportunities for White to collect assists and make the offense turn. White projects as a next level contributor given his skill set, size, and athleticism.

Caleb Cameron – The Wilson Academy – 2025

Cameron was in consideration for our junior/sophomore recap from yesterday, regardless he earns a place on this list. He is a junior combo guard with solid size at 6-4. He scored 11 points in the win over Dutchtown on Saturday and flashed even more potential in that defensive battle. He has a well-rounded skill set that allows him to double as a wing scorer or as a lead playmaker given the situation. He creates space with an explosive first step and he keeps his eyes up when penetrating the lane. Cameron will be a watch-list player heading into the spring circuit.

Ricky McKenzie – Wheeler High School – 2024

McKenzie continued to prove that he is one of the top shooting guards in the state with his outing on Saturday evening. He scored a game high of 18 points which included three 3-pointers. Important to note, McKenzie also got to the foul line to shoot seven free throws as well. This is an illustration that he is more than just a spot-up jump shooter. He can put it on the floor and score from inside 20-feet effectively. The 6-4 senior is headed to Kennesaw State next year and looks to help the Wildcats repeat as state champs this year.

Brentis Schaeffer Jr. – Langston Hughes High School – 2024

Lefty-lead-guard from Langston Hughes.

There is more than alliteration with Schaeffer, there is also substance.  Plenty of it too. Schaeffer got onto our radar this summer at the GBCA Live event as one of the top under the radar kids this summer. He is proving that he is not a flash in the pan with his 18 points in a tough loss to Wheeler at the New Year’s Classic. At 6-2, he has length and a slick first step that allows him to create space moving downhill with the ball.  He has a nose for scoring in traffic and in transition. With a self-reported 30 ACT, Schaeffer should be on many Southeastern schools recruiting list as a late signing period gem.

Jaye Nash – McEachern High School – 2024

Nash is a new addition to the Indian ball club this season. He comes with a good reputation from the summer circuits and a host of offers from high major college ball clubs. With that established, Nash meshes perfectly within the framework of this McEachern team. He is a point guard with an athletic frame and the strength to take the bump with the ball in traffic. Perhaps most impressive from Saturday’s game was his vision to set up others for easy shots. Whether he was working within the structure of the offense or having to create a play late in the shot clock, Nash gets the ball to the right spot at the right time. Buy stock in Nash’s game for the long term, his best days are likely still in front of him.

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.