OTR Hoops: Sweet 16 – Day 3 Top Performers (Sandy) – May 20, 2024

Sweet 16: Day 3 Top Performers

By: Kyle Sandy

2025 6-2 PG Zachry Harden – Heat Check – Newton (Pictured)

Already committed to play defensive back at Minnesota, the D-I football star did major damage on Sunday in Heat Check’s 68-59 win over AE5 Florida. Zack is a pure athlete. He is elite in transition, grabbing rebounds and starring as a one-man fastbreak. Harden’s burst of speed and leaping ability get him to the rim in a blink where he can score through contact and put defenders on posters. The southpaw’s ability to get downhill religiously is rarely found. Harden racked up 13 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in the win. Coach Ben Johnson might want to coax Harden into becoming a dual-sport athlete at the next level.

2025 6-6 W Caleb Samples – Heat Check – Union Grove

When I first saw Caleb Samples as a sophomore at the Sandy’s Spiel Fall League, I felt like he was the best prospect in the Union Grove program. Fast forward to the summer of his senior season and it is safe to say Samples has taken the proper steps to improve each season and cement himself as a legitimate college option. Standing close to 6-foot-6 and coming off an All-Region campaign, Caleb checks some important boxes. He is a versatile tweener forward that can play multiple positions. He has an inside-out game, physical posting up but also with enough range to knock down threes and the 15-footer. Caleb is effective in the high post and can be used as both a roller and popper in the screen game.  Against AE5 Florida, Caleb guarded on the perimeter and showcased his athleticism on offense with four dunks en route to 14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block off the bench. D-II programs were courtside evaluating.

2025 6-5 F Ameer Morrow – AE5 Florida – TLAP

I loved the tenacity of which Ameer attacked offensive rebounds. He flew in from the perimeter with reckless abandon, coming out of frame to rip away rebounds overtop of shoddy block outs. Morrow’s a true power player with his physicality. He hunts rebounds and is adept at scoring through contact, posting a pair of And-1s as he finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals and 3 blocks against Heat Check. Morrow’s offensive arsenal included a hook shot, a three-pointer and a drive. His toughness cannot be overstated.

2025 6-3 G Connor Teasley – GA Canes – Peachtree Ridge

Connor Teasley is starting to get his flowers after winning Region 7-7A Co-Player of the Year. The wiry playmaker is one of the most consistent players in the state. Regardless of competition, it feels like you can always look down at the box score and see it stuffed with Teasley’s production. Sunday was no different in a 72-70 win over Team Person Red as Connor compiled 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Teasley sank a pair of threes, utilized a one-dribble pull-up and finished at the rim with floaters and a dunk to round out his three-level scoring attack. It’s about time college coaches start to pull the trigger on Teasley. The numbers don’t lie when it comes to Connor’s effectiveness.

2025 6-7 W George Shumpert – GA Canes – Paulding County

All the tools are in place for George to put it all together, have a breakout season and skyrocket up recruiting boards. Shumpert immediately passes the eye test with his height, physical frame and athleticism. When it comes to his skillset, George can play inside and out as a combo-forward. He’s tough on the backboards and can score through defenders. On the perimeter he has shown the ability to knock down open threes and put the ball on the floor. He buried two threes as he finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks against Team Person Red. Maintaining aggressiveness and consistency will allow George to unlock his full potential.

2026 6-0 PG Jacob Zhu – Team Person Red – Next Level Academy

Team Person Red looked dead in the water, down close to double digits late in the second half before Jacob Zhu exploded. The high-octane scorer netted four of his five threes in the second half, casually pulling up from well beyond the arc before defenders could get set to contest. Zhu is a bundle of creativity, a true point producer not only as a scorer but as a facilitator as well. Jacob sees the floor exceptionally well, excelling as a drive-and-kick playmaker that knows where his shooters are at all times. Zhu went for 22 points, 1 rebound, 11 assists and 3 steals in a two-point loss to the GA Canes. D-I programs of multiple levels are wisely involved.

2024 6-4 SG Sawyer Griffin – Team Person Red

Sawyer lit the nets on fire, drilling seven threes on his way to posting 23 points against the GA Canes. Griffin is nearly automatic with his jumper. He buries them from all over, netting three from the corners before stepping out to the wings where he bombed from long range. Once Griffin got hot, he knew defenders would fly at him recklessly. This is where he would coolly implement pump fakes to get his defender out of place and sidestep them for clean looks. Griffin is a pure sniper from Alabama.

2025 6-4 W Dylan Rivers – HESE Wolverines – Tucker

Dylan had a nondescript start to his game against the Mobile Jazz before he hit a ¾ court three at the buzzer to end the first half with five points. From there, Rivers caught fire as he nearly led HESE to a comeback, finishing with 20 points and 4 rebounds as the Wolverines fell 65-56. Rivers got to work on the wing, scoring with pull-up jumpers from both the mid-range and three-point line. He had a few drives and used his size to score at the cup. The wiry swingman could provide Tucker with some important offensive production his senior season.

2025 6-1 G Arenthal Spears II – Mobile Jazz – Faith Academy

Tank was in attack mode from the open, scoring 10 points in each half to finish with a game-high 20. Spears buried four threes in the middle of the game before going back to finding his points downhill on floaters when ran off the line.

2025 6-0 G Robert Gonzalez – All Georgia Elite – St. Pius X

There is something to be said about the reliable effort Robert Gonzalez brings to the table each game. Gonzalez is a tweener at the guard position, able to contribute across multiple positions given his strong frame. Gonzalez is a glue guy with his activity level and his well-rounded contributions. He rebounds very well for his size. Rob has three-point range and can get to his floater off the dribble. In a win over NGU, Gonzalez was exceptional in transition, filling the lanes for easy baskets. Rob tallied 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. He may not have one truly defined position on the floor, but Gonzalez goes out and competes every game.