OTR Hoops: Sweet Sixteen – Opening Impressions – May 18, 2024

MARIETTA, Georgia, – The NCAA live period began this weekend with tournaments hosting teams and college coaches all over the country. The Sweet 16 hosted by On the Radar Hoops gave college coaches from the Southeast a great opportunity to evaluate prospects. Several players earned offers over the weekend. Here is a look at a few names who caught the eyes of our evaluators.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

Damienn Louis – Sunshine Elite – 2024

Louis came up big in an afternoon game. His double-digit points were timely as Sunshine Elite battled back from a deficit to earn an OT victory. Louis is a 6-foot-4 athlete who uses his size and length to score in traffic. We were impressed with his ability to dart through defenders to score and dish to cutting teammates at the opportune moment.

Siul Murillo – Charlotte Aces – 2024

Murillo is a bit of a throwback post player. The 6-7 forward/center does a great job of getting position on the low block and scoring when his back is to the basket. We were impressed with his combination of size and footwork when the defense leaned on him. Murillo is not heavy footed. He proved he can run the floor and provide defensive coverage to the arc.

Tyler Thompson – Team Bo Bell – 2024

Thompson made a splash on Friday evening in the opening game of the event. He is a 6-5 wing who is aggressive with the dribble drive. He does a nice job of getting the defense to lean one direction and then uses that momentum to score with a spin or a crossover move. He certainly has one of the best midrange games that we have watched so far this weekend.

Spencer Claxton – SWFL Hoops – 2025

Claxton burst upon the radar with his play on Friday evening. He is a confident shooter from 3-point range either off the catch or the dribble. We were particularly impressed with his aggressiveness as a ball handler as well. He has good size and will use it to create angles for play making. He scored 18 points with four 3-pointers in his game’s opening win of the weekend.

Hendrix Loughridge – PSB Tampa Elite – 2025

Loughridge showed promise in the opening days of the event. He is a 6-9 forward with a diversity of skills. He flushed a few dunks and stepped out to the arc to splash a 3-pointer. He is coming off a knee injury that had sidelined him for the last several months, but that injury seems to be a memory of the past as he showed no ill-affect during his play. He is a prospect that ought to get attention in future months given his size and skills.

David Pina – Powerhouse Bulls – 2025

We are always on the lookout for game-changing athleticism and that is what Pina brings to the floor. He is a 6-5 wing-forward who can get off the floor in a flash. He plays a lot along the baseline as a roamer. When he gets a crevice to exploit, he will rock a dunk over or around defender’s outstretched arms. He takes that same explosiveness to the defensive end where he will run down offensive players and swat shots into the stands. Pina is a player who should translate to the next level given his elite athletic ability.

Will Smith – Team Forrest – 2025

While high scorers and high-flying athletes usually grab the headlines, every coach knows you need the consummate team player to win games. Team Forrest has that player in Smith. He is certainly talented enough to go for double-digit points in every game, but his role on this squad is to make sure the ball moves and to provide a defensive spark. Because of these skills, Team Forrest knocked off one of the more talented teams in the event on Saturday afternoon. Smith’s willingness to quickly deliver the ball to open teammates and to lead the charge defensively is what turned the tide in favor of the hometown team.

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.