OTR Hoops – TOC Classic – On the Rise Prospects – December 5, 2023

MARIETTA, Georgia, – Wheeler High School played host to the Tip-Off Classic this past weekend. The On the Radar Staff got a courtside look at some of the top talent in the state of Georgia as well as one team from the state of Texas. This early season showcase gives us a good idea of which teams to look for when the postseason arrives in February. We also gained valuable information on which underclassmen college coaches ought to track next spring and summer and which seniors are poised to contribute next fall on college campuses.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

Amare James – Wheeler High School – 2026

On a team stacked with talent and experience, James is carving out his niche for the Wildcats. He is a 6-foot-5 wing with a quick first step and a nose for getting to the bucket for easy scores. Currently the sophomore plays a complementary role deferring to the upperclassmen on the roster. Yet he finds opportune times to exert himself and change the momentum of the game. When putting eyes to the future, James projects as a watch-list prospect in the Peach State.

Allen Stoddard – Alexander High School – 2024

Stoddard looks to feel right at home with his new team for his senior season. The 6-6 wing/forward earned a reputation on the travel circuit as a blue-collar prospect with high flying athleticism. He is turning all that potential into production this season with the Cougars. He meshes seamlessly along the frontline with Kennesaw State commit Braeden Lue. Stoddard can light up the scoreboard as he did Saturday evening with a 16-point effort. However, it is his ability to fill up every other category of the stat sheet that will be most useful for coach Jason Slate as they set their eyes upon another State Championship run.

Jullien Cole – Shiloh High School – 2024

Cole is putting together a stellar first half of his senior year. He led all scorers with 32 points in the Generals match-up with Kimbrall High School (TX). The 6-4 guard is a strong, well-built back court player who can exert his will with the ball in his hands. Most opposing guards either do not have the strength or the quickness to match Cole’s athleticism. He projects as a prospect who can contribute at both ends of the court at the collegiate level.

Sam Mead – The Heritage School (Newnan) – 2025

Any list of the top shooting guards in the class of 2025 in the state of Georgia ought to include Mead. He presents ideal height at 6-4 and a picturesque release from the arc. He led the Hawks with 17 points (tied with Mason Bolinger) in a win over Kipp Collegiate Academy on Saturday. There is not a lot of wasted motion with Mead’s game. He plays simply and executes the principles within the offense, which equals production. College coaches will certainly be tracking this kid come this spring.

Eddie Cooke III – Berkmar High School – 2025

Cooke is another standout junior with length, athleticism, and skill. We took note of how confidently he handled the ball and made plays in the Patriots win over Greenforest. The Patriots have a deck full of experienced play-making guards. However, Cooke fits right into the concept that coach Greg Phillips has designed for the team. He shows range on his jumper, and he can mix things up in traffic with rebounding and defense. Cooke is poised for a breakout junior year.

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.