OTR Rocky Top Invitational Standouts Part 3 – May 18, 2023

GATLINBURG, Tennessee, – The Rocky Top Sports World was the host venue for the On the Radar Hoops Rocky Top Invitational. The six-court facility along with four other courts provided by the Gatlinburg Pittman school system gave a great experience for teams around the Southeast. Here is a third look at standout performers from the weekend.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

Class of 2024 wing Nic Hyche was the beneficiary of his teammate’s playmaking in the final game of the event. He scored 21 points in a win as he found the gaps in the defense for Stars Basketball Club. He stretched the floor with his 3-point shooting. The junior is also a solid athlete who presents a well-rounded game that is more than just spot up shooting. His instincts show up in his ability to read the defense in movement away from the ball or with his passing.

After spending much of the weekend watching upperclassmen compete, we wanted to get a glimpse on players who may be UP NEXT. We think we identified a prime candidate in class of 2026 guard Braylin Davis with B Maze Elite. Davis and his team were competing against 2025 prospects, but that did not slow Davis from being a playmaker and scorer. He caught our attention with his scoring ability. He scores it off the dribble in the lane and can shoot the 3-pointer with accuracy.

Another underclassman that caught our attention was Shannon Davis with the Upward Stars Columbia. The class of 2025 prospect split time as a primary handler and a wing scorer. He is very fluid as a handler and a smooth shooter. He does not appear to be done growing either. He should stretch out a few more inches in the next 12-18 months giving him needed length to complement his athleticism.

We identified Kunta Jenkins from the Georgia Fire as a potential sleeper in the class of 2025 in the state of Georgia. He is a lengthy athlete who is just scratching the surface of his potential. He specializes in attacking the lane off the dribble. Yet when we saw him connect on a few 3-pointers, it became clear that Jenkins has levels that are within his reach.

Class of 2026 center Marcis Ponder has been a major force with Team Breakdown at On the Radar events this spring. The 7-footer seals effectively around the bucket and finishes with force when he secures an angle on the block. He has a rare combination of brute strength and nimbleness of foot. He is not a finished product by any means. The floor of his production is higher than most other center’s ceiling. He earned offers from Illinois and Mississippi State in the weeks following the Rocky Top Invitational.

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.