OTR Sweet 16 Session I Standouts – April 25, 2023

MARIETTA, Georgia, – Next Play 360 was the central location of the OTR Sweet 16 Session I last weekend. A remodeled facility with new polish and a fresh aura set the tone for a solid weekend of hoops. Last weekend, of course, was the first spring evaluation period for this calendar year. Teams from across the southeast, including one from as far away as Texas showed up to compete and earn looks which hopefully end up with a scholarship offer. Here is our first look at standouts from the weekend below.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

There is not too much left to be written about class of 2024 wing Ace Bailey that has not already been written before. This spring 247 Sports elevated the Rutgers commit to the No. 5 prospect overall and top player at his position in the country. The 6-foot-10 wing is fluid, polished, and brings a high motor to the game. We see him give great effort on the defensive end which includes talking on the back line to his AOT teammates. He can create shots in isolation situations. And of course, he can finish exclamation dunks through traffic. We continued to be impressed with Bailey’s willingness to be coached and to be engaged in the game. These are characteristics of prospects who generally succeed beyond the prep years.

Class of 2024 Caleb Eastwood grabbed our attention with his play with Team Gritty last weekend. He is a 6-5 wing with great athleticism. We saw him turn the corner with the drive and punch dunks on the break. The Florida native is more than just an athlete; however, he displayed touch on his jump shot as well. He is one of the top stock-risers coming out of this weekend.

We got our first look at class of 2023 wing-forward Tynan Becker two weekends ago at the OTR Gauntlet in Daytona Beach, Florida. We had a chance to see him for a second time this weekend and continued to be impressed with his skill set. At 6-7 he has the length and the size to play along the front line and he often does for his Born to Impact Elite team. However, he moves up and down the court like wing and he handles the ball with confidence. He plays the game like a mature college player already. He shoots it at range, he can see the floor with vision, and he has athleticism to make plays in traffic. This available senior would add value to several rosters at the collegiate level.

The Atlanta All-Stars, as usual, are stacked with talented and productive players this year. One of the more consistent contributors to this season’s success is class of 2024 wing-forward David Clark. The left-handed prospect is one of those players that you hesitate to give a positional designation. He does a number of things both in the paint and on the perimeter. And he does those things well, too. We really liked how he crashed the boards and finished buckets in traffic. He earned several trips to the free throw line, which is big indicator of potential efficiency. Clark can also step out a stretch the floor with his jumper. We will keep track on his progression and see how it turns out for this young man in the next few months.

We were happy to get a first look at class of 2025 big man Cheikh Diebakhate with Team Why Not. The California based organization looks to have a budding star in their midst with Diebakhate. He is a 6-8 forward who is agile, well built, and is actively engaged in the game. We took note of how he talked the game on the defensive end. He often could be seen giving teammates encouragement or instruction depending upon the situation. He offered up a productive outing in the game we watched, which included him connecting on a few 3-point shots as well. Just a class of 2025 prospect, this young man should have the attention of programs from coast to coast very soon.

Class of 2024 Ace Taylor put together a solid weekend with Pressure Elite. He is a 6-6 wing that has a solid all-around skill set. He can stretch the defense with his 3-point shooting, but it is his off-the-dribble game that made us take notice. He proved he can attack the long close out with either hand and still have the balance to score in between defenders. Taylor’s scoring prowess is worth taking notice in the Sunshine State.

One more available 2023 who is college ready is Paul Djobet from the Showtime Ballers. The versatile 6-6 wing had his full repertoire on display at the Sweet 16. He had multiple games with 20 points or more. He is effective in the mismatch forward position. He is quick enough to go around a bigger defender and he can overpower a smaller wing. Djobet’s future looks bright.

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.