#OTRHoopsReport: 2017-18 GHSA Shooting Guard Preview – Sept 25, 2017
Landers Nolley has been regarded as one of the elite shooters in the country. Photo – Ty Freeman
From top to bottom, Georgia’s talent pool at the off-guard spot is arguably the deepest of all the positions. It flaunts high-major caliber prospects who possess varying styles, ranging from slashers to marksmen to defensive specialist. As mentioned in our earlier position previews, we will examine a couple of names to watch for regardless of classification.
Landers Nolley, 2018, 6-7 SG, Langston Hughes High School (6A): Nolley has all the tools that a coach looks for in a shooting guard. At 6-foot-7, 210-pounds, his size and length presents all kinds of problems for opponents on both ends. Defensively, his physical attributes allow him to adjust and defend opponents in a variety of ways. On the offensive end, he is one of the most versatile scorers in the GHSA. Nolley fills it up at a high clip from mid-post area, but is clearly at his best when he pulls up from beyond the three-point stripe. Last season, he shot 45 percent from downtown on 96-for-213 shooting. Georgia, Georgia State, Illinois, and Virginia Tech are all among the finalists for the sniper from Fairburn, GA.
The Panthers brought home the GHSA Class AAAAAA State Championship last season and are expected to be right back in the mix again this year.
Devin Butts, 2019, 6-4 SG, Stratford Academy (A-Private): Right now, Butts is not a well-known player on the state or national level. However, his name is beginning to swirl around in conversations after a hot offseason on the travel circuit. During the spring and summer live sessions, this kid proved that he was capable of playing at a high level against elite competition. His ability to catch and shoot all in one motion is amazing. Butts’ style is much like Reggie Miller and Richard Hamilton given his effectiveness coming off screens. Coaches from UAB and UNC-Greensboro have been in constant contact, but look for others to become heavily involved moving forward.
Moreover, expect the 6-foot-4 shooting guard to have a breakout season as he is in line to be the lead man for a young Eagles squad.
Adam Flagler, 2018, 6-3 SG, Duluth High School (7A): Flagler is one of the more complete shooters in the state. His shot-making ability from the perimeter is impeccable. He went 90-for-196 (45%) from beyond the arc last season, but the 6-foot-3 senior is most effective when stroking it off the bounce. Everything considered, Flagler looks to be a low-major caliber prospect with a developing all-around game. Columbus State University and Presbyterian College have both offered.
In 2016-17, he averaged 16 points and four rebounds per game and helped his team reach the second round of the state playoffs. The Wildcats will more than likely continue to be a tough out for opponents in the powerhouse 7A classification this season.
Rashod Bateman, 2018, 6-3 SG, Tift County High School (7A): Bateman, a two-sport stud, is another dead-eye shooter on the rise. Suiting up for the Atlanta Celtics this offseason, he put together a couple of jaw-dropping shooting exhibitions. With the graduation of several key scorers at Tift County, the University of Minnesota (football) commit will be called upon to help fill the scoring void.
Look for Bateman to be a major player for the Blue Devil’s in their back-to-back state championship quest.
A LITTLE THIS & THAT
Nelson Phillips, 2018, 6-5 CG, Warner Robins High School (5A): Heading into the 2017-18 season, Phillips is one of the most sought after players in Georgia. The 6-foot-5 combo guard had an offseason for the ages. He proved his worth at the most opportune times during the spring and summer NCAA live periods. His knack for scoring the ball on all three levels against some of the nation’s best prompted high major divion-1 programs to take notice. Phillips racked up 10+ offers by the end of offseason, and announced his commitment to Georgia State last week.
Expect the do it all senior to lead an experienced Warner Robins squad on a serious title run this season. The Demons return their entire starting five (5 seniors) from last season.
Tye Fagan, 2018, 6-3 CG, Upson-Lee High School (4A): Fagan is one of the most feel good stories in the state. At the beginning of last year, he was virtually unknown everywhere. However, after averaging 21 points, eight rebounds, and three steals and leading his team to a perfect season, the 6-foot-3 off-guard became a household name around the state. He has picked up 15 offers in a year’s time, but chose to committment to Middle Tennessee State two weeks ago.
This season, expect Fagan to lead the way for the Knights as they look to defend their Class AAAA state title.
Devin Vassell, 2018, 6-4 CG, Peachtree Ridge High School (7A): Vassell, a Florida State commit, doesn’t pop off the screen when watching him play, but must be respected in just about every aspect of the game. The 6-foot-4 senior often comes up with timely baskets and defensive stops in key moments. Although listed as a combo guard, he has the skillset to play either guard spot. After averaging 13 points and five rebounds last season, expect his production to skyrocket in 2017-18.
Christean McClean, 2018, 6-3 CG, Wesleyan High School (A-Private): Playing in the state’s smallest classification, McClean has flown under the radar. But, the 6-foot-3 guard gets it done on the travel circuit, silencing any naysayers that question whether or not he can compete against quality competition. He was “Mr. Everything” for Inspire Atlanta this summer and will look to carry that momentum over into the school ball season. Army, North Georgia, South Alabama, Stetson, and Virginia Military Institute to name a few are all in on the fierce competitor from Norcross, GA.
Guys I Like…
Brandon Thomas, 2018, 6-3 SG, Eagles Landing High School (5A)
Will Huzzie, 2018, 6-4 CG, Duluth High School (7A)
Clayton Jenkins, 2018, 5-11 CG, Macon County High School (A-Public)
Quinn Richey, 2019, 6-4 SG, Mount Pisgah Christian (A-Private)
Jamir Chaplin, 2019, 6-4 CG, Stephenson High School (6A)
Kowacie Reeves is a contributor to On the Radar Hoops.