#OTRHoopsReport – 2017-2018 High School Predictions – October 31, 2017
Norcross High School has another talented squad ready to compete for a championship in 2017-2018. Photo cred – Ty Freeman/Gwinnett County Media Day
Georgia high school teams were finally able to take the court this week for the first day of practice. This season is poised to be exciting within the state. OntheRadarHoops.com contributors, Kowacie Reeves and Jonathan Hemingway, team up to make predictions on this year’s season. Who are the top players in the state, which team’s are poised to take the crown and which underclassmen will become household names are a few of the topics for this week’s round table.
Atlanta Area Breakout Player:
After monitoring Meadowcreek’s Jamir Chaplin on the travel circuit all off season and at preseason individual showcases, he passes my eye test as a player that will have a huge 2017-18 season. Mid-majors such as Middle Tennessee, Tulane and others have already pulled the trigger with offers. Do not be surprised if high-majors start to get on his trail by season’s end. He has a complete game and looks to be a great teammate from everything I’ve witnessed. The 6-foot-4 off-guard may be the best two-way player in the GHSA. Simply put, this kid can do it all. Remember the name! — Kowacie Reeves
— Shun Williams (@OntheRadarHoops) September 10, 2017
Class of 2018 post Kalu Ezikpe of Discovery High School broke out on the travel circuit this summer. He collected over 17 offers while also have several Power 5 schools in to check him out this fall. This weekend he committed to Old Dominion, which should provide a terrific fit for the 6-7 forward. He is blossoming into a versatile offensive threat who can score with force on the interior and stretch the floor with his jump shot. If he continues his current trajectory, he could produce double-double numbers nightly and be considered one of Metro-Atlanta’s top players. – Jonathan Hemingway
ATL ✈️ VA pic.twitter.com/vewWzB1wFL
— Kalu Ezikpe (@EzikpeKalu14) October 29, 2017
Atlanta Area Underclassman Watchlist:
As usual the underclassman talent-pool in the Metro-Atlanta area is loaded! For me there are two players that have a chance to be tops in their respective classes.
First, McEachern sophomore, Sharife Cooper, is an absolutely amazing lead guard. He never gets rattled and can affect the game in a variety of ways. I’ve seen him lead his team to victory getting teammates involved and hanging his hat on defense. On the flip side, I have also witnessed him go off for forty with ease, embarrassing defenders in the process. For whatever reasons, there is a stigma on him that he is not a good jumpshooter, but I beg to differ. In my personal experiences evaluating the 6-foot floor general, he always strokes it well from fifteen-foot on out to three-point stripe. Evident from his handful of high-major division-1 offers and 4-star national rating, Cooper will fall in the long line of talented point guards from the peach state to become known nationwide.
— Shun Williams (@OntheRadarHoops) November 27, 2016
Fabulous freshman Madison Durr is another underclassman that has the potential to become something special moving forward. The 6-3 combo guard has nice size and skill set. He is hard to stop once he gets downhill going right. Further, he can really disrupt opponents defensively when he makes his mind up. However, as much as I’m intrigued with Durr’s ceiling, the fiery young hoopster must get better at utilizing his left hand, as well as polish his deep ball in order to be effective on the high school level. All considered, I expect Durr to be a mainstay in the top-10 of Georgia’s 2021 class. — Kowacie Reeves
Class of 2020 wing Brandon Boston is a must-track guard this season with Norcross High School. The 6-6 prospect is consensus top 50 prospect nationally and arguably the top player in the state in his class. His athleticism and scoring ability have attracted interest and offers from high major schools from around the Southeast and beyond. His talent and all-around development will be key for the Blue Devils success this season. – Jonathan Hemingway
— Shun Williams (@OntheRadarHoops) October 3, 2016
Georgia’s Most College Ready Senior:
In a star studded 2018 class featuring the likes of EJ Montgomery, Landers Nolley, and Reggie Perry to name a few, the most college ready senior in my opinion is Westside-Macon (GA) standout Khavon Moore. At 6-foot-8, 215-pounds, the multi-talented point forward seemingly possesses a skill set that will immediately translate at the next level. His combination of ball handling, creativity, and overall feel for the game have drawn rave reviews evaluators across the country. Also, quiet as kept, Moore’s defensive prowess may be the strongest attribute of his game. However, if there is one thing that might dim the light on his grand entrance to the collegiate level, it may be his deficient jump shot. Nevertheless, I expect the 4-star phenom to make his mark sooner than later. — Kowacie Reeves
Khavon Moore is a multi-talented wing with an all around skill set@HypesouthMedia small forward preview
— Shun Williams (@OntheRadarHoops) August 28, 2017
I love the fit for Spencer Rodgers of Mountain View High School at Troy University. The 6-3 guard could have held out for an offer from a school from a bigger conference. Instead Rodgers chose a school who punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament last year and will be knocking on the door for years to come. Rodgers is ready-made shooting specialist at the next level. Playing alongside of play-creating point guards who can draw double teams, Rodgers will be ready to punish the defense with high percentage shooting. Add in the fact that he is accustomed to hunting shots off pin downs and stagger screens and Rodgers has the mental tools to be successful at the college level. What should also help Rodgers’ game translate to Sun Belt play is the fact that he is physically ready to defend on the other end of the court. – Jonathan Hemingway
— Shun Williams (@OntheRadarHoops) August 18, 2017
Georgia’s Most Talented High School Team:
Depth? Talent? Look no further than the McEachern Indians. This team is led by a stable of nationally recognized underclassmen who are battled tested. Last season, they finished at 29-1 before being ousted by eventual state champs Tift County. The aforementioned Sharife Cooper runs the show and has a slew of division-1 prospects alongside him. Babatunde Akingbola, Brandon Suggs, and Isaac Okoro all return. New into the fold is 6-foot-9 blue chip Jared Jones. Adding Jones to a team that only lost one game last season spells trouble for the rest of the GHSA Class AAAAAAA division. — Kowacie Reeves
Jesse McMillan’s Norcross Blue Devils are perennial favorites to compete for a championship in Georgia’s largest classification. This year is no different with a roster littered with high major prospects. Senior wing Joseph ‘Jo-Jo’ Toppin is in the conversation as one of the top wings in the state. The bouncy athlete makes a living in transition while providing defensive versatility. Junior guard Kyle Sturvidant is a nationally ranked prospect given his ability to play-make and score the ball. Sophomore guard Brandon Boston is one of the hottest names nationally in recruiting circles. His blend of athleticism and shot making ability is special while he stands at 6-5. Add in the experience and defensive ability of senior guard Dalvin White and junior forward Issa Muhammad and Norcross has one of the most balanced rosters in the state. – Jonathan Hemingway
Most Underrated High School Team in Georgia:
With two recent (2014 & 2017) state titles under their belt, Tift County still is not getting the respect they deserve. In spite of graduating several key players that went on to sign division-1 scholarships and having a new head coach at the helm, the Blue Devils will still be formidable. Senior point guard Montavious Terrell will hold down the fort down until Minnesota football commit, Rashod Bateman gets back. Coach Chris Wade knows the system well and will have the guys ready to play. As weird as it may sound, I’m giving the “most underrated” tag to the defending Class 7A state champions. — Kowacie Reeves
Put Mountain View High School in Gwinnett County as a team that could make a deep post season run. They have a star in Troy commit Spencer Rodgers. And they have the most underrated qualities in high school sports: senior leadership. While other teams might have more talent top to bottom, coach BJ Roy’s group has played together for multiple years. Last year, the Bears went on an unlikely run to win a Region Championship and punched their ticket into the post season. Last year’s entry into the GHSA tournament came to an abrupt halt when they met Wheeler in the Sweet 16. However, with senior guards Kevin Kayongo, Miles Long and KJ Kirby returning with another year of experience, Mountain View should be poised for a successful 2017-2018 campaign. Also watch for junior transfer, Nahiem Alleyne, to make an impact for the Bears this season once he gets back from a foot injury. Guard Jalen ‘Gator’ Hayes and post Alex Wesig are two other seniors that will be integral to the Bears’ success this year. – Jonathan Hemingway
Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. Hemingway serves on the Board of Selectors for the Naismith Trophy. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB
Kowacie Reeves is a contributor to On the Radar Hoops.