#OTRHoopsReport: Atlanta Invitational Notebook -June 7, 2018

Many of the top young players in the southeast participated in the Atlanta Invitational over the weekend.

Atlanta, Ga – This weekend, the Atlanta Invitational was a hot bed dripping with tons of up and coming talent from all over the Southeast. Players from all over came to showcase their talent against some of the top competition the Peach State has to offer. From small guard with a chip on their shoulder to big men in the lane who made it difficult for anyone to get a shot off, we saw some names that are sure to be ringing in the coming years. Here’s a few of the players in attendance who caught my eye.

2024 Marquis Hood – LBE

Hood started the weekend taking everyone courtside by storm. Marquis is a strong bodied forward who can bang down low and controls the boards or hurt the opposing team in transition starting the break. He played through contact all weekend and converted numerous and 1 plays at the line. Hood has potential to be a very versatile wing on both sides of the ball for LBE as he continues to grow.

2024 Marlon Nelson – LBE

Nelson played with grit and toughness all weekend. Nelson isn’t the biggest player on the floor, but he makes he presence felt on both ends of the floor. I watched Nelson shred defenses and make teams regret trying to pressure him full court. He is a heady guard who sees the floor and is a willing passer to open teammates. He could create for himself off the bounce or draw a second defender and drop off easy baskets to his bigs in the paint. The lefty PG was efficient with his dribbles, careful not to over dribble or delay the offensive flow. I look forward to seeing his progression in the future; will be a guard to make some noise in high school.

2024 Stephon Castle – Dream Chasers Academy

I’ve seen Stephon Castle a few times over the last couple of summers and his progression continues to impress me. You can just look at him and see he will be anywhere from 6’4 to 6’6 playing on the wing as he gets older. A big guard like Castle will be a hot commodity. He has a smooth offensive skillset with an arsenal of dribble moves and head fakes which get him easy floaters and layups in the lane. He plays at a comfortable pace and doesn’t get rattled by pressure.  Castle sees over the defense and makes plays in the lane at will. If Castle adds a consistent deep ball, he will be one of the top players in GA in the 2024 class because of his versatility and size on the wing.

2024 Trajen Greco – B3 Academy

Watching Trajen play you can see his maturity with the ball in his hands. He’s young but already a big guard playing the Point for his B3 Academy team. He made plays in the lane this weekend and even showcased some effective spin move finishes in traffic leaving spectators impressed. Greco can handle with both hands comfortably and look right over smaller guards and initiate offense easily. He gets others involved and only becomes super aggressive when he needs to be in crunch time. Greco can play off the ball as well and knock down jumpers from the wing or drive the lane and draw contact for easy free throw attempts. Definitely will be a guard that draws some buzz in the coming years with his size and skill playing the one or two.

2023 Amir Banks – GA Canes

Banks was impressive this weekend in Atlanta. This was the most efficient I had seen the young guard from deep. He hit knock down jumper after jumper for the Canes all weekend. Banks makes it difficult to help off him on the drive because of the threat of giving up 3 points from deep. He handled the ball better and made some plays off the bounce attacking the rim, showing he could do more than just spot up and wait on a jump shot. Amir’s progression just in the past year shows he’s putting in the work, and will continue to get better for an up and rising GA Canes organization with some hidden gem talents out of Atlanta.

2024 Brandon Peters – Elite 2.0

Peters caught my eye the very first game of the weekend. You can look at how Peters handles the ball and tell he is a player. He can run the point and start offense or just pull out his do it himself kit and score the ball. Peters was a threat on the floor wherever he caught the ball. He got to the lane with either hand and finished in traffic, and also hit the deep ball with efficiency. Peters put up over 16 points multiple times this weekend, solidifying himself as one of the best 2024 guards in attendance.

2023 Travion Solomon- HypeSouth

Solomon was relatively unknown before this weekend; it won’t be that way much longer. Solomon is a 5’9 guard who is as smooth as they come in the open floor. He seemingly glides across the floor and has a tight handle with moves to shift defenders for days. Solomon was most effective in transition but could also create in the half court set as well. A pass first guard with great court vision and understanding of placement against the zone, Solomon attacked and found teammates for easy drop-offs all weekend. I look forward to seeing the advancement of Solomon in the coming years, a Middle-GA product that could stir up some noise in the Peach State.

2023 Jamari Arnold – Dream Chasers Academy

 In my opinion Jamari Arnold was the best 2024 player in attendance this weekend. Arnold scored the ball with what seemed to be little effort every game. He was a pest on the defensive end and made a living in transition but could also break defenders down and get his own shot when he wanted in the half court. He showed you have to respect his jumper from deep as he hit four 3’s, the game he finished with 28 points. Arnold is lighting quick and can take defenders with either hand off the bounce and finish inside amongst the trees. Arnold will be a scoring machine in the future who can fill a stat sheet quickly.

2022 Eric Remshik- Atlanta Big 5

At first glance, you notice Remshik’s activity level on both ends of the floor as he flies around defending and rebounding, but you can’t overlook how effective he is with the ball in his hands as well. Eric was a blur in transition for Team Powell all weekend and made the right plays with the ball. He has good touch on his jumper as he knocked down countless midrange pull up jumpers on the break over defenders. He’s explosive off the floor and floats through the air for rebounds or finishes in the lane. He has a great frame already and shows his strength and athleticism every time he’s on the floor. I was impressed with his versatility as he would go from the wing to the block and be equally effective giving teams fits all weekend.

2022 Jalen Carruth- Team Powell

alen Carruth of Team Powell was an intriguing prospect to watch this weekend because of his size and activity on the glass. Much more than a rebounder, Carruth can start the break with his ability to handle, and at 6’3 he can finish above traffic at the rim already. Jalen can slide to the wing and drive defenders hard with his dominant hand and create easy points at the foul line with his strength, making it hard for defenders not to foul him. Carruth looks like he will continue to grow and be a big guard who can play either wing position effectively.

Willie Evans is a contributor to On the Radar Hoops

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