#OTRHoopsReport: Naismith Holiday Classic Standouts – Dec. 27, 2017
Many of the top players in the metro Atlanta area were on display at the Naismith Holiday Classic.
Norcross, Ga – Before the festivities of Christmas Day came and went, Georgia prep basketball was in full affect at Norcross high school in the form of the inaugural Hawks Naismith Classic. The event included 32 teams, both boys and girls, special guests, and great matchups over three days from elite competition representing the peach state. The Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Dream among others around the city of Atlanta were partners for the event to celebrate Georgia basketball and here were the individuals that stood out during this celebration on the men’s side:
Adam Flagler – Duluth (GA) – 2018
In the most impressive offensive performance of the tournament, Adam Flagler showed why he was worthy of a recent offer from Georgia Southwestern and more. The senior guard was lethal from behind the arc, knocking down 5 from deep but Flagler was also able to get his scoring done on all three levels against St. Francis. His shooting ability coming off of any screen in both the midrange and three point occasions. Flagler carried the Wildcats for most of game but when the opportunity presented itself, he was able to find the open teammate in the half court with an extra pass from the attention he was receiving by the 2nd Flagler is a flat out scorer and a senior that should see more offers come after that 34 point performance at the Hawks Naismith Classic.
Nick Edwards and Travis Anderson – Grayson (GA) – 2018
The thunder and lighting combo out of Grayson comes in the form of their two senior guards who put pressure on any team with their skillset and basketball IQ. Anderson, who is the thunder, is a skilled point guard that score the basketball with ease on any level. He’s the shorter of the two guards but possesses more strength and uses that to his advantage. Getting to his spots with the basketball, knocking down spot up threes and even rebounding with the big men down low are all apart of the package for the Charleston Southern commit. He ended the game with a team high 26 points in what was a quality win over the Discovery Titans. Edwards, who represents the lightning between the two, was all over the floor on both ends for the Rams in their matchup at the Hawks Naismith Classic. Getting steals and several fast break opportunities made up a significant amount of his 21 point output. Edwards couldn’t be guarded in the half court, blowing by defenders and drawing fouls where he would knock down free throws with ease throughout the contest. At any level, guard play is imperative and with two talented guards on this Grayson roster it will make them a tough out in class 7A when the playoffs commence.
Dwon Odom – St. Francis (GA) – 2020
For those wanting to know who’s the most athletic sophomore in the state of Georgia, a strong case can be made for the point guard out of Alpharetta and St. Francis. Odom is lightning in a bottle with the ball in his hands and when he decides to put his head and get to the rim, there aren’t many who can stop him from doing so. Playing the entire 32 minute contest against Duluth, Odom never seemed to fatigue at any moment of the game as his dunk off an inbounds play with about a minute left in the contest sealed the deal for the Knights at the Hawks Naismith Classic. Odom flashed his lay-up making ability with acrobatic finishes in traffic and pushed the ball in transition for good assists to teammates for a 27 point 6 assist outing. As a sophomore, Odom has a lot of basketball to get better which will only be worse for the rest of Georgia that schedules the Knights in the next few years.
Landers Nolley – Langston Hughes (GA) – 2018
Averaging over 30 points per contest before the Classic, Nolley didn’t disappoint and maintained that average against Greenforest Christian Academy. Tallying 31 points and 10 rebounds, Nolley did so in a different way than people are used to seeing. Instead of collecting many of his points from the three point line, he instead put the ball on the floor and got the rim seamlessly and cashed in on second chance opportunities against a smaller Eagles frontline. He used his 6’7” frame to his advantage and showed that he’s not just a one trick pony offensively. Nolley continues to lead this Langston Hughes team and is an early candidate for Mr. Georgia Basketball as well. Keeping him at bay on the offensive end is a nightmare for any coach and it is something that all of the Panthers’ opponents have yet to do this season.
Kalu Ezikpe – Discovery (GA) – 2018
Ezikpe is the interior catalyst for this Discovery team and it was put on display once again at the Hawks Naismith Classic on Friday night. Ezikpe, who looked to be playing through a knee injury, still owned the glass for the entire night while contributing in the scoring column as well. It was one and done on most defensive possessions for the Titans, mainly because Ezikpe was responsible for the defensive rebound after the shot. He possess great footwork around the basket on offense and has the athletic ability to go along with his 6’7” frame to finish above the rim in the half court and lob situations. The Old Dominion commit takes pride in his defense and will be an asset for the Monarchs next fall. Ezikpe finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds in a loss but it was clear who was the best big man in the game and one of the better big men for the entire showcase at Norcross high.
Tyrease Brown – Newton (GA) 2019
While there were many good shooting performances from the perimeter at the Hawks Naismith Classic, not many can compare to the one put on by Tyrease Brown, The junior sharpshooter was on the receiving end of many assists from recent Georgia commit Ashton Hagans, and those assists came from the middle, wing, and corner three point spots. He finished this contest with 6 made three pointers and 18 points overall, but he is no stranger to filling up the stat sheet as he’s reached double figures on multiple occasions this season and knocked down 11 from behind the arc in an On the Radar Hoops showcase this past May. He will continue to get looks from one of the better point guards in the state and that will be important to the run that the Rams will look to make this postseason.
Dalvin White – Norcross (GA) – 2018
While junior teammate Kyle Sturdivant continues to be the primary offensive option for the Blue Devils, the play of White cannot go unnoticed. He continues to play the game the right way on a nightly basis and was apart of the second half spark that got Norcross a lead against a talented Holy Spirit Prep group. White finished the game with 18 points and 3 steals but it’s the cerebral plays that don’t show up in the stat sheet that make the point guard such a valuable player for this team. With so much youth on the roster, having a dependable point guard that can hold teammates accountable on the floor everyday is what every coach wants and needs and will be the reason that mid major programs continue to show interest.
Donta Elberhart is a contributor to On the Radar Hoops
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