OTR’s Player Watchlist – Part 3

Atlanta, Ga – As opening night closes in this evening, we’ve been taking a look at 15 players to watch and breaking down what makes them special. We’ve gotten through the first 10, we finish our list with the final 5 today (in no particular order).

David Thomas | 6-2 | PG | Eagle’s Landing | 2023

Has been a fast-rising prospect for 2 years now, vaulting through Camps and Showcases and often playing up and starring on the grassroots scene. Surrounded by seasoned and talented veterans with the Eagles he can be the main guy with his vast skillset from the lead guard spot but is also an exquisite passer and has high-level vision both on the break and in the halfcourt. Is the full package, currently holding offers from Presbyterian, Tennessee Tech, Mercer, Western Carolina, Troy, LSU and Alabama State.

Jakai Newton | 6-4 | SG | Newton | 2023 (signed with Indiana)

Stamped his own place as a major player to watch despite the tremendous talent around him in Covington, and it was easy to see why during the summer as he was nearly unguardable at times. Has that great gift of swift pace to explode by you yet has such a high IQ as a scorer he can back it off and pick you apart with his multi-level scoring talent. Physical and fleet-afoot as a defender, he will be tremendous over his last 2 seasons with the Rams and a big-time contributor in the Big Ten with the Hoosiers.

Gai Chol | 7-0 | C | Greenforest | 2023

With a wingspan that seemingly never ends, Chol casts a large shadow on the floor when he’s between you and the basket. Naturally with a body like his and good natural timing he has established himself as a D1-level rim protector, but as he’s matured the last year or so his offensive game has begun to blossom in areas beyond 6 to 8 feet from the hoop. Has a chance with this veteran and solid Eagles team to go deep into the A-Private bracket and be in front of a ton of eyeballs with their competitive schedule.

Kaleb Banks | 6-8 | SF | Fayette County | 2022 (Signed with Indiana)

How about the Hoosiers establishing a beachhead in ATL grabbing Banks and Newton from this list alone. This long-strider at 6-8 can really break you down off the bounce and seems to glide by folks with an ease that obviously will translate well to the Big Ten. Polished scoring and defense that can cover you inside and out, he’ll once again be the catalyst for an FCHS club that has designs on getting back to the 4A Finals for another shot at the title.

Chauncey Wiggins | 6-10 | PF | Grayson | 2022 (Signed with Clemson)

Not so surprising Clemson has been active on the ATL-trail looking to sway prospects, as they landed Wiggins and less than 2 months later landed RJ Godfrey of North Gwinnett from our list as well. He’s a face the basket 4-man that has guard-like skills handling it, allowing him to play from outside-in. When he catches it near the basket there’s agile movement and creative finishing, all of which will be welcome with the Tigers and will be fun to watch as the Rams look to challenge once again in 7A.