OTR’s The Opening – Backcourt Gems
ATLANTA, GA – Travel season came on like a hurricane this past weekend with 5 sites and scouts galore covering as much of the ground as possible for OTR’s The Opening, always one of the circuit’s most exciting events.
With a large portion of our staff zeroing in on the bevy of 17U talent on hand, I took to the streets and spent time at the outer sites looking in on younger up-and-comers.
By: Keith Agran
Rhett Broussard | G | 2025 | Team Scoot Shaheed (Goodpasture [TN])
Caught his act last summer when he shined at OTR’s Breakout Camp in August, here he was again looking just as devastating and among the 15s and 16s was easily a top 2 or 3 player I saw all weekend, has the full package of handle, IQ, vision and scoring punch from all across the court, has all the moxie to play lead guard but is a serious sniper playing off the wing where the jumper is deadly and the ball fake game can leave you waving at air, this is a name you’ll be hearing more about very soon.
Malik Rideout | G | 2026 | Team Huncho (Central Gwinnett, pictured at top)
Came down to a coin flip between Broussard (above) and Ridoue for the day’s top performer and even that made it difficult to separate the two, coming off a stellar frosh campaign with the Black Knights varsity he looks poised to take a next step toward stardom, I reference calm a lot in amongst this particular group of guards and with Rideout it’s next level stuff, that calmness means he’s dissecting in the mental game and follows that process with precision passing, astute offensive choices, and an eye for defending that separates as well, surely one of the better rising talents in the ATL-Metro.
Brennan Burns | G | 2026 | Redline Elite (East Forsyth)
Seen a real jump in the overall play from this combo guard, a little bigger and a little wiser he quickly established himself last year as one to watch north of the perimeter as the drive game in particular is assertive and a real threat, doesn’t have to handle the ball a ton with Redline but can and you can’t leave him alone at the arc or neglect his ability to find the open man with a dart, tough & focused competitor you can get behind in the leadership category and will get into the paint mix and do a lot of the dirty work you need in close games.
Connor Staphylaris | G | 2025 | Team Scoot Shaheed (Kell)
Perhaps no one in the 15U or 16U division that I saw showed more poise and calm than the Longhorn riser, fresh off a 5A title run where he played a key role he just exudes a confidence level that makes you think every pass will find its mark and every shot will find the bottom, with Scoot and an abundance of exciting young talent he should get a chance to show off more of his all-around guard game, as gifted a natural shooter as there is in the ATL-Metro and even with a whole bunch of key faces coming back for the defending champs he is a star on the rise.
Jaylin Harper | G | 2025 | Team GA Magic (Putnam County)
Kept the TGM crowd engaged and in a frenzy with his shotmaking particularly from dee range, all kinds of confidence and an enthusiasm level that was fun to watch with him and his compadres, just gets after it playing with a chip but backing it up with a skill package that is multi-level and a gritty defensive style that will make you work, can play either guard spot.
Jayson Jones | G | 2026 | GA Stunners (Hiram)
His 3/4 court HT buzzer-beater Saturday morning was one highlight among several for the Hornet guard, easily one of the weekend’s best backcourt defenders as he had a hand in nearly every passing lane and was a pickpocket artist, never stopped playing hard and his energy was readable and infectious, got at the basket with speed and creativity.
Kamari Brown | G | 2026 | Promise Elite (Grayson)
Really confident handle with excellent control on the break and a nice eye for slicing up defenses, good shooting range well past the arc makes him a dual threat offensively as he has the burst to go by with either hand, one of the weekend’s better passers and a serious lockdown defender with active hands, resembles in many ways a younger version of Ram 2024s CJ Hyland and Laz Mason.
Colin McCall | G | 2026 | Redline Premier (West Forsyth)
Playing with Redline’s Premier group which is only a step or so behind the Elite bunch which will travel the UA Rise circuit this spring and summer, McCall will play with that group as well and it’s easy to see why he’ll be a seamless fit, great mind for the game as he has a natural feel at both ends to be in the right place and make the right decision, the offensive game is a mix of behind the arc shooting and clever driving and the overall skillset mostly just kind of rings of a future next-level player.
Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019, and also spent 3 years as a sports writer at two newspapers in New Jersey. After a championship-coaching background on the HS-level also in NJ, he accepted the Girl’s Basketball Head Coaching position in May 2022 at Mt Bethel Christian Academy and now balances scouting and coaching still with a keen eye on talent around the region. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
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