#OTRSweet16 – Saturday 17U Gems from McEachern Pt 1

POWDER SPRINGS, GA – The Saturday grind during a live period was in full effect at McEachern HS’s 5 courts on Saturday, here’s Part 1 of several parts to come on the 17u guys who were hard to miss from a rollicking Sweet Sixteen Session 1 in front of a large contingent of coaches.

By Keith Agran

Elijah Walden | SF | B.A.N.G UP | 2022

Elijah Walden

Love the motor and energy he plays with and at around 6-5 he has some positional versatility as he can face you up or be really effective with his back to the basket, an absolute rebounding machine he is more than athletic enough to guard on the perimeter and has the body to be physical in the paint, with too much ability he’s a steal of an unsigned 2022 to me.

Jalen Carruth | SF | B.A.N.G UP | 2023

Jalen Carruth

Speaking of energy that’s Carruth’s greatest asset at 6-5 or so as he is all over the place at both ends as a versatile defender, rebounder, and jumping-jack on offense, he’s sleek and super-athletic meaning he can defend big guards but doesn’t mind getting in the trenches and mixing it up either, the open floor game and pushing it at the basket are his staples.

Bol AguĀ | PF | Game Speed Elite Orange | 2023

Bol Agu

The mobility and the body were hard to miss as he got up and down the floor and off the deck impressively at 6-8, this FL-product has all the tools to be a D1 player as the jumper from multiple ranges also had its moments, reminded a bit of Norcross’ 2022 Jerry Deng from out local ATL-area.

Luke Harpring | SG | Team Harpring | 2023 (pictured above)

A distinct Marist-flavor with the Team Harpring group and the appropriately named Luke was among the real standouts of the day, showed off a lot of offensive variety to go with a pretty good frame at 6-3, gets scalding from the perimeter in spurts with NBA 3-range and then as he draws you out he is really physical in the drive game, good-looking college prospect.

Jesse Gaynes | PG | Team Harpring| 2023

Jesse Gaynes

Flat-out gets the job done without a ton of fanfare but the effectiveness is obvious to anyone that watches him, unassuming and unpretentious in his game he was still among the most fun to watch PG’s of the weekend as he slices up defenses with deceptive quickness and is so clever at getting his own offense, true floor general.

Ben Ritger | SG | Team Harpring | 2023

Ben Ritger

Finally healthy after he was sidelined by injury much of this past winter, at 6-6 with a stroke made for scoring there are all kinds of interesting possibilities in Ritger’s game, he can shoot over folks or be excellent in the mid-range pull-up game using the bounce in an old-school but advanced fashion, poised for the kind of summer where his name is whispered around a lot.

Jaquez Thornton | PG | Club Orange | 2022

Jaquez Thornton

Had a stretch defensively on Saturday that was as good as any I’ve seen in a travel ball setting as he was up in the face of everyone with active hands and terrific positioning, you add that to his incredible speed as a penetrator and volume scorer from the PG lost and this is an unsigned 6-2 2022 guard you might want to take a look at after a sterling career at Drew Charter.

Chris Dorbor | SF | Club Orange | 2022

The Loganville All-Region product has been the opening month’s most interesting surprise, at 6-6 with mobility and hops this is a player than can affect a next-level roster in a lot of ways, a lot of his highlights come close to the basket as he’s dunking on guys or erasing shots but the perimeter shooting is worth a closer look as the comfort goes out past the arc, must-see stuff in the unsigned pool of forwards right now.

Jonathan Awoleye | PF| HYPE Hawks | 2022

Jonathan Awoleye

Didn’t play with Walton this past winter but is quickly reestablishing himself as the interior force at 6-7 we saw developing over as a sophomore and junior, has the great lower half for post-play as he can shove and gain leverage on guys with force, once he has it down there he will bull his way through you or show off really good feet with an array of moves right hand or left, excellent shot-blocker with timing and confidence, another 2022 in the unsigned pool who can really help someone at the next level.

James White | SG | HYPE Hawks | 2023

James White

Has really valued onto my radar as a crafty and inventive scorer with a lot of intriguing possibilities in his game that translate well to the next level, plays a fun brand of basketball where you can see his mind working as he carves up defenses and creates shot chances, not overly explosive he compensates for that with his mind as he can peel off screens or use 2 or 3 dribbles to get himself just enough space for his very consistent jumper, one to watch.

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 has both a championship-coaching background on the HS-level and daily newspaper writing experience, both from New Jersey. You can reach him at keithagran1@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.