OTRSweet16 Session II – STAR POWERED WEEKEND – May 2, 2018

POWDER SPRINGS, Georgia – The second edition of the OTR Sweet 16 featured some of the nation’s most pursued prospects. National media such as Eric Bossi from Rivals.com and Andrew Slater of The Athletic were on hand to report on the action. In our first recap of the weekend, we take a look back at which prospects had the most buzz coming in and out of the weekend.

By: @JLHemingwayPSB

Jaden Harris (Atlanta, Georgia), Georgia Stars – 2021

Typically in a recap like this, the attention is focused on upperclassmen. However, Harris is having such an impact for the Stars that he is worthy of attention. Granted Harris still has three years of high school basketball still in front of him, but all early signs are pointing for Harris to become one of the state’s premier prospects. The 6-5 guard is showing scoring ability at every level in the half-court. His frame and athleticism are additional signs that we will see more of Harris in future years. Already armed with offers from Georgia Tech and Ole Miss, Harris is poised to pick up more this summer.

Austin Harvell (Athens, Alabama), Nike Elite Stars – 2020

Harvell positioned himself to become a prospect of note moving into this summer. His high energy attitude combined with elite athleticism will make him one of the best at his position in the class of 2020. Harvell, listed at 6-5, has the size, speed and quickness to disrupt on the defensive end.  He is a ball handler’s nightmare in the full court, because he can dart into passing lanes and create turnovers for his team. Harvell is a consistent scorer especially in transition situations or iso situations where he can use his body to skirt past defenses. Kansas State and Auburn offered the athletic wing following Session II.

Josiah James (Charleston, South Carolina), TMP Basketball – 2019

Listed at 6-foot-6 tall, several recruiting websites still have James listed as a small forward. It is time to update that position profile to Point Guard. It is one thing to be a player who dribbles the ball up the court, but it is a completely different skill set to create plays for your teammates. James seems to have mastered the latter. In Bossi’s recap from the event, he compared James’ passing abilities to Lonzo Ball. We would actually take the comparison towards another lefty lead guard in the NBA currently, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. James vision out of double teams, both on the perimeter and in the post, lend itself more to how Simmons carved up defenses at the same level. What he does better than both, perhaps at this moment, is shoot the jumper more efficiently. James is a sure-fire 5-star recruit currently and is being actively pursued by most of the Blue-Blood programs nationally including picking up an offer from Duke following the Sweet 16 Session II.

Tre Jackson (Blythewood, South Carolina), Team South Carolina – 2019

Jackson is the ideal type of guard for modern college basketball. He is a combo guard who can produce offensively either as the lead handler or on the wing. Conversely he is a disruptive force on the defensive end. The school that he chooses will get a player who can play in a variety of lineups, because of this back court versatility. We saw Jackson hit 3-pointers, create shots off of the high ball screen and even score in transition in advantage situations. He is equally effective as an assist giver when the defense rotates to him in the lane. Defensively Jackson is a true pest. His quick hands and feet force ball handlers into poor decisions. College of Charleston extended an offer to Jackson following the second session of OTR Sweet 16.

Caleb Mills (Asheville, North Carolina), PSB Elite – 2019

If there is a lesson that coaches and evaluators should lean in to is “Never discredit the kid that is productive with skill and IQ.” Mills may not check all the physical check-boxes that coaches are looking for at the shooting guard position. However, Mills does things that most at his position cannot do consistently or effectively. His ability to move without the ball and read screens is elite. While his size and stature might lend itself more to the point guard position at the next level, it is very important to point out how well Mills can move around screens to get his own shot. In an age where the dribble drive seemingly dominates a lot offenses, Mills is a throwback to an age where guards can produce without having to over dribble the ball. And when Mills does dribble the ball, it is usually efficient and productive. What makes all of these skills important is Mills’ shooting stroke. His jumper comes out high and clean with near perfect backspin. UNC-Greensboro is the latest to jump in the recruiting mix with Mills following Sweet 16 Session II.

Diante Smith (Fort Walton Beach, Florida), Showtime Hoops – 2019

Each year there seems to be a prospect who elevates themselves from good to great. Last year it was Nassir Little with 1Family who punched through the clouds from consensus top 100 prospect to a McDonald’s All-American lock. Could Smith be on the same trajectory? After last weekend’s performance, we think so. Smith has the tools and physical attributes that are needed to excel at the next level. The 6-6 wing handles, shoots, rebounds, etc., etc. and seemingly does it all well. College programs are noticing as well as Auburn, Cincinnati and Florida all jumped to offer Smith following Session II.



Coach Hemi-100-100Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. Hemingway serves on the Board of Selectors for the Naismith Trophy. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on  twitter @JLHemingwayPSB



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