PREVIEW: On the Radar Hoops Tip-Off Classic (High School) – October 29, 2021
Norcross High School will be the location of the ninth annual On the Radar Hoops Thanksgiving Tip-Off Classic. Current NBA players that have made their imprint at this event in the past include Sharife Cooper (McEachern), Brandon Boston (Norcross), Malik Beasley (St. Francis), Devin Vassell (Peachtree Ridge), Patrick Williams (West Charlotte), Josh Okogie (Shiloh), Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook) and others. This year’s edition of the Tip-Off Classic will showcase future college stars and perhaps a few future pros as well. Time will tell. In the meantime, you can be the judge of which prospects have the highest ceiling to the next level. Here is a preview of the six games on deck for November 20.
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By: Jonathan Hemingway
8:00pm Norcross High School vs. Newton High School
Coach Jesse McMillan returns budding star in class of 2023 guard London Johnson. He recently cut his list to 12 schools. The 6-foot-4 guard expanded his game over the summer so much that 247 Sports has him ranked as the No. 30 prospect nationally. He is joined by sophomore forward Aiden Sherrell, who we tabbed as one of the top up and coming prospects in the state this fall at the OTR Breakout Camp . Keep an eye on Jerry Deng and Samarion Bond as well for the Blue Devils. The 6-8 frontline prospect is one of the top unsigned seniors in the area.
Coach Charlamagne Gibbons enters his third season with the Rams at Newton County. They come with a well-balanced roster. The backcourt of Jakai Newton (Indiana commit), Stephon Castle and Qua Brown can go toe to toe with most anyone in the state. Add in the front court of seniors Daniel Pounds and Miokaye Grant provide the interior presence needed to be successful.
6:30pm Grayson vs. Wheeler
Coach Geoffrey Pierce has a stacked roster once again with the Rams. Transfer point guard Caleb Blackwell looks to inject pace and energy for the Class AAAAAAA powerhouse. Clemson commit, 6-9 forward Chauncey Wiggins is primed for a big senior year. Also, Tyrease Elliott, a North Carolina A&T commit, is always a staff favorite because of his ability to create plays on either end.
Coach Larry Thompson brings Wheeler into this match-up fresh off a class AAAAAAA state championship. This year they will be led by Radford commit Kyle Burns and senior Juvon Gamory. His play making caught the attention of the Radford staff and our video coordinator Kris Watkins. See some of his highlights here.
Burns is joined in the back court by Isaiah Collier who is a consensus top 20 prospect nationally. With offers from schools such as Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Cincinnati he is poised to be one of the premier players at the event. Also look for wings, class of 2023 Jelani Reynolds and class of 2024 Klairus Amir to make a splash for the Wildcats this year as well.
5:00pm Pebblebrook vs. Greenforest
Since taking charge of the program in 2012, coach George Washington has led the Falcons to a 20-win season in seven of those nine seasons. This makes Pebblebrook one of the premier programs in the Metro Atlanta area. This year looks promising with the experienced prospects like Troy commit Andre Young, Jaiun Simon and Kami Young all returning.
Speaking of consistent performers in the Metro area, Rory Griffin’s Greenforest Eagles have consistently been on the scene the past decade. This season’s roster is fully loaded to make a run as the top team in the city. Class of 2023, 7-foot center Gai Chol has a Texas Tech offer. He is joined by class of 2022 point guard Jalen Forrest, who holds offers from Temple, Kennesaw State among others. Also keep tabs on senior Florian Tenebay who is ready to make waves this season.
3:00pm Sandy Creek vs. Providence Christian Academy
Replacing the production of Jabari Smith will not be easy for coach Jon-Michael Nickerson and the Patriots from Sandy Creek. Last year’s squad finished as the runner-up in Class AAA. However, the cupboard is not bare as they will lean upon a pair of sophomores in forward Micah Smith and guard Amari Brown. Both were standouts at this fall’s OTR Breakout camp. Read about them here (Smith) and here (Brown).
Coach Joey Thacker returns key contributors from last year’s team that finished 23-5 and lost to the eventual Private School champion, Mount Pisgah, in the second round of the GHSA playoffs. Watch for VMI commit Chance Thacker and Citadel commit Tony Carpio to lead the way for the Storm.
1:30pm Sequoyah vs. Meadowcreek
The Chiefs of Sequoyah are looking to build upon a 16-win season and a GHSA playoff appearance in 20-21. Coach Allen Carden will look to guard Dylan Wolle, a Rollins College commit, to lead the way. Wolle is a 3-point specialist who can also play-make for his teammates.
Coach Terry Smith has a strong core of juniors that he is building the Mustang program upon. Keishawn Hampton, Dayton Richardson and Eddie Hendricks are all names to look for on November 20th.
12:00pm Collins Hill vs. Mount Vernon
Coach Joe Dix is looking to build upon last year’s 17-win season with the Eagles. Kaden McArthur is a new name for fans to track.
This will be our first look at Mount Vernon and their program. Look for Keith Williams and Syncere Harris as potential breakout names from this game.
Jonathan Hemingway has been a National Evaluator for On the Radar Hoops since 2013. He has been involved in the basketball community since 1995 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him at JLHemingway@gmail.com and follow him on twitter @JL_Hemingway.
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