Rocky Top Invitational – 17U Eye-Catchers Part 2

GATLINBURG, TN – Such a great variety of teams descend on this vacation hamlet for OTR’s Rocky Top Invitational, it’s a favorite on the spring calendar for scouts.

I bounced between 17U and 15U most of the weekend, here were some of the guys in 17s who caught eyes, in multiple parts.

Part 2:

By: Keith Agran

Jacob Bryant | G | 2024 | HYPE Hawks

Is often on the floor at the same time with unsigned 2023 PG Mekhi Craft making for a tough twosome to deal with, have been able to follow Bryant’s progression from OTR’s The Opening in 2022 to now and it has been eye-opening, has grown some adding a layer of physicality to a cerebral approach that has always been different, multi-level scoring threat and terrific decision-maker after seeing some of the 2023 PG’s who’ve signed recently it would surprise me if Bryant is on the board very long as next spring approaches.

Blake Dean | G | 2024 | Stars Nashville Premier

So athletic he wowed with how he was able to accelerate past people and get through traffic, such a depth of variety in what the Stars teams bring each time we see them it’s often hard to pick one, Dean however has that athletic edge which at the PG spot in particular is a separator, well-rounded guy who can defend, get up above the rim and be a willing facilitator with so many options around him in support.

Kaleb Walker | G | 2024 | Tennessee Primetime (pictured at top)

Always look forward to seeing Primetime as they always have a guy or two to uncover, alongside Walker were several other guards who impressed but Walker added some of the weekend’s best flair with a pair of eyebrow-raising alley-oops which not only energized his team but showed off the athleticism which he had been showing from the perimeter as a driver and scorer, looks like a college-ready guy upstairs as well.

AJ Petway | G | 2025 | Tennessee Panthers

Petway caught our scouts attention at Sweet Sixteen as well but I hadn’t caught that until after seeing him in Gatlinburg, while surely talented playing up with no issues I was drawn to his energy and vocal style which not only got guys in good spots but kept his Panthers teammates engaged and enthused, passing and scoring for modern PG’s remain key aspects bu the way he guarded the ball and talked on the floor are serious pluses that can separate a guy from a large pool.

Houston Holland | G | 2024 | Flam Elite

This Chattanooga-based org played some solid basketball as I saw them dismantle a Sunday opponent and do it with efficient and sound play, Holland really impressed as a mix of old-school creative driver and deadly jump shooter and it as fun to see him get his scoop layups and use angles to flip up one-handers around defenders, he’s got good size for the 2 and deceptive speed off the bounce but added some pull-up moves which only added to the creative package.

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 and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.