#RockyTopInvitatational – Top Shooters

GATLINBURG, TN – A tremendous field traversed the surrounding Smoky Mountains to converge on a little village in Tennessee, but with big goals in mind to improve as basketball players and gain exposure from the finest circuit in the Southeast.

From OTR’s Rocky Top Invitational, an event growing in stature in the region, we look first at Top Shooters I saw from the weekend (Georgia guys have high schools in parentheses).

By: Keith Agran

Jordan Burdette | Next Level Elite 17U | 2023

Right out of the gate in block 1 on Friday night we got some torrid shooting from Burdette, the boys from upstate South Carolina were facing the pressure-minded Promise Elite group from Atlanta so avenues to the basket were hard to come by, Burdette was quick and ready to launch and was vocal and sound in getting his team and himself into positions around the arc for open looks.

Blue Cain | B Maze Elite 17U | 2023 (pictured at top in orange)

There was hardly anyone all weekend who oozed more confidence and moxie than Cain, holding offers from Tennessee, Syracuse and Georgia Tech among others he looks the part of a college-ready SG with some really bouncy lift off the deck to go with a pure-looking stroke that is ready and quick to get off, fully immersed himself in the exciting players to watch the entire tournament among a deep cast for all the B Maze teams on hand.

Quay Wallace | Promise Elite 16U | 2024 (Decatur)

Wallace could have found himself in almost any of the superlative categories for the weekend particularly after a 36-pt explosion Saturday morning vs TN Primetime at at Gatlinburg-Pittman HS, for Promise we’re seeing Wallace handle more PG duties and it’s an ideal spot for him as he looks to push for the next level with Parker Axam graduating from Decatur HS, he’s got good size at 6-3 and fiercely hits the glass from the backcourt, can really handle it, sees the game really well, and possesses a scorer’s mentality from multiple ranges for the 1-spot that fits him nicely into the modern-day mold of multi-faceted guards, a star on the rise in the ATL-Metro for sure and combining with Rockdale County’s Nicholas Robinson in an exciting pair has propelled both of them to the 2024 forefront.

Ryan Williams | Wood Elite 16U | 2024 (North Paulding)

I’ve documented how far Williams and his game has come over the last year and the results on the floor have backed it up, plays with a quiet chip for a still somewhat undersized guy, but that energy to go with a skillset that is often mentally a half step ahead of others has closed the gap between the size vs heart argument, the 5-10 PG has gotten much craftier about creating space with the dribble to get off a shot that falls from distance at a high clip, when he’s alone and open you can almost count it, added some really nice variety in the mid-range and floater game, surely will continue to get even better as he matures more and holds down the reins at North Paulding.

Joao Felipe Rego | Stars Basketball Nashville 17U | 2023

Always great to get some backstory on an intriguing guy and the Stars folks filled me in on the Brazilian import and his journey to The Baylor School in Chattanooga, a distinctly South American feel to his game first as a passer and ballhandler it screams all the things we saw from yesteryear with the likes of Oscar Schmidt and others, not one to just linger at the arc where he was smooth and efficient but he found himself to all points on the floor to affect the game at around 6-4, expect to see this name potentially excelling at a mid-major in 2-3 years.

Zane Restelli | Game Elite 15U | 2025

Another Baylor School product 2 years younger than Rego, he’s been lighting up circuits all spring and always seems to catch evaluators’ eyes for the seeming regularity with which he drops bombs, he is an absolute must-check within the framework of the offense or as a trailer on the break with a hand or a full set of arms or he will make you pay, has enough quickness to get by people once the secret is out and I think that will get even better as his gets stronger expanding his repertoire into higher D1 stratospheres, the shooting alone has him headed for elite status.

Tyler Doyle | Kentucky Hoop Dreams 16U | 2024

As much a shooting-PG as he was an excellent floor general as well, really good size for the lead spot as he at around 6-4 can easily shoot over smaller defenders, never appeared in a hurry to do anything yet he was quick to find open men with great vision and pushed the ball to the right spot nearly every time down, has all the mid-major tools to play PG at that level or with some muscle tacked on and perhaps an inch or two or more growth could be a heck of a wing gunner for someone the way he pops it from deep.

Juan Cranford, Jr | Midwest Basketball Club 16U | 2024

A flat-out no conscience approach to shooting the rock with a rapid-fire lefty stroke, good frame means when he’s closed off from deep he can bull his way past or through people, playing on yet another Midwest BBall Club roster dotted with talent his ability to create shots with a forceful dribble game and the ability to launch them off quickly stood out, the pure scoring acumen will draw more eyeballs as he goes through the next year.

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.