“Sage Speaks” – Observations and Nuggets 9/9

CUMMING, GA – We return with Week 2 of “Sage Speaks”, and despite it being a somewhat slower week for overall activity on my ledger, we can do some shameless promotion in addition to a nugget or two.

By: Keith Agran

“RADAR CONTACT” DEBUTS THIS COMING WEEK

Our new feature series here at On The Radar will go deeper than just recruiting, we’ll be looking at prospect’s journeys through their own adversity as well as how their world has been affected by the changing world brought to all of us by Covid-19. It’s become a different landscape, perhaps forever altered, and these are not just societal changes that affect us all, but human changes. How we approach our lives, and the manner in which we pick ourselves up off the deck has been forever edited by the last 18 months. So these journeys are more interesting than ever for young athletes, and it has;t all been bad – new groundbreaking and innovative choices have emerged (NIL, G-League, Overtime Elite) to join the mad fray that always has been athlete recruitment, making the right one now is more than just choosing the right college, whether you choose the dollars or go a more traditional route, it can have a whole new set of ramifications across your entire family and future. For GA prospects, each interview will double as an episode of my Press Breaker Podcast (available in the Podbean app, Spotify and Amazon Music), so you can listen and read or vice versa! Hope you look in, you may not know very much about the player before the piece arrives, hopefully you gain something about the young man after it.

SOME LOCAL STARS CATCH NEXT TRAIN OUT

As mentioned above with the changes in the landscape both financially and exposure-wise, this summer  Georgia has seen quite a few top talents either 1) jump to new or existing dollar-driven leagues, 2) NBA-sponsored entities, or 3) decide to attend national prep programs where they’re sure to play marquee schedule against the top public, private and prep institutions across the country. Two in the last week are notables in the ATL-Metro, as seniors TJ Clark of Newton and Seth Hubbard of St. Francis have b-lined it out of town for better opportunities.  Clark has signed with Overtime Elite, an intriguing idea that has seen its conception here in Atlanta, and despite the fact questions remain who they’ll play and what that will look like, there isn’t anything wrong to me in maximizing your dollar value as it pertains to your future in basketball and capitalizing when interest in your talent is at its peak. That, frankly, is American capitalism and is the same thing that happens on Wall Street and Main Street when it comes to obtaining the best individuals for your business. Newton fortunately will not be devoid of talent despite Clark’s excellence, 2023 guards Stephon Castle and Jakai Newton are skyrocketing up national rankings boards, 2023 guard Qua Brown is one of the most underrated players in the state, and they welcome in two 2022 big men to join senior Miokaye Grant in transfers Daniel Pounds and Malachi Hardy. Hubbard was finally set it appears to be the feature man in Alpaharetta after sharing the ball with a bevy of stars who passed through the last 2 years, but now will join his almost-St. Francis teammate 2024 riser Trentyn Flowers up at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, leaving behind some question marks for the A-Private power. Some other notable departures that reverberated around town:

-Senior Scoot Henderson, Kell [to the G-League]

-Junior Chase Clemmons (Mt Vernon), Junior Coen Carr (Dutchtown), Senior Zaylan Chaney (Cass) [all 3 to Legacy Early College, SC]

-Senior Destin Logan, Berkmar [to TSF Prep]

-Senior Robert Cowherd, Grayson (to Southern California Academy, CA)

OTR SUPER 64 IS UP NEXT AFTER HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL BREAKOUT CAMP

OTR will be hosting our next big Showcase event Oct 2 again at McEachern, this time for top 2022 and 2023 prospects looking for the best exposure and evaluation in town! This will be our follow-up to last weekend’s Breakout Camp, where we hosted over 150 2024 and 2025 prospects from Georgia and surrounding states and it produced both high-level basketball and plenty of names to add to the local radar scene. Get signed up for Super 64 ASAP!

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.