TOC Holiday Classic – Late Day Top Performers
MARIETTA, GA – We move from the first half of the day to the second at the TOC Holiday Classic, looking at top performers from the later games.
By: Keith Agran
Will Hopkins | 6-5 | CG | Holy Innocents’ | 2024
When you make the trip to see the Golden Bears it’s 2025 monster riser Caleb Wilson that most folks gush about, but I think we’re going to see a lot more of Hopkins on the pages of evaluators as his overall game is hard to miss, at TOC vs Luella he took on more ballhandling and leadership responsibilities and it was a nice surprise he having come to the Golden Bears with a rep as a pure scorer, at his size with good composure and already a strong understanding as a sophomore it’s easy to see why he’s so highly regarded, when he does need to score the whole gamut is available to him with shooting range and great work around the basket as a crafty finisher.
Anthony Arrington | 6-2 | SG | Galloway | 2022
Almost comical at this point how often we highlight Arrington’s excellence as he had another strong showing in a tough OT loss to Kell, once again handling multiple roles he got downhill facing constantly switching defenders, knocked down J’s from multiple levels and rebounded like a guy 6-6, remains among the top available guards in the entire GA-FL-AL corridor.
Jalen Hilliard | 6-4 | SG | McEachern | 2023
As I mentioned when live-tweeting the game vs Dacula Hilliard has come a long way in a short period since arriving on the scene in Powder Springs and with Norcross Heat, the components are all there for not just a monster summer and senior year in 2022 but to help the Indians potentially do special things this season as they continue to roll up quality wins, his lift is next-level from the wing spot and his understanding of becoming a true multi-level scorer is on the come and filled with exciting possibilities.
PJ Johnson Jr | 6-4 | SG | Kell | 2023
Enjoy watching this Kell team not because Scoot Henderson has moved on but because without Henderson we’re really seeing the development of some of the Horns young talent with the likes of Aaron Smith and Jaylen Colon on their perimeter and Peyton Marshall inside, Johnson is so steady and while a known commodity from Game Elite still impressed Monday with his high IQ approach to scoring and ability to knock down big shots, he was the key in OT for the Kell win over Galloway.
Anthony Alston | 6-1 | SG | Dacula | 2023
Kind of just goes out and produces pretty consistently for the talented crew at Dacula, recent Georgia-commit Mari Jordan is the headliner for Coach Byron Wilson but Alston has added strength from the summer and looks more willing to get into the teeth of the defense to augment what is a deep shooting game that is near the top of his class, looking forward to seeing where his game goes this summer with the increased confidence and skill development.
Malcolm Noel | 5-10 | PG | Peachtree Ridge | 2022
One of my favorite guards north of the perimeter and another of those under 6-footers who defies the limitations of size and just plays hard and sound basketball, love the jump shot in particular as its textbook off the hand and having a lead guard that can really stroke it means openings for the Lions wing options, to me a top steal for a staff that checks in on him and sees the considerable offerings.
Djibril Barry | 6-3 | SF | Therrell | 2022
Caught the Panthers back at Maynard Jackson for Xpress’ tournament and loved the way they play as a team, that continued at TOC but this time the interior work of Barry stood out as he makes up for being undersized inside by playing edgy basketball and not being afraid to mix it up with anyone for the good of the group, a superb rebounder he is adept at getting to the line and getting opposing bigs in foul trouble.
Jaylon Taylor | 6-7 | SF | Buford | 2022
My first look at Buford this season after they’ve been steamrolling most everyone up to Monday, Under a new coaching staff I see notable differences in the way Taylor is conducting his game, always had the explosiveness off the deck and the ability to get hot from range, but he seems more in control of both his game and emotions and that has translated into the kind of mature basketball that will translate so well to the next level, the terrific backcourt of Alahn Sumler and Malachi Brown have been so good as well but any Wolves ideas about a trip to Macon hinge to me on him continuing what I saw at TOC.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.