Unsigned 2022’s – 10 To Watch This Spring Pt 1

ATLANTA, GA – As the 2022 spring and summer grassroots season gets set to roll, with a new and still-evolving recruiting landscape taking shape around them, the class of 2022 has had to endure those changes on the fly as they pursue dreams of playing at the next level.

Here are the first 5 of 10 guys that most know around town can help a program at the next level, and will continue to have a chance to show off their skills on the OTR circuit and beyond.

By: Keith Agran

Braden Pierce | C | River Ridge

Young for his grade and whose skill development has come on in a late flurry in his career in Woodstock, this 7-footer has certainly drawn significant interest/offers from the likes of Ole Miss, South Florida and East Carolina to name a few. Bringing in a young center with the chance to develop and groom him would seem an easy decision for this D1 capable player, but with that changing landscape, even size and defensive prowess of this nature can be further down the priority list for programs than one might imagine. Playing as an unsigned senior this spring or perhaps even the Prep School route has been bandied about.

Jameel Rideout | PG | Berkmar

One of the real puzzlers among the long list of 2022’s still unsigned is Rideout, who came into this season off a terrific summer with Team Huncho and didn’t miss a beat in helping to lead the Patriots back to the 7A Finals this Saturday. Hes’ got the size, the ballhandling, the shooting, the defense, and most importantly the attitude and work ethic of a player that should have been scooped up a long time ago. He may very well play the patient game and go back to Huncho as an unsigned senior, try the Prep school route, or with his superb GPA go somewhere he would like to attend and attempt to make his mark as a preferred walk-on.

Anthony Arrington | SG | Galloway

Long discussed online and amongst the coaching and scouting circles is Arrington as one of the true enigmas in understanding the current recruiting landscape. Sure, you might dip into the portal for a 6-5, 21-year old from “Out There Somewhere” State with a more developed body and some experience at the college level, but the chance to get a 2,000 point scorer who can play either guard spot for you  at 6-2 and still, incredibly after a remarkable career, has room to get better, that would seem an enticing package were I running a program. But this is 2022, and neither Twitter nor the vast number of opinion-makers out there can explain precisely why things have so drastically spun. One thing we do know – where Arrington lands he will be a major impact guy on and off the court.

Jerry Deng | SF | Norcross

The measurables and enticing skill-package have always been right there with Deng, but in a bigger feature role this year where he’s taking the bull by the horns, he has parlayed some excellent play late in the season and into the Blue Devils playoff run to the 7A finals into a much larger scope of interest to me. He’s leaned down and with that his movement around the basket both as a scorer and rebounder has vaulted, and when you combine that with a pretty stroke from well past the arc this is one guy I wouldn’t expect to last deep into the summer without landing somewhere of note.

AJ Barnes | SG | Eagle’s Landing

Hustle, grit, determination, those characteristics frankly encompass the entire ELHS program as they look to add a 2nd-straight 5A championship to their ledger tonight in Macon. With Barnes he adds big-shot willingness, some positional versatility to score offensively as a 2 but guard defensively as a 3 as well, and at 6-5 with a good frame he has shown an ability to be explosive off the deck as well as patient and cerebral as an offensive player. Like everyone on this list, this is a player who has put in the work, is an experienced winning player, and seemingly never takes a possession off.

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.