Scouting Notes: The Hoopseen Elite Preview 2015

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Event: Hoopseen Elite Preview 2015
Date: March 14, 2015
Location: SSA Cobb (Cobb County, GA)
Players: Georgia’s classes of 2016, 2017, and 2018.

The Elite Preview was an invite only one-day showcase of Georgia’s best talent in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 classes hosted by HoopSeen. The Preview consisted of skills and drills as well as 3 games for each player. It was a great opportunity for Georgia’s best to showcase their game. Here are some of the players that stood out on the day:

Alterique Gilbert (2016, Guard, 5’11”) Miller Grove High School, CP3 – National Rank: ESPN60 #44*; State Rank: Hoopseen #2**) If I’m looking for players out of the Elite Preview, I have a hard time taking many guys over Alterique Gilbert.  The 6’0” combo guard is a 2-time state champion. He can score from all over the court with a variety of moves. Very crafty scorer with a variety of floaters, runners, etc. that are all effective. Can pull up off the dribble, and also gets to the hoop very well. Be careful as he will dunk on you in a split second if you get caught slipping on defense, as was evidenced at the Preview with a few monster dunks.  He’s tough as nails and isn’t afraid of the big moment. Alterique currently holds offers from UConn, Illinois, Texas Tech, Univ. So. California (USC), Georgia, Maryland, Miami, Memphis, Florida St., Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Texas A&M, Auburn***. 

Wendell Carter (2017, Forward, 6’10”) Pace Academy, SE Elite, ESPN25: 10- Overall Carter was the most physically imposing player in the gym, though not as tall as 7’1″ Ikechukwu Obiagu (more about him later), Carter has the overall size and stature that allows him to dominate the paint. Carter’s value lies not only in his size, as he also has great moves and footwork in the post and a soft touch. Can knock down the jumper, score down low, and gets putbacks on offense. Good defender and rebounder as well. Should be on the radar for every HM by the time it is done.  Currently holds offers from: Texas A&M, Kansas State, Murray State, Auburn, Georgia

D’Marcus Simonds (2016, Guard, 6’3”) Gainesville HS, Scout Top 100: #80****, Hoopseen: #3- Can do it all on the court and he’s not afraid to let you know. Usually in a fun competitive way, but if D’Marcus feels slighted he will go “Beast Mode” and take over a game in every way possible. Can take it to the rack strong; pull up from 3 on the break and everything in between. Has the positional size at 6’3″ 185lb to be a very effective and tough matchup as a guard at the next level. Verbally committed to Miss St.

Chuma Okeke (2017, Forward, 6’7”) Langston Hughes HS, Georgia Stars 16U – Plays a quiet game, but gets it done in a ton of ways. Has great size to be a college 3 and the skills to match. Can handle the ball well, knocks down the 3, and has the size and skills to drive to the hoop and make contested shots. Rebounds the ball well on both ends. He’ll be on a lot of schools wish list by the time it’s all done. Currently has an offer Florida St.

Malik Beasley (Non-participant, 2015, G, Florida State signee) Oh yea, Malik Beasley is a stud. Beasley wasn’t there to participate in the event as it wasn’t open to the class of 2015, but during the breaks in the games and after the event, Beasley put on a show with his shooting and dunking exhibitions.  You could tell the younger players were in awe of him. The best part about Beasley, however, is that he wasn’t only there to put on a show, he sat at the scorers table all day by himself running the score board. Shows his love of the game and lot of character from him to choose to spend his Saturday sitting in a hot crowded gym as a volunteer only two weeks after becoming a repeat state champion with Saint Francis HS. Much respect. Florida St is getting a special player, and I hope they enjoy him while they have him. I won’t be surprised to see him gone in a year or two.

Brian Coffey (2017, Point Guard, 6’1”) Greater Atlanta Christian, Game Elite- Handles the ball well and knows how to run a team. He’s a good leader of a team and offense. Can find the open man and make the pass, and can also score in multiple ways with pull-ups, runners, and floaters. He’s still developing physically and athletically, but potential is there to be a very solid guard at the next level.

James Banks (2017, Forward/Center, 6’10”) Mount Vernon HS- High Major size and personality. Great kid with a good attitude and demeanor that will be a positive to any team he plays for and he’s very coachable. Developing himself physically into a player that can be effective in the post at the next level, but has an athletic enough build and body control to eventually be able to step out and spread the floor. Knocked down mid range jumpers and scored inside effectively on the day. Could see his recruitment blow up this summer. Currently holds offers from Georgia Southern and Tulsa, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Nebraska, South Carolina, Clemson, and Univ. of So. California.

Khavon Moore (2018, Point Forward, 6’7”) Macon-Westside HS- He’s a do it all forward. Incredibly skilled for his size and age. He can handle the ball, run a team, and gets buckets inside and out. He’s going to be a big time player as long as he puts in the work. Potential is there to be the best player in Georgia’s 2018 class. Currently holds an offer from Troy.

Justin Forest (2017, Guard, 5’10”) Greenforest Christian Academy, Team Forest- Bulldog of a guard that will bully players with his strength and determination. Can knock down the 3 consistently. Good handles and can run the point, but has a 2-guard mentality. Has the potential to win the award for player that opponents hate playing against the most (aka love him as a teammate hate him as an opponent guy), which is a good thing and he uses it to his advantage.

Brandon Robinson (2016, Guard, 6’5”) Douglas County HS, Georgia Stars, Hoopseen: #4- Do it all guard that can handle the ball as well as score from all levels. Has good ball handling skills and the ability to score off the dribble or knock down the spot up jumper. He currently holds offers from Clemson, Louisiana Tech, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Alabama, Texas Tech, Georgia, Maryland, Florida State, Tennessee, North Florida, and Tulsa.

Ikechukwu “Ikey” Obaigu (2017, Center, 7’1”) Greenforest Christian Academy, Georgia Stars 16U- He changes every game he plays in with his size down low. Not only does he block a ton of shots, he also makes every player on the court think twice about entering the paint. Has potential to be a good player on the offensive end. During drills, you can see that he has the basic skills, footwork, and body control to be an effective offensive post player, but right now it hasn’t transferred into games. Described by multiple people as extremely coachable. Will draw interest from HM’s across the country. Currently holds an offer from Kansas State

Victor Enoh (2017, Power Forward, 6’8”) Greenforest Christian Academy, Georgia Stars 16U- Aka Debo. For anyone that has seen the movie Friday that is what Victor reminds me of on the court. He just has the size and athleticism that intimidates opponents. Works extremely hard in the game and likes the contact in the paint. His offensive game has a ways to go, but he will get a lot of interest from HM’s based on his potential to be an enforcer in the paint and on the glass. Think Kenneth Faried. Currently holds an offer from Kansas State.

Aaron Augustin (2016, PG, 5’11) Peachtree Ridge HS, Atlanta Xpress 17U, Hoopseen: #21- He looks like he could play corner back. A point guard that is great at running a team. He will be a leader on the court immediately and has that point guard personality that all coaching staffs love and all teams need. Can penetrate effectively and dish or shoot. Jumper is solid and deep range is developing as well. Reminds me of a mid major Yogi Ferrell. Currently holds offers from Furman, Middle Tennessee State, Mercer, Georgia State, and Georgia Southern.

Christian Turner (2016, PG, 5’11) Sandy Creek HS, Heat Check- See Aaron Augustin’s review as Christian has many of the same attributes that Augustin brings to the table. He’s consistent and knows how to run a team and be a true PG. Can score when called upon, but is a distributor first. Currently holds offers from Winthrop and Old Dominion.

Abayomi “Baybe” Iyiola (2017, Forward, 6’9”) Greenforest Christian Academy, Georgia Stars 16U- You’re not going to find anyone that outworks him on the court. He has an impact on the game with his defense and rebounding. Has the potential to defend all positions. Offense has a long way to go in game play, but shows a ton of potential in drills. His jump shot is incredibly soft out to 15 feet for a player his size, especially one that has only played basketball for 3 years. Has the potential to be a very effective small forward at the next level, but his offensive development over the next few years will determine the level of interest he draws. He should be on the radar of MM’s at a minimum, and has the potential to be recruited even higher.

Drue Drinnon (2018, 6’1”, PG) East Jackson HS, Georgia Stars 15U- One of 2018’s best PG’s in the country, he’s coming off a fantastic high school season. His matchup up against Alterique Gilbert was highly anticipated and he looked very composed and played well against one of 2016’s best PG’s. He’s a good scorer that can step out to the 3 point line and was an excellent ball handler. Currently holds an offer from the University of Georgia.

Mohammed Abdulsalam (2018, 6’8”, PF) Greenforest Christian Academy, Georgia Stars- Had one of the biggest bodies at camp and he uses his size effectively in the interior. Has good footwork and post moves for his size and age. Potential is there to develop into one of those strong physical bodies that will allow him to be an effective offensive and defensive player. A lot of potential with his combination of skill, size, and age.

Danny Lewis (2017, 6’4”, PG) Westlake HS, Georgia Stars 16U- Has grown a few inches since last summer and looked like he was growing into his body. Ran the point and controlled the tempo well. Knocked down some nice outside shots. Has the potential to be a very good scoring point guard. Developing into great size for a PG.

Rashaun Hammonds (2017, Forward, 6’8”) Norcross HS, Atlanta Xpress 16U- He was the name I heard the most among the crowd. Very skilled big man that has the potential to be an impactful player at the HM level. He’s a mismatch problem as he can score from anywhere on the court in a variety of ways. Had a very impressive season for Norcross and has the potential to blow up this spring/summer.

Lance Thomas (2017, Forward, 6’8”) Norcross HS- Another versatile forward from Norcross. Has size and skill level that will draw a lot of college interest. Was one of the best 3-point shooters at the entire event. Has the potential to be a matchup nightmare at the High School level the next few years and should transition well at the college level.

Zach Cooks (2017, PG, 5’7”) Norcross HS, Southern Stampede- He knocked down shots all day from all over the court. His quickness allows him to get his shot off and he doesn’t need more than a slight opening to get his shot off. Knocked down the 3-point shot as well as anyone at the Preview yesterday. Don’t underestimate him because of his size, after all Georgia just had a really good undersized guard commit to play in the SEC.

Jordan Lyons (2016, Guard, 5’11”) McIntosh HS, Heat Check – Hoopseen: #29 He is one of the best shooters in any gym that he steps into no matter the setting. Has developed his body and athleticism to the point where he can also effectively attack the basket. His ability to spread the floor will be a huge benefit to any program. He can assume some of the ball handling responsibility when called on, but has a lot of experience off the ball. Currently holds offers from Abilene Christian, Wofford, Liberty, Tennessee Tech, Old Dominion, Troy, and Middle Tennessee.

Deaundre Ballard (2017, SG/SF, 6’4”) Southwest Atlanta Christian, Georgia Stars 16U – A strong guard that is great at creating his own shot.  He’s able to pull up off the dribble and knock down the jumper as well as finishing well at the hoop. Hit multiple mid range and deep jumpers at the Preview. He has the positional size to become a good defensive player at the next level. Played hard all day.

Robert Baker (2016, SF, 6’9”) The Walker School- Although Baker is slight of frame; he’s very effective on the court. Has very impressive skills for his size. He knocked down several mid range and 3 point jumpers. He was also able to create his own show inside off the dribble and finished well at the rim. Currently holds offers from Rider, Clemson, Davidson, George Mason, Richmond, Tennessee Tech, Vanderbilt, UAB, and Texas A&M.

Also want to give a big shout out to Justin Young and the HoopSeen staff for providing a great platform for the players to get exposure and the opportunity for evaluators to see a ton of talent in one gym on one day. The coaching staff was great and you could tell they were coaching to win. Several of the areas top AAU programs were represented and there were national scouts evaluating the talent. Overall it was a great event and an enjoyable day of basketball. I would recommend anyone interested in Georgia high school basketball to mark this on your calendar for next year.

Trinity Best is an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia that covers High School Basketball events and recruiting. He is the owner of Trinity Best Sports, LLC, which advises players and families on the recruiting process while also helping players gain exposure and consults with basketball coaches on their career objectives, contract negotiations and recruitment of players.For more information follow @bballtrinity on Twitter or email trinitybestsports@gmail.com.

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