Stars shine at HoopSeen Elite Preview
Georgia has earned a reputation over the past couple of decades for being one of the top states for high school basketball talent in the country. On Saturday afternoon, many of the top players in the Peach State made their way to Suwanee Sports Academy's Cobb facility to show off their ability in the HoopSeen Elite Preview. These campers proved once again that there is no shortage of talented basketball players in Georgia.
He's always been very talented, but at times was too passive on the court and didn't assert himself into games enough. That has changed over the last 12 months. He's now playing the game with much more confidence and is one of the top guards in the Southeast.He's reeled in a boatload of offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland and many others, and recently added interest from Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels following a strong showing in a matched up against five-star small forward Jaylen Brown in a state tournament game. Robinson reciprocated the interest by making his way to Chapel Hill last weekend to see the second round of the Duke-North Carolina rivalry."It was fun. It was a great experience," Robinson said. "Their coaches said they are going to keep recruiting me hard and they will be watching me this spring. Coach Williams told me I'm a great player." Robinson will spend the upcoming travel season playing for the Georgia Stars in the Nike EYBL.
Georgia already pulled the trigger on a scholarship offer to the freshman floor general. He's been on campus in Athens several times over the past year, and most recently made the short trip over when the Bulldogs took on Kentucky last week. Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and UCLA have also shown interest early on.
Robinson continues to rollThere aren't many players in the Peach State that have improved their stock more over the last year than Douglas County guard Brandon Robinson.
|Brandon Robinson's recruiting stock is on the rise.|
Banks ready to break outJames Banks spent his sophomore year at St. Francis playing on one of the best teams in Georgia, but he wasn't getting significant minutes playing behind Xavier signee Kaiser Gates and Coastal Carolina signee Josh Coleman. For that reason, Banks decided that transferring to another school would be beneficial to his future, and found a home at Mt. Vernon Christian. The move paid off. Banks nearly averaged a triple-double this season with 23 points, 14 rebounds and roughly nine blocks per game as a junior. "It was my confidence and I've been working a lot on my footwork around the basket," Banks said when asked which areas of his game improved most. His recruitment has taken off, too. Banks says Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Nebraska have extended scholarship offers, while Tennessee, Vanderbilt, UCLA, South Carolina, USC, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Tulsa and Oklahoma have been in contact. Matched up against some other quality big men on Saturday, the 6-foot-10, 230-pound center showed why he'll continue to be a coveted prospect in the coming months. He possesses great size, runs the floor and moves well, and is a rare big that can play with his back to the basket comfortably at a young age. He's not the most explosive athlete, but uses his body and angles well to finish around the rim. He'll most likely be suiting up on a loaded Atlanta Celtics squad during travel season alongside Kobi Simmons, Josh Langford, Braxton Blackwell and E.J. Montgomery, among others.
One to watchEast Jackson (Ga.) coach David Boyd knows a good player when he sees one. He's as high on his freshman point guard Drue Drinnon as he has been on a player in a while, and for good reason. Drinnon, who stands about 6-foot-1, is the consummate point guard. He's fast in the open court, makes good decisions with the ball, and can create his own offense. He was absolutely unconscious from three-point range in the morning session of games on Saturday and was hitting some from closer to NBA range.
|Gilbert recently added an offer from UConn.|
Other notesAlterique Gilbert is one of the better lead guards in the Southeast and he proved it on Saturday. He's impossible for defenders to stay in front of and can score with the best of them. The 5-foot-10 junior floor general had arguably the dunk of the day when he came down the lane to throw down a tomahawk with authority. He just recently added an offer from UConn to his lengthy offer list. Robert Baker, a 2016 forward, has a unique game for somebody his height. At 6-foot-9, he's got a very smooth stroke, can put the ball on the floor comfortably, and makes some of the nicest passes you will see from a tall forward. He's the prototypical stretch four. A strong student, the highest rated academic institutions will be the serious players in Baker's recruitment. Clemson and Rice are his most recent offers. Center Ikey Obiagu, a 2017 prospect, is far from a finished product, but the Nigeria native certainly makes his presence felt in the paint on both ends. At about 7-foot-1, he's a terrific shot-blocker due to his great length and timing. He's the definition of a rim protector. Offensively, he's limited mostly to mostly putbacks and scoring right around the rim, but he did show signs of progress throughout the day. Forward Lance Thomas, another 2017 prospect, didn't see much playing time this season for Norcross, but you would have never known it if Saturday was your first time seeing him play. The long, athletic 6-foot-8 prospect looked very smooth knocking down jumpers and was very active in the paint. Maybe the light-bulb is beginning to go on. Rayshaun Hammonds, a teammate of Thomas at Norcross, is a talented 6-foot-8 combo forward in the 2017 class. Unlike Thomas, Hammonds had a big time sophomore season and continued to build off that at The Preview. He's a monster on the boards on both ends and is crafty finisher in transition. Daniel Lewis finished the high school season by putting up big numbers in the scoring column. He continued to do just that on Saturday. His shot selection was much better in the past and most of his shots fell and rarely touched the rim. The 6-foot-4 off guard will be one of the more highly recruited guards in Georgia's class of 2017.