McDonald's takeaways: The lowdown from Georgia live period tournaments
By Dan McDonald - Rivals.com
We spent the first two days of the second July recruiting period covering the On the Radar Hoops Super 6, the Champions Summer Classic and the Best of the South in the metro Atlanta area. We saw a number of standout performances between the three events, but none was better than the Zion Williamson Show in the final game of the night on Thursday at the Best of the South.
If you’ve never been to a gym when five-star forward Zion Williamson’s SC Supreme team is playing, you’re missing out. There is a buzz in the gym that the grassroots hoops scene hasn’t seen in a while. While the Georgia Stars and Team Knight played a great game beforehand, the crowd gathered at the court an hour ahead of time just to see Williamson, and he certainly delivered.
With Williamson, it all starts with the show of dunks he puts on during warmups that rivals anything you’ll see in an NBA dunk contest. Once the game tips off, he dominates with his physicality and overwhelming athleticism. He nearly willed his over-matched SC Supreme team to a win over a quality Each 1 Teach 1 team.
All the blue bloods are involved in this one. Most see Duke, Kansas, Kentucky or North Carolina as the likely landing spot, but don’t count out Clemson or South Carolina here. But wherever he ends up, expect the fans and the mix tape crew to follow.
Will Richardson becoming a popular prospect
Four-star guard Will Richardson has had a very productive July between his play at the Nike Peach Jam last week and the first two days in Atlanta this week. At 6-foot-4, he can play both guard spots equally well, as he has great feel and can score with the best of them.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State have been putting in the most work with him lately. After last week, Miami and Virginia came into the picture with offers. Mark Foxand his whole staff watched Richardson's final game on Thursday, as did assistants from the other programs involved.
Richardson looks to be on the move for his final season of high school hoops with Oak Hill and Huntington Prep being the schools under consideration.
Vernon Carey lives up to his ranking
As the No. 3 prospect in the 2019 class, you’d expect Vernon Carey to be the most dominant player on the court just about every time out. He did just that on Thursday afternoon in a win over AC Georgia. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound five-star prospect is one of the more agile players at his size that you’ll see in the high school ranks and has incredible touch around the rim.
Carey’s recruitment will undoubtedly see some of the top programs in the country involved. North Carolina’s Roy Williams and an assistant watched on Thursday afternoon. Florida State's Leonard Hamilton was also spotted trying to make sure the best prospect in the Sunshine State doesn’t leave.
AOT is on the rise
AOT is the new program on the block in the Peach State, and they are taking the state by storm. Despite being a 16-under team playing all 17-under teams this week, they are leaving with victories and have high-major coaches following them around no matter where they show up.
Through two days, head coaches from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Tennessee have been seen watching the talented underclassmen at the On the Radar Hoops Super 6 and the Champions Summer Classic.
The top prospects on the squad are four-star, top-50 wings Isaac Okoro and Elias King. Okoro is an elite athlete with an always improving skill level at 6-foot-5. King is a long 6-foot-6 off guard who makes scoring look completely effortless. In the 2020 class, point guard Sharife Cooper will command a lot of attention despite being 5-foot-9. His presence at point guard is what makes them go.