Day Two HoopSeen Tip-Off Notebook from Garrett Tucker
Day two of the HoopSeen Tip-Off got underway on Saturday at Suwanee Sports Academy, and, as expected, there was plenty of action to digest. Here’s what happened from our own Garrett Tucker’s perspective…
MY KIND OF PACE
I caught a glimpse of 2024 guard Michael Pace at the end of last summer with Game Elite Blue and instantly became a fan of the slender, 6-foot-3 playmaker. On a loaded perennial power like Norcross (GA), the junior found himself playing behind a senior-heavy backcourt, so he didn’t get a ton of minutes for the Blue Devils.
Well, if Saturday’s action was any indication, that will change next season. Pace played at a high level in two games of action on Saturday, excelling with the ball in his hands and making plays. The slippery lead guard can get by defenders and make accurate passes with either hand off the bounce.
However, I was most impressed with his extended range and shot-making ability. Pace made three treys in a Saturday evening viewing, showing improvement from last summer. He primarily was a shooter from the mid-range area.
As the April evaluation periods get closer, college coaches will want to mark Pace’s name. He currently holds a lone scholarship offer from Detroit Mercy, but I would expect low and mid-major programs from the South to be all over him before everything is said and done. He’s a quality lead guard with size, ball skills, and the ability to score.
TEAM LOADED 828 MAKES AN EARLY STATEMENT
Speaking of scoring, 2024 Moravian Prep (GA) shooting guard Connor Mohr had no problem filling it up for Team Loaded 828 during the afternoon session. The junior started things off quickly against H PXI Elite, as he knocked down five three-pointers within the first few minutes of the game.
Mohr, a 6-foot-2 sharpshooter, gets his shot off as quick as anyone in the 17U division. He did a nice job of running his lane in transition and spotting open on the wing and corner for open shots. He ultimately finished with seven three-pointers en route to a 23-point performance.
The majority of the time, the player helping create opportunities for Mohr was none other than unsigned senior Izzy Miles. The Alabama native made the trip over to Atlanta to suit up with Loaded 828, and it looks like it could be beneficial for both sides.
Miles, who has been a combo guard in the past, was primarily playing the point for his team. The 6-foot-1 guard got downhill and in the paint whenever he wanted as he acted as a facilitator and scorer. He made the most of his athleticism and bounce around the rim.
Miles, a standout at Grissom (AL), has generated some interest on the recruiting trail as of late. NJIT extended a scholarship offer a few weeks ago before Brian Kennedy was ultimately let go, then Cal State Bakersfield came through with an offer of their own. It will be interesting to see which schools get involved following the live periods, and then, what options Miles will have. I’ll have more on this in a few days.
SOUTH GEORGIA STATE OF MIND
I love a good sleeper from South Georgia. It seems like a player or team comes out of nowhere each travel season and leaves their mark on the HoopSeen staff. While it’s extremely early, South Georgia Elite is making an early bid for the discussion this year.
I watched South Georgia Elite’s 17U and 16U teams on Saturday and came away impressed. Sponsored by former Tennessee basketball star Jordan McRae, both groups played with a chip on their shoulder and got after it on both ends of the floor. There isn’t going to be any teams that out-tough or punk them on the floor. That’s the kind of basketball they play.
I’m going to watch the 17s more tomorrow, but the players I came away impressed with on Saturday are notable football recruits. Elyiss Williams, a 6-foot-7 big man, was a terror in the paint all day. He challenged shots at the rim while also bending his fair share of rims, too. Florida State and Notre Dame are among his early football offers.
Freshman Heze Kent ‘wowed’ me by pinning a shot on the backcourt less than ten seconds into a game off the opening tipoff. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound big man packs a punch and has some explosiveness in his game. He was excellent in the paint with his strong hands and footwork. He’ll be another SEC caliber football prospect, but he can hoop, too.
A young name to track going forward is 2026 guard Chris Perry. It’s still early for the freshman, but there’s a lot to like with his lengthy frame, athleticism and skill-set. He made some shots from the perimeter in the game I watched this afternoon, adding to the intrigue. I may get a second look at him tomorrow.
I liked what I saw from Jackson Houston from SBC today. The 6-foot-4 forward stuffed the stat sheet on both ends of the floor and finished with 33 points in the game I watched. He’s a player non-major programs will want to monitor as the travel season gets going.
2024 guard Jordan Edwards had a nice showing for Legit Paper. The floor general played with a nice pace and kept opposing defenses on their toes.
Pivot Elite’s Will Thompson put together quite the day at Suwanee Sports Academy. He began the day with seven three-pointers in Pivot’s opening game, then ended the day with a six three-pointer game. He’s filled it up from deep and been one of the most dangerous snipers in the 17U field.