The Shot Clock with Josh Tec: Georgia Commitments, Halloween Special
Happy Halloween, hoop heads!
This is going to be a relatively abbreviated edition of The Shot Clock in comparison to most weeks. There are multiple reasons for that.
The first is that it’s been a slow period in the Georgia hoops news cycle. We’re in purgatory between camp season and the high school season, so there’s not a ton going on.
The other main reason is that I’ve been in the lab working on some big projects for HoopSeen. We have plenty of high school preview content coming your way this week, and the early signing period is sneaking up on us, and I’ve been crunching away at some content behind the scenes for that.
An ancillary reason for this being short is that it was Halloween weekend, and I was spending half of my time shoveling candy in my face while watching my annual horror staples. I went heavy on some Japanese classics this year. As a full-time ghoul, this is my time of year.
While we’re in a transition period, this is a perfect time to catch up on some of the most recent commitments to come out of the Peach State. To close things out, I’m going to have some Halloween fun and combine my favorite holiday with hoops, and I give some movie recommendations for the day.
Grab some candy, put on your costume, and let’s dive in.
Commitment catch up
Commitments have been coming in hot over the last couple of weeks in Georgia.
A big one has come off the board, folks. Pebblebrook’s Jaiun Simon was one of the top uncommitted players in the state, but the 6-foot-7 forward announced that he’ll be off to play for Anthony Grant and the Dayton Flyers. For the average sports fan, Dayton might not come to mind when thinking of college basketball schools, but they’re rabid about their flyers up there. Simon will be a player that they love when he gets to campus. He’s tough, he’s athletic, and he keeps adding more to his skill set. Simon is a well-rounded wing who’ll routinely put up double-doubles in Dayton.
Alabama A&M has taken Georgia over during this recruiting cycle. In the last month, they’ve secured commitments from three Peach State hoopers. The latest came on October 29 when Norcross PG Bilal Abdur-Rahman committed to the Bulldogs. He joins Kell G Aaron Smith and Grayson F Chad Moodie in A&M’s takeover. Abdur-Rahman figures to be one of the most impactful transfers in the state this season. He had a big-time summer with Team Huncho, and he’ll be bringing plenty of toughness to Huntsville.
One of the summer’s biggest risers, Jay Boyd lit it up with Wood Elite on the travel circuit and with Hiram in June. He announced his commitment to Lincoln Memorial, taking one of the state’s better available guards off the board. Before heading off to the D2 power, Boyd is a guy who we expect to have an outstanding winter. Hiram is a team that I’m high on because of Boyd leading them on the perimeter.
St. Pius X and PSB Atlanta guard Blake Wilson announced his commitment to Hampden-Sydney. He shined over the summer via his overall production. Wilson is a guard who can do a little bit of everything well. One day, he can go off for 20-plus points, another day, he can pull double-digit rebounds, he can be a defensive stopper, or he can do it all at once. He’s a utility guy who just plays winning basketball. St. Pius X is a program that instills that mentality in its players. Hampden-Sydney got a good one.
Piedmont College secured a commitment from North Gwinnett point guard Lane Vance. He’s shown flashes of next-level potential with the Bulldogs in the past. He started to shine during the summer with BCB, and he’ll be one of the leaders on this year’s North Gwinnett squad. Steady at the PG spot, Vance is quick with the ball in his hands and is an excellent distributor. He’ll fit in nicely in the Lions program.
Roanoke College got themselves a shooter when Mt. Bethel’s James White committed to the Maroons. The 6-foot-2 guard can torch nets and use his shooting threat to attack closeouts. Mt. Bethel is doing to be a dangerous team this season when they’re clicking, and White will be a major reason why.
Here’s a bit of a curveball, Grovetown’s Frankquon Sherman decommitted from Winthrop. Prior to committing to the Eagles, the 6-foot-6 wing had offers from Buffalo, Northeastern, William & Mary, UNCW, Tennessee Tech, Radford, NC A&T, Stetson and Kennesaw State. However, that doesn’t mean that those will be his only suitors. The Warriors will have a spotlight on them this winter. They’re the favorites to win the GHSA’s 6A classification and have marquee matchups lined up. Sherman will be one of the key contributors driving any success Grovetown has. He could pick up a host of new offers and interests throughout the season.
2023 G Keishawn Hampton announced that he will be committing on October 31. As of this publishing, we have not seen Hampton’s announcement yet. In any event, whoever lands him will get a point guard who can light it up from the 3-point line and has made continual progress as a playmaker and on-ball defender. Hampton was one of the All-HSA honorees after a fantastic summer with Norcross Heat. Now with Collin’s Hill, Hampton should have a big senior year. Emory & Henry, Reinhardt and Fisk are among Hampton’s finalists.
I feel like there were about a million commitments within the last two weeks. If I missed anyone, let me know.
Three horror movies with basketball ties
Here’s the deal, I watch a lot of movies. My dad worked at Blockbuster when I was a kid, and I minored in film in college. The movie fire burns in me in the same way that the basketball one does.
Any real-deal film nerd has spent their fair share of time perusing the horror aisle at their local video store. Thus, I’ve seen more horror movies than anyone ever needs to see.
Because I’m who I am, I always have to point out when there’s basketball in a movie. I’m aware that I’m not normal. But, a normal person can’t spend their summers in AAU gyms. That’s why I’m here.
Right off the top of my head, here are three horror movies with basketball ties. No, Teen Wolf and Stranger Things won’t be mentioned. Grow up.
A 1986 film by horror master Wes Craven called Deadly Friend has one of the most incredible kills in any horror movie. In it, a curmudgeonly old woman’s head explodes after a basketball is hurled at it. Below is a YouTube video so you can see it. The movie isn’t very good, but this scene is a must-see for coaches who have ever been left seething by a referee.
**Warning: a head explodes in this video. I mean, it's pretty funny and corny, but some people are babies. If you might be a baby, move on.**
One of the absolute worst movies I’ve ever seen is a Canadian horror movie called Night of the Dribbler. This 1990 flick is a total piece of crap, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone ever watch it. But, I’ve seen it, and if you haven’t, that means you don’t like basketball as much as me. The killer is a literal basketball head.
What do we talk about the most in this space? We talk about recruiting! I opened the column with it. It drives this industry. Guess what else it drives? The 1981 horror movie Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker. That’s right. In the movie, the main character is a hooper who’s being recruited by the University of Denver. And, uhh, well, let’s just leave it at that. You can find out more on your own if you feel so inclined. I’m letting loose in this edition, but I’m not letting that loose.
If we’re ever in a gym together, I’ll spill some more movie nonsense. Just ask. Or don’t. That’s fine too.
Three movies you need to watch today
In this world, we write listicles like nobody’s business. Top shooters, top stockrisers, top bigs, and whatever else. I’m here to tell you the top three movies you need to watch today.
I get that this is a basketball column, and I get that most of you aren’t weirdos like I am. You probably don’t care about this, but it’s my column, and I’ll do whatever the hell I want. It’s Halloween and we’re going off the rails today.
What I’m not going to do is give you a basic list. No, I’m also not going too far into the ghoulish weeds though. I know that the deepest cuts aren’t for everyone. This is a nice middle ground. If you want me to throw out some obscure recommendations, tweet at me.
- Halloween III: For years, morons, dolts wrote this movie off because it doesn’t have Michael Myers in it. Have you seen most of the movies with Michael Myers? With the exception of the first two movies in the franchise, they all suck in comparison to Halloween III. It was cool when Busta Rhymes karate fought Michael Myers though. Anyway, this movie captures the Halloween vibe immaculately, and the song in it is an earworm that will get stuck in your head for the rest of your life.
- Night of the Demons: This is an annual requirement for me. It’s a blast. A group of teens—played by people who look like they’re 35—go to a Halloween party and demonic chaos ensues. It’s a blast of a movie that combines humor and horror in a way that won’t make you roll your eyes.
- WNUF Halloween Special: There isn’t a movie that captures the spirit of Halloween better than this. I mean, this is what this movie was made for. In terms of plot and substance, it’s paper thin, but the vibe is robust. For the heads older than I, I would imagine that this movie would conjure Halloween nostalgia in an overwhelming way. Imagine finding a VHS tape from the 1980s of a recording of your local news station on Halloween. Commercials, decorations everything is perfect. But, this was made in 2013.