Tip Off Day 1 Notebook
You know travel season is officially underway once the Tip Off rolls around. Being back in the gym for travel season just felt right. The talent and competition levels were high and I had a ton of fun taking it all in. Here are a few things that stood out to me.
Georgia Stars 2024 Guards
Led by Karris Bilal's 28 points, the Georgia Stars 2024 squad came out and put on a clinic. Bilal is a dynamic scorer that can flat out score it from anywhere. Guards Trajen Greco and Rodrigo Farias were also stellar. This backcourt plays extremely well off each other and each possesses their own unique skill set that they bring to the table. The trio combined for 54 points in a win over PSB Atlanta to open the first night.
JaQuez Thornton Makes A Statement
Jaquez Thornton made his presence felt throughout the gym yesterday in Club Orange's huge win over Team Huncho. The available guard erupted for 31 loud points and was a menace on defense. The energy he played with carried on to his whole team, and they were able to use that to respond to overcome several runs made by Team Huncho. This kid plays the game as if he is playing pick up ball. You can tell he is having fun out there.
Three balls were being drained left and right last night. There were a few players that I saw really shoot the ball well. Douglas Liggion of One Shot Shooters led the way, knocking down 7 threes on his way to a game high 21 points. Norcross Heat's Dayton Richardson made five along with Team Huncho's Michael Zhang. Zyere Edwards of PSB Atlanta hit four of his own as well.
Yesterday was my first time seeing a few kids play, and man did they impress me. Caleb Odom out of Villa Rica High School is a MONSTER. I love the upside that he has. At 6-foot-6, he has a strong, sturdy frame. He dominated the paint and played really well off those Georgia Stars guards I mentioned earlier. He could have a really strong spring and summer. Zyere Edwards was another kid I enjoyed watching. This kid is fast. His ability to stop on a dime and rise up for a smooth pull up jumper was near unstoppable. His speed makes him incredibly tough to stop off the dribble as well.