GBCA Live 2024 Standouts
Georgia’s 2024 class really excites me. It looks like it could shape up to be one of the deeper classes the state has had since I’ve gotten into this business.
There are so many guys from the class that impressed over the weekend. I’m going to cover some of them here, I talked to several of them for stories that will be coming soon, and I have a ton more written down to make trips to see during the high school season to get a better feel for.
For now, here are six of the many that I liked from the weekend at Lakepoint.
Maynard-Jackson has one of the best, most tenacious backcourts that I saw over the weekend. One half of the duo that I walked away so impressed by is Cassius Watkins. When I think back to watching him over the weekend, I immediately think about his tenacity on defense. I mean, there’s no let-up with this guy. He’s going to absolutely hound opponents and make them work for everything. Watkins is also a steady, lefty that controls the game well and can score well from all over the floor. With his defensive prowess and ability to score the ball well, Watkins can spark a game-deciding run in the blink of an eye.
Abernathy was great last season for Christian Heritage and has been fantastic all spring for the Atlanta Allstars. He’s an unflappable guard who always produces. That’s evidenced by the 23.8 points per game that he averaged over the weekend, which was among the overall best regardless of bracket. He’s an efficient scorer and pours it in from all over the floor. I love how well Abernathy dictates pace with the ball in his hands. He doesn’t get sped up often and always operates at his tempo. Abernathy was recently on an unofficial visit to Furman. His recruitment should see some more movement before long.
Lue’s a guy that I’ve been high on for a while. He’s had a college-ready build since I first saw him as an underclassman. He’s strong with good size and incredible length. Now, it looks like he’s added plenty of versatility to his game. He can play physical bully ball around the basket on both ends of the floor, and his perimeter game is rapidly developing. He’s a bonafide weapon out in the wing as someone who can stretch the floor and make plays off the dribble. Western Carolina and Kennesaw State have reached out with offers. More schools should follow suit before long.
Pace is going to be as talented as ever, but it’s going to be a younger bunch. Juniors and Sophomores will make up most of the production for the Knights as they look to get back to Macon for a state championship. LJ Moore looks more than ready to help lead the young Knights this season. He brings plenty of size, length and toughness. Moore went out and had a consistent, great weekend. One of the best games I’ve seen him play came when he dropped 18 points which included four 3-pointers. When Moore is paired with Bryson Tiller, it’s going to be tough to contend with Pace on the glass. Scoring on them may be even harder.
This Lanier team has a lot of talent on it. A lot of it is 2024 talent, and CJ Hyland is the one running the show. The 6-foot-1 PG is quick and shifty. He can get to the rim with ease, and he’s a solid 3-point shooter. Despite being able to score it well, Hyland isn’t a ball stopper, which I love. He’s more than willing to share the wealth. Western Carolina is the first D1 to extend an offer to Hyland.
The Kell Big fella has shown flashes of dominance for the Longhorns and for Game Elite. He's too much to handle for opposing post players from a sheer physicality standpoint, and he showed that during the weekend at Lakepoint. Oftentimes, players would return to the bench and concede that they couldn't do anything to stop Marshall from getting easy dunks or rebounds. The physicality of his game is what's going to immediately stand out, but Marshall is a great passing big, and he has soft hands and good touch too. Marshall has steadily improved over the last couple of years, and his work is paying off. He has a long list of schools that have reached out from just about every power conference.