Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic: Wednesday Standouts, Pt. II
JOHNS CREEK, Ga.—The Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic is as good as it gets for evaluating in Georgia.
I was able to see several games on Wednesday, and I’m going through my list of standouts from the action that I was on hand for.
It’s funny that a 20-point, 11-rebound game from Diop could be described as average. That’s just the bar that he’s set for himself over the last year and a half. He’s a different kind of prospect and is judged differently.
Diop continued to show off all of what we love about his game. He scored his 20 points in every way. As always, Diop dunked everything at the rim, he showed his mid-range game, and he extended his shot out to the 3-point line. Diop protected the rim as a shot alterer and rebounder as well.
His defensive aptitude paired with his offensive versatility is what could have him discussed as one of the best prospects in the 2026 class.
Diop is already one of the most known, regarded prospects among those who spend most of their time in gyms around Georgia, but his national recognition will take shape in a real way this spring and summer.
Kennesaw State commit Braedan Lue continued a strong senior campaign with Douglasville (Ga.) Alexander with 15 points.
Lue used his length and strong frame to muscle his way to the basket and convert at the rim time and time again on Wednesday night. While his 3-point shot wasn’t falling, Lue found other ways to get the ball in the basket.
He’s one of the hallmark prospects in a strong KSU class.
White has a case to be made for being the most under-appreciated guard in Georgia. He’s fantastic whenever we see him.
White is a constant source of offense for Lilburn (Ga.) Berkmar. Whether he’s flexing his high-level passing acumen or scoring the ball himself, White’s presence leads to points.
On Wednesday, he was scoring the ball at a quality clip with 23 points. He got the ball to drop in just about every way possible, and that’s indicative of what we’ve seen out of him throughout the years in various settings.
White’s an available senior. He’ll benefit a college program, and he’s someone that we could see leveling up after some reps at the next level.
Hodge was an early standout. Playing in the opener of the day, the 6-foot-8 forward showed plenty of promise, especially on defense.
Hodge used his length, timing, and deceptive strength to make scoring taxing for his opponents. He protected the rim and altered plenty of shots. Defense is what will get Hodge on the floor above all else, but he can get the ball in the basket as well. A strong finish through contact was a play that stood out on that end of the floor.
Hodge could take several steps forward in terms of recruitment and ranking this spring and summer.
Since he was a freshman, Jordan’s upside shined bright, shined clear. He has the archetypal frame for modern basketball, and his skill has been advanced for years.
The major difference between Jordan the upside prospect and the Jordan of today is his mentality on the court. Gone are the days of him being a quieter, youthful player. He’s the alpha now, and he asserts himself in every aspect of the game.
Jordan finished with 21 points and several rebounds, but his stats were secondary to how impressive his development in confidence and mindset.
Look for Jordan to creep up toward five-star status throughout 2024.
Johnson has shown over his career that he’s a gifted scorer and that he can get a tough bucket when needed.
An available senior, Johnson popped off for 26 points for East Point (Ga.) Tri-Cities on Wednesday. That’s not new for him or for the program. Johnson is capable of putting up big numbers because of his ability to get to the basket with a good burst of speed and his knack for getting improbable shots to go down. Tri-Cities is a guard factory. They always have guys like Johnson who can go out and make a play.