The Shot Clock with Josh Tec: Longhorn Steakhouse 5-star Classic Notes, More
It’s the end of January. The weather in Atlanta is terrible, and that means that the GHSA playoffs are right around the corner.
This past weekend was the Longhorn Steakhouse 5-Star Classic at Milton high school. That’s the last major event on the calendar before we get into the thick of postseason hoops.
That’s where the bulk of this week’s edition of The Shot Clock will focus on while mixing in some end-of-season prognostications.
Before we close the book on the regular season, let’s take a look at some of the notables from the weekend.
Cedric Taylor is among the best available
Drew Charter played in the first game of the Longhorn Steakhouse 5-Star Classic, and Cedric Taylor showed that he’s one of the best available seniors in Georgia.
The 6-foot-6 wing put on one of the show-stealing performances of the day with a 20-point outing. He came out of the gates hot and helped Drew Charter open a comfortable lead early with 17 of his 20 points coming in the first half. During that outburst, he hit four 3-pointers and showed his well-rounded offensive skill set in general.
Outside of scoring, Taylor pulled 7 rebounds and snatched a handful of steals.
He ended his junior season by being the catalyst to a Drew Charter win in the A-Public state championship game, so Taylor has come up big under the brightest lights.
He’s a D1-caliber talent who should have more schools circling back to recruit him.
Grayson’s balance wins out on Saturday
As has been the case all season, Grayson used their deep pool of talent to their advantage in a balanced win against Osborne.
The Rams got 32-combined points from guards CJ Hyland and Gicarri Harris while their frontcourt served as the most advantageous element to their success in the win.
Speiciifally, Amir Taylor played one of his better games of the season. The sophomore forward finished with 18 points and left his mark on the glass as well.
When Grayson takes the floor, they have a number of players who are capable of leading the charge on any given night. With the playoffs right around the corner, that will make them a tough bunch to contend with.
Micah Hoover lifts King’s Ridge to a W
King’s Ridge forward Micah Hoover was a difference-maker for the Tigers on Saturday. He finished with 20 points, and he got all of his production at the rim.
It wasn’t a flashy effort. Overtime wouldn’t be beating down the door to get the highlight tape. That doesn’t matter though because it was winning basketball. Hoover was reliable in the paint and gave King’s Ridge a consistent source of offense and rebounding.
Isaac Martin and Jaydon Cole both finished in double figures as well.
Burger boys lead the charge for Mr. Georgia Basketball
With the last major weekend event in the rearview, it’s starting to feel like we’re in the home stretch of the season, which means that we can start thinking about individual awards like Mr. Georgia Basketball.
If I had a vote, I’d be struggling between the McDonald's All-Americans Isaiah Collier and Stephon Castle.
These two have been the state’s flag bearers this season. Both Wheeler and Newton have played all over the country in some of the most revered events on the high school basketball calendar. When they take the floor on those grand stages. It’s appointment viewing.
The two are scheduled to go head-to-head on February 6. That game won't necessarily swing my decision in either direction, but it will be must-see basketball.
While Castle and Collier are the guys I’d be deciding between, there are plenty of other candidates which will be a discussion fleshed out in an article of its own later in the week.
Related: Georgia’s McDonald’s All-American History
Osborne is going to be a tough out
I underestimated Osborne’s toughness. This team can’t be counted out of a game. While the only times I’ve seen them in person this season have been losses for the Cardinals, they’ve been impressive in each game.
On Saturday, they gave Grayson all kinds of trouble for most of the game. This Osborne team has multiple guys who can get hot in a game and lead the Cardinals on any given night.
Keshawn McPherson was their guy against Grayson. He finished with 21 points and wowed with his jumper. He hit shots all over the floor, and showcased a part of his game that I hadn’t seen very much of in the past.
When there’s a team that has multiple weapons, and a never-say-die attitude, nobody looks forward to matching up with them in a single-elimination tournament. When this team enters the postseason, they’re going to be a tough out.