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The Shot Clock with Josh Tec: BOTS Recap

11, Jul 2022

The Shot Clock with Josh Tec: BOTS Recap

Welcome to another edition of The Shot Clock! After a week of Best of the South, there’s plenty to delve into. That’s what I’m going to do this week with a recap of the mega event. 


It’s tough to break down an event of this magnitude. There’s so much to talk about, and I’m someone who has a tendency to be a little more verbose than I need to be. Sorry about that if you ever have to be on the receiving end of a conversation with me. I can’t help it. 


In an attempt to keep my thoughts organized, this recap will come in the form of some superlatives. Let’s get to it. 


Best Player - Brock Harding was, without a doubt, the player of the weekend in my book. If you asked anyone that watched, I’d venture to guess that 99% of them would agree too. Harding generally scored the ball well from the perimeter and on crafty drives to the bucket, but his value on the weekend was emphasized via his passing. I don’t know that I’ve had as many expletive-laden rants about how much I love watching a player pass the ball as I have while watching Harding over the weekend. Everyone within earshot got to hear me talk about how much I loved his vision and willingness to share the rock. 


Harding played with so much confidence and swag over the week-long basketball extravaganza. It was a radiant confidence that didn’t come off as cocky or like he was trying to show anyone up. It was exactly how you’d want a player to operate. 


When I first saw that Iowa offered him earlier in the summer, I thought the fit was perfect. Shortly after, Harding committed to the Hawkeyes. Over the years, we’ve seen Iowa have success with guards like Harding. He’s going to fit in beautifully with their offense, and he’ll be a popular figure in Iowa City during his career there. 


Best Team - MidPro Academy. I mean, duh. They were the best independent team in the country as 16Us last season, and they remain that as 17Us this season. 


Brock Harding was my player of the week, but I did hear people making a case for Owen Freeman too. I won’t argue with those people at all. The Iowa-committed duo was nothing short of phenomenal. I said it all weekend, they have a starting five that will all be playing D1 basketball. Ty Pence, Ethan Kizer and Danny Stephens all had solid outings as well.  


In this world, people don’t like to admit that there are better players or teams out there. In conversations I had, everyone was willing to concede that MidPro was THE team at Best of the South though. It was apparent by the crowds they drew at all of their games too. They consistently had rows of people lined up to see them. 


I know that they’ve been a favorite among the HoopSeen staff since April of last year when most of us got to see them for the first time. We all celebrated getting an opportunity to watch this squad over the years, and they certainly ended their run on the HoopSeen platform on the highest of notes. 


Biggest Stockriser - From one of my favorite teams to watch to another, we’ll go from MidPro to the Atlanta Allstars. I don’t think that there are any other options for biggest stockrisers than Dylan Faulkner and Noah Melson


Both Allstars were outstanding at Best of the South, and their efforts weren’t unnoticed by college coaches. Faulkner added offers from Drexel, Samford, Morehead and Wofford to his list. Melson ended Beest of the South having gotten offers from Chattanooga, North Texas, NKU and Mercer. 


Brandon Rechsteiner has gotten a lot of deserved attention from college coaches and has a long list of suitors, Brigham Rogers started his ascent back in the spring and has committed to Belmont, and Spencer Elliott has a list of offers that grows by the week. With all of the coaches coming to watch the aforementioned prospects, it was only a matter of time before Faulkner’s recruitment saw a jump. In his first live period with the Allstars, Melson made the most of his opportunity. 


Best Surprise - When watching Florida Pro, I was wondering how I’d never seen CJ Beaumont before. The 6-foot-7 wing was so good when I sat down to watch. He shot the lights out and rebounded well too. I felt a little bit better about being unfamiliar with him when I saw that it was his first live period event. 


He’s a guy that very much looks like a lot of the wings we’ve seen come out of South Florida in the past. He’s got the size with plenty of length to go with it. Beaumont showed an ability to hit shots consistently and in a variety of ways. 


Now, when coaches ask me for sleeper 2023 wings, I’ll know to point them in Beaumont’s direction. His phone should be buzzing with messages from colleges. 



Best 2024 Prospect - I’ve been banging the drum for 3D Empire’s Kuol Atak since seeing him for the first time in April. The 6-foot-8 forward is a skilled offensive player with unreal potential. He shoots the ball consistently, confidently with deep range, and he has a mid-range game that’s damn-near unguarable right now. 


It feels like he’s still growing too. He seemed taller than he did when I saw him in April. There’s a good chance that I’m just getting even shorter than I already am, but I think Atak’s still growing too. He’s slight, but he’s not afraid to battle on the glass. With some added muscle, he can easily be a walking double-double. 


Over the next year, Atak will emerge as one of the hot prospects in his class. 3D Empire has a history of producing guys blow up at some point. We saw it with Anthony Black, we’re seeing it with Gehrig Normand, and I think we’ll be seeing it with Kuol Atak. 



Best Underclass Prospects - You know, it’s funny, before the weekend the OG Justin Young and I were on a call discussing the weekend. We both thought it was valuable to spend a significant amount of time checking in on the 15U division. JY recalled that Omaha Biliew played at Best of the South in the 15U division at one point, and now he’s a prospect that I can’t shut up about. 


So, who has the potential to be those guys we reminisce about in a few years? Well, the ones that come to mind for me made the trip down from Canada. Monarchs Elite Ontario has a roster packed with potential D1 players. 6-foot-9 SF Spencer Ahrens and 6-foot-11 C Mattew Dann look like guys who can be special players down the line. 


Ahrens has incredible footwork for a player as young as he is. He’s advanced around the basket, and he can bring the ball down the floor with the precision of a guard. He showed off plenty of moves when attacking the basket off the bounce that caused our eyes to widen. Michigan made an appearance to check in on Ahrens during the weekend. 


While watching Ahrens, I’m sure that Dann made his way into Phil Martelli’s notes because he looks like he can evolve into the kind of center that Michigan has had success with in the past. He’s big with great length. Right now, he’s a high-level shot blocker, and he moves fluidly for his size. At one point, he pulled a rebound and took it coast-to-coast on his own. For a 15U player his size, that kind of play was incredibly impressive. After talking to his coach, I was informed that Dann recently took up basketball after growing too big to be a hockey player. It’s going to be scary to see him with more basketball training under his belt. If there was a mold for Big 10 centers, Dann was made from it. 


Best Georgia Discoveries - This was originally a Georgia-only column, so I have to give some love to the Peach State. South Georgia always produces some of the state’s best sleepers. When I was in school, I didn’t have the time to get out into the state and uncover some of those sleepers. Now that the reigns are off, I’ll do my best to do that moving forward. At Best of the South, South Georgia Elite’s Elijah Coleman and Jarvis Wright emerged as one of my favorite backcourt discoveries. 


Coleman is as pure of a point guard as I saw over the week. He’s a pass-first guy that gets everyone on the team in advantageous opportunities to score. He consistently made smart reads and passes. Scoring isn’t the only thing that matters in basketball, and Coleman certainly made his impact felt without lighting up the scoring column. 


Points do need to go on the board though. You can’t win a game with a zero on the scoreboard unless you can get the other team to forfeit or have negative points somehow. That’s where Wright comes in. He’s a lights-out shooter that took advantage of having Coleman delivering him passes when he had the hot hand. He’s from way down near the Florida border, but he could very well be one of the state’s best shooters that doesn’t get talked about enough. He’s a 2025 guy, so there’s plenty of time for people to get to know him. 


These guys were new to me, and I hope the rest of the state is familiar with them already. If not, I’ll do my best to spread the word. They’re too good to be sleepers for much longer. 


Keep it locked here at HoopSeen for more coverage from Best of the South. We have plenty lined up. If I make it through the week without my fingers falling off, I’ll consider it a success. 



Josh Tec

Josh Tec is a Georgia State graduate with a degree in journalism. Tec aspires to work in basketball media as his career continues. At Georgia State, he graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors and was recognized as a leader in the classroom. Outside of basketball, Tec loves movies and perpetually seeks out his next favorite film.