Five Things Friday with Josh Tec: 2024s to Emerge in National Rankings
Welcome back to Five Things Friday!
The industry is continuing to relish in some much-needed time to recuperate after a busy summer. August is the only time most in this business get to catch up in life outside of basketball.
It’s also a time to reflect on all of the evaluations from the summer. With that reflection comes thoughts about rankings and a look towards the next year or so.
At HoopSeen, we’re working behind the scenes on rankings updates, and it got me thinking about some 2024 players who could gain significant national attention in the next year. Here are five of the guys that should see their names pop up in national rankings conversations sooner than later.
3D Empire has developed a nice track record when it comes to an independent program perennialy producing elite talent. Anthony Black and Gehrig Normand are the most recent triumphs for the Texas-based outfit, and Kuol Atak looks like he’s going to be next in line.
At a lean, lanky 6-foot-8, Atak has the frame of a guy who isn’t done growing and has plenty of filling out to do. Right now, he’s a mobile forward with plenty of length and a potent, well-rounded offensive skillset. Atak’s versatile scoring threat is something that should have coaches and scouts beaming. He can truly score from all levels and has a consistent, fluid 3-point shot that’s a bonafide weapon already.
For argument’s sake, let’s say Atak’s frame stays similar to what it is now. In that scenario, he’d be a 6-8 stretch forward that can create mismatch issues and serve as a perimeter threat. Already, that’s enough to garner significant attention from high major coaches. Now, let’s say he does grow and fill out. That would raise his upside even further and place him among the elites of his class. He’s seen some offers from St. Louis and UTRGV come his way, but I promise you that those won’t be his last. As more people familiarize themselves with him, he should follow a similar trajectory as the aforementioned 3D Empire alum.
Reid is a no-brainer for national top-whatever rankings for the 2024 class. After his summer, I’d imagine that he’ll find his name popping up as soon as some of the next wave of rankings adjustments get released.
Reid burst onto the national scene with TSF on the EYBL circuit and with Grovetown during the high school evaluation periods. The 6-foot-6 wing showed a well-rounded game this summer. Multi-level scoring, versatility on defense, a high motor, and toughness were all checked and accounted for. Where he shined most impressively was in his vision and passing though. At his size, he’s elite in those departments and can reasonably serve as a secondary playmaker at the next level.
Speaking of the next level, Reid has some upper-echelon schools vying for him to join their programs. Indiana, Tennessee, LSU, Cincinnati, Missouri, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State are among the schools who have offered the Grovetown junior. As he looks to navigate the Warriors to back-to-back state championships, he’ll continue to emerge as one of Georgia’s best 2024 prospects.
From one high-level Georgian to another, Grayson (GA) HS and Atlanta Celtics guard Gicarri Harris has been showing plenty of promise for quite some time. He’s been gradually getting better and evolving into a more well-rounded player. Harris’ work showed in spades this summer.
The 6-foot-4 guard is a combo who can pack a scoring punch from either spot. Where he’s leveled up in his game is in his ability to be a lead guard. Harris has always been able to score from all levels, but he’s taken steps forward in terms of being a playmaker and making reads with the ball in his hands. Another area of his game that needs to be highlighted is his defense. Harris is tenacious on that end of the floor and routinely gets tasked with guarding the opponent's best perimeter player.
A number of SEC and ACC schools along with Purdue and Arizona State have extended offers to Harris. He’ll be the focal point of a talented Grayson team that should be among Georgia’s best.
I first saw Konneh and his upside last July when he was playing with Team Haliburton. I was high on what he could be at that point, but fast forwarding to this July, I’m even higher in the 6-foot-7 wing.
The physical tools are there. He pairs his solid frame with athleticism and versatility. Konneh’s upside is as high as anyone’s on this list. He’s shown a lot in terms of defensive upside with his ability to use his length to get deflections and disrupt plays. Konneh is switchable and can guard around the basket or out on the perimeter.
Right now, his recruitment is just starting to get going, and it seems like he’s a pretty low-key guy in terms of national buzz. As he continues to expand his skillset and gain more exposure, Konneh should be a name that takes off in the next year or so.
This is a pick based on flashes that Otyaluk showed while playing up in 17U with No Guts No Glory. While he might not be as much of a lock as the previously mentioned guys, Otyaluk is brimming with potential.
He fits the mold of what’s en vogue in the game right now. At 6-foot-7, Otyaluk is a versatile wing who can immediately make an impact as a 3-and-D guy. For a wing, he’s a high-level rim protector who utilizes his length and timing to swat shots and deter plenty of others. Like Atak, he’s long and lean with plenty of potential in terms of physical development.
After another high school season of development under his belt, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Otyaluk emerge on the national radar after a few big-time spring outings next year.