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The Shot Clock with Josh Tec: OTE Opening Night Recap

Cameron Boozer (Credit: OTE)
23, Oct 2022

The Shot Clock with Josh Tec: OTE Opening Night Recap

(Photo Credit: Overtime Elite)

Happy Monday, hoop heads! 

When I hear people start to claim that basketball season is back around this time of year, I can’t help but scratch my head. Basketball season is year-round here at HoopSeen HQ. There’s truly no downtime in this world. 

That’s evidenced by the fact that people like myself are in basketball gyms non-stop. Thus, I was joined by several friends and peers as we gathered in Atlantic Station for Overtime Elite’s Opening Night. 

Because it’s mostly been quiet on the Georgia basketball front, today’s edition of The Shot Clock will be devoted to sharing my experience from my two nights at OTE Arena. 

 

General thoughts

Before taking a look at what actually happened on the court, I wanted to share some notes about the overall OTE experience. 

I know that there have been question marks surrounding OTE from basketball devotees since its inception. I was curious too, and one of the shared sentiments in the media section was that none of us really knew what to expect. 

Right off the bat, the arena is striking and pretty remarkable. From a pure entertainment standpoint, OTE provides as elaborate of an environment as any in the basketball space. If you’re a family looking for a fun night out, this is a must-do. 

I got to see some other parts of the facility, and they were equally impressive. The training and nutrition areas were of high quality, and their practice area was top-notch. 

In that regard, OTE is only rivaled or surpassed by elite basketball schools and the NBA, of course. 

One of the questions I’ve been peppered with has been what kind of structure does OTE implement in terms of rules and court size. They use the FIBA rules and 3-point line.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into what actually happened on the court. 

 

Cameron Boozer

Miami, FL

Class
2025
|
Position
PF
|
Height
6' 8"
|
National
1
National Pos. Rank
1
State
1
State Pos. Rank
1

 

Boozer separates himself

After seeing several of the top 2025s within the last few months, it’s clear to me that Cameron Boozer sits alone at the top as of now. 

Many in this industry have gone back and forth between Boozer and Cooper Flagg. I’ve done the same. While still being high in Flagg, Boozer has made it clear that he’s the top dog in the class with elite performances at Border League and OTE within a week’s span. 

In the first game of OTE’s Opening Night celebration, The 6-foot-9 forward finished with a ridiculous 28 points and 20 rebounds. 

He flashed his offensive versatility with highlight-reel athleticism and the rim and by splashing in some 3-pointers. His value on that end of the floor shined especially bright in his passing. To be able to make the on-target dimes and reads that he can at his age is special to say the least. 

Where he impressed me the most was on the defensive end of the floor. He guarded 1-5 at different points throughout the game, and he looked comfortable across the board. 

On night two, it looked like the amount of travel and minutes played caught up with him a bit. He understandably looked gassed at times, but he’s a 15-year-old who’s asked to do a lot. He still went out and finished with 22 points and 10 boards. 

He’s advanced beyond his years at this point. 

 

Related: October 21, 2022 episode of the Just a Minute podcast 

 

Bryson Tiller

Lawrenceville, GA

Class
2025
|
Position
SF
|
Height
6' 9"
|
School Team
National
4
National Pos. Rank
2
State
1
State Pos. Rank
1

 

Tiller produces in a high-level matchup

Boozer has a firm grasp on the top spot in 2025, but OTE’s Bryson Tiller isn’t too far behind him. A top-five prospect in the class, Tiller had a productive second night with the Cold Hearts—one of the OTE teams. 

In this one, Tiller was matched up against Boozer for stretches of play. If Boozer is No. 1, Tiller didn’t look too far off from that when going head-to-head. 

Tiller ended his night with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. 

His offensive arsenal continues to sharpen across the board. It was his touch from mid-range that was especially attention-grabbing. When he gets to the elbows, his jumper is automatic. It’s money every time. 

Tiller has a smooth, pretty game on offense, but as the 8 rebounds and 4 blocks indicate, he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and play a more physical, rough style. 

Friday night was a good test to see how Tiller stacks up against the best in his class, and it’s safe to say that he’s among the elite in 2025. 

 

Amen Thompson

Oakland, CA

Class
2022
|
Position
SF
|
Height
6' 7"
|
School Team
National
1
National Pos. Rank
2
State
2
State Pos. Rank
1

 

Amen Thompson bolsters his case as a 2023 lottery pick

After having seen them plenty during their final summer of AAU ball, I hadn’t seen the Thompson twins in well over a year. I just never got the opportunity to make it over to OTE last season.

While Ausar Thompson was out nursing an injury, Amen Thompson added to his top-10 resume. 

Over the course of his two games, Thompson averaged 18.5 to lead the City Reapers to consecutive wins. 

In those wins, Thompson played to his strengths with athletic drives and finishes. In that regard, Thompson is as elite as there is in the 2023 draft class. 

With his athleticism and ability to get to the rim, Thompson is going to find himself at the free-throw line often. He needs to improve his free-throw shooting to maximize this effectiveness. Of course, his 3-point shooting needs to get better as well. 

As of now, Thompson is already a high-level NBA prospect, clearly. But, with shooting improvements, he could be a perennial all-star. 

 

Bronny James

Chatsworth, CA

Class
2023
|
Position
SG
|
Height
6' 2"
|
School Team
National
38
National Pos. Rank
12
State
13
State Pos. Rank
3

 

I was too low on Bronny

One of the important parts of this business is being able to admit when you’ve made a mistake, and I’m here to admit that I was too low on Bronny James

To be fair, it’s not like I thought the guy sucked, but I wasn’t sure that he was a top-50 guy in his class. Well, lesson learned. 

Bronny looks much improved as a point guard. As a distributor, I’ve never seen him better. He’s impressed athletically and as a shooter as well. His pace and poise shined as well. James looks like a leader with the ball in his hands. 

He still has work to do for me to be in on him as a one-and-done prospect, but he’s certainly trending in the right direction. 

He’ll be in a more appropriate position with the next HoopSeen rankings update. 

 

Bryce Griggs

Missouri City, TX

Class
2022
|
Position
CG
|
Height
6' 2"
|
National
40
National Pos. Rank
7
State
5
State Pos. Rank
3

 

Griggs takes over

Bryce Griggs led an improbable 23-point comeback in the third quarter of the Cold Hearts’ game against The Explorers on Friday night. 

Griggs finished the game with 23 points, 5 steals, and 5 assists. 

Much of that production came after halftime. Griggs had a stretch in which he forced back-to-back turnovers and converted at the rim after each. 

His energy picked up after each defensive stop, and he radiated electricity. He continued his solo run with five more unanswered points. 

After The Explorers ended a 22-0 drought, Griggs hit another layup to bring the Cold Hearts within a possession. He then pulled up for a deep 3-pointer to give the Cold Hearts the lead going into the fourth quarter. 

They ended up winning the game in dramatic buzzer-beating fashion, and it was all fueled by Griggs’ monstrous third-quarter performance.

 

Somto Cyril

Atlanta, GA

Class
2024
|
Position
C
|
Height
6' 10"
|
School Team
National
21
National Pos. Rank
3
State
NR
State Pos. Rank
NR

 

Big Somto does Big Somto things

I was fortunate enough to have been privy to the Somto Cyril show plenty over the summer. Whether at Bama Jam, the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, or the NBPA Top 100 camp, Cyril showed that he can be a dominant presence in the paint. 

Now a member of the City Reapers—one of the OTE teams—big Somto continues to do what he does best. 

He owns any space around the basket. Cyril is a physical, athletic specimen who keeps his motor revved when he’s on the floor. His ferocious, aggressive dunks, his aptitude for blocking shots, and his impact on the glass have earned him the “Baby Shaq” moniker. 

At OTE, he’ll have no problem making the highlight rounds on social media. He probably already has some circulating after the first two nights of games. 

When I watch him, I can’t help but think of how perfect of a fit he’d be at Kansas. Bill Self has made a reputation of succeeding with guys like Cyril in the past. 

 

New names emerge

Maybe some Florida heads had the inside scoop already, but the rest of us in the media section were won over by several of the non-Boozer prospects on The Explorers. 

First and foremost, Nikola Djapa has high major written all over him. After moving over from Serbia, the 6-foot-10 center showed a ton of upside. He may be a project for a team, but he has the tools to be a worthwhile investment. Djapa proved to be a legit floor spacer in both games, but he wasn’t just a big floating on the perimeter. He pulled his fair share of boards and impacted the game around the rim. 

2025 G Benny Fragela is someone to keep an eye on. He has potential as a dead-eye sniper. He was the beneficiary of the Boozer twins’ passing, and he showed promise from the perimeter. 

2024 SF Malik Abdullahi could be a winter stock riser. He has some LM offers now, but he could level up at some point. He’s got a next-level frame at a strongly-built 6-foot-7. He was a consistent source of production for The Explorers. With all of the eyes that will be on Columbus this high school season, Abdullahi will have no shortage of opportunities to further prove himself. 

 

Quick hitters

Kentucky commit Robert Dillingham dropped 36 points on Thursday night while playing with what amounted to be a pieced-together all-star team of high-level prospects. 

Eli Ellis started his OTE career with 15 points and 5 assists on Thursday night. He looks like he’s going to develop a nice alley-oop partnership with Somto Cyril. 

Ashton Hardaway continues to show that his shooting stroke is as pure as it gets. He led the California Basketball Club with 19 points on five-made 3-pointers. 

Tyler Smith looks like a guy who can climb up draft boards. The 6-foot-10 forward was a bright spot for the Cold Hearts on both nights of play. 

 


Josh Tec
Editor-in-Chief

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.