The Best of the South tips off Thursday afternoon at Suwanee Sports Academy, with some of the top programs in the Southeast slated to be in attendance. With top teams come top talent and high-level matches. Here are a few pool play games to keep your eye on, as well some individual players, too.
GAMES TO WATCH
17U: E1T1 vs. Mississippi Xpress - One of the biggest early games to watch is a Nike-based matchup between E1T1 and the Mississippi Xpress. E1T1 boasts one of the top teams in the country, behind five-star forward Kevin Knox and 2018 power forward Emmitt Williams. The Mississippi Xpress will start their full Nike contract next travel season. While there isn't much known about them right now, we're excited to see what the Mississippi squad has to offer.
17U: Atlanta All-Stars vs. PSB Select - This matchup is very intriguing, as both teams practically mirror each other on paper and on the floor. Both the Atlanta All-Stars and PSB Select are very well-coached teams and are surrounded with highly skilled players. They don't necessarily have high-major talent on their respective teams, but both programs will send all their players to college. This will be a rugged battle that will be entertaining to watch.
17U: Tennessee Bobcats vs. Team Blueprint - The Tennessee Bobcats burst onto the scene in April at the Atlanta Jam, as guard Tyreke Key started his story and picked up numerous scholarship offers. The Bobcats also have some big men that will catch college coaches' eyes. Over the past few years, Team Blueprint has consistently contended for championships at SSA. With a mixture of athleticism and shooters, this will be a highly-anticipated game.
16U: Georgia Bulls vs. Georgia Stars (MW) - The Georgia Bulls have had major success this season at our Georgia Cup events, but this weekend, they expect to make some noise in front of college coaches. Guard Ryan Jolly will lead his team against Horace Wyatt and the Georgia Stars (MW). There's some ideal Georgia sleepers in this one!
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chaundee Brown, 2017 SF, Nike South Beach: Brown had a fantastic week during Peach Jam, as he landed a scholarship offer from Kansas and picked up loads of new interest. What will he do for an encore? We'll see at #BOTS.
D.J. Heath, 2017 PG, Alabama Generals: Heath raised some eyebrows last week with his play with the Alabama Generals. As the top point guard in Alabama's 2017 class, several college coaches will want to get their eyes on him. He could see his stock soar after another successful weekend.
T.J. Massenburg, 2017 PG, Southern Stampede: Massenburg was very productive in Augusta at the Peach Invitational Tournament, where he displayed his athleticism and defensive ability. He's on a lot of coaches' evaluation lists, and if he can keep things going, several more offers could come pouring in.
Eric Thornton, 2017 CG, SR1 Mississippi All-Stars: Thornton flew high above the rim last summer at SSA and we wouldn't expect anything less this time around. The talented 6-foot-1 guard is a high-octane scorer and will be one of the most entertaining players of #BOTS. Make it a priority to see this leaper in action!
Hunter Tyson, 2018 SF, PSB Select Elite 16U: Tyson is extremely unique with his ability to shoot the basketball at 6-foot-8. While he can shoot it at a high rate, the rising junior isn't just a shooter. He has a very well-rounded game and has already attracted the attention of many high-major schools. He's another promising guy to watch over the weekend.
Will Richardson, 2018 CG, Georgia Stars 16U: Richardson closed out the high school season on a high note and it rolled over to the spring during the travel season. The 6-foot-4 wing combo guard is smooth with the ball in his hands and has all the makings of a high-major prospect. Does he pick up any new offers after #BOTS? I'd say it's very likely.