General News for November 2015

Our team was all over the country after Thanksgiving, making stops in Texas, Mississippi and Georgia. Justin Young, Corey Evans, Garrett Tucker and Carter Wilson discuss Thanksgiving Hoopfest, Lighthouse Thanksgiving Classic and Holiday Hoopsgiving. We discuss the top performers and top storylines.

John Petty was in a zone at the 2015 Lighthouse Classic.

Thanksgiving tournament season is officially behind us, and, yet again, the Lighthouse Classic was a major success.

DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS – Justin Young unloads his final three takeaways from a busy and exciting weekend in the Lone Star State.

The second day of the Lighthouse Classic lived up to the billing, to say the least. With elite-level talent and teams on hand, tournament records were shattered on Saturday. Here are the top performers from Saturday’s play…

Joshua Langford, 2016 SG, Madison Academy (AL): Coming into this year’s Lighthouse Classic, Mississippi State freshman Malik Newman held the scoring record with 32 points. Josh Langford topped that Saturday afternoon with 34 points of his own. The 6-foot-6 guard showed off his full offensive arsenal, as he scored from all three levels and did everything effectively. In the first half, Langford showed off his athleticism and ability to finish at the rim with ease. The Michigan State signee was also very creative with his mid-range game, spinning out of and splitting double-teams and converting on contested shots. In the second half, Langford connected on three three-pointers. He did a masterful job of showcasing his entire offensive game and countering everything that Bolton (TN) threw at him.

John Petty, 2017 SG, J.O. Johnson (AL): Langford’s scoring record didn’t stand for long. In the game directly after his record performance, John Petty took the floor and reached a new mark that hadn’t been touched in the history of the three-year event. Petty scored 40 points in a huge win over Callaway (MS), setting a new scoring record. The talented junior scored every way thinkable: he finished at the rim, hit pull-up jumpers, and nailed several 3s. Petty has become very dangerous with his mid-range game. It’s hard to slow him down when he is hitting jumpers from 15-18 feet; it allows him to get his rhythm going and extend the range on his shot. The five-star had several plays above the rim as well, but he also cashed in at the free-throw line. Petty hit his ten free throws and played a big part in his record day.

Robert Woodard, 2018 SF, Columbus (MS): Columbus had a very intense game against Miller Grove (GA) to conclude the event, but after the game, there was no question who was Columbus’ best player on the floor. Woodard came out hot and kept the Falcons in the game throughout the second half. The sophomore plays wise beyond his years with his basketball IQ and skill level. Woodard played inside and out and showed his versatility and well-rounded game. Despite not scoring as much as the two aforementioned players, Woodard may have had the most fluid scoring game. The 6-foot-5 forward torched the nets with his shooting touch, and the majority of his makes didn’t even touch the net. That’s how dialed in Woodard was on Saturday night. He finished with an efficient 32 points on six three-pointers. It was a very productive weekend for the youngster.

Alterique Gilbert, 2016 PG, Miller Grove (GA): The long bus ride from Georgia didn’t plague Gilbert too much. In fact, he came out as quick and as hot as one could play. The UConn commit opened up the first quarter with 14 quick points and the Columbus (MS) defense couldn’t contain him – plain and simple. The 6-foot playmaker was hard to guard because of his quickness and attacking ability. He also connected on several 3s to keep the defense honest. UConn is a perfect fit for the high-octane point guard. Expect to see him accomplish big things in Storrs.

Felix Hayes, 2017 SG/SF, Baldwyn (MS): Hayes caught a touchdown pass Friday night in Baldwyn’s football game. However, that game ended in a loss and a dismissal from the Mississippi state football playoffs. Saturday was officially basketball season for the junior and he didn’t miss a beat. Despite not being able to practice with the team, Hayes was the MVP for Baldwyn in a close win over Lexington (TN) Saturday morning. The 6-foot-2 forward did a little bit of everything on the floor. He scored, rebounded, defended, and showcased his well-rounded game. Coming off the bench, he provided a spark of energy that his team needed. Hayes has a nice combination of athleticism, skill, and toughness. He isn’t afraid to get rough in the paint with opposing players and score at the rim, but he is also a very dangerous shooter. In fact, he was noted as one of the top shooters in last year’s Alabama Elite Preview. Hayes is a virtual unknown to college coaches right now, but he has a future in hoops. Low-major and mid-major schools should take a look at him this winter.

Bryan Trimble, 2016 SG, Sunrise Christian (KS): Lindy Waters and Kameron McGusty are going to get a lot of the attention for a talented Sunrise squad, but Trimble really set the tone for them this weekend. The 6-foot-3 wing is built like a football player and has a great deal of toughness. He isn’t afraid to attack the rim and compete with bigger players. He plays with a fearless attitude and has a constant motor. Waters and McGusty are talented scorers, but Trimble proved there is no drop off on talent. He hit shots and slashed to the basket with ease. UMKC is his lone offer right now, but high majors should begin to take notice.

Antares Gwyn, 2016 SF, Corinth (MS): Motor – it never stops for Gwyn. The senior plays each game like his life depends on it and coaches should love that. He gives 100% on both ends of the floor and plays on a downhill slope. Gwyn plays in attack mode and has a knack for getting to the rim. He has a great deal of athleticism and strength that allows him to be productive around the basket. Gwyn had 25 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday evening’s win over Christ Presbyterian Academy (TN).

Malik McDonald, 2016 CG, Wesley Christian (KY): Wesley Christian was a rather unknown coming into the tournament, but they were recognized as they left town. McDonald was one of the main reasons for that emergence. The 6-foot-1 combo guard is built like a fullback and he plays like a bowling ball on the floor. He isn’t afraid to bounce off players and get in the lane. The senior embraces the contact and thrives off it. McDonald also consistently knocked down shots. After two games, it was apparent that McDonald is the best player and leader for Wesley Christian.

DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS – The Thanksgiving HoopFest has been about the match-ups. There was no escaping that. On a cold and rainy Saturday evening, the people got what they wanted.

The Thanksgiving Hoopsfest is now complete and some of the best prospects from the Dallas-Fort Worth region, along with a few others from outside of the area, laced up their shoes

ATLANTA, GA – After a great first day of action on Friday, Saturday’s slate was out to make more noise.

DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS – The Thanksgiving HoopFest tipped off on Friday afternoon with one of the best guard match-ups we may see all season.

DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS -- One of the reasons we wanted to come to the Lone Star State was to see terrific guard match-ups.

CORINTH, MS – It’s safe to say that this year’s Lighthouse Classic didn’t disappoint. With some of the top teams in the Southeast converging in Corinth, Mississippi for the event, there was plenty of top-tier talent on hand. As expected, some stars came to play, while some new, young names entered the limelight. Here are the top performers from Friday night’s action…

Lindy Waters, 2016 WF, Sunrise Christian (KS): Waters played in the final game of the day, but his appearance was well worth the wait. The 6-foot-6 wing had a great showing, as he showed off his shooting stroke with several 3s. The Oklahoma State signee has a great pace to his game and understands the game thoroughly – it showed Friday evening. He picked his spots to attack the defense and also did a nice job of making plays for his teammates. Waters had 16 points, but I’m convinced he can play virtually anywhere in the country.

Tyler Harris, 2018 PG, Cordova (TN): There were a lot of talented players on display Friday, but no one impacted the game more than sophomore point guard Tyler Harris. The Memphis product was a vital part of Cordova’s victory over Callaway (MS). He hit a deep three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, followed by some free throws at the end of the game to seal things. Harris shredded the defense with his speed and quickness; he constantly lived in the lane and made plays downhill. He finished with 17 points, but the most impressive aspect of his game was 14 assists – a Lighthouse Classic record. Harris did a fantastic job of creating and dishing the ball off to open teammates.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 2017 SG, Hamilton Heights (TN): It’s easy to see why high-major programs are hot on the trail of Alexander-Walker. Like Waters, the Canadian product was one of the top shooters that Day 1 brought to the court. At 6-foot-5 and great length, he can shoot the ball over the defense. He is a sniper from deep and could be an immediate impact with his shooting ability. However, there is still plenty of untapped potential for the junior. Alexander-Walker will only improve with time, and more and more schools will continue to enter the picture.

Tyrik Dixon, 2016 PG, Southwest Christian (AR): Two words describe Dixon perfectly: under recruited. The 6-foot-1 lead guard only has an offer from UL-Monroe and minimal additional interest, but it will be hard to find better mid-major point guard prospects than him at this point. The lefty understands how to score the ball. He is a good shooter off the dribble and has no problem getting his shot off against bigger opponents. Dixon handles the ball very well and can also serve as a set-up guy, but he is best at attacking and scoring. He wasn’t afraid to attack the rim against a big Hamilton Heights (TN) frontline, either. Any mid-major programs in need of a point guard heading into the winter, this guy deserves a look.

Justin Hopkins, 2016 SF, J.O. Johnson (AL): J.O. Johnson got off to a slow start and never really got into a groove, but that didn’t stop Hopkins from having a productive game. The 6-foot-4 forward is a consistent producer that plays with a constant motor. The Samford signee has a knack for getting fouled and making it to the free throw line. Hopkins did a nice job of finishing with contact and using his strength to fight through the defense. It’s hard not to like the senior’s toughness and bulldog mentality. He’s a consistent producer each time out. Friday afternoon, he scored 23 points in the Jaguars’ loss to Starkville.

Tyson Carter, 2016 CG, Starkville (MS): Carter had as good of a summer as anyone on the travel circuit, and it looks like things are carrying over to the high school season. The Mississippi State signee is gifted with his elite ball skills. He can play with both hands and does so effectively. In fact, the 6-foot-4 combo guard may have passed the ball more with his off left hand more than his right hand. Carter scored at all three levels as well. His versatility and skill set make him an intriguing prospect heading into the SEC next year.

Robert Woodard, 2018 SF, Columbus (MS): I’m a big fan of Woodard, and each time out he continues to improve on different facets of his game. The skill set and high IQ has been there since Day 1, but on Friday, the sophomore showed off a new side of his game. He played with a high motor and showed he wasn’t afraid to dunk on people (and he did that a few times). Woodard attacked the glass and finished above the rim several occasions. As usual, he did a great job of coming off screens and knocking downs shots all over the floor. He was most effective from the mid-range. Woodard had another productive outing, as he finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

Rayshad Williams, 2018 WF, Lausanne (TN): Williams was the pleasant surprise of the day. Despite being a sophomore, the 6-foot-3 wing was the best player on the floor for a talented Lausanne team in their first game of the year. He passes the look test with great athleticism and length. His basketball skills aren’t bad, either. Williams did a nice job of playing anywhere from the 1-3, as he handled the ball along with slashing to the rim. He has plenty of upside for a young player and will only get better going forward. The most impressive aspect of his game was his shot-blocking. He blocked five shots in total, with many of them coming around the rim. It’s still early, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea for mid-major and high-major schools to take a little peek at the Memphis talent.


Mississippi State had two assistants on hand to see 2016 combo guard Tyson Carter and 2016 big man Abdul Ado, along with 2018 forward Robert Woodard.

Samford and Austin Peay had assistant coaches in attendance. An assortment of JUCO and Divison II and NAIA schools were also in attendance.

ATLANTA, GA - Holiday Hoopsgiving was one of the most anticipated events in Atlanta during the high school basketball season, and day one did not disappoint whatsoever.

The inaugural N2 Hoops Invitational took place Monday-Wednesday at Bob Jones High School.

While the majority of you will be indulging greatly on your Thanksgiving feast today, it is the perfect time to recollect on what the past year has brought us and what might loom

Thanksgiving Week might be known by most as a time to give thanks, watch some NFL football, or get some great shopping deals. But for the hoop heads community, it is a week to get out and see some basketball at a number of great showcases around the country.

As always, the Jared Cook Classic was a well-run showcase over three days that provided great basketball while also raising money for a great cause. On the basketball side, a lot was learned, a lot was established. Here are a few notes from Monday and Tuesday:

Corinth, Mississippi isn’t the biggest town around, but this weekend, some of the top players and teams in the South will converge at Corinth High School for the third-annual Lighthouse Cla

Now in it’s seventh year of existence the Thanksgiving Hoopfest is one of the premier holiday events in the basketball season. With 15 games on tap at Duncanville High School, the event is the perfect stage to see some Lone Star State hoops. Here are the five things our Justin Young is looking forward to seeing at the showcase.

Upcoming Events

February 13 – 14, 2021
Suwanee Sports Academy
Boys 5th-8th grades
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March 14, 2021
Woodward Academy Athletic Complex
Boys 9th-12th grades
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March 19 – 21, 2021
Suwanee Sports Academy
Boys 3rd-11th grades
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