A look at some of the Peach State's unsigned guards
Martin Luther King day is one of the highlights of the basketball community, drawing fans, parents, and coaches out in droves to their local hot spots. The day goes as a reminder that the season is coming to it's peak as some teams look to make a strong push up the standings or look to defend against those threating their position. From a recruitment standpoint, the day marks one of the final days that college coaches come out to look at multiple prospects given the number of events that take place across the country. With the states playoffs being the last remaining large high school stage for a player to gain recognition, we took a look at some of the available guard prospects that can contribute to at the next level.
Jaden Diamond, 6-2, South Cobb: Junior college programs should take a flyer on this qualifier as my first viewing of him did not disappoint. With some confidence you can admire, Diamond stepped up in spurts and contributed from both backcourt spots. When called to be the teams decision maker, Diamond picked his spots well as a distributor and spot scorer. The defense played the scouting report of allowing him to take jumpers, a decision that allowed Diamond to knock down a three and several mid-range jumpers. With solid mechanics and a chip on his shoulder, his development seems to be a safe bet given if given the opportunity. As junior college programs filter through transcripts and tape to find their next best, Diamond serves as a viable option that could find the proper suitor after his first year.
Stevin Greene, 5'9, Morgan County: Small college programs that are targeting shooting should make the trip to Morgan County. Coming off of a travel season in which he contributed to a successful Team Ga Magic run, Stevin Greene built the reputation as one of the best shooters on the team. Size doesn't dictate output as Greene often matches or surpasses some of his bigger counterparts. The game rewards long distance shooters that can guard their position. Greene checks both boxes as he's shown an off the bounce consistency of making shots. Defensively, he's turned his lack of size into an advantage as a prospect that is capable of picking up the length of the court.Few will find a player that gives a more spirited effort than that of Stevin Greene.
Jalen Harper, 6-0, Pebblebrook: Sometimes a player gets an offer and everyone that has seen him has the thought of " well its about time". That was the case with Pebblebrook guard Jalen Harper as James Madison wisely extended an offer a little less than a month ago. The intrigue has grown over the past two months as both his play and his brothers play seemed to sync with one another. Jalen's brother, Auburn guard Jared Harper had a viral dunk that seemed to take place as Jalen picked up steam with coaches. The question of "could he be as good as his brother" is often asked by programs that are witnessing his brother drive Auburn on a weekly basis. Harper has made the most of some of the countries best stages, as Holiday Hoopsgiving, the Emerald Coast 16 and the Tournament of Champions have all been examples of his capabilities. As one of the states more well-rounded availables, Harper should garner more mid-major attention for programs looking for a dynamic touch.
Ricky Knight Jr., 6'5, Fayette County: Once named one of our best shooters in Georgia's 2019 class, Ricky Knight has made three or more threes on a number of occasions for Fayette County. With both length and a feathery soft jump shot, Knight could be a sneaky good get for a program with a tremendous need for shooting. Having division one size only adds to his appeal as time and time again our staff witnessed poor results for defenders that tried to put a hand in his face. A smooth release and no need for any space often ended with a circled three on the scoresheet. Players like former Douglas County guard Cam Copeland come to mind when thinking of Knights recruitment as North Florida snatched the shooter late after evaluating their needs and the available depth left at that position.
Alex Kelehear, 5'10, Lafayette: Alex Kelehear's play throughout the season has been covered extensively by our staff and for good reason. What's not to like about a pass first point guard that understands how to make the most of his running mates talent. His play with the Atlanta Timberwolves was the same as it was at our Fall Preview in regards to his understanding of setting up easy points for others. I've watched as players left points on the board as they failed to make eye contact with him as he received an outlet pass. While some are simply playing basketball, Kelehear is looking moves ahead similarly to that of a chess player. He's as heady as they come when looking at the available guards in the state. A few small college programs have shown interest in the player we once named a top performer.
Hassan Reynolds, 6'4, Discovery: Discovery has a number of college worthy prospects from Longwood signee Leslie Nkereuwem, to Ian Hardy, a prospect that has gained several junior college offers in recent weeks. Hassan Reynolds is the most unheralded of the bunch but it's not for a lack of talent. Some promise flickers throughout Reynolds game as he's currently a jack of all trades type of prospect. Coaches that have evaluated him see his size, athleticism and blossoming skill set as some attributes to take note of. As I look ahead two or three years from now, the final result of Reynolds work could shape him into a completely different prospect.
Donaven Hairston, 6'1, Milton: It's a comeback story that I predicted to come true after several viewings of Milton guard Donaven Hairston last season. Several things that were once viewed as setbacks, have in turn helped aid in his development. First there was the transfer of then teammate Christian Wright, thus putting more on his already shoulders as an rising up and comer. Speaking of shoulders, an injury to his labrum took him out of the summers evaluation period, a crucial time for any prospect that is looking to build momentum. Despite the bumps in the road, Hairston has responded tenfold as a catalyst towards his teams 6-1 region record. Missing time in the spring and summer has created a sense of urgency that has filtered over into his play on a nightly basis. Adding weight after his junior season has helped him as a driver while keeping his first step that's deceptively good. Unlike last season where his best skill of scoring could turn into some questionable shot selections, Donaven has stepped into the senior role of grasping when and how to score or playmake for others. Most freshman go through a transition period during their beginning stages but it's tough to imagine that a few rough moments will keep him from figuring it out.
Milton picked up a big win on Tuesday night against region rival Lambert. 2019 PG Donaven Hairston was stellar in the win, posting 19 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds & 4 steals. He said Navy, UAH, Spring Hill, CMSU, Wash U & Randolph Macon are involved.— HoopSeen Georgia (@HoopSeenGA) January 23, 2019
Tyrease Brown, 5'9, Newton: We've witnessed the rise of Newton guard Tre Clark, and even the recruitment of Armani Harris has started to take form as he recently picked up an offer from Loyola. But every team needs a behind the arc threat and that's where Tyrease Brown comes into play for his talented Newton squad. Brown compliments his team as a high percentage shooter that can get hot after his first three ball attempt. Playing with some many ball dominant guards over the years has created his own lane as a safety net after Ashton Hagans, and Isaiah Miller caused their havoc as penetrators. The college of Coastal Georgia and Fort Valley State are in pursuit as Brown serves well as a division two shooter.
Luke Chism, 6-5, Atlanta All-Stars: The word sleeper may be one of the most overused terms when discussing both a players recruitment or upside as a prospect. For as cliche as the word has become, it's fitting for this 6-5 guard that has a ton of tricks in his bag. Quite honestly the fanfare has lacked in regards to what Chism brings to the table as his game doesn't have many holes that you can poke through. From a pure skill stand point, Chism is above the curve having a large number of moves that he can use at any moment. Then there is his size, a luxury he's made the most of as a pass first, pick and roll conductor. Sneaky athleticism also gives him a weapon that can catch defenders off guard.
Tyrel Morgan, 6'4, Langston Hughes: High academics, scrappy play, and the ability to knock down shots are all wrapped up nicely in this undervalued prospect. Currently averaging seventeen points per game, Langston Hughes has a solid two-way prospect in Tyrel Morgan. During his junior season, Morgan served as the perfect compliment to his record setting teammate, Landers Nolley. That is what makes Morgan an intriguing prospect for programs going forward. His ability to be plugged into a lineup and not only add value but not disrupt the distribution of shots for others. Part of his niche is his ability to score when needed without letting shot attempts dictate his play. With excellent academics and a knack for energetic plays, Morgan has played his way into the sights of a few four year programs.
Jevon Tatum, 6-0, Grayson: As Jevon Tatum made the move from Tucker to Grayson, some knew that he could be an added punch to a school that already featured both Reco Hallmon and Deivon Smith. Tatum has shaken off that early season adjustment to provide some solid moments to a guard rotation that offers a multitude of threats. Much like his travel season with the Atlanta Xpress, Tatum makes the most of his role and skill as a complementary scoring option. It's not out of the question for Tatum to be the teams leading shot maker on any given night as his talent to do so is evident.
Kalik Brooks, 6'5, Alpharetta:
Untapped potential has caused several coaches to look like evaluating experts as the right players development can take a make a late period pickup the best in their class. Kalik Brooks offers that opportunity for a coach as his offensive versatility lends itself to many plug and play systems. As a playmaker, his creativity has turned into crafty highlights that showcase his ability. Long-limbed at all of 6'5, Brooks ability to handle the ball, shoot, and drive will keep him in play at the next level. A high ceiling and higher academics has prompted four year programs to follow his trail.
Our senior showcase was attended by several programs last year as college coaches trust our HoopSeen staff to have some of the top talent available in the peach. With extensive coverage of the players over their 4 year career, coaches know that our staff have evaluated many of the prospects at our events, well before they attend our showcase. As we start to send out invites to the states best availables, email email@example.com if there is any player you feel has earned an invite this season. We will only consider the players that want a serious opportunity to play basketball at the next level.