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SUWANEE, GA – The Best of the South is providing a platform in Atlanta as a tournament stop on several travel teams and college coaches schedule. Here are five thoughts from the Best of the South.

SUWANEE, GA - The Best of the South 17U division was loaded with talent, highlights and great action.

Here is who were some of our top surperlatives for the weekend.

List of Colleges who checked in at the 2013 Best of the South. 

SUWANEE, GA – Championship Sunday is not just about the programs with the big names and players.

There are players working has hard as they can in order to win a title but more importantly go get the opportunity to earn a collegiate scholarship.

SUWANEE, GA – Two of the most disciplined travel programs in the Best of the South did not disappoint at all.

Aim High made just enough shots in the end to outlast PSB Select 56-53 for the 17U championship at Suwanee Sports Academy on Sunday. PSB had a shot in the end but it rimmed out.

SUWANEE, GA -- The 16 and under championship game at the Best of the South had several motivators for the Florida Elite squad. Naturally, the team wanted to win the entire tournament. Second, the team wanted another crack at the Upward Stars.  

They got their wish and the kids from the Sunshine State had to use every ounce of energy left in their legs to pull off the 54-50 victory. It was a one-point game with less than a minute to play.

Donovan Hale, the top overall performer for the Elite all week, led the way with 18 points in the win. The 6-foot-4 wing from Largo (Fla.) High School sank some important free throws down the stretch to help seal the victory.

What was the team's secret when down the stretch?

"Hard work and hitting big shots," Hale said. "You know, we lost to them the first time we played them and I knew we weren't going to lose to them again. We had to come out and work hard, out hustle them and make shots. We couldn't lose to them again."

Hale didn't do it alone. Wing Jonathan Crawford shot the ball and ended the game with 12 points. Rasim Avmet added eight in the win.

"We had to come out there and show them who we are," Hale said.

Upward had 10 points from Randall Shaw while JJ Arcega Whiteside scored nine points and Antwan Maxwell added seven.

Game Elite point guard Avery Patterson started the month of July on a lot of lists for college programs. They all wanted to see the Game Elite rising junior from Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler and gauge his ability to play at the next level.

The result? Well, it was positive.

Patterson was one of the top point guards at the Peach State Summer Showcase last week in Aiken and left the South Carolina town with a number of new scholarship offers.

He started the summer with free rides from Boston, Gardner-Webb and Jacksonville. Coming into the Best of the South, Patterson said Murray State, Boston College, Kansas State, Richmond, UCF, St. Louis, Western Kentucky and Butler have thrown a hat into the mix.

"Ever since that first tournament, the interest turned into offers," Patterson said. "That was good. It really picked up after last week in Augusta."

In Georgia's 2014 point guard class, opportunity to move from must-see guy to must-get player is there for the position. Patterson feels like he's established himself as one of the top floor men in the class.

"Consistently, I've been going hard. I think I've been playing good. I'm trying to knock down shots consistently and making the right play at the right time," Patterson said.

"Most people say 'I don't know if he's a one or a two.' To me, when they ask me that question, it doesn't really bother me. If you know how to play ball, you can do both. I don't really see myself as a title. I just try to contribute at the right time."

Game Elite has found success at the Best of the South and Patterson has certainly had his moments of positivity. For him, the goal is finishing the evaluation period as strong as he started.

"My work is paying off. I'm glad people have noticed that I've been in the gym and working on my game. That's all I can really do. The goal is to be more consistent every game," Patterson said. "I'm not trying to count offers. That's not my goal. If they come, they come. I want to find a level where I'm comfortable that I can play in."

Andy Kennedy, Ray Harper, Bruce Weber, Josh Pastner, Steve Prohm and Stan Heath all have something in common. The head coaches have all made it a point to see and be seen with Oldsmar Christian (Fla.) guard Troy Holston.

Any time Florida Select played, coaches sat on the baseline and thumbed through the tri-color packet to find the team's roster. With index fingers firmly pressed on the pages, they scanned the roster to see who number 23 is.

SUWANEE, GA - Pool play came to an end and teams made sure they positioned themselves to finish up with the best possible spot in the Best of the South bracket play, which starts Saturday.

Robert Alfonso Jr. emptied out his notebook as several new faces in Georgia jumped onto the scene. A team from the Caribbean looking for opportunities in the United States. Also, other players making themsleves be known to the college coaches in attendance.

#BeSEEN Player of the Day: Tyrone Sam

While so many players are gaining all the attention from a number of college programs, Sam decided to quietly pour in a tournament best 30 points on Day 2.

The Roswell High product is a member of the North Atlanta Stingrays filled up from everywhere on the floor. Look for this sleeper to catch some eyes this season.

Bahamian exodus

The Bahamas motto is “Forward, Upward, Onward, Together.” They may want to add Driven to it.

Two years ago, the Bahamas Jaguars decided to put together a travel team program together as a way to help their players get of the Caribbean island to pursue their education and basketball teams. This is the reason they are at the Best of the South.

“Our main goal is to get our kids some exposure,” Jaguars coach Darrell Sears said. “We have to start over every year.”

The Jaguars are forced to start over every year because the players on the roster are either freshman or sophomores. Once they come over to the United States for events, many of them get the opportunity to finish high school here. This in turn leads to more collegiate opportunities. The players pursuing educational and playing opportunities in the states is a testament to the Jaguars success. Aside from coming over for showcase events, there is the Darrell Sears Basketball Showcase at St. George’s High School in Freeport, Bahamas during the April Live period, which is a certified by the NCAA.

Some players who were part of the program playing here in the states are Wichita State’s Kadeem Coleby, a 6-foot-9 senior center and sibling Mississippi signee Dwight Coleby, a 6-foot-9 power forward. Both finished their prep careers in the states after leaving the island.

This team has several players looking to follow in their footsteps. Charles Bain is a 6-foot-7 freshman with plenty of length. Point guard Keno Russell, a sophomore, has a solid first step and can get to the basket at will. Then there is 6’8 Shaquillo Fritz who is skilled enough to change the game on both ends of the floor.

“When we make this sacrifice to come over here, it’s for the kids,” Sears said.

Now that’s drive.

Play of the Day

Florida Tarheels have required maintenance to tight up the rims on Court 1 when Antwon Clayton elevated for the dunk of Day 2.

The 6-foot-6 Eustis High product elevated and hammered down a poster style over an opponent who should have reconsidered trying to defend one of Florida’s best high jumpers.

Recruiting news

Aim High’s Eric Lockett holds offers from Middle Tennessee State, George Mason, Mercer, UAB, Pennsylvania and Troy.

Colleges continue to be impressed with Isaiah Wilkins (pictured). The Georgia Stars product picked up two offers recently from Clemson and Florida State. Stock continues to rise.

CJ Jackson of Aim High had no offers entering the July. After solid performances at BOTS, the Olympic High product was offered by Pfieffer University. Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Jacksonville and North Florida have inquired.

Tidbits

Albert Hansborough III showed there is some consistency in his jumper for the 3T All-Stars. The Centennial High sophomore scored 14 points, which included three 3-pointers. … Antwan Bevans, of the Bahamas Jaguars, is a 6-foot-5 workhorse who lived around the basket for 19 points. He has great hands and is not afraid of contact. … Alabama Elite won its pool and are moving into bracket play to continue its quest for a BOTS championship. They will play Upward Stars Charlotte. Through pool play, Ethan Stair is averaging 20 points per game. Dalton Barkley is pouring in 15 points per. ... Malcolm Stegall from Aim High caught some attention after shooting the ball well. This Wheeler High product will continue to open some eyes as he continues to play well.

 

SUWANEE, GA – Even disciplined and well ran programs have to re-group.

This is exactly what PSB Select had to do after the first day of the Best of the South on Thursday at Suwanee Sports Academy. The North Carolina-based organization just needed to understand everyone’s role on the team.

SUWANEE, GA - The Best of the South lived up to its name Thursday night.

Teams from around the Southeast came into the tournament for an opportunity to #BeSEEN. The matchups provided college coaches the visual of players they wanted to see. Several games had coaches standing on the shoulder to shoulder as they positioned themselves to see which players were going to have some outstanding performances.

Here is what some what happened inside Suwanee Sports Academy and on Day 1.

 

SUWANEE, GA – Basketball fans and college coaches alike enter July with high expectations. They want to see teams compete and play to win.

A week into the Live period, some teams have shown they are going to take advantage of the month and show they are ready to compete at the next level. Considering the way the pools for the Best of the South are set, teams will need to bring their maximum effort.

For the second straight year the Georgia Stars left Augusta, Georgia with the Elite Youth Invitational trophy. This year's championship run at Paine College wasn't an easy one.

It took an overtime period against the Alabama Challenge to bring home the hardware. Paced by the scoring punch of Justin Coleman and Tadric Jackson, the Stars came alive in the extra five minutes and closed out strong at the EYI.

The Georgia Stars won out 71-64.

SUWANEE, GA – The Best of the South is loaded not just with quality teams but more importantly players college coaches need to watch.

Here are some names we expect to make an impact this week:

SUWANEE, GA – The Best of the South tournament will live up to its name this year.

Sixty-three teams from around the Southeast and overseas are looking to gain notoriety and obtain championship success starting on Wednesday through Sunday.

After the pictures were taken and the congratulatory handshakes were over, E1T1 point guard Joel Berry sat on his team's bench and packed his bags. He looked around at his teammates with bright smiles and new bright orange Peach Jam shirts enjoying the biggest moment of July.

Berry's team won the Nike EYBL championship game, putting away a feisty CP3 team with a 108-102 victory.

I craned my neck to look up to him and said to the 7-footer: "Heard you were the man of the hour yesterday."

"Yeah," he said without missing a blink. "Guess I was."

Doral Moore, the budding class of 2015 prospect from Luella High School, is rolling with the punches at the Peach State Summer Showcase. The national media was buzzing about the Atlanta Xpress prospect after opening day at USC Aiken.