Fastbreak Friday, Mid-major edition: All eyes are on the SoCon and HSA standouts
Another fall weekend means another prime opportunity for college programs on the visit front. Don’t let the flashy football games and Power Five programs fool you, though — it’s going to be yet another opportunistic weekend for some bracket busters at the non-Power Five level.
And, man, there are some talented names slated to take visits this weekend. In fact, it’s a big weekend for a couple of SoCon programs as well as two All HoopSeen association First Team players.
Here are three important mid-major visits to monitor this weekend…
MICAH SMITH - MERCER
I’ll be honest with you here — I’m thoroughly impressed with Mercer making their move and being very much in the picture with in-state forward Micah Smith here. One of my best friends in the coaching industry told me one time that if you’re not getting players better than your level, you’re not going to be very competitive (See Kennesaw State with Brandon Stroud and Chris Youngblood as an example).
Thus, you have potential bracket busters. And if there’s one thing we saw this travel season, Smith could be a bracket buster with Mercer. He was one of the top performers at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, showcasing his skill-set and versatility at 6-foot-10.
Mercer head coach Greg Gary and his staff will be in a dog fight till the end with this one. Smith has already been to Bradley and will also see Florida Gulf Coast and Clemson. If the Bears can pull this one out and keep Smith home as an in-state prospect, it could be a monumental win for Mercer.
ISAIAH OTYALUK - UT-CHATTANOOGA
No Guts No Glory forward Isaiah Otyaluk was one of my favorite players to watch during our HoopSeen events this season. The reason is pretty simple: he produced each time he stepped on the floor, resulting in him being named to the All-HSA First Team.
That’s the main reason why the 6-foot-7 forward is on campus at Chattanooga this weekend. Chattanooga head coach Dan Earl stumbled upon an impressive performance from Otyaluk at Best of the South in July and the rest is history.
Why is this a visit to watch? With his shooting ability and versatility, Otalyuk is a perfect match in Earl’s high-octane offense. I would expect the Mocs to try and get something done this weekend while he’s on campus. It’s also worth noting that Otyaluk doesn’t have any other official visits scheduled at this time.
SEBASTIAN AKINS - WINTHROP
Winthrop has a healthy history as one of the premiere programs in the Big South. It’s not a coincidence that they have recruited HoopSeen events as much as any program in the South. The Eagles have found under-the-radar prospects like Kelton Talford year in and year out with us.
Sebastian Akins is the next potential needle-mover for Winthrop. As the top point guard in the HSA, the 1 of 1 Elite floor general showed time and time again that he can run the show and make a difference on the floor.
The coaching staff extended a scholarship offer during the June scholastic evaluation period and have been a consistent player since. Could Akins be the next great Winthrop point guard that we see competing for a conference title in late February? Mark Prosser and company sure hope so.
Some of our favorite guys from the HoopSeen Association are on the road this weekend for visits. @JustinDYoung & @_joshtec check in on:— HoopSeen (@hoopseen) September 8, 2023
- @otyaluk @sebastianakins_
STORY: https://t.co/pSft7cSAMK pic.twitter.com/QSyBnilKzF