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Holiday Hoopsgiving Preview

11/23/2017, 8:45am EST
By Doug Butler

Strong field has some intriguing matchups 

(ATLANTA, GA) The Holiday Hoopsgiving event is known for bringing out some of the best young talent in the country. This year is no different with the likes of 2020's Brandon Boston, Sharife Cooper, Dwon Odom, Josh Taylor and.Justice Ajogbor 2019's Trendon Watford, Ashton Hagans, Isaac Okoro, Amando Bacon, Babatunde Akingbola, Kyle Sturdivant, Jared Jones, Marcus Watson, Aundre Hyatt, Jalen Lecque and Joey Baker, others will certainly emerge.

We can't forget top senior's RJ Barrett, EJ Montgomery,  Khavon Moore, Landers Nolley, BJ Buffen, JoJo Toppins will also be in the building. Here is a preview of some key matchups that will possibly shake up some national player and team rankings. 

Mountain Brook vs Norcross 

This game will feature 5 star Forward Trendon Watford of Mountain Brook. The 6'9 junior is a walking matchup nightmare with his inside/outside ability. He's one of the most talented players in the country and Norcross will find out why soon. Norcross has talent as well. 6'6 Forward Jojo Toppin ( UGA commit) is a bouncy Forward that loves to play above the rim. He has expanded his range and touched up his jumpshot since last year. Veteran Guards Dalvin White and Kyle Sturdivant are both experienced floor generals with scoring ablilty for Norcross. 5 star Brandon Boston is one of the best shooters in his class but he also can use his length to get to the basket. Look out for Mountain Brook's Sean Elmore (North Alabama commit) to guard Norcross's best player. He's a tenacious defender that loves to compete. 

Key players: 

Norcross: 6'5 Brandon Boston (Top 5 player in Ga), 6'6 Jojo Toppin (UGA Commit), 6'2 Kyle Sturdivant (top 10 player in Ga) , 5'11 Dalvin White 

Mountain Brook: 6'9 Trendon Watford(Top 15 player in 2019) , 6'2 Sean Elmore( North Alabama commit),  6'4 Britton Johnson, 6'0 Pauline Stramaglia

Warner Robins vs Grayson 

Two Tough, scrappy and experienced teams face off in this one. Middle Ga vs Gwinnett. Both teams are led by their stellar guard play. Nelson Phillips (Ga state commit) will lead the Demons from Warner Robins. He's one of the best seniors in Ga and is a tough one on one cover for anyone in the state. Senior Guard Jacolby Owens of Warner Robins can cause problems in transition with his speed and Champ Dawson will run the offense for the demons. Grayson is one of the more deeper teams in the state. Travis Anderson (Charleston Southern) can really score the ball and isn't shy about putting up shots for Grayson. Senior Nick Edwards is a shifty guard that can get into the lane. Two sport star Kenyon Jackson will do most of the dirty work inside for the rams, he's one of the best athletes in the state. The X Factor in this one will be Reco Hallmon for Grayson, if he can shoot the ball with confidence watch out. 

Key players : 

Warner Robins: 6'5 Nelson Phillips (Ga State commit), 6'2 Jacolby Owens (Top 30 in Ga), 6'2 Champ Dawson 

Grayson: 6'0 Travis Anderson (Charleston Southern), 6'1 Nick Edwards, 6'6 Kenyon Jackson(Top 20 in Ga), 6'4 Reco Hallmon, 6'1 DJ Williams. 

Christ School (NC) vs McEachern

Two talented 2019 wings matchup in this one with very similar games. Christ School’s Jalen Lecque had a productive summer for the Southern Stampede on the circuit and showcased his explosive first step and A-level athleticism. McEachern’s Issac Okoro has improved his jumper over the summer and his release looks smooth. Okoro has athleticism so that added jumper makes him a dynamic offensive threat. In the front court both McEachern and Christ School are led by shot blocking bigs. Babatunde Akingbola made life hectic for Wheeler at the rim, he altered shots and caused Wheeler’s bigs to struggle. Christ School’s Justice Ajogbor loves to rebound and block shots as well, he reminds me of Udoka Azabuike of Kansas. The difference maker in this one will be nationally ranked Sophomore Sharife Cooper, blessed with vision and the ability to get into the paint, he has the keys to this crew and is ready for the challenge.

Key Players:

Christ School: 6’4 Jalen Lecque (top 5 player in NC), 6’10 Justice Ajogbor, 6’9 Gabe Wiznitzer (top 10 2021 in NC),

McEachern: 6’5 Issac Okoro (top 5 player in GA), 5’10 Sharife Cooper (top 5 player in GA), 6’9 Jared Jones (top 100 player in 2019)

Meadowcreek vs Trinity Christian (NC)

The Trinity Christian Crusaders from Fayetteville, NC brings a trio of lengthy and talented juniors to Ga. 5 star Junior wing Joey Baker (Duke commit) is the main piece to the puzzle. He’s one of the best shooters in the nation but he can get to the rim and finish with the best of them. Junior Forward Greg Gantt is a bouncy forward who does most of the dirty work inside for the Crusaders. Junior Guard Audiese Toney is a long guard with great vision and poise. The Meadowcreek Mustangs will rely on a stelar pressure defense and senior big men Amari Kelly (Duquesne commit) and Corey Hightower (Detroit commit). How will Amari Kelly utilize his old school, back to the basket type game against the length of Gantt and Baker inside? The X factor in this one is Guard Jamir Chaplin for Meadowcreek, an athletic, slashing wing that excels in transition.

Key Players

Trinity Christian: 6’7 Joey Baker (Top 20 player in 2019), 6’8 Greg Gantt (Top 15 player in NC), 6’5 Audiese Toney, 6’3 Talton Jones

Meadowcreek: 6’8 Amari Kelly (Duquesne commit), 6’7 Corey Hightower (Detroit Commit), 6’4 Jamir Chaplin. 

Westside-Macon vs Montverde

Khavon Moore vs R.J. Barrett

Khavon Moore will go head to head against the nation’s best player in R.J. Barrett. If Moore performs at a high level, as expected, he can start his campaign for the Mcdonald’s All American Game. 6’8 Khavon Moore, who’s a top 35 player in the nation is a versatile wing player that can guard multiple positions on the court. He will have to carry the load offensively due to the fact that his Westside-Macon team won’t have the depth to keep up with the very talented Montverde squad. Barrett is a multitalented player with scoring tools from all levels, high level athleticism and motor. 


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