ATLANTA, GA - The first live period in Atlanta was home to the UA Championships and the Elite32. In attending both events and playing in both, there was one thing that was becoming clear to me. In a class with a loaded group of guards, Anthony Edwards (Atlanta Xpress) is climbing his way to the top, in particular as the top shooting guard in the country. The one thing that stands out is the consistency in which he delivers the goods. There seems to be a trend of top players not always showing why their considered elite, not Edwards. He checks many of the boxes in looking at an elite shooting guard. He's athletic, can create scoring opportunities off the bounce for him or others, good shooter with range, rebounds position, defends and consistent.
In his Elite32 match-up with highly regarded 2019 G Josiah James, Edwards had his full talents on display in a very good performance from both players. James led his TMP team to a tough win at the Elite32. He was effective attacking the lane, hitting open looks and does a very good job creating help and kicking to open shooters.
6-5 PG Jalen Suggs (Grassroots Sizzle) After playing a huge part in USA's championship and traveling back to the states, Suggs started slow but finished in a flurry in two tough wins at UA. Suggs turned up in the 2nd half of both games that led to double digit deficit comeback wins. His ability to shoot the ball and finish was a big part of the comeback but it was his defensive ability that turned the tide in both games.
6-8 PF Dain Dainja (Grassroots Sizzle) The young wide body has very good footwork at this early stage of his development. He showed good patience and finished with either hand in the paint. Has good ball skills but at times tries to do too much, which I'm sure will be cleaned up over time. Good rebounder and active.
6-5 G Goodnews Kpegeol (Grassroots Sizzle) Considering a prep year may not be necessary for him. He played well in both games I watched, showing the ability to make jumpers and finishing ability. When both Suggs and Dainja fouled out in the second game, he made big shots late in regulation and OT to secure the win. Solid shooter with some range, handles well enough to get to scoring spots
6-1 PG Tyrell Jones (Showtime Ballers) Another player I saw in both events, Jones led his team to wins with his ability to create shots for himself and others, shot making off catch and dribble and defensive toughness. He did a good job of creating defensive movement with dribble and finding open teammates.
6-0 G Adaryll Neal (Showtime Ballers) A player to watch. Neal showed great range on his shot. He re-entered a game late at UA Challenge and hit three 3's to seal win, one from 30-feet. As he improves in using his shooting ability to setup drives to the basket he'll be tough to handle.
6-1 PG Marquise Kennedy (Illinois Wolves) -Speedy pg matched up with Baugh, showed good vision and shot making from three. His long arms and desire to defend makes him a tough ball defender.
6- 3 PG Damion Baugh (Team Thad) One of the hottest prospects on any circuit, Baugh continues to impress. His ability to perform without dominating the ball is great to see in this age of over dribbling. Baugh is one of the best at kicking up court, fueling the break and is very effective attacking and finishing with his length and athleticism. Improving shooter and very good ball defender.
6-2 G Keyvann Tandy (Team Thad) He lit up the score board for 35 against the Wolves. Tandy hit multiple three's with each seemingly deeper each time. He is a scoring threat from anywhere on the court and with his athleticism, can finish in the trees.
6-4 CG Idan Tretout (New Heights) He plays the game at his speed, very calm under pressure. He's a heavy Ivy recruit but higher levels need to take a look. Strokes it and can create off the bounce.
6-5 SG Lester Quinones (New Heights) Shooter with range and athleticism. Quinones can really fill it up from deep but is also effective attacking on ball reversal and finishing with his athleticism. Very good rebounder at position and passer, averaging over four assist a game during UA games
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