The second of three days at the Jared Cook Classic was filled with future college talent and provided a lot of different thoughts. With so much to go through from the five games, here are the notes from my notebook throughout the day:
· IPFW is getting a good one in Mount Pisgah guard Jojo Peterson. Peterson is extremely versatile and very fluid on the court. He really excelled attacking the paint and using midrange jumpers and runners to his benefit.
· When you are scheduled to play Archer, you better bring your hard hat. They make their opponents earn everything, defending ninety-four feet and forcing turnovers all over the floor. It’s fun to watch teams that play like they do.
· South Cobb senior point guard Travis Burrus has a very advanced game as a lead guard. There are not a lot of players at the high school level who can make reads and see the floor like he does. With the modern game having a huge emphasis on spacing and being able to play in ball screens, he seems tailor-made for where the game is headed.
· Denmark senior point guard and Alabama-Huntsville signee Sutton Smith (Pictured) was the best player that I saw today. He got everything that he wanted on the floor in a win over Cherokee. He scored when he needed to, but he is such a commanding floor general. He has a high usage rate, racks up assists, and rarely turns the ball over.
· I was very impressed by Cherokee senior wing Ethan Pickett. A newcomer from Richmond Hill, Pickett has impressive size and physical tools. He gets to the rim with ease and can finish through contact. He’s also a very capable defender who can defend multiple positions.
· Lambert senior guard Mason Barnes looked terrific and nearly brought the Longhorns back in the second half against Archer. He is very crafty and smooth and uses his dribbles and steps to create space and make plays. He also shot the ball well from three.
· Newton’s 2023 group is going to be a really memorable one. Stephon Castle in one of the Peach’s best players in the class, with tremendous upside and Jakai Newton & Qua Brown will be notable players in the class as well.
· North Gwinnett wing Thomas Allard will definitely play his way onto Division I radars this year. There is always a premium on shooters with size and he is that at 6-foot-6. He fits in so well with the group that the Bulldogs have as well.
· UAH signee Brendan Rigsbee had the play of the night with a dunk in traffic in the first quarter against Newton. Between that and the play of Sutton Smith, I have to think that the UAH staff will be happy with the way the future Chargers played tonight.