Holiday Hoopsgiving Friday: What we learned
ATLANTA – While many of you were lounging on your couches from your Thanksgiving Day hangovers, some of the best from Georgia and the surrounding states hit the floor for the opening day of the Holiday Hoopsgiving. Much was learned on Friday including how talented the 2022 guard class is in Atlanta, that Jabari Smith is the next blue blood recruit and who the best freshman scorer is in the south.
BLUE BLOODS NEXT FOR JABARI SMITH
It is actually a bit surprising that Jabari Smith has yet to corral what we call a ‘blue blood’ offer. That should not be the case for much longer. Smith wasn’t his best on Friday but he was still able to show some of the traits that has made him a top-five prospect here at Rivals.com. His opposition did its best to throw bodies and greater physicality towards him and while last year, he may have backed away from the challenge, Smith seemed to enjoy it in his team’s win. He drew four first-half fouls, remained a contributor whenever his own foul count went against him, before leaving his greatest impression on the stat sheet.
Duke and Kentucky have begun to show attention towards the five-star, while Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and LSU are among the group that has prioritized him the greatest. Tennessee just offered earlier this week as things are edging towards a blue blood affair.
DEMAND ATTENTION COMING FOR CHANCE MOORE
He only tallied six points in the second half but Chance Moore still mustered 30-points in all, due in part to the six 3s that he hit. The need for shot makers with added size has never been as valuable than today which makes Moore that much of a greater prospect. He has to get better whenever pressure is applied as he turned it over into six separate times but the talent, abilities and upside are all there. Alabama has already hosted him for an official visit, while Xavier is expected to later this winter. Moore has been out of the spotlight for some time due to an injury but his recruitment should only improve thanks to all that he encompasses along the perimeter.
ZOCKO LITTLETON WILL BE RANKED
He didn’t find his name in the inaugural 2022 Rivals150 Rankings but one can be sure that he will following the next update. More of a scorer than a playmaker, Littleton did hand out three assists but it was the cool demeanor which helped lead to 34-points on the scoreboard that really impressed. He has gotten a little bigger since September but has remained as confident as ever. Ten scholarship offers are in for the four-star sophomore but Alabama is out in front thanks to the attention that they have given towards to him; his most recent visit was paid towards the SEC program earlier this fall.
NOT FIVE BETTER SCORERS IN 2023 THAN CARLYLE
Yes, it is early but what Kanaan Carlyle had to showcase on Friday evening was something else. The ATL native lets that thing fly but he is also more than a consistent threat that it is easy to see him being one of the higher regarded prospects in his entire class nationally. The ball is leather coming out of his hand and for someone so young, to play with such immense swagger and confidence, and to never let the moment get the best of him, is something to behold. In his team’s win, he finished with 28 points thanks to a mixture of nifty scoop-ins at the basket, catch-and-shoot jumper and mid-range attempts. He is a premier scorer in the 2023 class that holds offers from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech and Tulane.
THE TALK FOR TOP GUARD IN 2022 WILL BE FUN
We already discussed the continued evolution of Zocko Littleton, and we are expected to see Dillon Hunter tomorrow, but it would be safe to say that the argument over who the best 2022 guard is from the city of Atlanta will be a fun one. Littleton and Hunter are definitely in the conversation but Bruce Thornton and Scoota Henderson more than held their own on Friday evening. Thornton, more of a downhill driver who can go and get a basket, while Henderson is an exquisite breakdown artist with major wiggle to his game, look the part of ready-made, high-major producers from their first day on a college campus.
While each bring a different flavor to the floor, Littleton, Hunter, Thornton and Henderson will be a batch of prospects that will be more than fun to follow within the coming years.
PRODUCTION IS AHEAD FROM DESHON PROCTOR
Yes, he is undersized and yes, he could draw a handful of SEC offers if he decided to play football tomorrow but basketball is the sport of choice for Deshon Proctor and because of it, he is deserving of greater love from the mid-major ranks. A 6-foot-5, chiseled and explosive forward beginning his junior season, Proctor might not be the most skilled but he is active, has a nose for the ball and can really rebound. Alcorn State and Houston Baptist are prioritizing but others need to follow suit. He might not possess the requisite standing stature but he is a safe bet to impact a mid-level program for four years.