Roadshow standouts: What they did, where they're going
After two weekends on the road in Florida and Georgia, here is a look at 10 notable performances from the Hoops Exchange Fall Festival in the Orlando suburbs and the final weekend of Georgia Elite Fall League outside Atlanta.
WHAT HE DID: We’re talking small sample size here, but Tamar Bates’ one-game performance at the Fall Festival was among the most impressive ones I saw over the last couple of weeks. He didn’t lead IMG in scoring but he controlled the game on the glass and created opportunities for nearly every one of his teammates. Bates possesses an incredible basketball IQ. So while he can score in bunches, he doesn’t always need to.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: Bates is committed to Texas
WHAT HE DID: Bewley is the most impressive 2023 prospect I encountered in the last few weeks. His twin brother, who may actually be the better prospect, was inactive at the event, so Ryan Bewley took center stage and impacted games in numerous ways. On top of getting to the rim at will, his defense is surprisingly consistent for such a young prospect. He has truly elite athleticism and size for the position. He’ll turn into a truly national commodity as he becomes more refined when it comes to finishing at the basket.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: It’s too soon to tell, as Bewley will pick up more offers in the year ahead. According to the West Oaks High School star, Auburn and Florida State are most heavily involved at this early juncture.
WHAT HE DID: Wesley Cardet is a physical, aggressive scorer that creates contact and has no problem getting to the rim. He scored 32 points in West Oaks’ final game to cap off a weekend that saw him turn in more than one impressive scoring performance.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: Alabama is thought to hold the edge when it comes to Cardet, but whether or not that changed when the Tide received a commitment from Jusaun Holt is yet to be determined. It could easily take both forwards if everyone is on board.
WHAT HE DID: Moussa Diabete was an animal on the glass in the game I watched. His length and style of play are conducive to such a thing, sure, but his instincts are also something to behold. He’s not a polished scorer just yet but he doesn’t need to be in order to make his mark. That’s not to say the long, athletic forward doesn’t finish at the rim because he does in stretches. It’s just to say the French-born standout is yet to scratch his massive potential on offense.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: Your guess is as good as mine. Diabete is difficult to read and there aren’t many clues lying around when it comes to his possible destinations. Kentucky is the best guess right now, as the Wildcats have asserted themselves over the last month or so.
WHAT HE DID: Osmar Garcia’s was one of the most notable performances of the last few weeks, as the sophomore seems primed to break out in a big way. The Venezuelan-born forward isn’t on many radars from a national standpoint just yet, so the fact that he managed to shine in a victory over a West Oaks team loaded with major talent is certainly notable. He’ll see his share of offers come his way in the near future.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: It’s much too soon. The picture will start to clear when offers begin to arrive in the coming months. According to Garcia’s coach, schools such as Memphis and Florida State have already reached out about the talented forward.
WHAT HE DID: Jett Howard scored in spurts during IMG Academy's game at the Hoops Exchange Fall Festival in the Orlando suburbs a few weeks ago. He also showed notable defensive awareness and a level of court vision you wouldn’t expect from a prospect often celebrated for his ability to score. His performance was strikingly well-rounded.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: Probably Michigan, but don’t tell him that. Following the game, Howard said he detests when people assume he’s headed for Ann Arbor because his father is the head coach and his older brother is a player. A twist is certainly possible, as Florida is heavily involved. That said, it’s pretty hard to imagine Howard walking away from such strong family ties.
WHAT HE DID: James spent the game I watched getting to the rim at will and throwing down an impressive dunk. He’s lethal when he catches the ball on the elbow, as his first step is borderline violent. I liked what I saw from James, who was far and away the most talented player on the court but still managed to live up to expectations by dominating in the exact fashion I’d expected.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: James is committed to Louisville
WHAT HE DID: The most pleasant surprise on the final day of the Georgia Elite Fall League outside Atlanta, Ian Schieffelin showed an incredible level of versatility in the two games he played. He got to the rim, knocked down 3-pointers with solid consistency and found himself at the free-throw line often. Schieffelin also played admirable defense against No. 4 overall prospect Jabari Smith, keeping the five-star from talking over the game or scoring at much of a clip. Currently unranked nationally, he likely belongs somewhere on the back end of the Rivals150
WHERE HE’S HEADED: Schieffelin is committed to Clemson
WHAT HE DID: Jabari Smith played two games on the final day of the Georgia Elite Fall League. The first looked like exactly what we’ve come to expect from the No. 4 player in the 2021 class. The second was a little less than that. Nevertheless, the reasons why the long and versatile forward carries a lofty ranking were clear. Auburn is getting a special athlete that can score at all three levels and impact the game on defense.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: Smith is committed to Auburn
WHAT HE DID: Bruce Thornton is a strong, physical guard that absorbs contact as well as anyone at the position. His ball-handling is what pops off the page, but he showed himself to be able to create off the bounce at will last Saturday. His five-star ranking is the product of his well-rounded nature. Thornton does a lot of different things extremely well and plays relentless defense to boot.
WHERE HE’S HEADED: The Milton high school point guard is the son of a former Georgia football player and women’s basketball player. Logic would dictate that the Bulldogs will be in the mix until the end. That said, UGA is going to have to fend off some heavy-hitters, including perceived frontrunner Auburn, if it hopes to actually land the five-star.