Shaw's Takeaways: On the Radar Sweet 16
ATLANTA – Some of the top AAU programs from around the Southeast competed in the On the Radar Sweet 16 event Friday through Sunday. Rivals150 prospects matched up and took the floor all weekend and Rivals.com’s Jamie Shaw was baseline to watch them compete. Here is what he saw.
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NOAH CLOWNEY EARNS OFFERS
Perhaps no player at the On the Radar Sweet 16 took more advantage of the moment than Clowney. He came into the event with high-major offers from Virginia Tech and Xavier, he added three more when Georgia Tech, Clemson and Providence all offered after his performances. In prime matchups against the Rivals150 prospects such as Shawn Phillips and Will Shaver, Clowney took advantage of the spotlight. Clowney is a big who moves very well. His fluidity, explosion, and tenacity in defending the ball really stick out. He also knocked down threes, showed comfort going over his left shoulder and provided a nice vertical spacing threat on lobs. Playing for Team Dickerson this summer, look for Clowney to enter the Rivals150 in our next release.
DILLON HUNTER FITS BAYLOR
Watching the run Baylor made to the national championship a couple of weeks ago, you notice the Bears did it with confident guards who can create off the bounce and shoot the ball. Hunter suited up with the Georgia Stars this weekend and showed that he can do just that. In the two games I watched, he finished with 24-points and 30-points. Hunter, a 6-foot-4 point guard, did so by attacking the basket, playing with excellent pace in the half court and showing range that extended beyond the 3-point arc. He fits the mold that Scott Drew showed en route to winning this year’s title.
JULIAN PHILLIPS LOOKING LIKE AN ELITE REBOUNDER
In an event that was riddled with high caliber big men, it was the 6-foot-8 wing who really stood out on the boards. Our No. 28 ranked prospect in the 2022 Rivals150 has a quick first jump and an elite second jump. His anticipation, his determination and his length and athleticism allow him to crash the offensive glass with a purpose. Phillips also showcased the ability to score the ball on the offensive end, creating for himself. Already carrying over 20 offers, Phillips says he talks with Georgia, Auburn and North Carolina (old staff) who have not offered yet. Phillips is playing this summer with the Upward Stars SE program on the Adidas circuit.
BEN MIDDLEBROOKS HAS CLEMSON TIES
It is no secret the 6-foot-10 forward has blown up recently carrying 15 offers from across the high-major levels. Middlebrooks is a strong forward who plays with a motor and is really comfortable shooting the basketball, off the catch, as a trail big and in pick and pop situations. At this event Middlebrooks said he was hearing the most from Ole Miss, Clemson and Dayton. However, in talking about his recruitment, Middlebrooks could not hide the fact his sister plays tennis at Clemson and he loves the campus there. Middlebrooks will play with the Each 1 Teach 1 program on the EYBL this summer.
SHAWN PHILLIPS WAS A MAN AMONGST BOYS
When talking with Phillips after his 14-point, 16-rebound performance on Saturday, I asked him who his game most resembles, very matter of factly, Phillips replied, “Shaq.” Yes, going up against, high major, top-100 bigs in each game, Phillips displayed that Shaq-type of dominance on the blocks. A throw back big of sorts, Phillips has excellent footwork with the ability to bury his defender on the block and finish with multiple moves or just dunk it through you. The Ohio native, playing with the Georgia Stars said he hears the most from West Virginia, Ohio State, Dayton, Indiana, Florida, Cincinnati (old staff) and NC State right now. This could be a huge summer for him, as his type of low block big man skill set is a dying breed, but still very effective in the college game. Currently sitting at No. 61, a bump could be on the horizon in the Rivals150 rankings for Phillips.
TYRELL WARD PICKS UP SOUTH CAROLINA AND MARYLAND OFFERS RECENTLY
The 6-foot-5 wing out of Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md. is a bouncy and lengthy specimen. In the open floor, he attacks the basket with purpose, in fact, over the last year, Ward’s confidence is probably the thing that has grown the most for him. During the Sweet 16 event, Ward showed an ability to create offense in the half court. Ward sits at No. 48 in the current 2022 Rivals150. His most recent offers came from Maryland and South Carolina, joining the likes of Wake Forest, Indiana, Georgia, Georgetown and others. Ward is playing with the New World AAU program this summer on the Adidas circuit.
AJ Brown – The 6-foot-5 wing with Each 1 Teach 1 showcased an ability to score and make shots. Brown has a nice frame and smooth shooting stroke. Alabama, South Florida, Iona, Hofstra, Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast have all offered. More will be on the way.
Ernest Udeh – If you are 6-foot-10 and above, and you have great hands and run the floor, you have a chance. Udeh showcased excellent hands both on the move and on the block, to go with touch with both hands and the ability to beat his man up the floor. Playing with the SE Elite program, Udeh currently claims offers from Yale, Florida, Georgia State, Florida Atlantic, Stetson, Louisiana-Lafayette and Florida Gulf Coast. This one has a feel that it may move to another level soon.
Chandler Jackson – Jackson is your typical tough-minded Memphis-based point guard, who is wrapped in a 6-foot-4, 205-lb. frame. Jackson plays with great pace and balance as he touches the paint and plays off two feet. He scored the ball at multiple levels, defended the ball, as well as distributed it well here. He currently has offers from Creighton, TCU, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Wake Forest. Jackson is playing with Team Thad on the EYBL this Summer.
Devin Ceasar – Perhaps no player in the event was as fast as what Ceasar displayed in his four games this weekend. When you add that type of burst with a willingness to defend and some shot making ability you have a player who is bound to produce. The 6-foot-1 guard finished with 19 and 22 point performances on Sunday. The New World AAU product has current offers from Merrimack, Bryant and Southeast Louisiana.