South Carolina Top 80 Evaluations
Coach: Blake Hall
#7: 5’9 ’22 Jazian Gortman (Blythewood, SC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that is already quite polished on both ends of the floor, despite not having logged a single minute in high school, Jazian Gortman. He’s a wiry point guard prospect with nice length and an impressive feel for the game. Offensively, Gortman is very poised and intelligent, which allows him to easily navigate the floor while creating scoring opportunities for others. He has solid shooting skills, but his ability to penetrate and finish is even better. Gortman is unselfish and displayed a great motor on defense throughout the day. Next in his development process is working on his movement without the ball, as he could become a more useful off-ball threat and apply pressure as a spot-up shooter. Coach Hall on Gortman: “Jazian is a competitor, no matter the competition. He plays calm and under control—much more mature than his age would imply. He has a tight handle and consistently finds his way to the basket. As he gains more experience, I believe he will continue to develop both physically and mentally. Jazian has an exceptional foundation for a freshman.” Gortman was terrific over the summer with Palmetto City Hurricanes and brought that same team-first mentality to camp.
#20: 5’11 ’21 Jalen Breazeale (Mauldin, SC)
Next, we look at a player that could start gaining national attention within the coming years, Jalen Breazeale. He’s an intelligent point guard prospect with sharp quickness and impressive two-way poise. Breazeale has a pretty compact frame and understands how to properly utilize it to absorb contact on penetration attempts. He’s a natural playmaker, but also possesses great instincts as a three-level scorer and can create for himself with relative ease. Breazeale has strong IQ and it’s especially evident on defense, where he is able to force an abundance of on-ball turnovers with his quick hands and feet. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to pile on points as an off-ball option and spot-up shooter. Coach Hall on Breazeale: “Jalen is a nice guard, but was sidelined for our last two games with an injury. He has a good shot off the catch and handles the ball quite well. His injury limited his playing time and evaluation.” Breazeale is as talented as any young guard in South Carolina, and proved that at camp, even though his showing was shortened.
#44:6’1 ’22 Quan Peterson (Rock Hill, SC)
Moving onto a player that already possesses an abundance of two-way poise and polish, Quan Peterson. He’s an athletic combo-guard with a strong IQ and clear team-first approach on both sides of the floor. Offensively, Peterson is a competent ball-handler with nice playmaking instincts and the ability to consistently generate offense for himself. He possesses great quickness and drives by opponents with regularity and relative ease. Peterson shot the ball well from all three levels and has leadership qualities on both sides of the ball. He’s a tough all-around defender with precise footwork and terrific communication skills. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his movement without the ball, as it would allow him to harness even more off-ball scoring opportunities. Coach Hall on Peterson: “Quan has a n outstanding IQ for the game. He needs to improve the consistency of his motor. If he does so, he has all the ability to improve over the next few years. Quan has excellent quickness off the bounce. He can continue to work on his perimeter jumper.” Peterson was among the youngest participants at camp and will be a prospect to keep a close eye on, as he is just beginning to realize his long-term upside.
#46: 6’1 ’19 Sabien Nero (Florence, SC)
Continuing onto a player with a fairly well-rounded skillset, nice productivity, and additional upside to harness, Sabien Nero. He’s a guard prospect with length, quickness, and phenomenal end-to-end speed. Nero has a pretty firm understanding for the game and does an excellent job of creating scoring opportunities off the dribble. He blows by opposing guards and is able to make plays inside the paint. Nero has great vision and can continue to improve as a playmaker. He overwhelmed opponents as an on-ball defender and forced a few turnovers on the day. Next in his development process is working on his ability to shoot off the dribble, as it would make him really difficult to contain on offense. Coach Hall on Nero: “Sabien has elite speed with the ball in open space. He can get by any defender when he accelerates. Sabien needs to utilize his playmaking ability a little more consistently. He has the ability to set teammates up if he utilizes his tools.” Nero performed quite well at camp and could be poised for an uptick in his recruitment during the upcoming season, especially if he continues outworking opponents on both ends of the floor.
#67: 6’3 ’20 Harold Johnson Jr. (Denmark, SC)
Next, we look at a player that made a priority out of the little things on both sides of the ball, Harold Johnson Jr. He’s a long, high-motor wing prospect that does a terrific job of creating havoc on defense and filling in the gaps on offense. Johnson doesn’t force the action offensively, yet still applies terrific pressure as an off-ball scorer. He gets downhill, attacks the rim extremely well and finishes a high percentage of his attempts around the basket. Johnson moves with purpose and truly knows how to make plays without the ball. He rebounded exceptionally well on both ends of the floor and destroyed opponents in transition. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his ball-handling, as it would allow him to create for himself in a pinch. Coach Hall on Johnson: “Harold has an outstanding motor; he stays active the entire time he’s on the court. He has a knack for slashing into the open gap and finishing well with either hand in traffic. If he continues to improve his perimeter shot, Harold will be a difficult matchup for most defenders.” Johnson is an intriguing prospect, since he’s already quite a useful two-way player, but he can become even better with continued work.
#74:6’3 ’22 Marcus Kell (Fort Mill, SC)
Moving onto a player that provided his team with a great attitude and team-first approach at camp, Marcus Kell. He’s a long-bodied wing prospect with nice shooting touch and a blossoming two-way skillset. Offensively, Kell understands how to operate without the ball and knock down shots from the perimeter as a spot-up option. On the other end, he’s able to account for his assignment fairly well away from the ball and will improve his on-ball prowess with additional quickness. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength to his wiry frame, as it would allow him to apply pressure as a penetrator and finisher. Coach Hall on Kell: “Marcus has very good size on the perimeter. He likes to hunt for catch-and-shoot opportunities and has the necessary ability to deal some damage. As he continues to physically mature and put time in the gym—I have no doubt that his ability will soon match his potential.” Kell enjoyed a pretty nice showing at camp, especially to be just entering his first high school season.
#96: 6’5 ’19 Ray O’Neal (Hartsville, SC)
Continuing onto a player that brings an incredibly unselfish approach to every team he’s on, Ray O’Neal. He’s an athletic forward prospect that takes pride in the little things and being a constant motivator for his team. Offensively, O’Neal tallied most of his points through offensive rebounds and off-ball cuts; he plays extremely hard and moves purposefully without the ball. He is capable of cutting and knocking down shots on all levels. O’Neal is a surprising athlete with the ability to play above the rim on dunks and rebounds. He takes great pride in his presence on defense and has a clear desire to defend the top opposing player whenever possible. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would allow him to take defenders off the dribble and apply more pressure as a scorer. Coach Hall on O’Neal: “Ray is the teammate that everyone wants to play with. He does whatever his team needs that game in order to be successful. Ray is an outstanding defender and rebounder. As he continues to develop his catch-and-shoot game, he will begin to see his game flourish. Ray is also deceptively athletic and finishes well in traffic.” O’Neal is going to be an intriguing player to watch, as he could provide Hartsville with some quality two-way contributions this upcoming season.
#98: 6’5 ’20 Raekwon Horton (Columbia, SC)
Next, we look at a player that is overflowing with talent, even though his recruitment might not reflect the notion, Raekwon Horton. He’s a strong, athletic wing prospect with a college-ready frame and a complete skillset to match. Offensively, Horton is able to dominate opposing defenses from all three levels and has no true weaknesses as a scorer. He’s a very efficient shooter and attacks the rim with sheer force, making him a legitimate threat to take over any game. Horton has a pretty nice handle for his size and knows how to generate offense in an instant, both for himself and others. He’s also versatile on defense and is capable of switching across two or three positions without hesitation. Horton is a great rebounder that exposes opponents fairly often in transition. Next in his development process is improving his post moves, as it would allow him to bully opposing defenders in every possible way. Coach Hall on Horton: “Raekwon is a lights-out shooter. He stretches the defense with his ability to catch and shoot. With his size and shooting touch, defenses have to stay close—which allows teammates large gaps for penetration. When he chooses, he attacks defenders on closeouts and his athletic ability allows him to finish above the rim.” Right now, Horton is severely underrated as a recruit and has all the makings of a high-level wing prospect. All types of Division I programs should be giving Horton a hard look, as his two-way skillset should seamlessly translate to the next level.
#101: 6’6 ’20 Justin Amadi (Simpsonville, SC)
Moving onto a player with a really intriguing two-way presence that has just begun to realize his long-term potential, Justin Amadi. He’s a long, athletic forward prospect with quality feel on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Amadi has a pretty well-rounded skillset and is capable of scoring on all three levels quite well. He can operate the two-man game and dive to the rim or knock down shots off the catch with phenomenal efficiency. Amadi is an awesome rebounder on both ends of the floor he’s able to secure an abundance of second-chance opportunities and finish the play himself on offense while consistently pushing transition play off of defensive boards. He was among the most versatile and polished defenders in attendance, and was able to destroy his assignment in each contest. Next in his development process is working on improving his ball-handling, as a tighter handle would make him virtually unstoppable on offense. Coach Hall on Amadi: “Justin has a great feel for the game. He picks his spots to be aggressive on offense. He’s a strong, highlight-reel finisher around the rim and can also stretch the floor beyond the arc. Maybe his greatest skill is his ability to clean the defensive glass and create second-chance baskets on the offensive end. Justin has an excellent attitude and is a team player.” Amadi is another prospect that should see a boost in his recruitment sooner or later, as he possesses the necessary tools to make a strong impact at the college level.
#114: 6’0 ’19 Bryce Cormack (Sumter, SC)
Finishing things up, we look at a player that brought an excellent attitude and unselfish approach to camp, Bryce Cormack. He’s a guard prospect with solid ball-handling and creation skills, allowing him to play as the main playmaker or slide off-ball and focus on scoring. Cormack brings great energy to both ends of the floor and is willing to do whatever necessary to provide his team with an edge. He displays a pretty strong motor and has a clear desire to defend while making hustle plays. Cormack plays within himself, knocking down open shots, making the right pass, and never forcing the action on either end of the floor. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength, as it would allow him to absorb contact on penetration chances. Coach Hall on Cormack: “Bryce is a hardworking player with solid feel for the game. He had a great attitude and was a terrific teammate throughout the day. Bryce is a willing passer and tallied multiple nice assists at camp.” Cormack showed up ready to compete and that became clearer with each passing contest, as he did a nice job of consistently outworking his assignment.