Some of the Upstate's top prospects converged on the gym at Legacy Charter School to compete. Scout.com was there and we've got a quick analysis of what we observed during the games at Legacy Charter.
First things first, former Hillcrest standout Dante Buford who is now at Oakwood School in North Carolina came home and absolutely dominated in the early going. Currently rated 3-stars by Scout the 2014 prospect had the full offensive arsenal on display as he drove with authority to the rim, showed very good ballhandling skills on the perimeter and leading the break, knocked down deep three point jumpers with ease, and skied for some jaw dropping putback dunks in traffic. Buford is not the same player we saw when he was at Hillcrest a couple of years ago and honestly from what I've seen if he continues to make such immense progress with his game expect him to land a fourth star before long.
His former teammate, 2013 point guard D.J. Brooks, who still plays for Hillcrest started off a little cool from the perimeter but after one game he found his range and put together a strong performance. Brooks was a little more shoot-first in the open gym atmosphere but when his shot started falling opponents were at his mercy. Brooks told us he's made a verbal commitment to Mercer University but there are still other schools still recruiting him heavily. We'll have a full update with Brooks to talk about it all later.
Another 2013 prospect who had more than his share of moments was Southside guard Quavius Copeland. Right now Copeland is a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's body it appears. He's slick and just knows how to score. It appears he's already taking note that he may have to slide over to the point guard position as he had some nice assists throughout the day and caught fire in a couple of runs knocking down a bunch of three pointers from all over. In the right situation Copeland should thrive but college coaches are going to want to see that he can be a combo guard we feel.
2013 Hillcrest guard Tre Smith was another talented prospect who participated and had his share of moments during the day. Smith knocked down a number of jumpers and also slashed to the bucket on baseline numerous times for buckets. The 2013 prospect also broke down his man more than a few times and took it strong to the rack.
A late arrival to the open gym session was 2013 small forward Davaris McGowens of Eastside High School. The state's reigning AAA Player of the Year hit the gym and immediately went head up with Dante Buford and had his way especially with fresh legs after Buford had already played in three to four games already. McGowens used his strength to muscle his way to the basket against Buford and others but also ran the floor in transition and finished with authority. Talking with an AAU coach after the event McGowens has picked up some more offers and we'll talk about that in our upcoming update.
As stated before it was the first open gym that Jackson has offered since moving over to Legacy Charter School from Southside High School where he helped the Tigers become a powerhouse in the AA and AAA ranks. He's hoping to have more open gym dates in the future and Scout.com will be there to tell you all about some of the top prospects that are in attendance.
Stay tuned to later this week as we'll have recruiting updates with Dante Buford and D.J. Brooks.