DALLAS, Ga. – 41 student-athletes took to the floor at East Paulding for a final preseason tune up before the 2019-20 high school season officially tips off. Broken down into four teams, each team played four 20 minute games. Below are some quick evaluations on each player. Please visit @CTCAthletics on Twitter and on Instagram for highlights of Sunday’s event.
2020 6-5 F Sean Rutledge (East Paulding)
The CTC Fall League MVP averaged 10.5 points and showcased his full package on Sunday, earning his first offer from Chattahoochee Valley Community College. Rutledge is one of Georgia’s best low block scorers but his game has extended out to beyond the three-point line. Rutledge handles like a guard and loves to attack off the dribble. His go-to move is to spin into a drop step off his drives and finish at the rim. Rutledge has huge hands which helps him finish from tough angles and outrebound opponents. He is a true inside-out threat that can play both forward positions in college. His free throw shooting will need improvement and when he misses, he misses bad. Rutledge is a D-I level talent as long as he can keep his motor running and take care of business off the court.
2020 6-4 SG Jordan Jefferson (Osborne)
A three-level scorer, Jordan Jefferson continued his strong offseason by lighting up the scoreboard. He hit 3 threes on the day and has the ability to get hot from deep and score in bunches. Jefferson got to the basket using an array of eurosteps and floaters to finish. His length makes him an ideal two-way player. He had 6 steals and 2 blocks in four games. Colleges will want to track Jefferson this season as a rangy guard with upside.
2022 5-9 G Baxter Barber (Marietta)
The sophomore guard looked comfortable paired with Sean Rutledge and Jordan Jefferson as lead scoring options. Barber has a good feel for the game as a heady floor general. The lefty was looking to set up teammates first before searching for his own offense which came in spurts. As Barber earns more minutes throughout his career, expect him to be a positive influence on Coach Markus Hood’s backcourt and a reliable ball handler.
2020 6-0 PG Jordan Goodrich (South Paulding)
Goodrich kept the offense flowing as a pass-first point guard, somewhat of a rarity in today’s game. Goodrich can be an extension of the coach on the floor when setting up the offense and is a trusted on-ball defender. He has success when pushing the ball in transition and finding open shooters on the perimeter. While he isn’t a threat to score 20 points himself, Goodrich is still a point producer with how he gets his teammates involved.
2021 5-10 G Tray Wyatt (Bowdon)
Tray Wyatt entered camp as somewhat of an unknown, not sure what to expect out of the west Georgia guard, but Wyatt quickly put people on notice with his aggressive play. Wyatt played with a confidence at the combo guard position and used a quick burst to get into the lane when needed. You could tell he knows how to score the ball and should do so a lot this season at Bowdon. He created off the bounce and set up teammates as well, playing his finest game in a 31-29 loss to Team 2, tallying 4 points and 3 assists.
2021 6-3 W Creed Dunbar (Commerce)
Dunbar didn’t get to showcase his offensive game too much but the physically strong slasher with a football background provided toughness and did the little things to help his team win. Dunbar competed on the glass and defended well. He collected 2 steals and blocked a shot over the course of camp. Offensively, Dunbar can stretch defenses out to the three-point line but is best when using his strong frame to finish at the rim.
2020 6-3 F Brandon Bryant (South Paulding)
Brandon Bryant is a tough-nosed effort guy that mixes it up inside. He is a strong athlete which allows him to battle for rebounds. Bryant is more of a slasher/garbage-guy on offense and is an active body that defenses need to locate to block out. Bryant is the type of gritty player that is needed to win games. He will fill the void left behind by Sha’mi Shields as a hustler.
2020 5-10 G John Jenkins Jr. (Sprayberry)
Jenkins had some nice moments throughout camp. He has a strong foundation for a guard and can out physical smaller defenders. Jenkins got to his spots on the floor and made the most of his opportunities, hitting 2 threes on the day and dishing out 4 assists. He looks ready to earn some minutes his senior season and round out a solid backcourt.
2022 5-11 W Jaylen Covington (Northside-Warner Robins)
Jaylen Covington showed the ability to stretch the defense and knock down the open shot. He gave solid effort on defense and was in the mix on rebounds. The more reps he gets, the more prepared he will be for the rigors of the varsity season. He does have big frame that lets him play physical against taller opponents.
2020 6-1 G Landen Self (Chattooga)
Good teams need reliable options that can knock down open shots on the perimeter and that is what Landen Self brings to the table for Chattooga. He is a floor stretcher that makes the defense honor his range. Being able to create offense for himself off the dribble will help present more scoring opportunities.
2022 5-10 G Maddox Black (North Paulding)
A late addition to camp, Black got thrown into the fire right away at the King of the Court station trying to guard Sean Rutledge — a mismatch to say the least. But once Black got settled in and didn’t have to worry about guarding an All-State forward that had nearly 60 pounds and 6 inches on him, Black found his footing and took advantage of his chances. He knocked down a three and picked up a steal and assist. Adapting to the speed of the game and growing into his body and getting stronger will help him long term.
2021 5-9 PG Makayl Rakestraw (East Jackson)
Physically mature and built like a linebacker, the bowling ball guard was one of the strongest players in camp. Rakestraw helped guide his team to a 3-1 day with his decision making. There was nothing flashy about his game, instead there was more substance than anything else. Rakestraw can shoot the three but also get to the rim with his frame and absorb contact easily.
2020 6-6 F Lee Dorsey (Osborne)
The upside and versatility of Lee Dorsey had college coaches circling his name. He is a long forward that looks like he can develop into a wing at the next level. Dorsey ran the floor well and knocked down the open three. He played with a steady motor and blocked 2 shots. Dorsey can play above the rim. He can still use some polish to his game and is not yet a finished product, but Dorsey could be a guy we see in a year or two really take off.
2021 6-3 W Kristian Ford (East Paulding)
Kristian Ford had a good day and stayed aggressive throughout. In the CTC Fall League he could take a back seat to Sean Rutledge and sometimes get lost in the offense, but Ford was locked in from the jump and showed a variety of skills on Sunday. He splashed in 4 threes and was able to do so off the dribble rather than on wide open ball reversals. Ford scored at all three levels, getting to the basket and finishing in traffic. He will be asked to up his game on the glass and defensively this upcoming season, but his offense is ready and will be relied upon to average double digits.
2020 6-0 G Jared Amritt (South Paulding)
Best in a back-and-forth pace, Amritt thrives in transition. The quick guard is good at pushing in the open floor and accelerates to the basket. He can struggle at times against size, but Amritt is not afraid to challenge defenders at the rim and has enough bounce to finish with authority. Finding consistency and being able to score in the half court will be areas of growth. He will play a big role in South Paulding’s backcourt and will have plenty of chances to score the ball and turn defense into offense.
2022 6-0 G Jaylon Johnson (Chattooga)
A young guard still getting experience, Jaylon Johnson has tools that will continue to be redefined as he gets more reps. The Cass move-in has some length and might have another inch or two in him. He showed that he can shoot the ball from deep, hitting 2 threes on the day while defensively, he was able to get his hands on loose balls and cause turnovers. Now in Class 2A with threes seasons of growth ahead of him, don’t be surprised if Johnson turns into a really nice player for the Indians.
2022 6-2 G Julius King Jr. (Warner Robins)
Quietly, Julius King Jr. was one of the steadiest guards at camp. Bringing over middle Georgia’s trademark toughness, the Warner Robins guard did a little bit of everything displaying a strong overall floor game. He hit 3 threes on the day, rebounded well and assisted on three buckets. King has a good motor and a good IQ. He is on the right track.
2021 6-0 G Christopher Abernathy (East Paulding)
Abernathy really came to life in a 36-35 win over Team 3 with 3 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. The stocky guard moves the ball well and uses his strong build to move smaller guards out of his way. He hustled for loose balls and got on the floor. Abernathy loves to mix it up.
2020 5-9 G Jakeevin Henderson (Cass)
Jakeevin Henderson played with great energy at camp. He was best in transition where he could slice his way to the basket. Henderson is a good foul shooter, making teams pay when they have to foul him. Henderson will be relied upon as a sparkplug in the Cass backcourt this upcoming season.
2021 6-2 F Kevin Malenius (Allatoona)
Kevin Malenius does the dirty work every time his number is called. He had a fantastic camp and was always in position to grab offensive rebounds. He had a crucial 7-point outburst in a 36-35 win. Malenius has a soft touch around the rim. He is a sneaky good post defender and positions his body well to place himself in spots to pick up blocks.
2019 6-1 W Rashaun Henry (AGS)
Rashaun Henry, a mature wing, loved the corner three. He hit two deep balls. Henry has a grown man’s body and did his best work defensively.
2021 6-3 W Kevin Taylor (Allatoona)
A CTC First Team All-League selection, Kevin Taylor is a jack-of-all-trades. He is one of the most versatile players in the area with his ability to play multiple positions. He rebounds, defends and scores the ball well at all three levels. He has a steady motor and really gets after it. Continuing to improve his ball handling and outside shooting will help him as he grows into being wing at the next level. He is a key cog in Allatoona’s big red machine.
2022 6-4 W Trey Harris (North Paulding)
Trey Harris is a smooth scoring wing that will be thrust into a big role his sophomore season. Harris didn’t get to score much at camp, but he is more than capable of filling it up. He has a strong foundation and understanding of the game and knows how to get to his sweet spots. He is a good three-point shooter but can score it from the mid-range and up close as well. Harris will have to hunt his shot a little more at times and be an assertive alpha male for the Wolfpack. Once he embraces his role as go-to guy in the near future, he will have an exceptional career.
2022 6-6 F Izaiyah Nelson (Marietta)
Already a shot-blocking ace, Izaiyah Nelson displayed the versatility of his game. He knocked down a three, pushed the ball in transition and obviously protected the paint. Nelson is still growing into his body and has been getting plenty of reps this offseason to prepare him for minutes with the varsity. If he continues to put in the work, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him develop into more of a combo-forward come his senior year with the ability to spend some time on the wing in college. As Nelson matures both on and off the court, his ceiling will raise.
2022 6-3 W Sebastian Tidor (East Paulding)
Consistency separates good players from great players. Sebastian Tidor is still learning how to produce each and every game. He scored 4 points in three out of the four games but Tidor can be so much more and will be once he develops a killer instinct on the floor. Tidor already has good defensive instincts and has good size on the wing. Offensively, he can hit the occasional three-ball but is more of a slasher. He will have to improve his ball handling to be able to create his own offense off the dribble. East Paulding is in dire need of ball handlers and consistent scoring options behind Sean Rutledge. Kristian Ford should be the team’s second leading scorer. There’s no reason why Tidor can’t produce the same way. Once the light flicks on, Tidor should be one of the better 2022’s in Paulding County.
2020 5-8 G Malik King (Stewart County)
Driving nearly 3 hours to get to camp, Malik King came in as an unknown to everyone in attendance however, he took advantage of the stage and made a name for himself. After averaging 16.7 points, 7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks at Class A-Public Stewart County, King proved he could play with the “city” boys. King is typical strong small school guard that has been in the weight room and plays bigger than his size. He has a lead dog mentality but still makes good decisions and doesn’t force the issue. King scored from the mid-range and on drives to the basket.
2020 5-8 PG Grant LaSalle (South Paulding)
Grant LaSalle is a scrappy southpaw that gets after it. The undersized guard is a floor general that moves the ball around and gets up under ball handlers. He has quick hands that frustrates bigger guards. LaSalle is a surprisingly good finisher around the rim for his size.
2021 5-8 G Nic Mangram (Harrison)
Nic Mangram was the third-head of Team 3’s small backcourt. Just like the others, Mangram was feisty. Mangram is a solid athlete with good lift on his jumper. He had some nice swing passes to find open men across the defense. His lateral quickness makes him a valuable defender.
2021 6-4 W Josh Alexander
The biggest mystery in camp was Josh Alexander who has come down to Georgia from Chicago. Possibly the most athletic player in attendance, Alexander was tearing down rims in warm-ups and ended up cutting his wrist, but that didn’t stop him from scoring the ball during the game portion of camp. He hit 2 threes and slashed to the basket. Alexander was pressing at times and had bad body language, two areas he will need to clean up. He has the raw skills to help a school, but he needs coaching and guidance to get the best out of him. Alexander has poured a lot of effort into basketball and will continue to work hard.
2022 6-0 W Bryant Elliott (Marietta)
Bryant Elliott is a competitor that plays with a chip on his shoulder. He isn’t as athletically gifted as his peers but he makes up for it with his hustle and attitude. Elliott methodically can craft his way into the paint where he tends to draw fouls. He can also knock down the open three.
2020 6-6 F Andrew Coble (East Paulding)
After not playing with East Paulding during the CTC Fall League, Andrew Coble made his debut as an athletic long-armed big man that focuses on defense. He admittedly is ready to hone in on basketball and do whatever it takes to help the Raiders win. Coble has range out to the three-point line and finished well around the rim.
2021 6-4 F Cam Baldwin (Allatoona)
The CTC Fall League Defensive Player of the Year brought his usual energy and helped his team go 3-1. Baldwin has the best motor the CTC has seen this offseason, always involved in defensive stops. Baldwin takes great pride in his defense and blocks or at least contests every shot around him. He is a bouncy forward that rebounds at a high clip and plays above the rim. Baldwin scores around the bucket. If he can develop a consistent jump shot and work on creating his own offense off the dribble, Baldwin will become the complete package. Expect him to have a breakout year as the anchor of Allatoona’s defense.
2020 6-2 SG Caleb Duncan (South Paulding)
Already known as a lights-out three-point shooter, Caleb Duncan flipped the script at the CTC Showcase by getting to the basket and finishing through traffic. Of course, he sprayed 4 threes on the day, but showing the ability to score off the bounce consistently was a welcome sight. Duncan is a true bucket-getter, but improving defensively will be his next area of growth. Giving non-stop effort on the defensive side will open up collegiate opportunities as his offensive game is already at a recruitable level.
2020 6-4 W Daeyon James (McDonough)
One of Georgia’s better late stock risers this summer, Daeyon James showed flashes of why colleges are starting to track his progress. James is a big wing with a three-point stroke. He was aggressive when he got to the basket, trying to dunk everything. I wouldn’t classify James as an elite athlete but he knows when to turn it on to get the job done. With his size, James is also a capable rebounder and on defense, he used the same length to get into the passing lanes and spark fastbreaks.
2020 5-10 G Malachi Jackson (Chattooga)
Malachi Jackson played like a traditional Chattooga guard: scrappy and full of energy. Jackson is quick and likes to wreak havoc on defenses by getting into the lane to either create open looks for teammates or score it himself. Jackson is a crafty passer and also knows how to score against height at the rim. He stuffed the stat sheet with rebounds, assists and steals, always getting himself involved in plays on both ends of the floor.
2022 5-11 G Kamryn Callahan (Cartersville)
A late move-in from Cass, Kamryn Callahan is a svelte, wiry guard that plays with energy. Callahan’s activity often leads to him being able to sneak in for offensive rebounds. That same motor makes his a pesky on-ball defender. Only a sophomore, Callahan has a chance to play important minutes at Cartersville and hopefully become the next collegiate guard to graduate from the program years from now.
2022 5-10 G Caleb Barner (North Paulding)
Guys like Caleb Barner might not make the newspaper clippings, but they help teams win games and they get recognized here. Barner didn’t light up the scoreboard but he found his niche as a glue guy willing to do the little things that don’t show up in the box score. He was always the first one to find a body and block out once a shot went up, leading to a good handful of rebounds. He helped get teammates involved with 2 assists on the day. Barner is a system guy that will help out North Paulding when his number is called.
2020 5-10 G Matt Smith (Osborne)
Matt Smith came out guns a’ blazin’ in his first game, smoking 3 deep threes to find his groove. Smith is a lethal shooter that can carry his team from deep. He is an opportunistic defender as well, forcing turnovers and getting out in transition. Smith had a nice day facilitating with 3 assists. He is part of a nucleus at Osborne that has been slept on for a while now. The Cardinals haven’t had much success, but with Smith, Jordan Jefferson and Lee Dorsey all seniors, it’s time to make some people notice.
2021 5-9 G John Williams III (South Paulding)
A bruising undersized guard that looks like a fullback, John Williams III proved he was more than just a banger. Williams connected on some soft floaters at camp and hit his free throws. His strength made him tough to get by on defense.
2021 6-3 W Jimmie Jackson (East Jackson)
Jimmie Jackson is a thick wing that can do a little bit of everything. He had 4 assists, 3 steals and found himself battling for offensive rebounds. He had a few tough finishes at the rim. Jackson’s versatility makes him an important piece at East Jackson.