2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic Standouts


Recap of players who stood up and out during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic’s final day of action on November 16, 2019.  Images by Popscout.

Game 1
Denmark 55 vs Maynard Jackson 52

Robert Cowherd willed his team to victory at the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic on November 16, 2019. Game played at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout.

10 -Robert Cowherd 
Denmark HS
6’3 CG Class of 2022
(Listed as 6’5 on the submitted team roster)

Cold shooting night for this Combo Guard (3 for 12 shooting) who nonetheless stayed poised, leading his team to a come from behind victory after Maynard Jackson jumped out to an early lead.  Robert does a great job of handling the rock under duress, becoming a pressure valve for his teammates. He gets to the rack to create opportunities by his penetration and kick to teammates who spot up for open looks. He can also become special by finishing around the rim with jellies and euro steps.  Solid open court creator with a high basketball IQ. These aforementioned traits will be key assets towards the success of his squad as the season progresses and his development continues over the next two and a half years.  He went 15-18 from the line, tallying 23 points, showing his effectiveness to cause issues once he gets by his defender, draws fouls, and then cashes in at the charity stripe.  After watching this young man shine during the North Georgia HS Showcase (11/9/19), we expect some serious buzz in the very near future. Georgia has already offered and I’m sure many more to come

Game 2
Girls – Holy Innocents 63 Marietta 29

2021 Jillian Hollingshead with the blow by during their 63-29 victory over Marietta (GA). Popscout

35-Jillian Hollingshead
Holy Innocents
Jr. 6’5 W 2021
#6 Position, #25 overall recruit for 2021 (Per ESPN)

Marietta gave little resistance as Holy Innocents pretty much did what they pleased. 2021 Jillian Hollingshead logged a double-double, pulling down 12 rebounds to go along with 12 (4 for 9 shooting, 4-11 FT) points.  She also had 3 steals and limited her mistakes to 1 turnover.  UCLA was on hand, which is an indication that this young lady is drawing national attention on the recruiting trail.   As she uses her Jr. season to fine-tune her game by continuing to work on her mechanics and athleticism, at the end of the day, results should give her the edge she needs to be a true difference-maker at the collegiate level.

Game 3 
Glen Hills 49 Mt. Bethel 47

2020 G John Whitehead III goes to work during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic. Image by Popscout

24 – John Whitehead III
Glen Hills High
6’3 CG Class of 2020

John hit a deep 3 ptr. wet ball to send the game into overtime as Glen Hills capitalized on the extra period to escape with a 49-47 victory over Mt. Bethel.  The 6’3 Combo Guard was a stocking stuffer, scoring 15pts on 6 for 16 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds, 8 steals, and 3 assists (3 TO). We like the athleticism of this young man, who handles well, shoots with confidence, and can go down low to do damage, working several times off the block to post and score over smaller defenders.  Concerned that 1st year Glen Hills HC William Cunningham micromanages his squad a bit too much and thus limits the development of his players.  Many seemed a bit timid to express themselves as Cunningham has to have control over each and every situation, instead of relying on his players to figure it out.  If John can continue to stay focused and play his game despite the tight reign that he’s under, we should see him drawing D1 interest at the end of the day.

Game 4
Greenforest 69 St. Pius X 55

2022 Jalen Forrest is an up and coming prospect out of the State of GA. He stepped his game up during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic on November 16, 2019. Popscout

Jalen Forrest
Greenforest High
6’2 So Guard Class of 2022

St. Pius X came out swinging, scoring the first 8 points of the game. The backcourt running mates of 6’1 Chase Cormier (2022) and 5’10 Brooks Kahlert (2021) from St. Pius X can wreak havoc on defenders.  Greenforest showed great composure, eventually, pulling away for the dub.  Greenforest is tall but wet behind the ears, as their Freshman bigs saw limited action.  We always wonder how bigs will adapt to the speed of the game which can make or break a player’s chance of becoming the next big thing.  We like the development and play of So. 6’2 G Jalen Forrest who held his own against a strong defensive effort from St. Pius X.  Jalen is a stocky guard who can get to the bucket and finish with floaters and stop and pops, thus eliminating charging calls/ turnovers and momentum swings. His ability to become special was a determining factor for the Eagles as he poured in 22 points while shooting 7-11 and 3 for 6 from 3 pt. land.  He also knocked down 5 of his 6 attempts from the charity stripe.  All signs point to a stud in the making from this young soldier and witnessing his development over the next two years will be a joy for Greenforest HC Rory Griffin.

Game 5
Girls Westlake 69 Spaulding 35

#20 So. G Ta’Niya Latson goes up for a rebound during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic on November 16, 2019. Image by Popscout.

#20 Ta’Niya Latson
Westlake High (GA)
5’7 G Class of 2022

Westlake was too polished – even though they only sport 2 seniors on their roster.  Head Coach Hilda Hankerson has to be stoked about the potential of her squad.  She runs a tight shift, showcasing a full-court press while running sets that allow her players to shine. Keep your eyes and ears open for Ta’Niya Latson who’ll emerge as a top recruit when it’s all said and done.  Ta’Niya is active as can be, sitting and sliding and releasing and recovering on defense, while showing great activity on the offensive end of the court with her tenacity and relentless pursuit of the ball.  We only got a glimpse of Westlake (2 and a half Quarters) but loved what we see.  This team will compete with the best of them and should garner National attention because of their deep and young roster.  Another player to watch is Jr. 6’3 W Brianna Turnage who shows a uniqueness to her game that’s a joy to watch.

Game 6
Tri-Cities 87 Westlake 72

2021 Peyton Daniels of Tri-Cities (GA) looking to eat during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic. November 16, 2019, Popscout.

Peyton Daniels
Tri-Cities High
6’2 PG Class of 2021

No one works harder than Tri-Cities who were able to literally impose their will on rival Westlake, grinding them to a halt.  2021 6’2 PG Peyton Daniels, who has 8 offers including Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and James Madison, was special.  Although he shot 8-25 from the field and 2 for 13 from 3pt land while missing 5 of his 10 free throw attempts, he finished the day a stocking stuffer scoring 23 points, with 7 boards, 4 dimes, and 3 steals.  If Peyton can limit his mistakes (4 TO’s) and be a bit more in control of his game in terms of shot selection and pressing the issue, we’re looking at a difference-maker at the next level.  He was able to shine against Westlake 5 Star Super Soph. Dillon Hunter who was held to 13 points on 2 for 4 shooting.  With one year left for this young man to develop his skillsets and leadership attributes, we may be looking at the #1 PG in the state of GA for the Class of 2021

Game 7
St Francis 62 Langston Hughes 57 

2020 6’2 PG Dwon Odom with the stop and pop. The Xavier commit is electrifying on the court. Popscout

#1 Dwon Odom
St. Francis High
6’2 PG Class of 2020
Xavier commit

There’s one word to describe 2020 Dwon Odom:  electrifying.  This kid right here is as special of a PG as we’ve seen in quite some time.  When was the last time you saw a guard rebound and push, outrun the entire defense in the process, and go coast to coast for a monster slam?  Not once but twice!!  His athleticism allows him to play above the rim as he just wreaks havoc with his ability to jump out of the gym. He’ll need to continue to develop consistency in his jump shot but the potential to be a top collegiate player and NBA playmaker is evident.  The potential for this young man to be great at the next level will be fun to watch as he heads off to Xavier, bringing a bag load of skillsets to the Musketeers.

Game 8
Woodward 56 Pace Academy 52

2020 7’0 Walker Kessler shows the ability to sit and slide during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic on November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout.

It was a packed house at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA as all eyes were on 7’0 big Walker Kessler.  The UNC commit even had his future coach Roy Williams in attendance.  Mr. Kessler didn’t disappoint, hitting key buckets down the stretch to seal the victory for the War Eagles.  Because of his ability to stretch the defense, protect the rim, and score off the block, it’s no wonder he’s the #1 prospect out of the State of GA for 2020.  He runs the court well getting to his comfort zones and spots on the court where he’s effective at pulling the trigger and knocking down wet balls.

7’0 2020 Walker Kessler warms up during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout

His footwork is advanced, showing an array of post moves on the block and then his ability to just shoot over smaller defenders.  Stretches defenses to behind the arc, shooting with confidence and a silky smooth stroke.  One play in transition, he was able to receive a pass then stop and pop for a step back midrange jumper.  Fluid.  The gripe many may have about Walker is that he’s a bit soft and lacks explosiveness.  I’ve seen Evan Mobley (CA), the #1 Center for the class of 2020 since he was a Freshman, develop into a multifaceted player under the tutelage of AAU’s Compton Magic.  Evan is a bit grimier than Kessler with a lot more explosiveness.  If Kessler can add muscle and toughness to his already semi-polished game, he’ll be a top 5 pick in the NBA Draft, whenever he decides to jump ship.

We appreciate the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic and host Pace Academy.

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7’0 Walker Kessler shines during Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic

2020 7’0 Walker Kessler shows the ability to sit and slide during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout.

Walker Kessler showed why he’s the #1 Recruit in the State of Georgia during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA.  The 2020 big from Woodward Academy in College Park, GA has excellent feet, the ability to protect the rim, and a soft release on his shot which allows him to extend the defense beyond the 3 pt. range with a silky smooth release. He lacks the toughness and physicality you would like to see from a big but his potential to develop into a solid NBA prospect is a no-brainer.  Mr. Kessler chose UNC over Duke and other major D1 schools looking to capitalize on his skillsets.

Popscout was on hand doing what we do…evaluating players, getting great footage, and taking butter action shots.  A few clips of this young man in action as they outshine host Pace Academy 56-52 in front of a sold-out crowd.  The atmosphere was lit out here in the dirty!

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7’0 2020 Walker Kessler warms up during the 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tipoff Classic November 16, 2019, at Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA. Image by Popscout

GA Middle School Hoops: LCA vs Athens Christian

GISA – Girls Middle School Hoops in Georgia.  Loganville Christian Academy travels to Athens Christian School November 12, 2019.  Popscout was on hand to bring you all the action of these up and coming hoopers.  Stay in the lab young ladies.

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Popscout Game Recaps: Newton Rams vs Fayette County

3 Quarters of highlights between The Lady Rams and Fayette County.  Game played November 14, 2019 @ Newton High School in Covington, GA.  Great venue for some hoops and a very good amount of basketball junkies in the stands.  The Lady Rams miss too many easy layups and should spend some time in practice, working on finishing their layups with both hand.  Missing cheap shots just might come back to bite them down the road.  Being that it’s just the second game of the season, we’ll give you guys a pass.  Lol.

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Popscout Game Recaps: Newton (GA) vs Fayette County (GA)

Boys Hoops
November 14, 2019
Newton High School (GA)

1st Home game of the season for the Rams as they host Fayette County.  Newton was able to hold of FC down the stretch for a 88-78 W.

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Mountain View comes up a bit short

It came down to execution at the end of the day family.  Mountain View (GA) took the L, 67-65 during the 2019 North Georgia HS Showcase presented by Adrian Penland basketball November 09, 2019 @ Buford Arena in Buford, GA.  We love the communication between coach B.J. Roy and his squad, as he allows his players to give feedback when most coaches are just focused on themselves and can’t develop that type of closeness with their players.  The game is much more than step backs, wet balls, and shimmy’s.  The ability to develop a working relationship with your coach is extremely important.  Although MV came up short, it was a beautiful sight to see: A coach showing the ability and wherewithal to communicate with his team during huddles, timeouts, and game play.  Kudos coach Roy.

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Mountain View vs Dawson County_7


Coaches Corner: Inside the Huddle

Inside the huddle footage of Dawson County (GA) vs Mountain View (GA) as DC executes down the stretch during the 2019 North Georgia HS Showcase played November 09, 2019.  X’s and O’s at the end of the day you feel me.  We spotlight 5’10 2021 PG Mason Barnes who can shake and bake with the best of them. We like the head on this kids’ shoulders.

Draw something up coach!! Special Thanks to Adrian Penland Basketball and North Georgia Report along with host Buford High.

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Mountain View vs Dawson County_10
2021 Mason Barnes is a true PG who brings a lot to the dinner table. Dawson County (GA) was able to hold off Mountain View (GA) by the score of 67-65 during the 2019 North Georgia HS Showcase. Image by Popscout.

GISA MS Hoops: LCA vs Athens Christian School

Don’t put too much emphasis on this game family, it’s just the first of the season.  For those who didn’t see a lot of playing time, don’t hang your head and show a lot of negative body language towards your team and coach.  Do the opposite! Cheer for your team, high five as they come off the court, start a defensive chant during the game, and sit at the beginning of the bench.  You have to spend hours building a relationship with the game of basketball. Practice and games won’t be enough to become special.

Set up a homework schedule for yourself, similar to the one you have in the classroom, and watch your development grow.

Elevate Yo’ Game


What’s on Tap? 2019 Hawks-Naismith Tip-Off Classic

Hawks-Naismith Tip-Off Classic
Location: Pace Academy
966 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30327
Dates: November 15th and 16th, 2019

Gearing up for an exciting weekend of basketball in the State of GA as the 2019-20 season gets underway.  Pace Academy is the place to be, giving us a glimpse of who’s been in the lab sharpening up their skillsets.  Have you faced those demons head-on and begun to address your weaknesses?  Or will you continue to show cracks in your game that’ll allow your opponents to capitalize on your inability to get it done?

The consensus #1 Player in the State of GA (7’0 C Walker Kessler / UNC) will be on hand along with many others who’ll be showing that they too deserve braggings rights.  Popscout will be in the building as we branch out from the West Coast to see if the ‘Dirty South’ has what it takes to become special.  The Classic will experiment with a 30-second shot clock.  Something new in the State of GA.   It should be interesting to see which players and coaches can make the adjustments, pull a few rabbits from their hat, and in the process gain a few braggings rights.

Players to watch:

Woodward 7’0 Center Walker Kessler (North Carolina)
St. Francis guard Dwon Odom (Xavier)
East Coweta guard Brandon Stroud (Kennesaw State)
Mount Bethel Christian forward Jordan Meka (Georgia Tech)
Heritage-Newnan center Ebenezer Dowuona (N.C. State)  & Guard Kasen Jennings (Kennesaw State).




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Lanier vs Cherokee Slideshow

Game 5
Lanier vs Cherokee (Girls) 230pm
November 09, 2019

Images from the 2019 North Georgia HS Showcase featuring Lanier vs Cherokee.  Game played at Buford Arena in Buford, GA.

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North Georgia HS Showcase – MOP’s Games 1-3


North Georgia HS Showcase
Most Outstanding Players – Games 1-3

Hanging out at the North Georgia HS Showcase in Buford, GA.  Games 1 thru 3 are complete.  A few studs and stud muffins standing out as we start the 2019-20 GA basketball campaign.  We out and about in the dirty south family.

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2019 MLB World Series: Game 7 should be special

Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon was 3-4, driving in 5 RBIs during their 7-2 victory over the Astros October 29, 2019. The best of seven series is tied 3-3. National fans are hoping Anthony has one more all-star performance left in his tank. Image by Popscout.

MLB World Series Game 7
Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros
Minute Maid Park

5:08pm PST 
TV:  Fox

It’s been a magical season for the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals brought the wood in Game 6 while relying on the arm of former #1 pick Steven Strasburg to keep the bats of the Astros relatively quiet. Choosing the middle innings to flex their muscle, like a world-class fighter whose been feeling out his opponent, The Nationals, facing elimination, were able to secure a 7-2 ‘dub’ over the Houston Astros Tuesday, October 29, 2019, tying the series 3-3.  Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon was hotter than fish grease, going 3 for 4 at the plate and driving in 5 ribbies.  Nats starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg came away with another 2019 MLB post-season victory, going 8 and a third-inning, giving up only 2 earned runs while striking out 7.  He’s 5-0 during 2019 MLB Postseason play family.  With that being said, Game 7 is slated for tonight, October 30, 2019.  Both teams are hoping for that one shining moment, becoming special at the highest of the highest level. Good luck to both dug-outs.  No matter who wins, we appreciate your commitment to excellence.

 National fans are hoping the bat of LF Juan Soto will be the difference-maker in Game 7 of the 2019 MLB World Series played tonight, October 30, 2019. 1st pitch is 5:08pm PST. Image by Popscout.