Stockriser Series: OTR Sweet 16
We were in the Atlanta-area over the weekend for the annual Sweet 16 presented by On The Radar Hoops. This has become the premier event in Georgia with clubs from each shoe-circuit present in addition to elite independents all facing-off under one roof at the Lakepoint Sports Complex.
With plenty of nationally recognized prospects taking the court, there was no shortage of star power in the building. But the platform also provided opportunity for the following under-the-radar gems to take advantage of the spotlight.
A.J. Brown (6’5/2022/E1T1)
We were intrigued by the lengthy guard last year during our first live viewing in Orlando and were excited to get eyes on A.J. again this weekend. He checks all the boxes from a physical profile perspective at 6’5 with wide shoulders and a frame that can easily add 20 pounds of muscle mass without losing athleticism. On the court Brown displayed three-level scoring ability by connecting on perimeter shots off the bounce and the catch. He thrived with his midrange pull-up game and spaced the floor well when playing off-ball. While he doesn’t necessarily have a lot of flash when attacking the paint off the dribble, he was able to get to the rim and finish by utilizing his size, length and body control. His defensive potential at the next level is very intriguing, as A.J. possesses solid agility coupled with good positional size that may allow him to adequately defend 2-3 positions at the next level, particularly if he grows. We’ve elevated Brown to 4-star status after this weekend’s strong performance and he has the look of a prospect that will experience a national blow-up this Summer.
Malik Reneau (6’8/2022/Nightrydas Elite)
This was our first live viewing of Malik and we came away impressed. The best thing about Reneau is versatility, as he impacted the game in a variety of ways. He was at his best as a face-up forward that attacked bigs from the perimeter with dribble penetration. At 6’8, the skilled junior was easily able to create space off the bounce before displaying some quick-twitch explosion as a finisher when hammering down highlight-reel dunks. While his ability to convert at the rim may be his best attribute, we were equally impressed with Malik’s playmaking for others. In half-court settings, he forced help-defense when attacking the rim and found teammates with dumpoffs for easy buckets. Reneau was just as good in transition, where he stood out with precision hit-ahead passes and lobs that resulted in layups and dunks. As a roll-man, the Miami-area native was lethal, elevating over defenders for powerful dunks on several occasions. While he shouldn’t be necessarily classified a stretch-forward, Malik is a capable perimeter shooter and was able to bury a triple and generally looked comfortable taking jumpers. Reneau is a mismatch nightmare that produces from multiple areas on the court. He has entered our database as a 4-star prospect that will be one of the most coveted forwards in America.
Noah Clowney (6’10/2022/Team Dickerson)
Noah certainly made a lasting impression with his Sunday performance against Southeast Elite. Clowney first captured our attention at the dunker spot on the baseline as he threw down a monster dunk and got off the floor very quick with good elevation. A few moments later he hammered home a transition lob with authority. The lengthy big put on a great display of skill in the second half that had us completely sold long term. Noah buried a triple from the top of the key and followed that up with a tantalizing possession where he displayed great ball-skills. He got his defender off-balance with a series of jab-steps before taking a hard dribble right and finding his teammate in stride with a shovel-pass once he was doubled. His unselfishness paid dividends, as his backcourt teammate returned the favor when delivering a pass to Clowney as he rolled to the rim and threw down a vicious dunk on the opposition. That combination of skill, spatial awareness and athleticism is rare for any 6’10 big, let alone a HS junior. While we’ve only viewed him live for a single game, that performance was enough to garner Noah 4-star status in our database. Clowney is undoubtedly one of the premier bigs in the country and will unquestionably have a national-level recruitment in short order.