2023 6’1 Luther Smith Jr – MTXE Premier 17U 

Luther Smith Jr put together a big time scoring performance to start the day Thursday as MTXE Premier got a nice win over Kyle Guy Elite. Smith is an elite shooter with an effortless release and compact mechanics on his jumper. He knocked down (3) threes, and was a perfect 6/6 at the free throw line, helping to ice the game down the stretch. Smith was also able to attack off the dribble and score at the rim in traffic, finishing with an efficient 23 points. 


2023 6’5 Gehrig Normand – 3D Empire 17U 

After a quiet first half offensively, Gehrig Normand came alive in the second half to score all 17 of his points in a win over Team Parsons. Normand was on fire from three point range making 5 triples, and capped the second half with an impressive sequence – blocking a shot off glass as a help defender, sprinting the floor and catching a two-handed lob well above the rim. Texas Head Coach Chris Beard was baseline with two assistants, along with head coaches from Miami and Purdue among a deep section of college coaches. 


2023 6’5 Tashun Pender – Movement Hoops 17U 

Tashun Pender might be the most athletic prospect at Best of the South. At 6’5 Pender has freak leaping ability playing well above the rim. He turned in one of the best performances of the day on Thursday finishing with 25 points and easily 10+ rebounds in Movement Hoops win over All Alabama. Pender’s second jump is as quick as I’ve seen making him lethal on the offensive glass, and he is not scared to challenge opponents at the rim, making a couple big time blocks. Pender recently reclassed to 2023 and will take a Prep year at We Are United where he will greatly benefit from the year of develop with coach Rob Yanders and staff. Look for Pender’s recruitment to take off over the rest of July. 


2023 6’10 David Meriwether – George Hill All-Indy 17U 

David Meriwether continues to trend up for George Hill All Indy. The 6’11 big man plays with a high motor and was all over the floor on Thursday, finishing around the basket, rebounding and running in transition. You won’t find many prospects at his size that play as hard as he does and he started to extend his range to the three point line this week. Low majors have jumped on board with his recruitment and don’t be surprised if High Majors get involved in his recruitment after his performance in Atlanta thus far. 


2025 6’6 Devin Brown – Power 5 15U

Devin Brown stood out as part of a talented Power 5 15U group in an impressive win on Thursday. A 6’6 Forward with a strong build, Brown scored 25 points, showed great hands rebounding in traffic, ran the floor and blocked shots. The young big man has soft touch on his jumper and his combination of physicality, budding perimeter game, and high motor makes him one of the more intriguing 2025 prospects I have seen. 


2023 6’9 Jordan Burks – All Alabama 17U 

When it comes to upside, Jordan Burks has one of the highest ceilings of any prospect that I watched on Thursday at Best of the South. A 6’9 forward, Burks is a fluid athlete and was very comfortable operating on the perimeter. He scored on rhythm pull ups, has nice touch on his jumper and knocked down (3) threes as part of a 20 point performance in a tough loss to Movement Hoops. Burks put down some big dunks in transition, uses his length to finish in traffic around the basket and had some impressive slashes to the rim covering ground with his long strides. Burks has picked up 6 D1 offers in the last week, including Illinois, and should see his stock continue to rise if he can continue to put together performances equal to Thursday night. 


2023 6’4 Jacob Dunham – MTXE Premier 17U 

Jacob Dunham flies a little bit under the radar as part of a balanced attack for MTXE Premier, but is a prospect D2 coaches should be following closely and could get some looks at the D1 level. Dunham has good size at 6’4 and can score in a variety of ways – from three point range, in the midrange, and with solid footwork around the basket. Dunham also showed good instincts moving off the ball, making timely cuts to the basket when his defender helped on to drives and sliding into open areas for three point looks. Dunham scored 20 points Thursday afternoon in a win over Kyle Guy Elite. 


2023 6’5 Preston Roberts – Kyle Guy Elite 17U 

Preston Roberts had a nice April for Kyle Guy Elite on the NY2LA Basketball Association and continued his strong play on Thursday in Atlanta. Roberts team lost a tough one to a good MTXE squad, but Roberts lead all scorers in the game finishing with 24 points. He had some strong takes to the basket - able to finish at the rim and get to the free throw line, and also flashed ability to stretch the floor out to three point range with his jumper. Roberts has good size on the wing and his productivity and activity on both ends of the floor stood out.