The Best Of The South brought teams from all over to Atlanta once again for a great 5 days of competition. The Georgia World Congress Center was filled with talent of all levels, which made for tight games in bracket play. I took in the action at BOTS on Thursday and Saturday; Thursday featured some really good showcase game matchups with multiple guys boosting their stock in front of college coaches. Here are a few prospects who I thought helped themselves on Day 1 at Best Of The South.

6’8” 2023 Dylan Faulkner (Atlanta Allstars)
Faulkner has long been a favorite of mine because of how hard he plays. He sprints the floor, protects the basket, and crashes the glass with reckless abandon. He sticks to those areas for the most part and excels because of his exceptional leaping ability for a 6’8” prospect. It can be easy for him to get lost in the shuffle at times on a loaded Allstars team because he’s not always going to be doing the sexy stuff or having the ball in his hands. However, it has been good to see him get rewarded for his effort & consistent production because it is really valuable. Faulkner had a big game against 3D Empire on Thursday night at Best Of The South, which concluded with a nice victory for the Allstars. He did his usual by employing those aforementioned qualities while also knocking down 2 3-pointers and showing touch inside the arc. He continued to play at a high level for the rest of the weekend and has seen new offers come in from Drexel, Samford, Morehead State, and Wofford. Faulkner has lots of momentum in his recruitment now and could capitalize on it again next weekend.

6’8” 2024 Kuol Atak (3D Empire)
I had heard good things about Atak prior to Best Of The South but had not seen live myself yet. He made a good 1st impression in Atlanta with his shooting ability & versatility at a lengthy 6’8”. Atak’s form on his jumper is compact; he is particularly effective in different mid-range situations where he can easily shoot over the top but also has range that comfortably extends out to the 3-point line. Atak’s package of turnarounds from 10-15 feet are hard to defend. The touch on his shot is soft and he goes into each attempt with confidence and no hesitation. Although still very thin, Atak did not just float around the perimeter and was active going after offensive rebounds. I think he has a lot of value on the defensive end as well. Atak is light on his feet and is good contesting shots inside; he’ll also have some moments showing he can move his feet & use his length to defend away from the basket. Showing that he has the potential to guard different spots at the next level will catch the attention of coaches. He already has 2 early offers but more should be on the way for Atak.

6’2” 2023 Sheridan Sharp (George Hill All-Indy)
Sharp isn’t going to put up gaudy numbers every game for G3 just because of their wealth of talented prospects but what he brings to their team makes a difference and has to be appreciated. His offensive production in the 1st half against CP25 was solid, using good pace to get into the paint consistently and then showing body control & craftiness finishing in traffic with both hands. His offensive opportunities weren’t as plentiful in the 2nd half of this game but it didn’t stop Sharp from impacting the game and that’s what I really liked. He’s sound defensively, causing issues for opposing ball-handlers with pressure & activity. He gets into the body of offensive players, has pretty good hands, and moves his feet well. His effort on that side of the ball helped to speed up CP25 and igniting transition for G3. His two-way production has made coaches take notice and he should continue to grow on them as we approach the fall.

2025 Bryant James (CP25 AL/MS)
When I first watched James at Bob Gibbons in May, his performance would have been impressive for a 2023 but then after finding out he is a 2025 prospect playing 17U, I was even more interested in getting another look at him. That viewing came against George Hill on the 1st night of the Best Of The South and he did not disappoint. James led CP25 with 15 points in this matchup. He knocked down 3 3’s and was fearless the entire game, fitting right in with lots of good prospects on the court. His contributions were big in keeping it a close contest. James gets right into his outside shot with a quick, consistent release that has deep range and just looks very reliable coming off of his hand. There were also points in the game where James showed ability in the open floor & halfcourt off the dribble with IQ, quickness, and vision. He already has a well-rounded skillset and the fact that he’s already able to produce against high-level 17U teams without being tentative is very encouraging.

6’6” 2023 Marcus Hall (Wisconsin Swing)
A big spring made Hall one of the more popular D2 recruits around and it looks like he’s ready to take another step up in his recruitment. After Swing’s game on Thursday night, Green Bay pulled the trigger on him as his 1st Division 1 offer and I could see more joining them. I took in that game against Team Knight, a win for the Swing, and Hall was very productive. He can play inside & out and has a good feel for when to utilize each of his tools. He’s selective with his outside shot, is a capable ball-handler & passer, will post smaller guys, and moves well without the ball. The combination of all those traits with his 6’6” frame allows him to get create good scoring opportunities for himself & teammates. Hall also plays through contact better than you might assume at first look. He will rebound physically and takes bumps in the paint when on offense. Coaches love guys with size, fundamentals, and versatility, and that’s what Hall possesses. He’ll continue to be closely watched.