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Scouting Notes from the R1A Classic
By Tyler McKittrick
Last weekend, a diverse mix of teams converged on Harford County Community College just north of Baltimore for two days of competitive games. The event brought everyone from prestigious post-grad teams and Canadian programs to a DC public powerhouse and Baltimore Catholic League royalty. There was plenty of talent on the floor across the 12 games. Here are a handful of players who stood out.
Glover has been making waves during his junior season, jumping onto high-major radars with his smooth, 3-level scoring ability and accompanying physical tools. He showed as much in his lone game of the event, dropping 27 points on 8-12 FG, including 3-5 3P in a win over Mt. Carmel (MD). His performance not only ranked #3 in C-RAM at 13.6, but also afforded him the top spot for Cerebro Sports’ Pure Scoring Prowess (PSP) metric, which blends scoring volume and efficiency to create a role-neutral illustration of scoring ability. Indeed, he made it look easy, displaying a versatile exhibit that involved polished self-creation skills, practiced off-ball movement, and fluid attacks in transition. Everything seemed to flow within the game. Nothing appeared forced. Glover was able to get what he wanted in isolation situations from the top of the key to set up glimpses of shot-making moving left from the 2nd and 3rd levels, while getting downhill to the rim and, ultimately, to the line going right (8-11 FT). When he drew attention on the ball, he got off it and found his teammates for open looks. Multiple times, he turned defense into offense by shooting the gap for a dunk or coming up with a two-handed block that turned into a transition bounce pass to his running big for an assist. With Glover, there’s already a lot to like, but there’s plenty of upside for him to attain in the future. He’s bound to continue showing it on national stages like this one.
Perhaps no one at the event appeared more prepared for the next level than Dailey. Nearly two weeks following his commitment to Oklahoma State, the barely 19-year-old post-grad was a matchup problem in both contests. Too skilled on the perimeter for traditional bigs and too much to handle on the interior for guards or wings, Dailey’s versatile skillset was as clear as clean glass for all to see. Despite struggling in his first game against a talented Mt. Zion Prep (MD) team, Dailey was still able to post a double-double (13 points and 11 rebounds) while heavily impacting the game on the defensive end. He guarded multiple positions and shined on the ball when matched up with 4-star 2024 Malachi Palmer. The next day, playing an 11:00 am game, he provided the stat line of the weekend in a win over Inspire Academy (Ontario) with 35 points (14-24 FG), 23 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks. Although Inspire boasted decent size, Dailey quickly recognized a lack of true rim protection and subsequently dominated the painted area, scoring every one of his field goals around the rim in a variety of ways. Whether running the lane in transition, getting downhill in the half-court from the point of attack, posting up, or boarding, pushing, and attacking in semi-transition, his rim pressure was constant. In addition to his rim attack, he continued to display his growing ability to read the floor and make good decisions. Of course, he did all of this while owning the glass on both ends, playing with a combination of strength, positioning, and anticipation for where the ball was coming off the rim. Dailey finished 2 nd in the event with a C-RAM of 13.8, averaging 24 points, 17 rebounds (5.5 offensive), 4 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game in their two victories.
At least part of what Palmer is known for is his ability to get to his spots in the midrange, using a blend of feel and body usage to pull up for his smooth, accurate jumper. But as this season has pressed forward, it’s obvious that the even-keeled scoring guard has become a well-rounded, complete player. So when he struggled with shooting from the perimeter over the weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of his effect on the game outside of his jump shot. In their 2-point loss to IMG, Palmer’s playmaking capabilities stood out as he consistently set his teammates up for quality looks. He officially recorded 6 assists in the contest, but had at least another half-dozen setups that went unconverted or led directly to free throws. He’s poised on the drive and heady in traffic. His eyes are always up off the bounce and his passing skillset includes touch, placement, and a very skilled use of his left hand. Defensively, he was solid on the ball and sound off of it. He effectively checked Eric Dailey, Jr., flashing his mature strength and attention to detail. In their second game, a double-OT win over The Skill Factory National (GA) in which he played all 50 minutes, Palmer, again, adjusted his approach accordingly, purposefully electing to pressure the rim en route to 27 points on 8-for-17 shooting. He showed his taste for physicality, utilizing impressive functional strength to absorb contact on the floor and create and finish through it at the rim. He was 10- 12 from the foul line and tied the game at 70 on the last possession of regulation to send it to overtime. Even with his shooting woes (36.8 FG%), he averaged 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.5 steals across his two games. Palmer’s full profile snapshot:
Elijah Rice | 6’6” SG | IMG Academy (Post-Grad) (FL)| Class of 2023
Eli Rice is as solid as a brick house built upon the rock. The 6’6” SG continued his productive play over the weekend by averaging an impactful 23.5 points on 51.6 FG%, 7 rebounds (3.5 offensive), 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1.5 blocks in their two victories, punctuated by a 31-point performance in a win over Inspire Academy (Ontario). At one point in that contest, during the 3rd quarter, Rice took the game over. He scored 16 of his 31 in a short time, going 4-of-5 from deep and handling the rock in transition to finish at the rim. Headed to Nebraska in the fall, Rice plays with a balanced blend of strength, control, and a scorer’s feel for the basket. He’s efficient with his dribbles in half-court play, can score on or off the ball, and knows how to get to the line. Plus, he’s a dependable two-way player who’s equipped with terrific functional strength and a mature build. With only 3 turnovers in 67 total minutes, his presence was one of stability for his team. His performance was good enough for a 12.5 C-RAM, landing him at the 8-spot for the event.
Other notable performers and high-potential prospects:
• Carlton Carrington, 6’5” SG, St. Frances Academy (MD), Class of 2023: a quickly advancing, smooth-as-silk scorer with one of the deadliest pull-up jumpers in his class. He continued his scoring onslaught with 27 points on 15-15 FT, and added 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals in a win over a much bigger Bella Vista Prep (AZ). Despite struggling from the field (5-14 FG), he still managed a gold-level 10.8 C-RAM. Committed to Pittsburgh.
• Ace Valentine, 6’3” PG, Mount St. Joseph (MD), Class of 2023: a speedy guard in the open court with good positional size and two-way impact. Valentine controlled the pace and put up 22 points on 9-13 FG (4-6 3P), 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in a win over Jackson-Reed (DC). Committed to UMBC.
• Amani Hansberry, 6’7” F, Mount St. Joseph (MD), Class of 2023: dropped a light double-double with 17 points (7-13 FG), 11 rebounds, and 3 assists in a win over Jackson-Reed (DC). Used his 7’1” wingspan and burly frame to control the glass, and versatile skillset to impact the game in multiple ways on both ends. Committed to Illinois. Hansberry profile:
• Efeosa Oliogu, 6’5” G/W, United Scholastic Academy (Canada), Class of 2025: a powerful, top-drawer athlete with exceptional bounce. Thrives as a slasher and is dynamic in transition. Averaged 15 points on 68.4 FG%, 5.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and a block in only 22.5 minutes per game. Finished with a top-10 C-RAM of 11.1 and his team went 2-0 on the weekend.
• MJ Smith, 6’3” G, Mt. Zion Prep (MD), Class of 2024: intriguing prospect who continues to exhibit impactful 2-way play and consistency from 3 on the catch, going 6-12 from deep over 2 games, including 5-9 vs. IMG Academy (post-grad). A springy athlete with good speed and length. Averaged 17.5 points on 47.6 FG%, 4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2 steals, 1.5 blocks, and a 13.5 C-RAM, which was good for 4th in the event.
Written by Tyler McKittrick (Point Guard Eyes)
Regional Analyst for the DMV for Cerebro Sports