The holiday season afforded me a lot of opportunities to lay eyes on players throughout the state. Here are a few players that I was excited to see and who I feel will make significant impacts in the second half…
The holiday season afforded me a lot of opportunities to lay eyes on players throughout the state. Here are a few players that I was excited to see and who I feel will make significant impacts in the second half of the season.
Grant Stubbs Grant Stubbs 6'1" | SG Tuscaloosa County | 2023 State AL (6’1/SG/’23/Tuscaloosa County)
This was my first time this year putting eyes on Grant, and all he did was show me everything that he did last spring and summer. He is an absolute marksman from behind the arc and made some timely shots that helped his team stay close when Vestavia was trying to make runs that would have drastically extended their lead. Grant’s ability to score is a huge part of his toolkit, and even though all but 3 of his points came from behind the arc, he has shown his ability to get his shot off the bounce in the past. He demands so much attention from the defense that his creative ability off the bounce is always getting someone easy looks. He is a heady player that understands the game and makes winning plays for his squad. Look for Grant to be the catalyst that leads Tuscaloosa County to a surprising playoff run.
Drew Winegarden (6’1/CG/’23/Tuscaloosa County)
Drew is a multi-level scorer who can fill up the stat sheet and do it in a hurry. He shoots the ball with range from behind the arc and needs very little space to get his shot off. He is a threat whenever he is on the court, whether the ball is in his hands or not. His scoring is the strength of his game, and his scoring production will be needed as teams are no longer being caught by surprise by TCHS. Drew plays with a ton of confidence and has a complete scoring arsenal at his disposal. He is a very efficient scorer, as he wastes very little motion when the ball is in his hands, and he is in attack mode. He is also a very good floor general, as he got his squad in their sets and showed his ability to be a playmaker and get others involved. He is a key piece to the Wildcats’ post-season hopes.
Jarett Fairley Jarett Fairley 6'0" | PG Hoover | 2025 State AL (6’2/CG/’25/Hoover HS)
Jarett has been one of the state’s most steady and consistent players. On a team that is loaded with talent and is expected to make a deep playoff push, Jarett is emerging as a key piece of the puzzle. I was excited to see the aggressive nature that he came out with recently, as he was looking to get involved early and set a tone. I have always viewed J as a floor general who knows how to orchestrate the offense and as a player that is like a coach on the floor. He plays beyond his years, as it is obvious that he has been around the game for a long time. He is a heady player that makes good decisions with the ball in his hands and is more than capable of handling all the lead guard responsibilities. If he is going to be as aggressive as he was when I saw him, he will make planning for the Hoover team extremely difficult going down the stretch.
Jarett has been one of the state’s most steady and consistent players.Terry J. Drake
Quez Thompson (6’0/PG/’23/Benjamin Russell HS)
In all of the recent games I have seen, I have to say that Quez is one of the purest PGs out there. He initiates the offense and is a playmaker off the bounce. QT is a guard who can be counted on to run an offense and find the open man. He’s got good court vision, passes the ball well, and is an unselfish player who lets the game come to him. He is a pass-first PG that you can tell relishes the role of being an orchestrator. His ability to create for others is probably his best strength right now, which will be a vital need for his squad going down the stretch.
Brice Andrew Mckenzie (5’10/SG/’24/Highland Home HS)
Brice plays with the ultimate green light and has not seen a shot that he does not like. He is a high-volume shot taker, and if he gets hot, it can be a long night for his opponents. He can play either guard spot, create his own shot if needed, and set the table for others. Even though he is a small guard standing at 5’10, he knows how to create space to get his shot off, and he does not need a lot of space to do so. He is a player that can stroke it from deep, has a very high skill level, and has a great feel for the game. He’s not a jump-out-of-the-gym athlete, but he can hurt you with his ability to make shots.
Brice plays with the ultimate green light and has not seen a shot that he does not like.Terry J. Drake
Osa Alohan Osa Alohan 6'2" | CG Hillcrest Highschool | 2025 State AL (6’2/CG/’25/Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa HS)
I have been waiting to see Osa since I saw him at the #iBallTDB skills camp at the beginning of the school year. He impressed me so much at camp I was determined to make sure I put eyes on him in person and not just via online. His play at school was a lot different than when I saw him at camp. I understand that the two fields in which I evaluated him are different, but I thought at least I would see some crossover. What do I mean by this: well, Osa was an absolute stud at camp scoring the rock, while what I saw with his school team was a lead guard that orchestrated the offense looking to set others up for scoring opportunities. He did an excellent job facilitating and keeping Hillcrest in the flow of what his coach seemed to be looking for throughout the game. In my opinion, Hillcrest could be an entirely better team with an aggressive Osa looking for his scoring attempts. He is one of the best iso scorers in the state that can get it done at all levels.
In my opinion, Hillcrest could be an entirely better team with an aggressive Osa looking for his scoring attempts.Terry J. Drake
Landon Tweedie (6’5/SG/’23/Cullman HS)
Landon is a lengthy wing player that has a knack for scoring. He is not one of Cullman’s top options for scoring, but he is a luxury to have on the team because of his ability to score. He is a player that can create his own shot and is at his best when he is attacking off the bounce. He is a downhill attacking guard that is a good finisher at the cup. His length is a considerable advantage for him as he has the ability to rise up over smaller defenders and score the rock. LT’s game can be summed up like this: he is a sturdy guard who excels at penetrating the lane and scoring from mid-range and at the rim. A key piece to the puzzle when it comes to Cullman’s hope of returning to the finals.
Landon is a lengthy wing player that has a knack for scoring.Terry J. Drake