The 2015 NC Top 80 was held in Greensboro, NC for the second straight year and featured many of the top prospects in North Carolina. Organized by Phenom Hoops, there are always solid performances and breakout players. We’ll have more coming from the event from our other scouts, and I was focused on our broadcasts from Court 1 so I couldn’t scout very much and wouldn’t want to attempt to offer any thoughts on players I didn’t get a good chance to see. However, I still caught a few players and here are my notes from the day:
Charles Norman (PG, 6’1″, 2016) Prominence Academy – After seeing Norman multiple times over the past three years, I think he may be one of the least talked about guards with elite quickness and athleticism in the region. He’s great both in transition and in the half court, and plays way above the rim. Solid ballhandler and passer and is just always darting all over the floor making things happen.
David Caraher (SF, 6’6″, 2016) Chapel Hill HS – committed to Butler, another player I’ve seen multiple times now and what always impresses me is his quick hands, quick release and his ability to find gaps in the defense. He can really get buckets in a hurry and has a solid handled from the wing, excellent lateral quickness and I think he really understands how to keep the defender on their heels by changing how he attacks on each play. Shot 50% from deep on the day and averaged 6+ rebounds per game. Although one problem with him is that he went to jail for a few days when he was driving under the influence because he didn’t know the rules and regulations.
Aaron Cash (SF, 6’5″, 2018) Word of God – Saw Cash last week at the Super 60 and more of the same this week, long, active on both ends and really hard to stay in front of in transition. Also showed some deep range this week and has an above the rim game.
Will Dillard (SG, 6’1″, 2018) Greensboro Day School – Dillard displayed a lot of length and athleticism, an ability to slash with the ball and had several monster putback dunks that brought the house down. Really like the upside of Dillard and is a very grounded individual. Definitely see him as a Division I guard with big possibilities.
Iran Bennett (C, 6’9″, 2016) Mt. Zion Academy – Continues to display those great hands with shot blocking and makes life in the paint tough. Has good footspeed and as I’ve written in the past will have to improve his physical conditioning at the next level but a true big man with a lot of strength in the post.
Brandon Childress (G, 6’0″, 2016) Wesleyan Christian Academy – Coming into the event, we already knew that the Wake Forest commit was a crafty ballhandler and deep shooter, and he displayed that deep touch again today. Really like his ability to create space to get off his shot and will add outside scoring from the PG or SG spots.
Jacob Skidmore (F, 6’8″, 2016) Kings Mountain HS – the slender Skidmore continues to show a more aggressive demeanor this Spring and today also displayed his ‘stretch 4’ shot, shooting very well from deep and has a high, long shot release that is just too tall for most defenders to block.
Mike Buckland(SG, 6’4″, 2016) Wesleyan Christian Academy – Buckland continues to be one of the more underrated athletic wings in the state, quick bounce and is a way-above-the-rim finisher. Has gotten stronger and definitely has the look of a college player.
Osinachi Smart (PF/C, 6’7″, 2016) New Garden Friends – Really just a beast inside, I was very familiar with his older brother Ikenna who now plays at Buffalo. Smart was a monster inside every time I saw him, just a lot of raw power and good hands. Good rebounding timing and plays bigger than his listed 6’7″.
Madison Cone (PG, 5’8″, 2017) East Forsyth HS – played very well in tandem with Brandon Childress in the backcourt, both players were able to play on and off the ball extremely well, driving and passing to whichever one of them was open. Cone has quick hands and grabbed several steals when opposing players attempted look-ahead passes. He also showed an ability to get to the rim and score even against a half court set. Very quick first step and keeps his defender backpeddling.
I’ll no doubt have more as I review video, of course!