Location: Gore Arena, Campbell University
Teams: Word of God (Raleigh, NC), Cape Fear Christian Academy (Erwin, NC)
Tonight’s game between CFCA and Word of God was really a tale of two halves (I know, I know, high school ball has periods, not halves), with Cape Fear’s zone and fast break causing havok and building a big lead over Word of God early on, but Word of God finding their shooting touch and blistering the nets after halftime to secure the win.
Cape Fear’s backcourt duo of Michael Melvin and Quentin Jackson, Jr. repeatedly broke the press and capitalized in transition, with guard Zach Boggs hitting several deep shots from the corner to help pile on, finishing the first period with a 10 point lead. However, Word of God chipped away at the lead in the second period, tying the game, and in the second half, they moved the ball much better, added better motion from the wings and cutters and started hitting their deep shot. Word of God was able to take control of the game early in the third period and never looked back. Below are some of my scouting notes from the game.
Word of God
Brandon Hoffman (C, 6’9″, 2017) – A developing big who showed good hands under the basket, catching close range drop off passes from the guards and getting two handed dunks as putbacks. Nimble feet and has some length, upside. Needs strength to bang for rebounds more effectively and allowed his post defender to front him far too much. However, definitely a college prospect and a mobile big man.
Jaylen Fornes (SG, 6’3″, 2016) A strong guard who moves very well off of the ball and finds gaps in the defense for half court sets. Plays with some understated swagger. I’ve seen Fornes multiple times and he seems to pick up his contribution as the game progresses, which leads me to think that he first takes time to figure out the other team’s patterns before he starts attacking. Fornes is committed to UNC Wilmington, who had two coaches in attendance tonight.
Jalen Harris (PG, 6’1″, 2016) I’ve been a fan of Harris for several years now and although he still has a slender frame, he has elite quickness and a deft handle. His crossover with the ball is one of, if not the best, in high school right now. He does have an ability to hit the mid range shot and floater, and can use his deadly first step to create space between himself and a defender for the shot. He will need to add strength at the college level, but I believe that will happen. My biggest concerns with Harris continue to be whether or not he is assertive enough when he needs to be.
Blake Harris (PG, 6’3″, 2017) Harris is a good passing guard with a nice floater he can use in traffic. I think he still shows the ball a bit too much with his dribble, but he does patiently pick though the defense in the half court, something I’ve seen him do on multiple occasions, and doesn’t make bad decisions with the ball. Plays well off the ball.
Rawle Alkins (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2016) First time I’ve gotten a chance to catch Alkins. Has good strength for the wing and versatility; showed an ability to weave into traffic and finish with contact.
Michael Melvin (PG, 6′, 2016) Deft handle and excellent elusiveness with the ball; can beat the press or double team often with the dribble. Has an excellent scoop shot finish that he uses over taller players. He’s an extremely hard player to stay in front of as a defender. I’ve seen Melvin quite a bit and always have always been a fan of his sure handed ability to face pressure; the biggest concern I’ve seen with him is his ability to pass around/over taller defenders. He’s definitely a college prospect but it’s something he’ll have to account for at higher levels.
Quentin Jackson Jr. (SG, 6’4″, 2016) Athletic guard with a high octane motor and some good explosiveness. Offensively, he’s strongest when slashing or in transition; he does need to work a bit on shot selection and passing decisions. I like his timing (had a couple of excellent blocks) but I know his college coaches will expect more defensive consistency overall. Committed to Charlotte.
Ivor Baric (SF, 6’9″, 2016) Croation-born Baric has good hands and plays hard; a decent rebounder and has a nice release from the elbow. Got into foul trouble in the first half even with a couple of nice blocked shots.
Noah Cummings (C, 6’11”, 2016) Soft touch around the rim and good hands, Cummings is a pure post player but conditioning will be an issue. Does a good job of defending in the post without fouling; has a body frame that could pack on muscle and be a banger, but is much more of a half court-set player.