basketball-generic

Game Scouted: High Point vs Winthrop

 

Winthrop Wins 82-70

 

Jahaad Proctor, G, 6’3”, 205 lbs, SO

 

Strengths

Plays with great pace and poise. Can play on or off the ball. Does a nice job of keeping defender on his hip and changing speeds off the ball screen. Crafty player.

Terrific in the midrange where he can shoot the floater or the pull-up. Consistent shooter from the perimeter.

Excellent playmaker. Can create his own offense and does a nice job of creating shots for others. Has good perimeter footwork.

Strong player who can take contact and uses his muscle to get to his spots and overpower smaller guards off the bounce. Uses his size to post up smaller guards.

Can finish at the rim- better finisher then he showed tonight. Can score the ball in various ways and attack from a variety of angles.

Defensively he showed good quickness and stays in front of the ball. Equally good on the defensive side of the ball as offensive side. Uses his length well on this end. Defends the ball baseline to baseline.  

 

Weaknesses

Lacks athleticism and quickness. Needs to improve his ability to finish with his left hand. Motor needs to be a little better.

A little above average 3 pt shooter- doesnt get much elevation on his shot and misses are inconsistent- something he can continue to improve and I believe he will.

 

Overall

Entered this game leading the team in assists per game at 3.4 and is tied for 1st in scoring at 16.6 ppg.

First season playing at High Point as he redshirted last year after transfering from Iona.

Has a great chance to be the Big South player of the Year either next year or as a senior. Future pro.

Game Scouted: Charlotte vs WKU

Charlotte wins

Jon Davis, G, 6’3”, SO

Stats

37 min, 6-11 FG, 3- 6 3 pt, 8-9 FT, 2 reb, 6 assists, 4 steals , 2 TO’s, 23 points

Strengths

Heady PG who keeps his head and eyes up when handling the ball. Gets the ball up the floor with the pass to the man open up ahead. Makes plays for others. Can get to the rim and create. Can hit the set 3- fundamentally sound stroke. Can create his own shot. Showed a nice step back move. Does a great job of utilizing the pump fake on the perimeter to set up the 3 or the drive.

Active defender who looks to make plays off the ball. Understands help position D. Had a big play in the 2nd half where he got a steal and then made a perfect pass for the alley-oop dunk. Finished tonight with 4 steals and he had several more deflections- is an excellent defender.

Has good athleticism and quickness. Can get to the paint and get to the FT line. Changes speeds pretty well. At his best in transition. Unselfish player. Good body control- can finish in various ways at the rim too.

Weaknesses

3 point shot is a little slow. He also has a tendency to back out of his shot a little early at times too. Over Dribbles the ball at times and is a bit turnover prone.

Overview

Leader on the floor vocally and by example. Is level headed and doesnt let the game affect his body language. Leads the team with 20 ppg. What I like about him this year is that he lets the game come to him and he doesnt force as much. He gets others involved and looked like a PG tonight who can score and not just another combo guard. He is having a great sophomore campaign and is a player that should definitely be on NBA teams radar if he isnt already.

 

Game Scouted: Wake Forest vs Pittsburg

Wake Forest wins 63-59

John Collins, F, 6’10”, 235 lbs, SO

Stats- 28 min, 10-16 FG, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 TO, 22 points

Strengths

Offensively John has shown improvement from a year ago and is now a highly reliable post scoring option. Has has great touch around the basket and can score in a variety of ways. He scores the ball with an array of moves including dunks, hooks/running hooks, drop steps, and facing up. He is incredibly efficient scoring the basketball and is #1 in the country in PER (Player Efficiency Rating). One of his big jumps from last year to this year is his ability to shoot the short corner jumper and midrange shot consistently. The short corner shot from 12’ to 15’ has become one of his sweet spots. He has solid mechanics and is shooting with confidence this season. While he is still a roll man at this stage in PnR sets, I could see him doing more short rolls and some pops as he continues to stretch his range.

Collins is a terrific athlete who can run and jump with just about anyone in the country. Has a great motor and stays active on both ends. He runs the floor very well on both ends and his 2nd jump is tremendous. He loves to dunk the ball with 2 hands as well and doesnt struggle to finish above the rim.

Seals off inside nicely and seems to have a better understanding this season on how to score from various points on the floor and from different angles. He has great hands and can catch and finish inside very effectively. He also has underrated body control.

Has develop into a nice shot blocker getting most of these from the weakside. He has really good timing and can get off the floor high and quick and catches most players off guard. He is getting better and better figuring out if he should leave his man to go for the block or stay with his man and rebound. The foul trouble from last year has not been as much of a problem this year as he has gained muscle and also done a better job of staying straight up and not reaching in.

He is a great rebounder on both ends. He attacks defensive boards and uses his energy, athleticism, and quick 2nd jump to go after offensive boards as well. He rebounds outside his area.

Weaknesses

Needs to continue to improve his feel especially on the perimeter. While his left hand has gotten better this year he still needs to improve it and get more confidence in it. Was pulled away from the basket tonight defensively guarding Michael Young of Pitt tonight. Didnt do a bad job at all- he contested shots but needs to be more consistent staying low in defensive stance- does a nice job of moving his feet for a player of his size- quick/active feet.  He needs to continue to add some weight to his frame particularly in his lower body which will come with age.

Overview

John continued his amazing month of play with another big one tonight with a double-double. He had some huge plays down the stretch including a tip in to give Wake the lead with 18 seconds left. John has now scored 20 points in every game since January 18th and his play as of late has been exceptional. He was coming off of a career high of 31 points against Duke last game.  I love his body language- even with some poor foul calls against him and not getting the ball as much as he should, he doesnt hang his head, complain, or sulk.  He is a player with a very high ceiling and he is still very young, at just 19 years old. His improvement from last year to this season shows how hard of worker he is and he checks all the boxes off the court. His stock has been rising all season on mock drafts and is now listed as a top 20 pick on most websites/ draft experts. I can see John going as high as top 11 especially if he continues his hot play. His draft position will only improve after workouts and once teams interview him.

Game Scouted: Akron vs Kent State

Kent State wins 70-67

Isaiah Johnson, C, 6’10”, 290 lbs, SR

Stats- 5-8 FG, 8-11 FT, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 18 TP

Strengths

Big bodied back to the basket center. Takes up a lot of space. Uses his body to create space on the block. Has good patience in the post. Great footwork. Showed a nice change of pace move and up and under move inside early. Can really score the ball in the post– has an array of moves. Does a nice job of using head fakes.Excellent feel for the game. Soft hands. Great passer out of the post- finds the open man.

Holds his ground on the post defensively and gets deep position offensively.

Has a soft touch. Better athlete than given credit for. Not a bad defender at all- defends w/out fouling and is tough to score over. Good rebounder on both ends.

Weaknesses

Not a great FT shooter but looks like he has good form- I dont think he takes his time.

Doesnt run the floor well at all but moves fluidly in the half court. Would be better if he lost some weight– it would help him run better. Doenst play above the rim.

Overall

Highlight efficient true post player who can score and rebound very well. Would struggle in an uptempo system. Should be a player that is considered for the PIT. Game is best suited for a slower/half court oriented European league.

Yes. 8th grade is too soon to project a player. I hear you and I understand clearly. Making projections of kids in middle school is out of bounds and too soon. I get it. Now, with that being said, don’t expect a projection in this introduction. However, you can expect to hear plenty about this kid in middle school this year and in high school every year until he graduates in 2021.

Dontrez Styles attends Woodington Middle School in Kinston, NC. He is currently standing at 6’4” inches tall, with plenty of room to continue growing. He has good size for the wing, good length, budding athleticism and plenty of skill to compliment his size on the wing. Potential is there to develop into a productive player early on once he makes it to high school.

During the AAU season with Kinston Heat, he played up at several tourneys and showed the ability to create off the dribble, knock down shots, rebound the ball, get to the rim and used his length defensively to bother shooters. He did quite a bit of growing over the summer as well, so it will be interesting to see how his body has adjusted when the middle school season comes around.

His main strength right now would be his shooting ability. However, it’s apparent he’s had good coaching, because he doesn’t fall in love with his jump-shot as most young players tend to do at his size. Styles makes it an issue to attack the basket, mixes it up off the dribble and he gets after it on the glass. Some key things to improve on would be his ability to read defenses aimed to frustrate him and of course continuing to improve his rapidly growing body frame over the next few years.

Remember the name for future references. All of the tools are there for him to become a high level prospect over the next 5 years. If he continues to work hard, improve and produce, the sky is the limit. It’s going to be fun to watch how he progresses.

You read it here first.
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This is the first of what will be 5 installments of the “A Way Too Early Intro” series. Stay tuned.

All photo credits belong to Buds Photography.

Over the course of the past few months, I had the opportunity to keep tabs on a few rising juniors on the eastern side of NC. Several of these players showed much improvement over the course of this year and have undoubtedly worked their way into bigger roles for the up and coming season. I also received tips on a few of these players and they have proven to be diamonds in the rough. Each player listed below has the skill, worth ethic and potential to become a productive student-athlete at the college level. Special thanks to Rod Bridgers and Tre Cordon for making sure I was aware of several of these outstanding kids.

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(Name, High School, Height, Weight, Position)

(2015-2016 Season Statistics)

Note: This list is not compiled in any specific order.

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Jadakis Bonds, Riverside (Martin) HS, 6’4” 175 SG/SF

(11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block)

Not many players improved over the summer as much as Bonds. He has shown a much improved jump-shot, handle, passing ability, defensive mechanics and physique. Colleges will without a doubt be keeping tabs on him this season. Could break out as the leader of what has the makings of a very strong team this season. Standing at 6’4”, he possesses good height, athleticism, length, a high basketball IQ and tons of confidence at the shooting guard position. Still relatively unknown, he should undoubtedly attract some serious college attention this up and coming season and lead his Riverside HS deep into the playoffs.

Rakilen Butler, Southern Wayne HS, 6’3” 160 PG/SG

(14 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2.4 steals)

Rakilen is a quick, shifty point guard capable that can shoot the ball extremely well. He had multiple games in his sophomore season knocking down at least 5 triples. Butler also has sneaky leaping ability enabling him to get past long defenders and grab long rebounds out of position. In the up-coming season, expect to see an increase in his productivity all around the board. If he continues to shoot the ball extremely well, distribute the ball and get stronger, Butler should become a well-known name to many colleges at every level on the east coast.

Kris Wooten, Parrott Academy, 6’2” 170 SG

(16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 40% 3pt shooting)

Wooten is arguably one of the best pure shooters in all of NC. Has an effortless jump-shot from mid-range and from the three point line. Is comfortable shooting off the dribble and off the catch. Shows a surprisingly slick handle that enables him to consistently get into the paint where his innate ability to finish around the rim wreaks havoc on defenses. Will not be shocked to see a 20+ per game season with solid all around statistics to follow. Has also shown a revamped body while providing glimpses of rapidly improving athleticism. Will be fun to track as the season goes on.

Tyzhaun Claude, Cox Mill HS, 6’7” 190 PF/C

(10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks)

Tyzhaun is a young and solid wide-bodied post. He doesn’t venture too far away from the basket, for good reason. He has a soft touch in the mid-range capacity and creates ample space in the paint using minimal dribbles, drop-steps and finishing strong around rim. Very fundamental post player that doesn’t try overdo anything. Sets good screens, hustles and doesn’t back down from anyone. Makes the smart and simple plays on both ends. (Competed for Goldsboro HS in 2015-2016 Season)

Freddie Taylor, New Hanover HS, 5’8” 150 PG

(11 points, 8 assists, 4 steals,  4:1 ast/to ratio}

One of the best floor generals in the NC 2018 class. Freddie has one of the best pure handles in the state. Very shifty and crafty ball-handler that commands a team offense and makes defenders think twice about trying to get physical with him. Underrated jump-shooter. Knocks shots down from the perimeter off the dribble and coming off screens. Defensively, gets a ton of steals with his pressure defense. Can really frustrate ball-handlers and make them second guess themselves. Colleges that are more concerned about skill and production rather than size will love Freddie.

Jareem Lovette, James Kenan HS, 6’6” 185 SF/PF

(6.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 blocks)

Jareem has loads of potential. As a sophomore he had his ups and downs, but showed many flashes of potential to become a solid wing/post player. He gets out in transition and finishes well above the rim. When he operates on the wing he is capable of beating his man with two or three dribbles using either hand and can finish with either hand as well. Entering into his junior season, if Jareem shows more of a willingness to attack the basket and utilizes his size more, he could present a unique matchup problem for his opposition night in and night out.

Nico Barnes, Tarboro HS, 6’7” 180 PF/SF

(17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks)

Barnes is a post player that coaches would be wise to keep tabs on. Standing close to 6’8” he hustles, does the dirty work, runs the floor well and can knock down three-pointers at a solid clip. Defensively he’s much of the same, staying active and using his length to disrupt shots. He has all of the tools to be a dynamic all-around player. He’s still young as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him grow a few more inches. It may be just a matter of time before colleges start sneaking their way to his games this season to see what he’s all about.

Janari Hill, Jones Senior HS, 5’9” 150 PG

(16 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 2.4 steals)

Hill is a great example of a confident and savvy player. Despite his size, he was able to lead his Jones Senior team to a 19-9 record as a sophomore and looks to continue building on that success in the up and coming season. Janari is an extremely quick and crafty lead guard that loves to attack and finish in the paint. He has a streaky outside shot, but keeps defenses honest. Uses fakes well to get defenders in the air and dishes the ball to open shooters.

Trevon Spencer, Columbia HS, 6’3” 165 SG

(13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 38% 3 point shooting)

Expect to hear a ton about this kid this season. Spencer is an ELITE athlete that will undoubtedly provide several highlight reel dunks this season. Using his quick first step, long arms and shifty handle, he gets to the rim very often and finishes strong. Defensively, he’s quick on his feet and plays passing lanes really well. He’s also an underrated shooter, very capable of getting hot and going on big scoring runs. With the graduation of 8 seniors (including their top 3 leading scorers), Spencer will be counted on to carry the bulk of the load for his Columbia HS team. (Averaged 23 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists during his stint on the junior varsity)

Andreas Wilson, Louisburg HS, 6’0” 170 SG/PG

(20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.3 steals)

Expect to see this name amongst the top scoring leaders this upcoming season in NC. With the graduation of three key seniors, he will definitely be counted on to take on a bigger scoring load and become more of a ball-handler. This kid flat out knows how to score the ball, rebounds exceptionally well for a guard and makes shots from all over. Has a very creative ability to finish as well as very solid leaping ability. East coast colleges should take personal notes and begin their evaluations on him as soon as possible before others take notice.

Clifford Shaw, Northeastern HS, 6’0” 150 PG

(6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 37% 3 point shooting)

Shaw is an interesting point guard prospect. As a sophomore, he played his role very well as a secondary ball handler and as a scorer. He had several strong double digit scoring games for what was a very deep Northeastern High School team that was a game away from a state title birth. Fast forwarding to now, Shaw was able to put up some impressive scoring and shooting numbers in a few summer games while knocking down a high percentage of shots from downtown. Already a proven ball-handler and distributor, should he continue to knock down shots at such a high rate the sky is the limit for this kid and Northeastern HS.

Romeo Jordan, St. Pauls HS, 6’5” 170 SG/SF

(5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 37% 3 point shooting)

Romeo is a long and crafty wing with loads of potential. While he didn’t put up staggering numbers in the 2015-2016 season, his skill level still was able to shine through, despite splitting minutes with several key upperclassmen that have now graduated. He shows a nice feel for the game and a soft touch from three-point range. His mid-range fade-away jumper looks very comfortable and he’s shown a nice mix of crossover moves. It will be interesting to see if he will put all the pieces of his game together and produce a strong junior season.

Taji Moore, Kinston HS, 6’0” 165 PG

(5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 36% 3 point shooting)

Taji has shown to be a leader. As a sophomore, he struggled to find consistency while splitting minutes for a Kinston HS team that featured 10 seniors. However, he still had multiple games where he caught fire and went on scoring tears knocking down multiple 3’s and getting out in transition. Over the course of this summer, he showed improvement while providing great leadership. Showed good patience while running his team. He communicates very well offensively and defensively, scores the ball and knocks down shots at a high rate. Could be a breakout season coming up.

Ta’Quan White, Plymouth HS, 5’11” 155 PG

(11.5 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals)

White is a crafty and natural born scorer. He uses floaters, step-back dribbles, fade-away jumpers, hesitations and a nice mix of spin moves to create space for his own shot and others. Must note, he has a deadly right to left crossover dribble and also moves very well off the ball. Defensively he has quick hands and good anticipation. Unquestionably should lead his high school team in several categories this up and coming season. Very deep shooting range and must be guarded well past the high school 3 point line. Will drain multiple deep jumpers in a row and takes deep shots without hesitation.

Younes Robidoux, South Central HS, 6’6” 180 PF

(2.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1 block)

Robidoux is a young and long prospect with great upside. Has a good motor, plenty of athleticism and a good skill level for his size. He still will need more time before he begins putting together good games consistently, but he is in a basketball program at South Central HS that typically brings out the best in their young players. Robidoux appears to be very attentive and coachable as well. Keep track of this kid as time goes along.

Liam Caswell, Ocracoke HS, 6’3” 160 PG

(13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.4 steals)

Liam is the younger brother of DIII power Susquehanna University signee, Evin Caswell. Liam is a long and intriguing point guard prospect from Ocracoke Island. Despite coming from a school that had a total of just over 50+ students, he was able to help lead his high school team to their most wins in a season the past 5 years. Liam is a heady ball-handler that does a solid job protecting the ball, getting in the paint and controlling tempo. As a sophomore, he averaged 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in a secondary role. Since March, he’s hit a growth spurt rising to around 6’3” and retaining the skills he had as a 5’10” sophomore. Liam could possibly reach triple double territory a few times this year. Place him in your players to watch list.

Dontrell Watford, Gates County HS, 6’1” 215 F/G

(15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block)

Watford is an undersized but efficient post/wing that has quietly been racking up double-doubles two years in a row now at Gates County HS. He’s very strong and uses his body well in the paint to carve out space. Rarely surrenders his position on the block. Dunks the ball with relative ease despite his girth. Bulls his way to the basket in transition while being under control. Should his handle and jump-shot continue to improve, he could become a huge matchup problem, proving to be too quick for bigger defenders and too strong for the typical guard to contain.

Octavius Lacey, Greenfield HS, 6’5” 165 SG/SF

(10 points, 8 rebounds, 1.5 steals)

Long, wiry and bouncy. Lacey is an intriguing wing prospect that could develop into a very strong two way player. He uses his length to disrupt passing lanes and gets out on the fast-break, filling the lanes and throwing down some vicious dunks. Most of his success early on has come from being extremely active on both ends. As a sophomore at Beddingfield he showed several glimpses of a wing capable of affecting the game in a ton of ways even without scoring or having plays ran for him. Has all the intangibles you want from a wing player. Could be primed to breakout at any time next season.

HoopState Sleeper Report Volume 1: Class of 2017

Every year in North Carolina, there are exceptional high school basketball players that slip through the cracks of college recruiting. For example recently in 2012, Chris Flemmings of Cary HS went virtually un-recruited, yet became a star early in his career at Division 2 power Barton College. He would then transfer to UNCW as a walk-on and lead them in scoring in route to an NCAA tournament berth in the 2015-2016 season. Also in 2015, 5’9” freshman point guard Chris Clemons of Millbrook (Raleigh) took Division 1 Big South Conference by storm, leading Campbell University in scoring as a freshman while earning “Freshman of the Year” honors.

Hassan Whiteside from Gastonia, NC burst on the scene at Marshall leading the NCAA in blocked shots as a freshman before re-inventing himself as a double-double machine with the Miami Heat in the NBA. Stephen Curry who went virtually un-recruited out of Charlotte Christian in 2006 dazzled basketball fans around the world during his stint at Davidson, later becoming a lottery pick and the current 2 time NBA Most Valuable Player for the Golden State Warriors. Kent Bazemore, a 2007 sleeper prospect from Bertie HS in NC starred for four years at Old Dominion, and has since developed into a highly productive do-it-all wing for the Atlanta Hawks.

As mentioned before, every year at every level collegiately, there are a few players that slip through the cracks from the state of North Carolina and many of them go on to become highly productive college players. Some of them go even further. If you are a college coach and you love a sleeper prospect, listed below are a few players you may not be too familiar with, but these student-athletes all have the potential and skill to be a diamond in the rough for your program. Be on the lookout for them all this up and coming season.
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Name, High School, Height, Weight, Position(s) (Projected Level of Play)

Stats are from 2015-2015 season.

Note: Projected level of play is subjective.

Jaquan Miles, Northampton County HS, 6’6” 190 SG/SF (MM-HM)

31.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 3.1 steals, 1.3 blocks

Jaquan “J.J.’ Miles has generated quite a buzz since January. He “quietly” averaged over 30 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists last season, garnering 2015-2016 Player of the Year honors in the Two-Rivers 1A Conference. Miles is a 6’6” rangy athlete that can get hot from downtown and has a solid mid-range game as well. He is surprisingly unselfish for such a bigtime scorer, showing a solid passing ability as well. Defensively, when active he’s shown to be a solid defender and an underrated rebounder. He picked up several Division 1 offers this summer and it’s a matter of time before bigger schools start inquiring about him. Expect staggering overall numbers across the board yet again this season and don’t hesitate to take a trip to small Conway, NC and see this kid for yourself.

John Bowen, West Bladen HS, 6’6” 180 SF (LM-D2) *4.3 GPA

12.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 blocks, 1.0 steals

Bowen is a long and deceptive athlete that does many things well. After enjoying a solid junior campaign and a solid summer with Flight 22 (AAU), don’t be surprised if he has a breakout senior season, landing a few offers. Bowen can put the ball on the floor, shoot over smaller defenders and drive by taller and bigger defenders. Defensively he can contest many shots on the wing and in the post. He has an opportunity as a senior to become the leader and be a matchup nightmare night in and night out for his West Bladen HS due to his versatile skillset and size. Potential is everything with this kid and if he plays up to it this season, colleges will be all over him.

Don Pigford, Greene Central, 6’4″ 175 SG/SF (D2-NAIA)

10.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.3 blocks

Pigford is a freakishly long and athletic wing. Possesses extraordinary leaping ability and uses his length well to crash the glass for put-backs and defensive boards. Doesn’t need to have many plays ran for him in order to be an effective player. Never really stops moving and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time on both sides of the ball. We could see him stepping into more of a leadership role in his senior season and solidifying himself as a do it all wing, capable of impacting the game in multiple ways. With an improved jump-shot and more evidence of his slashing ability to the basket, Pigford could really grab the attention of several colleges this upcoming season.

Tyree Wiggins, Ayden-Grifton, 6’3” 170 SG/SF (D3-NAIA)

13.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals

Wiggins is a solid knock down shooter, hailing from Ayden-Grifton HS. He is rangy, lengthy and a solid slasher that could be poised to score a bunch of points for his HS team this season. During his junior season, at times he showed that he can really get hot from beyond the arc and pile on points in a hurry. Tyree possesses solid length and has enough quickness and athleticism to be a pesky defender when motivated on the defensive end. If he puts his mind to it, he could have much success in his senior season and attract several college looks before his final high school season concludes.

Devonte Pettaway, North Pitt HS, 6’0” 160 PG (LM-D2) *3.4 GPA

16.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.1 steals

This lead guard from North Pitt flew under the radar last season. Pettaway is a quick, fast, aggressive and confident point guard. He loves getting in the paint for mid-range pull-up jumpers and finishes well around the rim with both his strong hand and his off hand. He has an underrated court vision and a slick handle that keeps defenders off balance. He’s very good student in the classroom and college coaches should be making quite a few trips to check this kid out this season. With him at the lead guard position, North Pitt has the all pieces necessary to make a deep run in the state playoffs this year. He brings the toughness, grit and IQ to his team that all coaches love from their point guard.

Markell Freeman, Riverside (Martin) HS, 6’6” 185 SF/PF (D2-LM)

13.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.6 blocks

Do not be surprised if Riverside makes a deep run in the state playoffs this up and coming season. Markell Freeman will be a huge reason if they go far. Listed at 6’6”, he brings versatility on both ends, above average athleticism and a strong basketball IQ to his Riverside (Martin) HS team. Defensively, he plays passing lanes well, blocks weak-side shots, moves his feet well along the perimeter and draws a bevy of charges. Offensively, he’s sneaky in the post. He has a quick first step and finishes well at or around the rim. With his size, athleticism and versatility, Markell has a chance to become an excellent player at the next level.

Zion Jackson, KIPP Pride, 6’3” 170 SG/PG (D2-LM)

11.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.3 steals

Don’t let the numbers fool you. Zion is a very capable and productive wing who played through a shortened junior season at KIPP Pride on the 2015-2016 season. As a sophomore, Jackson was a solid 18 point game scorer that contributed evenly across the board. Expect him to return to his previous form in his senior season and play his way into serious college considerations. KIPP isn’t known much for their athletics programs, but if you are a college coach that loves finding diamonds in the rough, here is the perfect opportunity to do so. Zion is a solid athlete with good length and a ton of potential to become a jack of all trades player at the next level offensively and defensively.

Tyler Maye, Farmville Central HS, 6’1” 170 PG (MM-LM)

24.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 3.1 steals

If anyone didn’t know who Tyler Maye was coming into last season, they should definitely know who he is by now. Maye took NC by storm, leading his Farmville Central HS to an undefeated season, securing the 2A State Championship and State Title MVP honors as. Maye possesses one of the best jump-shots in NC.  He was deadly beyond the arc, from mid-range and finishing at the rim all least season in tune to 24 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists per game last season. Defensively he hounded opposing teams point guards and created a ton of easy scoring opportunities off of steals as well. Expect more of the same and more from the savvy lead guard entering into his senior season. Don’t be surprised to see his recruitment soar.

Tyjarek Simmons, Roanoke-Rapids, 5’8” 150 PG/SG (D3-NAIA) *3.2 GPA

15.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.7 steals

Despite being small in stature, make no mistake about the game this kid possesses. He plays much bigger than his size and makes life miserable for his opponents on a nightly basis. Tyjarek possesses extreme quickness, a smooth stroke and a slick handle. In transition, his ability to create typically leaves defenders in retreat mode allowing him to pull up and knock down mid-range jumpers and use hesitations that lead to uncontested layups. He is very much capable of huge scoring outbursts and willing his team to victories. Defensively, he’s very active and hounds opposing ball handlers in tune to snatching away nearly 3 steals per game. He will be under the radar in his senior season due to his size and playing in a small 1A conference, but this kid has game.

Zach Robeson, Camden, 5’11” 155 PG/SG (D2-D3) *4.1 GPA

18.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals

When it’s all said and done, Zach Robeson will probably be in the NC top 10 scoring leaders by the end of this up and coming season. Robeson has improved his scoring average every season since arriving at Camden in Eastern, NC. Expect another leap in his scoring production. He is a lights out shooter with an improving ability to create his shot off the dribble. Moves extremely well off the ball too. With every shot attempt, you feel he is going to make it. During summer competition, he showed off his improved handle and an improved lateral quickness defensively. His size may hinder him from garnering bigger looks from some schools, but his shooting ability and high basketball IQ should solidify him a few college offers regardless. Elite shooter.

L’Shawn Davis, North Lenoir, 5’11” 155 PG (LM-D2)

17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 4.1 steals

Davis is arguably the fastest guard in Eastern, NC with the ball. Labeling him as a blur would be an understatement. All he needs is the slightest creep of space and he will blow by even elite defenders with ease. Very shifty and electric point guard that gets to the rim at will and finishes well with either hand. Defensively, he’s very aggressive (although at times too aggressive) and gets tons of deflections and steals leading to uncontested layups on the offensive end. Has shown an improved jump-shot and an improved ability to find teammates in a half-court setting as well. Davis has already attracted the attention of several college program and looks to continue building on the success of his junior season and the experience he gained playing with Stackhouse Elite on the summer circuit.

James Moore, South Creek HS, 6’7” 190 PF/C (LM-D2)

15.1 points, 15.7 rebounds, 10.6 blocks, 2.1 steals

Only a handful of high school ballplayers can say that they averaged a triple double. James Moore, an explosive and long armed agile post player is one of them. He was able to consistently put up these monster numbers in his junior season while leading his South Creek HS team to the Eastern NC 1A Regionals before falling to the eventual state champion Voyager Academy. Moore has excellent timing and spacing when it comes to blocking shots and he makes life miserable for offensive players that aim to attack the rim. Offensively, he’s very raw but has good enough spring to dunk the ball off of drop steps in traffic and to gather several put-back slams every game around the rim.

Koraan Clements

Name: Koraan Clemonts
Class: Senior “2016”
Height/Weight: 6’1” 165
High School: Weldon High School (Weldon, NC)
Position: Point Guard
AAU Team: Richmond Squires
Projected Level of Play: Low Major D1 / D2
GPA: 3.2
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coGRLCYqOwU

Koraan Clemonts from Weldon High School is easily one of the most underrated point guards in North Carolina. According to MaxPreps, for the 2nd straight season, he’s leading the state of NC in assists per game and is one of the leaders in steals per game as well. He most recently had a monster game on the road against conference foe Southeast Halifax High School, finishing with a quadruple double! (see video below)

Playing for a small 1A Weldon High School is part of the reason he has managed to stay a virtual unknown, despite averages of 17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 10.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game. Coaches should take a closer look at Koraan Clemonts. A year young for his class with loads of potential, he could end up being a huge steal of a prospect at the next level.

Strengths:

Passing – Koraan is very unselfish and always has his head up with the ball. He’s able to make pinpoint passes through tight spaces, convert solid post feeds, throws excellent lob passes and is an exceptional outlet passer as well. Even when pressured by multiple defenders, he’s able to slip passes through to open players in the paint and around the perimeter with great consistency. Currently leading the state of NC in assists again with 10.1 assists per night.

Quickness/Athleticism – He is extremely quick and strong with the ball. Only needs a split second to penetrate a defense off the dribble. Has a very minimalistic approach to getting into the paint, utilizing pass fakes, head-fakes to throw off defenders and jump stops. Extremely efficient with his quickness, rarely utilizing more than 3 dribbles before splitting defenses and going by defenders. Has a very solid hesitation and crossover with either hand and bursts to the rim off the dribble before defenses can react to him without fouling.

Defensive Tenacity – Excellent defender. Very aggressive approach on defense and harasses ball-handlers with little to no remorse. Possesses abnormally long arms and big hands for a 6’1” guard. His length allows him to really frustrate ball handlers in man-to-man as well as in zone defenses. Doesn’t seem to get tired on either end. Consistently wears out opposing guards and turns their frustrations into long passes and steals for his team.

Areas for Improvement:

Shooting – At this current stage, he typically drives all the way to the rim for a shot or lets it fly from 3 point range. He’s a decent shooter, but he’ll need to develop a better mid-range shot and improve on his 3-point shot to really be effective early on at the next level. (LM Division 1 or High D2) He has a solid form, so repetition will help. He’s shown in multiple games to be a clutch performer at the free throw line, but he could stand to work on his free throw shooting as well.

Strength – For a player that gets in the paint so often, he’ll have to get stronger or bigger defenders will continue to bump him on drives, throwing him off balance. He has a frame that looks well equipped to put on muscle. Has seemingly gotten more athletic as the season has progressed, driving to the basket for dunks now, so that is a promising sign. Already a solid leaper. Putting in the time to develop a stronger core, upper body and lower body could make him a nightmare physically for opposing guards on both ends and will help benefit him in the long term.

A year young for his class. A year of acclimation to college speed and physicality would do him well. D2’s definitely shouldn’t let this kid slip away.

Update* 4/26/16: Eastern NC FAB 40 Highlights

Photo Credits: Sarah Bloom (RRDailyHerald)
Video Credits: Weldon High School, HoopFarm Mixtapes

Raheem Nixon 2016

Name: Raheem Nixon
Class: Senior “2016”
Height/Weight: 5’9” 160
High School: Northeastern High School (Elizabeth City, NC)
Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
AAU Team: Elizabeth City Blazers
Video Link: https://youtu.be/HL7H0XGpR98
Projected Level of Play: D3/NAIA
Raheem Nixon

Sharpshooter! Raheem Nixon is a very quick sharpshooting senior guard that has accounted for nearly 1/3 of Northeastern High School’s made 3 pointers. He plays both some point guard and shooting guard for a very deep Northeastern High School basketball team. He currently is their 2nd leading scorer and overall leader in 3’s made, 3 point percentage and also 2nd in steals. While he’s basically been a virtual unknown, smaller schools (D3/NAIA/JC) in need of a player who can immediately bolster their team shooting should definitely watch his video below and be on the lookout for him in the state playoffs, as his team currently sits at 21-2, poised to make a deep playoff run. He has plenty of potential to go along with his current game and shooting ability.

Strengths:

Attacking – Raheem shows an uncanny ability to get in the paint and finish amongst the trees as well as in transition. He makes some very tough shots inside, even when taking plenty of contact on his way to the basket. In transition he’s very tough to contain as he has really sound body control and a soft touch at the basket, even at high speeds. Adjusts very well in the air for acrobatic finishes.

Shooting – He’s one of the more underrated shooters in the Eastern NC region. He’s had multiple games where he’s knocked down at least 4 triples. Once he gets it going, teams can’t afford to lose track of him. He can get on a roll knocking down barrages of 3 pointers and mid-range shots in succession in no time. His release is also very quick and consistent. He follows through well and doesn’t change his shot regardless of how defenses react to him, leading at times to him making trips to the line for 3.

High Motor – Never really stops moving. Very active on defense and understands spacing on offense. In transition he fills lanes really well and sprints to his spots. His movement combined with his shooting ability puts a lot of pressure on team defenses and causes a lot of havoc. He does a good job closing out on shooters and has quick hands on defense and jumps passing lanes well.

Areas for Improvement:

On Ball Defense – He works really hard on defense, but can get overzealous in man to man. This enables quicker guards to beat him off the dribble and it can sometimes leads to foul trouble. If he stays aggressive, puts in the work in the off-season working on his core and improves his lateral movement, he could become a real pest defensively at the next level.

Size For Position – He’s more of a combo guard than a point guard and at 5’9” he must work harder than his peers to maintain. He is very quick, fast and handles the ball well enough to get by at the high school level. His shooting ability also helps him get by right now as well, but at the next level he’ll have to improve on his off hand and put in countless hours in the weight-room to fully adjust to the physicality and daily grind of NCAA/NAIA level basketball.

Video Credits: MrStdaghost (YouTube)

Basketball

Devin Thomas Wake Forest basketball scouting report

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest

Georgia Tech Wins 79-70

Box Score

Devin Thomas (6’9”, F, SO)

Stats
2-5 FG, 3-5 FT, 9 reb, 4 assists, 1 blk, 3 steals, 7 TP

Strengths
His ability to finish and use his right hand has improved over last year. Elusive and crafty post player inside. Finds ways to finish around the rim without finishing above the rim. Even though he lacks elite athleticism- he still finds ways to finish inside against bigger defenders. Underrated passer out of the post- keeps his eyes up and is able to hit open shooters and cutters. Is better than his 1.3 assists per game would indicate.

Plays the game with good aggressiveness and with an edge. Solid defender who plays the passing lanes and is not afraid to defend other bigs on the perimeter. Does a good job of creating a wall defensively in the post and defends without fouling. Fronts the post pretty well. Did a good job this game of not letting Miller establish deep inside post position.

Excellent rebounder who makes contact on the shot and isn’t afraid to get physical in the paint. Good frame and strength for the PF position. Showed the ability to grab a defensive rebound and push the ball in transition where he made a good bounce pass to a cutter for a lay-up- impressive for a player of his size. Sticks with his misses and works hard in the paint.

Weaknesses
His FT shooting is still a weak area as he has shot in the mid 50’s since he has been in college. His stroke looks better this year, but he needs to be more consistent from the line. Knocked down multiple FT’s today and looked comfortable shooting them.

Does a decent job of hedging ball screens, but needs to do a better job of getting back to his man who roles to the basket.

Not a great athlete who will finish above the rim. Gets loose and careless with the ball at times and has some unforced TO’s. His turnover per game are down this year from last year but he still averages over 2 a game which is not good (had 7 today).

Overview
Decent but not great game for Thomas today. Shows a lot of emotion on the court and really wants to win with his play. Has solid intangibles.

Plays the C position where he is a little undersized. Matched up against Georgia Tech C Daniel Miller this game who is 6’11”. Would like to see Thomas improve his midrange stroke and also develop the ability to put the ball on the floor in straight line drives. This would improve his chances to play the PF at the next level. I believe he could do a decent job of defending a PF at this stage.

Is a gritty undersized big who plays hard and rebounds. Offense has steadily improved since he has been at Wake. Is only a sophomore and has a couple of more years to continue to improve.

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