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.

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.

Rest assured, the Class of 2019 in NC has the potential to be an excellent class from top to bottom in terms of college level prospects. From point guards to post players, this class is loaded with potential high level players and there will undoubtedly be some sleepers as well. I’ve listed (in no particular order) a few players that caught my eye as freshmen competing for their respective high school teams and in AAU competition. Lock these names into the back of your minds.

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

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

Tarik Adams, KIPP Pride, 6’2” 165, PG/SG

As a freshman competing on the junior varsity for KIPP Pride HS, Adams showed some serious game. He dominated the competition, averaging over 27 points per game and displaying strong court vision as well. Over the summer, Adams really begin developing his body and was developing his athleticism before an injury shut him down for the remainder of the AAU season. However, he’s expected to make a full recovery and should undoubtedly put college coaches on notice in the next few seasons.

Dominique Morse, Spring Creek, 6’0” 160, PG

Morse is an extremely athletic sophomore guard. He’s a multi-sport athlete and it shows on the court with his toughness and will. In his freshman season competing on the varsity team, Morse had several 20 point 10 rebound games despite playing the guard position. He was one of a few freshmen that saw big minutes for his high school team and should only continue to improve each season. Intrigue is there. He displays fundamentals, soft shooting touch and an overall solid feel for the game. Definitely worth tracking.

Imajae Dodd, Greene Central, 6’7” 200, PF

Imajae has all the makings of a big-time prospect despite being such a young sophomore. As a freshman he showed flashes of a young agile post that can play well above the rim and create off the dribble in spurts. He also displayed a surprisingly soft touch on his jump-shot. Defensively, he gets physical and has solid timing when it comes to blocking shots and rebounding. He possesses uncommon athleticism for a player with his combination of size and youth. Colleges have already taken notice of his talent in route to him earning several D1 offers over the summer. Should gain more as the season rolls along.

Dericko Williams, Kinston, 6’7” 185, PF

Dericko is the definition of an elite run and jump athlete. Arguably one of the most athletic players in the state. Williams was able to show off his athleticism with Kinston High School in the ECI tourney held in Jacksonville, NC this summer. He was all over the court showing tons of energy on both ends. Crashes the glass, protects the rim and gets out in transition for electric slam dunk finishes. Despite being relatively raw, his athleticism alone should allow him to have an impact as a sophomore. Has shown to have a solid work ethic, so he could very well develop into a high level prospect.

Shyquan Jones, Pope John Paul, 6’4” 170 SG

Pope John Paul HS in Greenville, NC has a hidden gem in Shyquan Jones. He was able to quietly average over 24 points per game despite being double and triple teamed consistently. Jones possesses great natural basketball instincts, a tightening handle, a great frame for a wing and wiry strength. Should college coaches begin making their way down to Greenville, NC to see for themselves, don’t be shocked to see Shyquan earn several Division 1 offers before his junior season. Should have another dominate season at Pope John Paul HS.

Darryl McCaster, James Kenan, 6’0” 160 PG

After a highly successful stint on the junior varsity team as a freshman, McCaster was moved up to the varsity where he would then lead his James Kenan HS varsity team in scoring as a freshman. He showed a natural ability to create for himself and others and proved to be a clutch performer knocking down several last second shots as a frosh. In a prime position to help guide his team to the top of their conference this season, providing scoring, defense and an uncanny ability to make shots.

Marcotis Hall, Kestrel Heights, 6’4” 165 SF

Marcotis plays the game of basketball with a great confidence and displays a high IQ. In the mid-range area is where he’s most dangerous. Hall is able to elevate over most defenders and shows a quick release on his jumper coupled with some crafty moves from the triple-threat position. In the post, when guarded by taller and longer players, he uses a variety of pump fakes, spin moves and some solid footwork to create space for himself to get a good shot. Being that he is the 2nd leading returning scorer, he’s primed to have a jump in his production and could really make some noise this season with Kestrel Heights in a bigger role.

Damian Dunn. Kinston, 6’5” 185 SG/PG

Damian Dunn (along with Imajae Dodd) really made a name for himself this summer on the AAU circuit playing with Stackhouse Elite as well as with his Kinston HS team as a frosh. He already showed flashes of a versatile player capable of playing multiple positions and scoring at each spot during his freshman season. His game is rounding out, displaying an array of hesitation moves, good shooting form and patience. He doesn’t force the issue. Should he continue growing, getting stronger and scoring at every level, he could become a high level recruit in absolutely no time at all. Holds several Division 1 offers with growing interest.

Donte Johnson, Greene Central, 6’5” 190, SF

Donte is loaded with potential. A lefty, Donte showed many flashes as a freshman that he could in time become a long, athletic and savvy do it all wing. Naturally, Donte crashes the glass strong and runs the floor hard to get easy transition scores. In the half-court setting, he gets good post position, digging into his defender and showing a target. Once he has the ball in the post or on the perimeter, he’s adept at making quick moves to the basket once he receives the ball. Also has a very quick second leap on rebounding attempts. Should have a much larger role this season as a sophomore due to the graduation of six seniors.

Marcus Harrison, Southern Vance, 5’10” 150, SG

Marcus is an athletic natural-born scorer. Despite being undersized for the position, he’s extremely hard to stop due to his natural ability to find the right spots on and off the ball coupled with his ability to make all types of shots from all over the court. This kid flat out knows how to play and how to score. He’s one of the leading returning scorers for sophomores in the state after averaging 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds as a freshman for his Southern Vance Raiders. Don’t be surprised to see his name among scoring leaders in NC this season and in years to follow.

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.


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

(2015-2016 Season Statistics)

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


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.

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.


Team Of The Year: Village Christian Academy & Coach Darden, Congrats on the state Chip and the stellar play throughout the entire season!!!!

First Team

Thank God Avar

Thank God Avar (Freedom Christian, Forward, Senior) – Strong, athletic player that will definitely be a good asset to whatever college program gets him , finished the season averaging 16 Points, 12 Rebounds and 2 Blocks per game and countless amounts of rim rocking dunks. Currently is receiving interest from Low Major Division 1 schools as well as D2’s and Junior Colleges. 1A-All State

AJ Baldwin

A.J Baldwin (Cape Fear HS, Point Guard, Junior)- True PG that is somewhat under the radar at this point, Voted as Player Of The Year, led Cape Fear HS to a conference Championship while leading public schools in scoring and Assist per game. Averaged 18.2 Points, 4.6 Assist, and 5.4 Rebs, Mid Major/Low Major Prospect.

Malik Johnson

Malik Johnson (Terry Sanford HS, Point Guard, Sophomore)- A player with potential to be as good as he wants to be when he truly locks in , led public schools in 3 point field goals made with 68, averaged 11.3 points and 3.9 Assist per game. Currently receiving interest from Clemson, Wake Forest and other HM schools

Demani Applewhite

Damani Applewhite (Westover HS, Forward, Senior)- One of the more skilled players in the area, finished the season averaging 15.6 Points and 7.4 Rebounds per game, currently holds offers from Elizabeth City, Catawba and SC State. Also was selected to play in the NC vs SC game as well as the NC East vs West game.

Jordan Ratliffe

Jordan Ratliffe (Village Christian, Guard, Junior)-Had one of the best poster dunks of the year, very gifted scorer an athlete and one of the best shooters in the area. Has a very strong frame and has a strong desire to win. Finished the season averaging 18.3 points and 6.9 Rebounds per game, has multiple D2 offers and is receiving interest from Division one programs as well such as Liberty and Radford.

Dakari Johnson

Dakari Johnson (Northwood Temple, Point Guard, Sophomore)- Floor General that can run a squad but can also get a bucket as well, has a deadly midrange game and embraces contact well, finished the season averaging 17 Points and 5 Assist Per game. Has been receiving interest from numerous Division One programs such Oregon, College of Charleston, NC Central and UNC Asheville. 1A All-State

David Strother

David Strother (Village Christian, Point Guard, Senior)- Voted as Most Improved Player, is a PG that can score as well as distribute, finished the season averaging 14.7 points, 8.8 Assist and 2.3 Steals. Currently is being recruited by numerous schools such as Pembroke and Catawba, some Low Majors such as Wofford have taken interest. 2A All-State

Tyler Thomas

Tyler Thomas (71st HS, Guard, Senior)- Very quick guard that can flat out shoot it, finished the season averaging 17 points per game , was second in public schools for 3 point field goals made with 59 on the season. Still unsigned at this point and will be a good pickup for a program that needs a shooter with good speed and defense.

Second Team

Josh Nickelberry

Josh Nickelberry (Northwood Temple, Guard, Freshman) – Was named county Freshman of the year, has a game that is mature beyond his year has the potential to be a very special player. Finished the season averaging 15 Points and 4 rebounds per game while knocking down a high amount of treys. Receiving from numerous HM schools such as NC State, Maryland and Georgetown

Joey Baker

Joey Baker (Trinity, Wing, Freshman)- Another player that has a chance to be special without a doubt, has a smooth game and showed at times throughout the season some aggressiveness that will make him a difficult player to defend as his body matures. Averaged 13 points and 8 rebound per game, holds offers from Charlotte, Western Carolina and interest from numerous HM schools

Telligence Johnson

Telligence Johnson (Terry Sanford, Wing, Junior)- Another player that can jump out of the gym, if there was a stat for the most completed alley-oops he would probably have it for the season. Has improved overall on both ends of the floor and finished the season averaging 12 points and 8 Rebound per game. Wake Forest and other D1 programs have shown interest

Mike Boykin

Mike Boykin (Trinity, Guard, Senior) – A guard that can score the ball but most importantly provided tough defense and senior leadership for his team. Went on to average 14.2 Points and 5 rebounds per game and played a huge role in Trinity claiming the 1A state chip. Has signed with Barton College

Isaiah Stallings

Isaiah Stallings (Terry Sanford, Forward, Senior) – Played a huge role for Terry Sanford throughout the season, has a nice IQ for the game, can score the ball inside and outside. Averaged 12.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Although he is was outstanding on the basketball court he will be headed to NC State on a football scholarship.

Jon Gauer

Jon Gauer (Fayetteville Academy, Guard, Junior) – Very athletic player that showed flashes of how good he can be throughout the season, putting together multiple 30+ point games. Averaged 22 Points, 3 Rebounds and 2 steals per game, receiving interest from numerous Ivy League schools at this point.

Ethan Herring

Ethan Herring (Trinity, Forward, Junior)- Player that has performed better each time I saw him this year, knocks down the midrange shot but is very productive inside the paint . Averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds per game, has received interest from USC Upstate and other low Major Division 1 programs

John Maynor

John Maynor (Northwood Temple, Wing, Senior) – Can score a lot of points in a small amount of time, knock down shooter that knows how to get his shot off with minimal dribbles. Averaged 15 points and 5 Rebounds per game, has received an offer from Elizabeth City State and is receiving interest from Catawba Valley and Pitt CC

Adrian Norwood

Adrian Norwood (Westover, Forward/Center, Senior) – Talented player and an outstanding student, Led all Public schools in rebounds per game with 9.5 a night while scoring 11.3 points per game. Can play inside but also can step out shoot it, is a player that will continue to improve over the years, committed to play at Fayetteville State University.

Third Team

Justin King

Justin King (Terry Sanford HS, Guard, Senior)- Easily one of the most underrated players in the area and possibly even in the state, can knock down the outside shot but has nice athleticism as well that he uses to finish around and above the rim. Very unselfish player that makes the correct play at the correct time for his team to win, Averaged 10.7 points and 3.2 Assist per game, was hearing from numerous D3 programs and D2 Jucos at the end of the season.

Alex Mims

Alex Mims (EE Smith HS, Wing, Senior)- A very athletic player with a much improved jump shot, knows how to get to the paint with different moves and contests shots above the rim on the defensive end of the floor. Came to East NC Fab 40 camp in the fall and spring and showed out against some of the top players in East NC, Averaged 13 Points and 6 Rebounds on the season, is receiving interest from schools on the D2 and D3 level

Todd Smith

Todd Smith (Freedom Christian, Guard, Junior)- Spent his first year playing the PG spot full time for Freedom Christian and got better as the year went along, can shoot it from outside and has nice athleticism as well. Finished the season averaging 12 points, 6 Assist and 4 Rebounds per game, Receiving interest from numerous Division one programs such as Lipscomb, ECU and others.

D'Angelo Brown

D’Angelo Brown (New Life Christian, Guard, Senior) – Player that not many people knew about prior to the season starting, has outstanding athleticism and quickness as well as good defensive ability. Went on to average 16 points and 6 rebounds per game while being named to the NACA National Tournament All-Tournament team, still unsigned at this point but is receiving interest from JUCO schools.

Milos Supicia

Milos Supicia (Freedom Christian, Forward, Junior)- College coaches should put this young man’s name in their phones ASAP, he has yet to even come close to reaching the potential of how good he can be while still putting together a good overall season with some impressive games. Finished the season averaging 14 Points, 11 rebounds, 3 assist and 1.5 blocks per game, receiving interest from numerous D1 schools.

Nassyr Daniels

Nassyr Daniels (Village Christian, Forward, Junior) – Has the tools and potential to be good, attended both fall and Spring East NC Fab 40 Camps and performed well in each camp. Does a good job with keeping the ball high, and runs the floor well with the guards to finish plays. Also is getting better with being aggressive to attack the rim, will be one to keep an eye on over the summer and into his Senior Year.

Talton Jones

Talton Jones (EE Smith, Guard, freshman)- One of the top young true Point Guards in the area and is a very gifted passer, has a long wingspan and is improving with his jump shot. Is one to keep a close eye on and his body continues to develop , averaged 9.8 Points and was second in public schools Assist with 4.1 a game.

Cameron Campbell

Cameron Campbell (Trinity, Guard, Senior)- Athletic player that played a role for trinity in bringing home another state Championship, defends very well and blocks shots above the rim using his leaping ability. Is not afraid of taking big shots when his team needs it but is a very unselfish player and good teammate, Averaged 13 points, 4 assist and 4 rebounds on the season. Holds offer from Johnson C Smith

Josh Haymer

Josh Haymer (Village, Guard, Junior)- The type of player that you want on your team when you are going to battle every single night, he may not fill a stat sheet up but makes the right plays consistently on a nightly basis. Was also one of the better perimeter defenders in the area and took on the task of guarding the best offensive for whoever they played against.

John Wright

John Wright (Fayetteville Academy, Guard, Freshman) – Another player that has shown great improvement over the past year, he brings an intensity and energy to the floor that you just don’t see from a lot of kids his age. Definitely one to keep a close eye on over the next few years, averaged 12.7 points, 5.3 rebs and 2.7 steals per game

TeTe Armel

Tete Armel (Northwood Temple, Forward, Senior) – After watching this young man develop for the past years, it was truly a pleasure to see him show what he can really be. Had multiple games throughout the season where he would come up with double digits rebounds and points with a good amount of blocks. Finished the season averaging 9 Points and 9 Rebounds, signed with Presbyterian.

Honorable Mention

Jamari Harvey– Freedom Christian

Tyron George– Westover

Omari Wilson– 71st

Rashad Royster– New Life Christian

Jake Smith– EE Smith

Jaylen Thorne– Westover

Greg Gantt– Trinity

Immanuel Bates– Jack Britt

Shamon Elliot– Terry Sanford


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:

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.


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


Name: Damian Dunn
Class: Freshman “2019”
Height/Weight: 6’3” 180
High School: Kinston High School (Kinston, NC)
Position: Point Guard/ Shooting Guard / Small Forward
AAU Team: Stackhouse Elite
Projected Level of Play: Division 1
Video Link:
Damien Dunn

Damian Dunn is a smooth, poised and talented young freshman guard (14 years old). He appears poised to be the “next” in line for a storied Kinston High School basketball program. Currently standing at 6’3”, he’s quick, elusive, can shoot and he’s as versatile as they come. Plays multiple positions for Kinston High (including point guard) and appears primed to grow a few more inches. His coming out party came against 2A powerhouse Goldsboro HS in the conference championship, where he went for 21 points and 7 rebounds in the highly anticipated rivalry matchup (see video below). Look out for him in the coming years. He’s going to be a fun player to watch!


Versatility – Damian stands at 6’3”, but plays very strong for a 14 year old freshman. He really gets after it on the glass, goes up strong in the paint, handles the ball well, has good court vision and he can create his own shot in the post or on the perimeter. Being so young, it’s likely that he will grow, potentially making him even more of a nightmare in the future for opponents on both ends. He gets low and moves his feet well defensively. Damian isn’t afraid to get physical with bigger and older players.

Scoring Ability – He’s an effortless scorer that gets in the paint at will using minimal dribbles. Dunn is very efficient with the ball and doesn’t waste much time before making a move towards the basket. Surprises defenders with quick hesitations, crossovers and pass fakes. Has shown a nice touch on his pull up jump-shot. Knocks down free throws at a high rate. Converts on midrange pull-ups and spot up three-pointers. Finishes well at the rim with either hand.

Size for Position – Having point guard abilities as a 6’3’ freshman is always a promising sign. He doesn’t let pressure speed him up. Gets to his spots to run the offense when he’s playing the 1 and on the wing. He’s shown good strength and patience. Uses his height well to shoot over smaller defenders and uses his quickness and creativity to get by bigger ones.

Areas for Improvement:

Consistency – As with most freshman, he’s up and down, showing flashes in some games and not so much in others. That may have to do a lot with Kinston High School having a surplus of seniors. He began to string together more and more strong games as the conference season came around, so all signs point to him having the understanding that players such as himself always have some room to improve.

Athleticism – As noted earlier, he’s only 14 years of age, so he’s young for his class with plenty of time to grow in stature and as a player. He must get stronger and quicker to become more consistent and to improve as a finisher against bigger, stronger and more athletic opponents. This will also allow him to be quicker on his feet when applying defensive pressure and it will enable him to play more physical with bigger opposing guards and wings.

Remember his name. He has the talent to become a very special prospect.

Photo Credits: Junious Smith III (Kinston Free Press)

Basketball Clipboard

Kinston High School

Taji Moore, 6’0” G Class of 2018
Just a sophomore. Solid athletic guard that displays a ton of confidence in himself. Solid court vision and a nice drive and kick ability. Can get really hot from 3 point range. Very good at attacking the basket and has shown the potential to become a consistent scoring threat and rebounder for his position. Has decent size for the point guard position. At this point, he is playing on a team with a whopping 10 seniors for a storied Kinston program, so we’ll have to wait to see more. With a good summer of working on his jump-shot off the dribble, decision making and strength, he could become a very solid scoring point guard. Only a sophomore.

Tracy Whitfield 5’8” PG Class of 2018

Another sophomore for the senior laden Kinston Vikings. Very fast little guard that applies full court pressure and rarely turns the ball over in spot minutes. Very tight handle and uses spins very well to get to his spots and run the offense. Worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses and in the future. Jumpshot is unorthodox, as he seemingly fades sideways on the release but has shown a nice floater and poise. Will be tracking to see how he progresses.

Damian Dunn 6’3” SG/SF Class of 2019
Another intriguing freshman from the storied Kinston High School basketball program! Plays mainly in the post and doesn’t get a ton of plays ran for him on this stacked Kinston team but when his name is called, he’s shown a seemingly effortless ability to get to the rim and create his own shot off the dribble. Has a very nice touch, finishes well, bangs down low, handles the ball well under pressure and is very young. Love his game and toughness. Sky is the limit for this kid.

Dominic Williams 5’8” PG Class of 2016
Starting senior point guard for storied Kinston High School program. Very small but makes up for his size defensively with relentless pressure defense. Very quick hands. Rarely is beat off the dribble. Tends to get stuck on screens and get burned occasionally on backdoor plays off the ball however. Offensively, he’s very creative and can get his shot in isolation situations. His shot is a tad inconsistent, mainly due to a low release point but will knock jumpers down in rhythm. Shooting is definitely an area to be improved. Has excellent court vision and quickness. Could become a productive point guard for a D2/D3 or NAIA school.

North Lenoir High School

L’Shawn Davis 5’10” PG Class of 2017
Explosive is an understatement. Kid is one of the fastest and most explosive players I’ve seen with the ball in his hands. Blows by everyone and has excellent body control and finishing ability. Jump-shot is decent but could use some work. Shot percentage decreases a bit when teams get physical with him. Has to improve his mid-range game. Outstanding finisher, but too often he gets into traffic and goes for acrobatic layups. Has quick hands on defense and gets a ton of breakaway layups from leaving defenders in the dust after an offensive rebound. Moves his feet extremely well and forces even some of the better scorers into contested jump-shots. Currently averaging 19 points and 5 assists for a young North Lenoir High school team. Projected as an undersized but extremely fast and athletic college level point guard. LM D1 type of player as of now, but must continue to improve to attract offers.

South Lenoir High School

Jonte Midgette 6’1” SG Class of 2016
Scoring machine. Has an array of dribble drive moves that end up strong finishes and mid range pull-up jump shots. Extremely slender but his athleticism and ability to finish makes up for it and even helps him to be a well above average rebounder. Has very solid drive and kick ability. Against pressure however, tends to throw very lazy passes that lead to breakaways for opposing teams every now and again. Has a nice fadeaway jumper off the dribble. Goes to it too often at times however. Very good free throw shooter. Time in the weight-room could speed up his college productivity. Projects as a D2/D3 prospect.

Shykiem Wooten 6’1” PG Class of 2018
Athletic, strong and young. Only a sophomore. Has a much-improved jumper and has cut down on many of the turnovers he would commit as a freshman. Very intriguing. Looks to be a solid 185 lbs and more poised. Has the potential to be a lockdown defender. Moves feet really well, gets low and gets physical. Hard to project at this moment, but should know more of who he is as the season goes forth.

Southern Vance

Marcus Harrison 5’10” G Class of 2019
Energizer! Eastern NC is stacked with productive freshmen. Had a 36 point outburst early this season. Very active, finishes well and knocks shots down with a great consistency. Rebounds extremely well for his size. Multiple double digit rebound games early on. If he grows a few more inches, watch out! Plays for an extremely young Southern Vance team that could make some noise in the up and coming years with the right development.

Greene Central High School

Tre Wade 6’1 PG Class of 2016
Underrated! A coaches kind of guard and student-athlete. Good size for the point guard position. A solid 6’1” 190 lb point guard. Never really gets rattled and controls the flow of the game. Has a nice looking set shot, great court vision, strong with the ball using both hands, sturdy and uses his body well to create space. Also an above average rebounder. Teammates appear to love playing with him and he seems extremely coachable. Does almost everything well. Shot can be very slow at times however and overuses his strength at times on drives to the basket. However, he’s an excellent student and has plenty of potential. Solid D2/D3 level point guard.

Imajae Dodd 6’6” PF Class of 2019
Bouncy freshman! Potential is everything with this kid. Blocks a ton of shots, never stops moving, loves getting physical and rebounds well. Freakishly athletic big man with a non-stop motor. Tries to dunk everything around the rim and has a soft touch on his jumper. Had about 4 impressive dunks in a recent 23 point and 14 rebound contest. Plays very consistent and solid minutes for a very good Greene Central High School team that already has 3 or 4 upperclassmen playing the same position. If he continues to improve, grow and improve his strength, he could be downright scary. One to definitely keep on your watch list.

Dante Johnson 6’4” SF Class of 2019

Another freshman! Doesn’t play a ton of minutes right now but the potential is easy to see. Solid athlete for a player his age and his size. Looks like he may have another 2-3 inches to grow from first glance at his frame. Good slasher, confident and rebounds well out of position. Left handed. Very intriguing freshman wing to add to your watch list.

Goldsboro High School

Isaiah Wilder 6’3” SF Class of 2019
Freshman! Very athletic for his age. Kid can put the ball in the basket. Plays alongside one of the better guards in the state and doesn’t shy away from the ball. Good finisher with loads of potential. Excellent frame. Should have a college ready body by his senior season. Started the season averaging over 20 points per game on the junior varsity team. Put him on your watch list.

Myron Carmon 5’10” PG Class of 2016
Excellent point guard prospect. Very slender, but extremely quick, explosive, crafty and slick. Lefty can shoot it off the catch and create his own shot off the dribble at any time and for others. Controls the tempo. Doesn’t back down from anyone and causes headaches for opposing defenses. Stays in the paint and is very unpredictable for opposing defenses to key in on. Can tend to have quiet spells when his shot isn’t falling from the perimeter. Must stay aggressive due to his slender build. However, Division 1 schools should definitely offer this kid. Has the potential to be a dynamic player at the next level, regardless of his size. Would end up a steal at a D2.

Eric Bufkin 6’0 G Class of 2016
Hard working stat stuffer. Could be a jack of all trades type of player at the next level. Absolutely relentless defensively, hustles and makes shots. Lots of potential. D2’s and D3’s should start keying in, depending on what they are looking for. Jack of all trades.

Northeastern High School

Shawn Walker Jr. 6’3” PG Class of 2019
Excellent point guard prospect. Young and long. Very poised, mature and under control for a freshman guard. Has a solid step-back jumper and loves using his height for pull-up jumpers. Solid defender and has well above average court vision for a player his class. You can tell this kid was taught the game at a young age. Has the potential to be a high level college recruit. Remember the name!

DaMar Sutton 6’4” SG Class of 2018
Great athlete. Catches and finishes lobs in transition, put-back dunks and grabs a ton of rebounds out of position. Has long arms, causes havoc at the top of zones and has the potential to become a solid knockdown shooter. Ball-handling could stand to improve but has all the tools and mechanics already to become a versatile wing player.

Trey Carver 6’5” SF/PF Class of 2016
This kid has the perfect body for football, and uses it very well on the basketball court. A very strong and solid 6’5” 230 lbs. Very athletic. Settles for jumpers at times when going left but typically gets all the way to the rim for a dunk or strong finish when he goes right. Form is correctable. Wouldn’t be surprised if that shot became a weapon at the next level. Could be a very solid contributor after gaining some college basketball experience. Has several D1 offers. (Verbally committed to Hampton on 2/25/16)

Raheem Nixon 5’8” G Class of 2016
Undersized guard with a decent handle. Has a knack for getting to the rim and finishing. Can flat out shoot! Size may hinder his impact at the next level. More of a shooter/scorer than a point guard. Has had multiple games this season with 4-5 made 3’s. Shooting ability could be an asset to plenty of schools at the next level as a spot up shooter. NAIA/D3 and JUCO schools, take note.

Weldon High School

Koraan Clemonts 6’1” PG Class of 2016
A highly underrated lead guard playing at a small 1A school in Weldon, NC. Quietly has been leading the state of North Carolina in assists per game for the 2nd season in a row. Gets in the paint, excellent passer, quick and plenty of toughness. Has all the tools to be a productive starting point guard in time at the next level. LM D1/D2 level guard prospect.

Louisburg High School

Andreas Wilson 6’0” G Class of 2018
Crafty, quick and confident sophomore guard at Louisburg High School. Has a chance to be a dominating scoring guard. Has excellent form on his jump-shot, good fundamentals and a scoring mindset to attack that coaches love. Would not be surprised to see him put up some staggering numbers his junior and senior season.

Arendell Parrott Academy

Harrison McLawhorn 6’7” PF Class of 2019
Freshman big man has a load of potential. Has an incredible work ethic and really loves the sport. More of an energy player that shows flashes and rebounds well at this point. Has a decent turnaround hook shot and plays tough. If this kid continues to grow and work, the sky is the limit.

Kris Wooten 6’2” SG Class of 2018
Lights out shooter from 3 point range and from mid-range, a solid defender and rebounder. Has long arms and a quick release on his jump-shot. Needs strength, but has a nice frame very well capable of putting on some muscle. Has the potential to grow a few more inches and get stronger in the offseason as well. Looks extremely young. Previously played at Kinston High School as a freshman. Was their designated shooter off the bench. Has more of a scoring role this season at Parrott Academy. Off of shooting ability alone, could become a shooting specialist at the next level with the potential to grow as an all-around player.

Wilson Hunt

Rashod Shipman 6’5” W Class of 2016
Very good athlete. Finishes with dunks, strong around the rim using both hands and a very reliable defender. Very good positional rebounder and uses length well to secure rebounds out of position as well. Jumper has good mechanics and can become more consistent with work. Can go through quiet stretches but when focused has few peers that could stop him around the basket. The talent is definitely there, but will he put it all together? Could possibly break out at any time this season and garner some LM D1 offers. Would be a great pickup for any D2 school and has all the tools to transform into an extremely productive ballplayer.

Shemar Hudson 5’10” PG Class of 2016
A winner! Has won a ton of games at Wilson Hunt HS in his career. Very solid point guard with very good natural instincts and a high basketball IQ. Has a decent-looking stroke from 3-point range but it could be better. Gets into his man on defense. Has the foot quickness to be a nightmare defensively. Rarely turns the ball over and shows good poise and control under intense ball pressure going both ways. Doesn’t really get sped up, goes wherever he wants to go with little to no extra exertion. Seems to be fresh all the time. Does not tire even after maximum effort. Could become a coaches dream guard at the next level due to his effort and intangibles. Projects as a strong D2/D3.

Fayetteville 71st

Tyler Thomas 5’9” PG Class of 2016
Confident and solid point guard. Possesses a very strong mid-range game and a solid pull up shot from 3-point range as well. All coaches love a kid that can run a team and can shoot the ball. He’s short and doesn’t blow you away with athleticism, but he’s very solid and does a lot of things very well. His shooting ability and toughness would allow him to fare very well at the D2/D3 level. Would be a solid backup with the potential to develop into a starter in due time.

Omari Wilson 6’4” W Class of 2017
Didn’t see much from him in the games I watched but saw enough to see the potential. Has an excellent frame and moves very well. Had a few nice slashes to the basketball that looked great. Form on his shot looks solid and he moves his feet well on defense. With the right work ethic, attention to detail and hours in the gym working on tightening his handle could develop into a late-blooming D1 college player.

Farmville Central

Tyler Maye 6’1” PG Class of 2017
Kid can flat out score! Has an array of dribble moves, pull-ups, spin moves and crossovers. Very laid back demeanor on the floor, but quietly competitive. Has a beautiful release on his jump-shot and has shown great ability to finish at the rim with either hand. Scores over 22 points a night in his sleep. Gets beat off the dribble occasionally by quicker guards, but does a good job moving his feet for the most part. When locked in has shown to be a very solid on ball defender as well as a good team help defender. Communicates well and has tons of room to continue growing as a player. Solid Mid Major Division 1 prospect with potential to go higher.

Shaft Parker 6’2” G Class of 2016
Shooter! Has had games where he’s canned at least 8 3’s. Once he gets it going, he’s lights out. Has a solid handle and a few nice crossover moves and keeps his teammates involved. Has great size for the guard position but will need to transform his body to handle the increased rigors and speed of the college game. Don’t be fooled however. This kid can flat out play and produce all around the board. Passes the ball very well. Very unselfish and scores in a variety of ways. Very solid D2 prospect.

Michael Taylor 6’5” W Class of 2016
Late blooming athletic wing with great length. This kid can go. Smooth lefty. Very, very lanky. Will need to put on some muscle at the next level. Good form on his jump-shot, dunks in transition and has solid leaping ability that helps him to get a lot of weak-side blocks. Length also creates havoc for opposing offenses in zone defenses and man to man. Gets a ton of deflections. Has some sneaky handles. Could be an intriguing guard/wing for LM and possibly MM D1 schools. Would be a steal if he’s signed by any D2 school. Loads of potential!


Damani Applewhite

Name: Damani Applewhite

Height: 6’6

Weight: 195

High School: Westover HS

AAU Team: Flight 22

GPA: 3.0

Position: Forward

Recruitment: Elizabeth City State (offered), UNC-P, Belmont Abbey, Fayetteville State University, The Citadel

Projected Level of Play: Low Major D1/D2

We first saw Damani prior to his Junior Season during the summer playing AAU basketball for the Raeford Hurricanes, he had a very old school flavor about his game and you could see the potential for him to be a special player. With much work, time and energy he has become a legit college prospect and we expect him to only get better as the year goes along. In the game we watched against EE Smith HS, he led his team to a win and finished with 18 Points, 12 Rebounds, 3 Assist and 2 Steals.


  • Damani has become a versatile player which he has put on full display this season, not only can he step out and knock down the trey ball and midrange jump shot with high consistency but he also has the ability to play with his back to the basket as well as face up to the basket when hes in the post or short corner. He has a very soft touch around the basket and does not take unneccessary dribbles when making a move from the high post, his footwork on the offensive end is solid and you don’t see him getting called for traveling violations too often. His ballhandling ability is solid for a player his height and he has played some Point Forward for his squad this season, bringing the ball up the court and getting his squad into an offensive set.
  • His height and wingspan is definitely a positive on the defensive side of the ball, it allows him to make deflections easily as well as grabbing defensive rebounds at a high rate, Damani understands positioning and boxes out  well so that even if a player is stronger than him he can still set himself up well to secure the rebound.
  • In our opinion the ceiling on Damani’s potential as a player is very high, this is only his second year of playing varsity basketball and he has already took on more of a team leadership role this season, we truly believe that his ability to be coached and work ethic is something that coaches at the college level will love.

Areas for Improvement

  • At this point he has a very slender frame , even though he does spend time in the weightroom he will still need to add some more weight & muscle to be able to be fully comfortable playing inside at the college level. We honestly don’t see him having to much of an issue with this as he is a very hard working young man , in our eyes its not a matter of if he will gain the muscle and weight but when.
  • As stated earlier he is very versatile on the offensive end , however  he will need to improve his lateral quickness on the defensive end so he can have the ability to guard some shorter, quicker players at the next level. With that being said  he does a good job of closing out on wings but we would love to see him improve with his lateral quickness so that he could become a lock down defender against even more positions on the floor
  • Free Throw shooting is one aspect of his game that we would love to see him improve, he doesn’t shoot it great from the line at this point, he not a terrible free throw shooter by any means but he could become more consistent.


Under Armour Elite 24

ESPNU will televise the 10th annual Under Armour Elite 24 featuring more than 20 elite college basketball recruits on Friday, August 21, and Saturday, August 22, from Pier 2 in Brooklyn with New York City’s iconic skyline as the backdrop.  The two-night, outdoor event begins with the slam dunk contest (Friday at 7 p.m. ET) and concludes with the showcase game (Saturday at 7 p.m.).  This year’s summer showcase is comprised of 16 recruits ranked in the ESPN 100 (Class of 2016), seven in the ESPN 60 (Class of 2017) and Thon Maker, one of the top international recruits from Canada. Only three of the participating players have committed to a college. Mike Couzens with call the action alongside ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi and college basketball analyst Jay Williams.

ESPN 100 (Class of 2016)

Elite 24 will feature four of the top 10 players in the ESPN 100 and nine in the top 20:  No. 3 Josh Jackson (SF), No. 6 Kobi Simmons (PG), No. 8 Edrice Adebayo (PF), No. 9 T.J. Leaf (PF), No. 14 Terrance Ferguson (SG), No. 17 Jarrett Allen (C), No. 18 Dewan Huell (PF), No. 19 Udoka Azubuike (C) and No. 20 Frank Jackson (SG).  Additionally, Class of 2016’s former No. 1 ranked player, Thon Maker, is also playing. Ferguson has committed to Alabama; however, the remaining top 20 recruits and Maker remain uncommitted.

ESPN 60 (Class of 2017)

Class of 2017’s No. 1 ranked player, Deandre Ayton, will play in the Elite 24, one of seven players ranked in the ESPN 60: No. 6 Troy Brown, Jr. (PG), No. 9 Jalek Felton (SG), No. 13 Trevon Duval (PG), No. 20 Billy Preston, No. 29 M.J. Walker and No. 30 Hamidou Diallo (SG). Felton has committed to North Carolina; the rest remain uncommitted.

A full roster of participants is listed below.

Elite 24 Alumni

Numerous NBA players have played in the event’s first nine years, including 84 current players. Furthermore, 55 alumni have been first round picks, including three former first round picks:  Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, Washington’s John Wall and Minnesota’s Anthony Bennett.

Fans can participate via twitter by following @ESPNU and @UABasketball throughout the week and tagging the tweets with #E24X to help commemorate the 10th anniversary. Additionally, the event is free and open to the public.

Under Armour Elite 24 Participants


Team: EZ Pass 

ESPN 100/60 Rank Player Hometown
No. 1* DeAndre Ayton San Diego, Calif.
No. 3 Josh Jackson Southfield, Mich.
No. 6* Troy Brown, Jr. Las Vegas, Nev.
No. 9 T.J. Leaf El Cajon, Calif.
No. 13* Trevon Duval Wilmington, Del.
No. 14 Terrance Ferguson** Dallas, Texas
No. 18 Dewan Huell Miami, Fla.
No. 20 Frank Jackson Alpine, Utah
No. 29 Justin Jackson*** Canada^
No. 30* Hamidou Diallo Jonesboro, Ga.
No. 31 Seventh Woods Columbia, S.C.
Thon Maker^^ Canada

*ESPN 60 (Class of 2017)
**Has committed to Alabama
*** Has committed to UNLV
^Plays high school in the USA, making him eligible to be ranked

^^International designation makes him ineligible for ESPN 100 rank


Team: Doo Be Doo

ESPN 100/60 Rank Player Hometown
No. 6 Kobi Simmons Alpharetta, Ga.
No. 8 Edrice Adebayo Pinetown, N.C.
No. 9* Jalek Felton**** Mullins, S.C.
No. 17 Jarrett Allen Austin, Texas
No. 19 Udoka Azubuike Jacksonville, Fla.
No. 20* Billy Preston Dallas, Tex.
No. 21 Markelle Fultz Upper Marlboro, Md.
No. 22 Rawle Alkins Brooklyn, N.Y.
No. 29* M.J. Walker Jonesboro, Ga.
No. 35 Mario Kegler Jackson, Miss.
No. 66 Shamorie Ponds Brooklyn, N.Y.
No. 83 Wenyen Gabriel Manchester, N.H.

**** Has committed to North Carolina
*ESPN 60 (Class of 2017)



Please note: Location and television coverage could change due to weather