With an abundance of talent throughout the state of North Carolina it’s hard sometimes to keep track of all the prospects. Teams lose players to graduation and transfers, in retrospect other players find themselves in different situations.
Young guys will be expected to grow up a year older now, and some role players will be counted on to step into leadership positions. With the stage set let’s examine a handful of guys who I believe will have even more productive seasons than a year ago, these players were chosen on a number of variables; the potential of more minutes or increase in usage are expected, last years production, and improvement over the offseason.
2019 6’3 Dhieu Deing (High Point Central HS)
Deing looks like he’s on another level and the tape doesn’t lie, he’s added more bounce than ever and Deing is playing with big time confidence. Deing competed and outplayed some of the top guards around the state this summer, he’s easily one of the most polished scorers in the state. Deing is smooth off the dribble and he doesn’t need much space to get a shot off, Deing is tough to stay in front of due to a quick first step.
Deing holds offers from George Washington, Jacksonville State, and Utah Valley, this is a big year for Deing and the Bison. There will be a lot of expectations around Deing and his teammate, 6’8 Kuluel Mading, another division one recruit in his own right to lead this team.
2019 6’8 Owen McCormack (Davie County HS)
McCormack is a 6’8 stretch four with big confidence from behind the arc, McCormack has continued to add depth to his game over the past few months. McCormack showed throughout the Triad Fall League, an ability to put the ball on the floor and take his man off the dribble, this coupled with the shooting touch make McCormack a difficult matchup. On the boards McCormack will have to set the tone for Davie, he will also be expected to man the paint as the defensive anchor.
Currently McCormack is committed to Presbyterian a school that has been hot on the recruitment trail the last two seasons. They are establishing a culture there on the hardwood and McCormack should add to that, McCormack is a team guy, his greatest asset may be his passing ability. McCormack sees the floor extremely well and he’s one of the best passers out of the post in the triad.
2019 6’7 Silas Mason (Smith HS)
Mason has shown us flashes of what his game is capable of, but this season he will be expected to lead the flock for the Golden Eagles. Mason will be the focal point within the Smith offense, he will be counted on to create for himself and others with the basketball. I spoke with Head Coach Derrick Partee over the summer and he mentioned playing Mason at point guard in situations, Coach Partee will put the ball in his hands and let Mason run the show on the floor.
From a skill standpoint Mason has a rare combination of athleticism and ball skill, judging from a strong travel ball season with Team Felton, Mason seems to have put it all together. He will have to remain aggressive and not lose himself. Currently Mason holds offers Florida, Georgetown, Texas, and Oklahoma St among a list of others. There may be a transition period where Mason has to adjust from scoring wing to point forward, but he certainly has the skillset to do so.
At 6’7 Mason sees the floor well, he’s an explosive finisher at the cup, and Mason has shown playmaking ability in the past. Mason continues to sharpen his mid range game and the long ball.
2020 6’3 Tristan Maxwell (North Meck HS)
With the departure of four star Louisville commit Jaylen Withers, Maxwell could be the number one option for the Vikings this season. The combo guard is a volume scorer and he can fill it up with the best bucket getters in the state, Maxwell is a streaky scorer if he sees one go in Maxwell can absolutely get in the zone. Maxwell is capable of completely taking over games, he should get even more opportunities this season to score the ball and create for others.
Maxwell is a vocal player on the court, North Meck will count on that communication on both ends. Maxwell is a tough finisher and he isn’t afraid to take a bump at the cup, Maxwell has progressed as a defender as well. Over the summer Maxwell showed toughness smothering opposing ball handlers, Maxwell will absolutely make his man work. The scoring ability and two way play have earned Maxwell offers from the likes, of NC State and Florida among others heading into his junior year.
2021 6’5 Jalen McDonald (Knightdale HS)
McDonald could be a top 100 player within the 2021 class nationally after this season, the mix of upside and potential production this year can’t be ignored. McDonald has been on our staffs radar for some time, he has and advanced feel for the game in the early stages, McDonald won’t make many mistakes and he doesn’t force the action.
“– One thing stood out for me when watching McDonald and that was his scorers mentality which was impressive for the fact that he rarely forced up a bad shot. He had good body control on his forays to the basket and was physical enough inside to withstand some contact to score.” said Phenom Hoops analyst Chick Gillispie, days after seeing McDonald at the Made Hoops Showcase.
McDonald currently holds offers from Ole Miss and Norfolk State, that list is sure to grow this season. McDonald is a physical wing, he attacks the rack forcefully and finishes with either hand. McDonald is a gifted passer, he can create for others and McDonald limits turnovers.