The second session of our high school jamboree was jam packed with buckets, competitive hoops, and enticing storylines all around! Everyone in attendance got a good preview of some of the top teams in the state, the big names came through and rocked out, and some sleepers caught the eyes of college coaches in the building.
Greensboro, North Carolina- Northwest Guilford was the scene for an action packed Saturday of basketball. The stands were packed with coaches, fans, and scouts alike, everyone anxiously awaiting the arrival of the season. I put together several storylines that really set the stage throughout the day, this season could be one of the most unpredictable we’ve seen in awhile.
Travion McCray is prepared to carry the torch for Village Christian-
6’3 2019 Travion McCray will lead a very talented Village Christian team, they are long, athletic and boast nice depth.
McCray was on go Saturday, he’s extremely athletic off the bounce, McCray showed serious explosion at the rim and with a quick first step, he consistently blew by defenders to create for himself and others. McCray is the leader for Village on both ends, his communication was key McCray was the guy getting everyone into position. Throughout the day McCray finished strong with both hands, he embraces contact, and he’s definitely put work in on the jumper.
McCray knocked down shots off the dribble and looked confident behind the arc, he looked streaky at times shooting the rock. Defensively McCray was tough on ball and really made his matchups work for everything, Village looked good as a unit, they caused a lot of turnovers and converted easy transition buckets on the other end.
Pine Lake welcomes a fully healthy Demarcus Johnson-
We have to discuss another athletically gifted point guard with serious bounce in 2019 6’4 Demarcus Johnson. Like McCray, Johnson is also a rim rocker, he’s quick off the dribble and with a long stride he penetrates the lane almost effortlessly. Johnson battled some injuries over the summer but now at 100 percent he looks ready for a major senior season, Johnson shot the rock well and distributed efficiently to a solid core of shooters surrounding him.
This Pine Lake group plays fast and Johnson is best with the ball in his hands in the open floor, Johnson is a difficult cover in space. Johnson looked confident shooting the ball from deep that’s an area of his game that looks improved, Johnson was aggressive but also smart with the ball. Pine Lake will go as far as Johnson takes this group and he looks up to the task.
North Meck remains loaded-
With some key departures we knew North Meck would have somewhat of a different look but there hasn’t been a drop off. The Vikings are led by 2020 6’3 Tristan Maxwell the combo guard will be one of the top scorers in the state, he currently holds offers from Florida and NC State among others. Maxwell looks ready to be the big man on campus now and he’s more than capable of being a number one option. Maxwell is also a capable playmaker, he saw the floor well and found open cutters in transition.
2021 6’5 Chris Ford looks poised for a breakout season, in consecutive weekends Ford displayed nice scoring ability at all three levels and versatility on both ends. Ford knocked down shots from the perimeter, he finished strong around the basket, Ford was a monster on the boards and his effort earned crucial second chance points. Ford is a mismatch with his combination of size and strength, he plays bigger than 6’5 but still has guard skills on the perimeter. Ford guards multiple spots on the floor, he isn’t afraid to bang with big’s down low and do the dirty work.
Recently App St offered Ford and teammate 6’2 2020 Demar Anderson, Anderson is a tough hard nosed guard. Anderson made some tough shots for this side, he’s fearless with the basketball. Defensively Anderson came up with some big plays that set the tone for North Meck, he is relentless on that end Anderson has a solid stance and he’s quick laterally.
6’5 2020 Dee Givens is another long wiry athlete for North Meck, he’s physical down low and Givens anchored the boards for this group. Givens has a high motor he competes hard for every loose ball, Givens utilizes his wide frame to establish position on the block against taller big’s, Givens has improved overall as a finisher around the cup. Givens runs the floor well and will likely beat his man down the floor more often than not.
Chapel Hill will surprise some-
6’0 2020 Isaac Sinclair impressed as the lead guard for this team, he’s the primary ball handler and playmaker for this team. Sinclair had the ball on a string, he made shots and took whatever defenses gave. Sinclair is effective in pick N roll sets, he makes good decisions with the ball and formed a formidable duo with big man 2019 6’10 David Elien.
Elien continues to prove he’s a capable division one big man, he’s added some muscle which improved the finishing ability, Elien looks comfortable with his back to the basket and he’s stepping out beyond the arc to knock shots down. Elien is a nice pick N pop option, defensively a natural shot blocker, and he’s agile at 6’10 which allows him to switch onto smaller defenders.
An X-factor for Chapel Hill could be 6’2 2019 Drew Gilleskie, this was a guy who played all over the floor for this team. Gilleskie will be able to add spark to the offense with his shot making ability, he was an effective slasher and even converted a few and ones. Gilleskie is sneaky athletic, he really proved to be a momentum changer on both ends. Defensively Gilleskie is another guy who guards multiple spots, and he won’t back down from any matchup.