Class of 2020 Prospects on the Rise in North Carolina
All the latest talk surrounding our player rankings has given us an opportunity to highlight prospects that many believe are overlooked and underrated. Instead of focusing on their current ranking so intently, we will look at some North Carolina guys that’ll certainly be on the up-and-up in the Class of 2020. The following prospects are all ranked outside our top-25, but that could certainly change within the coming months.
(#28) 6’8 Myles Evans (Ravenscroft/NC Empire)
Watching the growth process of Myles Evans has been very interesting over the last few years. When we first saw Evans, he was still rail-thin and overflowing with length, but his body and overall approach to the game have both gradually changed since then. He quickly filled out with muscle and began standing his ground in the paint. As Evans’ coordination improved, everything else fell into place. Now, he’s a quality rim-running big man with various two-way capabilities. Offensively, Evans’ post repertoire has grown immensely since he began working with former NBA-player, CJ Wilcox, and looks quite comfortable operating from either block. He plays within himself and never forces the action. His rim-protection is likely his best attribute; he’s not a super-athlete, but his IQ and positioning are quite strong. Evans is already a nice prospect and there should be no questions about his ability to play at the next level, but he could realistically raise the bar to another level this year.
(#51) 6’1 Luke Stankavage (Ardrey Kell/Hoop State Elite)
Last season, Ardrey Kell had their best season since 2013-2014, and that’s likely due to the emergence of Luke Stankavage. We’ve been watching the guard prospect closely for quite a while, but his play over the last three deserves proper attention. Stankavage was the leader and tone-setter for Hoop State Elite in every contest this summer while showcasing his abilities as a Division I player. He consistently generates offense for the team and plays with an excellent understanding of the game. Stankavage has always been able to score at an efficient clip from all three levels, but his transition from a scorer to a multi-threat guard has been something to appreciate. Over the last year, he’s gradually become more of a pass-first guard. That being said, Stankavage is still capable of ripping opposing defenses to shreds whenever he desires. He’s not a particularly explosive athlete and has built his foundation through intellect, but he’s certainly a step quicker than most defenders think. It’s difficult to contain the guard prospect because he makes the correct read/play on every single possession. The upcoming season will be very interesting for Stankavage, as he’s looking to manufacture another big season for the Knights at Ardrey Kell.
(#55) 6’7 Jefferson Boaz (East Surry/Hoop State Elite)
In terms of uniqueness, there aren’t many players quite like Jefferson Boaz, who is a true one-of-a-kind talent. At East Surry, Boaz is a triple-threat, as the quarterback or wide receiver for the football team, pitcher and first baseman on the baseball team, and all-around star on the hardwood. It’s somewhat typical for kids in high school to play multiple sports, but at 6-foot-7, Boaz is an actual force that instills fear in all opponents. On the court, his natural athleticism is so clearly evident; he’s big and strong, yet moves extremely well around the perimeter and will meet opponents at the rim. Offensively, Boaz is one of the few players that can completely change his approach from one possession to the next and still dominate. He can run the two-man game as the ball-handler or screener, shoot from midrange or distance, post-up and finish with either hand, create for himself and others. What more could a player do on offense? If he were two or three inches taller, he would be considered a high-level prospect nationally. Boaz rebounds exceptionally well and possesses the ability to push the break, which leads to an abundance of easy assists and finishes. He can defend two or three positions comfortably at this level, but is capable of switching across all positions and never poses as a liability. There just aren’t many guys like Boaz, who is as versatile and intriguing as they come.
(#57) 6’5 Christian Bailey (Greensboro Day/Team United)
The staff at Greensboro Day is among the best in the country, and it feels like they’ll be able to put Christian Bailey in the perfect position to have a breakout year. Bailey has been a quality all-around player for years, but his game is ready to make that next leap. He’s a solid creator and penetrator on offense, able to make plays within the arc and finish strong around the basket. Bailey applies a lot of pressure as an off-ball cutter and second-chance scorer, given his high motor and relentless approach on the glass. He’s a glue-guy in the truest sense and thrives in that role, consistently filling all categories on the stat sheet—regardless of what team he’s playing for. The wing prospect has a strong, athletic frame and understands how to affect various facets of the game, without necessarily needing to score. It’ll be interesting to see how Bailey’s upcoming season unfolds, but he’s a surefire bet to outwork other prospects while continuing to elevate his own game.
(#66) 5’10 Wesley Case (Eastern Wayne/Flight 22)
There aren’t a lot of people that really know about Wesley Case, although he’s one of the more intriguing cases in the state. We saw the point guard with Flight 22 over the summer and he was absolutely terrific, making insane fifty-foot no-look passes appear simple and scoring whenever he touched the ball. Despite what opponents might initially think, Case is touted for his athleticism and welcomes challengers at the rim. His first step is pretty quick and he can really manipulate opposing defenders as the ball-handler, often toying with them right before pouncing on a scoring opportunity. Case has a tremendous feel for the game; he has such unique vision and decisiveness when creating for others. Last year as a sophomore in high school, he was clearly the best prospect on his team and was the only player averaging a double-digit scoring clip. It’s difficult to understand why he’s not sought after, as he absolutely possesses the necessary talent to play at the college level. That being said, he’ll continue to sharpen his tools and try to lead Eastern Wayne to a playoff birth this year.