Every year, the grassroots landscape is overflowing with capable college-level prospects—many of which fall under the radar and don’t receive appropriate attention. North Carolina’s Class of 2022 is no different given the sheer depth of talent. Add in the unique effects from Covid, and it’s even tougher to earn scholarships than before. However, this group should get an extended viewing with college coaches (unlike the current senior class) over the next calendar year. While there are tons of notable targets, this article will take a closer look at five guys deserving of more attention, as no one on this list holds more than a single offer…
6’0 Isaiah Tate (Kings Mountain)
Although USC-Upstate got involved early, it’s still quite surprising that more programs haven’t laid groundwork with Tate. In terms of ability and pure polish, he should already be decorated with a long list of next-level opportunities. Tate’s skill level is simply ridiculous, which allows him to run an offense while effortlessly getting anywhere with the ball in his hands. He possesses excellent footwork, quickness, and offers an incredibly appealing balance between playmaking and three-level scoring. Once coaches realize his ability (rather than focusing on his size), Tate should see a massive uptick in his overall recruitment.
6’1 Davion Cunningham (North Mecklenburg)
Few players receive Division I offers prior to being a full-time varsity member, but Cunningham simply isn’t like most players. He currently holds a scholarship from Robert Morris but seems guaranteed to collect more as a clear two-way leader for North Mecklenburg, arguably the top public-school powerhouse in North Carolina. Cunningham is an absolute monster defensively, regularly highlighting his unique blend of IQ, quickness, and anticipation to overwhelm opponents and force turnovers at a nonstop rate. He’s a great downhill penetrator, blur in transition, and more than capable of setting up others. Expect his offer sheet to grow exponentially over the foreseeable future.
6’4 MJ Collins (Westminster Catawba)
Arguably the most underrated player in the Carolinas due to his list of scholarships, Collins might also double as the most enticing long-term prospect on this list. He’s an incredibly smooth all-around offensive force with IQ, athleticism, and positional size, which already makes him a matchup problem for most opposing wings. Collins possesses picturesque shooting mechanics and scores the ball with phenomenal efficiency from all levels. He’s a capable passer and two-way rebounder with quality understanding as a defender. Though Presbyterian is the only school to extend an offer, Collins complete, effortless identity should make him a target for all types of high-level programs.
6’2 Xavier McKelvy (United Faith)
Given the amount of notable prospect to come out of United Faith over the past five or so years, one would think McKelvy would already have a bevy of coaches fighting for his commitment. In just a few short months, the strong, rugged, well-rounded guard prospect has already found himself in a nightly leadership position. While his IQ and skill level are definitely evident, McKelvy is an incredibly well-rounded athlete with toughness and the ability to overwhelm opponents through his physicality. He displays great defensive instincts, forces turnovers with consistency, and can make the right play with or without the ball in his hands on the break. McKelvy is an obvious talent and should have a ton of suitors over the next calendar year.
6’6 Chance Morrow (West Charlotte)
While so many “big names” received attention throughout the last six months, it seems that more folks should be buzzing about Morrow. The long, tough, explosive wing prospect has certainly solidified that he’s not just an athlete, regularly highlighting initiation skills, straight-line penetration, and the ability to hit jumpers from the perimeter at a nice clip. Morrow is a game-changing defender with the necessary versatility to switch across multiple positions with relative ease. He’s a strong rebounder, fluid presence in transition, and capable of scoring the ball in a variety of different ways. Morrow claims an offer from Appalachian State, but tons of other programs should be vying for his services going forward.