The new NCAA Live Period blew past all expectations and, most importantly provided a platform for a vast amount of talent to be displayed in front of dozens of college programs, but there are always improvements to be made in the future.
Charlotte, North Carolina– What Year one did was brought in a lot of exposure, and offered the states best a legitimate chance to hoop in front of college coaches at every level from all around the nation.
Plenty of offers were given, and high level basketball was played on the beautiful campus of Queens College at Charlotte. Going forward the period can be better advertised and more organized as a whole, this isn’t solely my opinion but the sediment of many coaches and scouts I spoke with as well.
I believe we were all a bit harsh on the NCAA, this system is far from perfect but the ultimate goal was accomplished, everyone spectating got a good look at the next wave of stars this season, and what teams are putting themselves in a position to make some noise. Buckle up for this one and if you’re already reading this it’s to late, we’re going on a long ride to breakdown my final thoughts!
The Charlotte public school scene is going to be a show nightly
This season the Queen City may feature more talent overall than any other area in the Hoop State. Wins will not come easy, and things seem pretty wide open. North Meck and Independence are two of the best squads I saw.
North Meck is led by a three headed monster in 2020’s 6’3 Tristan Maxwell and 6’2 Trayden Williams spearhead the back-court, these two are a serious problem. 6’5 2021 Chris Ford rounds out the three.
Maxwell currently holds offers from Pitt and Texas A&M to name a few. Maxwell can play either guard position, scores it from all three levels, and Maxwell has proven recently how gifted of a passer he truly is.
Maxwell has been a reliable leader on both ends for this group, from what I’ve seen Maxwell has been locked in defensively wreaking havoc.
Williams has broken out in a big way the last several months, he currently holds three division one offers and he’s easily one of the smoothest players in the state. Williams has done well managing the load of play-making and creating looks for himself as the floor general.
5’10 2021 Cam Gates– Definitely a kid that can take pressure off Williams and Maxwell in the back-court, along with Tony Waters. Gates can really stroke the three ball. Gates handled the pressure well Sunday, and consistently made big shots.
6’7 2022 Jeremy Gregory– Is a newcomer to this group but he’s wasting no time establishing a role on the block. These guards will have to look to get Gregory more involved, but in limited touches he showed patience and advanced footwork on down low. Gregory didn’t see a lot of time last year at Carmel Christian as a freshman, but the staff at North Mech are excited about his potential role with them this season.
6’5 2021 Chris Ford– Ford is one of the more versatile players in the state on both sides of the ball, he has the perimeter skills to play on the wing, which will likely be his position at the next level, currently Ford holds an offer form App State among others. Ford is skilled enough and physical enough to play in the paint as well at the prep level.
Ford did damage from the mid range and in, Ford can beat his match up off the dribble and finish through contact at the cup. Ford has steadily improved the jumper and consistent knocked down shots from the elbow, he’s also a tenacious rebounder.
Independence was another squad that found its stride, and won some tough games on Sunday. There are some key departures from last year, but this is a resilient bunch led by two of the fastest rising names in the Hoop State.
6’7 2021 Omarion Broderick- Is just scratching the surface, yet he’s already so good at this stage. Broderick impacts the game in a lot of ways, at a lengthy 6’7 he’s a natural slasher, and explosive finisher around the rim.
Broderick uses that length to compete on the boards and block numerous shots on the defensive end. I left away really impressed with Broderick’s passing ability particularly, its an area of his game that hasn’t been talked about enough.
6’0 2020 Anthony Allen- A hard nosed floor general and reliable leader for this group, Allen recently picked up an offer from Rider university. On Sunday he initiated the offense and got these younger guys into position, he was relentless on defense as well. Late in a contest with Forest Hills, Allen forced a turnover and delivered the game winning assist in sudden death.
5’11 2021 Jalen Hinton– Hinton showed poise and some ice cold veins in a dog fight with Forest Hills. Hinton knocked down four field goals from behind the arc, he really opened the floor up for the athletic slashers around him. Hinton is also another capable ball handler in the back court for this group.
Millbrook is going to be a tough match up
One of the deeper teams and physically imposing. Flat out Millbrook looked like a college squad, I’m not sure they have a starter in the lineup below 6’5, their length is going to bother people.
6’8 2020 Sam Hood- Hood is a multifaceted forward with a modernized skill set. Hood is one of the most polished bigs I saw all weekend, and I expect the recruitment to jump, currently he holds a couple division two offers. Hood can score it back to the basket, Hood has the over the shoulder hook in the bag. Hood has an advanced face up game, he can shoot over opponents , or get defenders off balance with ball fakes for dribble penetrations. Hood has range out to the three point line, he is also a reliable rim protector and true glass eater.
6’8 2021 Will Felton– Felton’s past two weekends of productivity are hard to match, Felton has really found his groove. Felton is a monster on the block he’s got a reliable post game, he’s got a nice build at 6’8 and he’s a natural athlete.
Felton looks more like a defensive end than a power forward, he was constantly looking to put one on defenders heads. Felton is extremely agile, he runs the floor like a gazelle and played with a nonstop motor.
6’6 2020 Nolan Dorsey– One of the best returning assist men in North Carolina, Dorsey holds offers from Air Force and Western Carolina to name a couple, but the list is quickly expanding. Dorsey has great timing and superb court vision. Dorsey is a wizard with the basketball, if a someone is open Dorsey will absolutely find them and thread the needle. Dorsey is surrounded by scorers and he got the rock out to all of them. At 6’6 Dorsey can see over the defense and find holes to dissect, he’s excellent in transition running the break as well. Dorsey will give effort on the boards and he’s a committed defender.
6’7 2021 Eric Van Der Heijden– A new comer to this group, Van Der Heijden provides another athletic scoring option on the wing.
Van Der Heijden can score it from anywhere on the floor, he doesn’t need to dominate the ball to score and he will play hard on both ends. Van Der Heijden will carve out a solid role with this group, as chemistry builds they will be hard to defend, any given night one of these guys could light it up, and playing with seasoned veterans will only make him better.
Ben Smith returns a strong core
I was impressed this group really ran through the competition, including wins over Farmville Central and Millbrook.
6’7 2020 Silas Mason– Mason has transformed into a true point forward for this group, he’s been good making decisions and initiating offense for these guys around him. Mason has a nice handle on the rock, he sees the entire floor, and he’s a gifted passer. There are many division ones vying for his talents including multiple Big 12 schools. Mason can be lethal from the mid range and in, Mason’s skill set could make him a real mismatch this year and beyond.
6’8 2020 Nick McMullen– Lately McMullen has been racking up the offers from mid majors all over the region. McMullen has been playing with a real chip on his shoulder this summer, he’s been a walking double double during the live periods.
McMullen is playing as physical as I’ve seen him, he’s finishing strong with both hands, and McMullen has owned the glass. McMullen will be the focal point on the block for this group, and he looks in for a big year.
5’11 2020 Khalid Hines– One of the most underrated point guards in the NC 2020 cycle, Hines has everything you need in a sure fire division one lead guard. Hines can get his own shot, he’s a real burner with the basketball and utilizes a quick first step to mesmerize defenders. Hines can be trusted to run the offense, he has some sauce in the bag, he’s a bit of an ankle bully with the basketball. Hines could also be the guy to set the tone defensively for this team, it may be his quickest route to playing time at the next level as well.
Mount Plesant made college coaches take notice
This was my first look at this group and they’ve got some nice pieces returning.
6’7 2021 Hunter Sloop– Sloop an intriguing division one prospect, he played some on the perimeter where he shot the three ball at a high percentage, the handle is steady on the drive also and he was effective drawing fouls at the cup. Sloop really moves off ball well and carves out space for clean looks. Sloop saw time on the block for this group as well. Sloop is a player that can impact the game in a variety of ways, aside from a sharp scoring arsenal, Sloop is a capable passer out of the post, and he positions himself well for boards.
6’7 2022 Shane Fernald- In the mold of a traditional stretch four with improving dribbling ability, Fernald played aggressive in the paint, but he’s also got a finesse element to his game.
Fernald is a valuable pick N pop option, his size and shooting ability is a tough guard. Fernald posses solid footwork and he runs the floor well on both ends. As Fernald continues to sharpen his skill set and improve the ball handling he is going to become a stud the next three years.
6’0 2020 Keim Moore– Another lead guard that really opened some eyes on the sidelines. Moore is an athletic floor general with burst that lived in the lane on Sunday, he’s a tough guard in space and he’s a strong finisher at the cup. Moore gets good lift off the ground, he’s got some bounce and he welcomes contact on the finish. Moore also flashed a reliable three point shot, his change of pace and shot making ability really stood out.
6’2 2021 Terence Harcum (Granville Central)– One of the most prolific scorers on the day for his side, Harcum is a straight up bucket, and a threat to score it from anywhere on the floor. Harcum is a shot taker and maker, he’s extremely quick and can stop to elevate into a jumper in a split second. Harcum has to manage a heavy scoring load, but he also found open teammates when pressure was directed towards him. Harcum is also one of the better defenders in the NC 2021 cycles, the ball gravitates towards his quick hands.
6’1 2020 Christian Hampton (Northwest Guilford) Hampton has been a name on the rise for months now, he currently holds an App State offer and holds strong interest from ECU among other local mid majors. Hampton is a high major athlete who continues to improve other elements in his game, Hampton has put some work in on the jumper and has continued the transformation into a full fledged floor general. Hampton played with good pace on Sunday, he picked his spots and got where he wanted on the floor.
6’9 2020 Dean Reiber (Northwest Guilford)– From the same squad Reiber holds a High Point offer among his list of offers and that list is growing every week. Reiber has had a nice live period, he’s been productive in a variety of areas. In the paint Reiber has shown nice hands, patience on the block, and an impressive finishing arsenal around the basket with both hands. Reiber has also shown off his mobility and handle in the open floor, he also continues to spot up and make the three ball at a high rate.
6’2 2020 Cincere Scott (Ridge View)– Another natural bucket getter, Scott can absolutely fill it up, he’s a heat check waiting to happen. Scott was hot from behind the arc, open or contested it didn’t matter he was just on. Scott is a reliable ball handler, he was money off the dribble and proved to be a tough cover in iso where he continually beat defenders off the dribble to the cup. Scott can get lost in the mix because of his higher profile teammates, but this kid really stole the show Sunday. Scott is getting interest from Francis Marion and Claftin, he is a guard every division two in the region should have their eye on, he could provide immediate spark in the right program.
5’10 2023 Jaylen Curry (Vance)– A tough young floor general who isn’t afraid of the big stage, he played well for a young Vance team Sunday. Curry is a frosh that comes in with a big reputation as a natural scorer, but he showed off some innate passing ability Sunday, he didn’t commit a lot of turnovers which is common among many young guards. Curry plays with pace but he’s in control, and defensively he’s a real menace. Curry has quick hands, he gets underneath opposing ball handlers and works to make things hard for his man. Curry should have no problem racking up steals.
6’7 2022 Daniel Sanford (Vance)– Vance is going to be good a long time, they feature three of the best underclassmen in the state I’ve seen. Sanford could be an absolute star for this group. Sanford’s combination of size and athletic ability will be tough to deal with, he’s agile and covers a lot of ground off the bounce. Sanford will need to keep sharpening the handle, but he’s good enough currently to beat his match up off the dribble. Sanford held is own in a big match up on the block with Javon Benson, he’s got good length and he gets good lift off the ground to contest shots.
6’5 2020 Josh Banks (Olympic) Banks is going to mess around and break onto the national scene, he’s that good right now. Fresh off a Virginia Tech offer, it’s only up from here, Banks doesn’t have many holes in his game. Banks can play above the rim, he’s a knock down shooter off the dribble, Banks can make the long ball, and he’s good finishing with either hand. Banks is a highlight waiting to happen, in one game I saw him catch two alleys back to back, and the gym took notice. Banks is buy now stock, and even better his best basketball is still ahead of him. Banks guards the one through five for his team as well on defense.
5’9 2021 Chase Hakerem (Leesville) Playing beside four star point guard Carter Whitt has allowed Hakerem to really flourish this live period. Hakerem has done well as a secondary ball handler, he’s trustworthy with the rock and can create his own looks off the dribble. Hakerem has some moxie, he isn’t afraid to go get his. I think Hakerem could be valuable to this group, and take pressure off Whitt in the back court. Hakerem was a pesky on ball defender, he wouldn’t back down from anyone.
6’0 2020 Jalen Huntley (Forest Hills) Huntley was relentless attacking the basket, he hits the hole like a running back and embraces all the contact. Huntley showed off the running floater as well, he’s got good body control he converted some tough finishes under pressure, and on the drive, Huntley can bury his defender on his hip. Huntley values each possession, he didn’t commit many turnovers as the primary lead guard.
6’1 2021 Mashad Hester (Forest Hills)– The perfect compliment in the back court for Huntley, Hester’s hot three point shooting opened things up in the lane for Huntley. Hester is crafty off ball, he’s constantly moving around looking for catch and shoot opportunities. Hester can also create for himself off the dribble, and he was locked in defensively. These two guards lead a very fast and hard playing Forest Hills squad, they should be tough to beat once again.