6’8 2019 Stephen Clark: Metrolina Christian (22 Points, 11 Rebounds, 8 Blocks) *CITADEL SIGNEE
Clark is one of the most fundamentally sound bigs that I’ve covered this season, with his high level of court awareness, and ability to eliminate any mistakes from his game, The Citadel coaching staff has to be grinning ear to ear with the fact that he’s signed to play there the next four years. He’s a great athlete, particularly vertically off of two feet where he gets up to block shots and finish above the rim over defenders like the photo above. He moves without the ball really well and as he adds consistency to that three point shot, he’ll become a bonafide three level scorer at the next level. He dominated in this matchup on the defensive end, blocking 8 shots and did a great job finishing possessions with his defensive rebounding. His touch around the basket is superb and as he adds strength on a college weight program, Clark should become a force for The Citadel in the coming years.
6’2 2019 Tate Johnson: Metrolina Christian (19 Points, 4 Rebounds, 4 Assists)
Tate Johnson should have every D3 school in the region clamoring for his services next year as he can come in and make an immediate impact. He scores the ball effortlessly from all three levels, is super efficient with his dribbles, and plays with an steady demeanor that you look for in a Point Guard. He’s a score first point guard, but that doesn’t mean he can’t create for others. Johnson and teammate Stephen Clark are in complete control and understand how to play with one another, when Johnson comes into a college program and establishes his chemistry with his teammates, look out, because this kid has a super high IQ with a knack for finding his guys in the right spots. High level D3s and low-mid level D2s should be watching Johnson’s every move for the rest of his senior season.
6’4 2021 AJ Smith: Hickory Grove Christian (29 Points)
AJ Smith is a bonafide high major player… there I said it! He was in his bag all night long, scoring from all three levels at a really consistent rate, and absolutely bullying everybody on the court as a sophomore. He was excellent with Team Charlotte this summer, playing up a year with the 16U squad, showcasing his ability to physically hang with, and often dominate kids a grade ahead of him. The next step for Smith, is tightening up his handle, and being able to create for others at a higher clip, but for right now he’s got an incredible set of tools to work with as he moves forward in his High School career. Expect him to have an opportunity with Team Charlotte 17U this summer, or stay with the 16s and dominate at that level.
6’6 2019 Regin Larson: Hickory Grove Christian (16 Points)
Larson is an absolute sniper from deep that is worthy of a scholarship from a D2 program in my opinion, due to his ability to shoot it from deep, and defend wing players due to his length and IQ. He needs to add strength and that should help his finishing ability around the basket, he has a hard time fighting though contact down low, relying on his length over smaller defenders at this level, but that changes once you get to college. He’s still a sweet shooting 6’6 wing with a lot of tools that D2’s in need of a shooter for their 2019 class should watch closely.
Other Top Performers:
6’8 2021 Jacori Owens: Hickory Grove Christian (10 Points)
Owens is still more potential than anything else but he was able to show flashes of brilliance on the block in the 2nd half at both ends of the court. He scored all 10 of his points after the break, and did so with Stephen Clark guarding him, he has a developing skillset and a lot of mental strength to put a rough 1st half behind him, eventually putting up good numbers in the 2nd half. Another big time prospect in the 2021 class.
6’0 2021 Camden Johnson: Metrolina Christian (9 Points, 5 Rebounds, 4 Steals)
Johnson was an excellent supplemental piece for Metrolina in this one, creating offense through his defense, and finding a way to get involved on the glass to come up with some timely rebounds. He looks to be on track to take the keys to the car next year when Tate Johnson leaves, and he should continue to help Metrolina with his defensive tenacity throughout the rest of the year. Another 2021 to keep your eye on.