Jeff Bendel
Mikey Dukes is the Top Available Senior in the Carolinas
After this weekend, it became increasingly clear that Mikey Dukes should be the most coveted unsigned senior in the Carolinas. He’s a terrific all-around point guard that recently decided to place his main emphasis on basketball, despite being a high-major football player. That being said, there are really no holes within Dukes’ skillset and he should easily earn mid-to-high major basketball consideration over the coming months.

Jamie Shaw
This Week’s Matchup between Kadin Shedrick & John Butler Will Pair the Best Two Bigs in the Carolinas
Sure there is a difference between best player and best prospect. Player eludes current production and prospect eludes to what a player will be. This week’s matchup between Kadin Shedrick and John Butler at Phenom’s Palmetto Winter Classic will put together top player Vs. top prospect. Kadin Shedrick is in the conversation as the top prospect in the Carolinas, the 6’11” Virginia commit carries a 7’4″ wing span with athleticism, a mean streak and ball skills. Butler is a 7′ sophomore ranked among the Top 15 in the country. He is a very fluid athlete who can handle the ball, shoot the three and runs like a deer. it may be a match up of what is Vs. what will be, but without question both of these players will be playing major college basketball with their eyes firmly planted toward the NBA.

Keion Robinson
Next-level prospects need to protect the rock better!
While watching some of the games throughout these last two months so far, I’ve been seeing some bad habits in players with college offers/interest. Honestly, one can expect this, as these kids still have a ways to go before truly learning how to play the game at the next level. I don’t expect these players to show perfection on the court, regardless of their status. Nonetheless, there’s one particular habit that has stood out more than anything else: TURNOVERS. Maybe it has to do with talented players feeling they have the ability to make plays at any point/speed? This usually results in them handing the ball over to the other team. Think about it: a player who plays nonchalantly with the ball going up against a tough-minded defender… who’s going to win that outcome? It doesn’t matter how highly-ranked you may or may not be; turnovers affect the outcome of a game in one of the biggest ways. Personally, based on my own experience in college, I quickly learned how coaches at that level HATE turnovers. A player could come in as one the best shooters in the state and not play for a college program if he showed a tendency to turn the ball over. I’ve witnessed it. So, my advice to all players with the chance to play at the next level, decrease the turnovers. Get into that habit now. You can’t take the floor and play relaxed with the ball… it doesn’t work out that way the further you go into your basketball career.


Rick Lewis
Cox Mill is Primed for a 3-PeatWinning back to back state championships is no easy task, but Cox Mill is primed for a 3-Peat.
While Cox Mill returns Duke signee and top 25 nationally ranked Wendell Moore and 6’6 Charlotte signee Caleb Stone-Carrawell, they have all the complimentary pieces that are needed to be a championship team. Coach Jody Barbee has done a magnificent job and they  have been together for quite some time. They know each other rather well, but more importantly everyone knows their role and they play as a team and function as one unit. Wendell Moore provides the on court leadership and has the ability to simply take over a game, but his unselfishness allows his teammate make plays, which is often needed to prepare trust and build experience. Caleb Stone-Carrawell has drastically improved and 6’2 unsigned senior Cody Cline might just be the one clue guy that can push them over the top. Cox Mills will be challenged by the likes of SW Guilford and Millbrook, but one thing is crystal clear. Don’t count out Cox Mill. They bring experience and team chemistry that may be hard to overcome.

Miles Masercola
LJ Hepp and Kadin Shedrick Have a Chance to do Unprecedented Things at Holly Springs:
Kadin Shedrick had arguably the biggest “blow-up” of any prospect in the region if not the country after he entered July with a few offers and finished with a few dozen, eventually committing to The University of Virginia. LJ Hepp came to Holly Springs after spending a few years as the AD at Panther Creek, where he coached before that. Throw Marcus Elliot, Garrett Phillips, and Kaleb Scott into the mix, Holly Springs is one of the NCHSAA 4A state championship favorites and it’s easy to see why. That school is desperate for relevance in basketball and now there’s that and so much more with this talented group at the helm. The last state title the school had was in baseball when Carlos Rodon (a name familiar to NC State and Chicago White Sox fans) led them to the promised land. I really think that this group has a chance to put Holly Springs Hoops on the map.