The Hoops and Dreams Showcase is one of the best atmospheres of any event held in North Carolina, throughout the basketball calendar. MaxPreps called the Hoops and Dreams Showcase one of the Must-See events of the 2019-20 calendar year, and Day 1 lived up to all of that.
Between the performance from DJ Ricovilli, or the performances of the Top 100 players or the competitive games, Day 1 was off the charts. A near sold-out crowd was in attendance for the fireworks …
For those who missed out, Day 2 (Saturday/Today) is set to be every bit as electric. Methodist University is the place to be
Here are some standouts and storylines from Day 1 …
Top 5 Performances I Saw
1. ’20 Zavian McLean – Village Christian (Columbia)
2. ’20 Jaemyn Brakefield – Huntington Prep (Duke)
3. ’20 Isaiah Todd – Word of God (Michigan)
4. ’20 Jajuan Carr – Pender
5. ’20 Ricky Council IV – Southern Durham
Unsigned Seniors Show Out
It is the time of year for unsigned seniors to really show out, they are hunting for scholarships as the first signing period has come and gone. Here are five players who took a hold of this stage on night one of the Hoops and Dreams Showcase to set the stage for these coaches moving forward.
6’2″ Kellen Tynes of Rothesay Netherwood (CAN)
Current Offers: Southern Illinois, Central Connecticut
Night 1 Stat Line: 18 Points. 3 Boards. 3 Assists.
Were Tynes living in North Carolina, he would have double-digit offers. He has that type of game, with the ability to get where he wants off the bounce as well as score the ball at each level, both off the bounce. He creates for himself and his team, a really good player, great showing.
6’6″ Ricky Council IV of Southern Durham (NC)
Current Offers: Georgia Southern, Rice, App St, Elon, UMBC, Siena, Coastal, etc…
Night 1 Stat Line: 21 Points. 7 Boards. 6 Assists. 2 Blocks. 8-14 FG/2-3 3P.
Council is a top 10 prospect in North Carolina’s 2020 class. He showcased the full tool kit in his night 1 game with high flying defense, pin-point passing and the ability to make shots off the bounce. He showcased a complete game here, as a 6’6″, 195-pound wing, a playmaker who should see a lot of traffic come through with colleges this winter.
6’10” Aymeric Toussaint of Freedom Christian (NC)
Current Offers: NA
Night 1 Stat Line: 10 Points. 5 Boards. 4-6 FG.
There is so much to like about how Toussaint is playing right now. The long and lengthy big is fluid and runs like a wing. His cohesion with new head coach Brandon Clifford has been excellent. Clifford seems to be getting the most out of the potential Toussaint has shown over the past 3 seasons. He is athletic around the rim, he can move his feet on defense and he can knock down the 3 ball or put it on the floor to finish from the wing or high post. So much to like here as he is just scratching the surface.
6’1″ Jajuan Carr of Pender HS (NC)
Current Offers: East Carolina, Rider, USC-Upstate
Night 1 Stat Line: 23 Points. 3 Assists. 2 Steals, 3-5 3P.
Carr has been a highly talked about player since summer, well that has continued into this season. From the opposing bench you heard sentiments like, “Good God how does that kid not have anything, we couldn’t stop him, he almost beat us, HIM.” From the D2 college coaches in attendance, you heard, “He lives in the lane, then he makes a play. He’s better than the PGs on the mid-major teams we’ve played this season, right now.” These statements pretty much sum it up, Carr lived in the paint and then made a play, pretty much every possession. He played here against 8-0 Freedom Christian, who is a top 5 team in the NCISAA, he knocked down shots, showcased his vision, his toughness on defense and he made plays. He continued his excellence. The question will be, are coaches scared to go to 1A Burgaw, North Carolina and take a chance on a great talent, we will see.
6’6″ Justin Thomas of Village Christian (NC)
Current Offers: Georgia Tech, East Carolina,
Night 1 Stat Line: 22 Points. 8 Boards. 3 Assists. 2-5 3P.
Thomas is ranked #128 in the country. He comes on the court looking the part, and when the ball tips, he showcases his own unique style. Thomas has good size and ball skills, with his ability to initiate offense as well as shoot the ball. Thomas is a good rebounder, has good court vision and is a lengthy and bouncy athlete, around the rim. It is no surprise with the high-level offers, or the ranking, he has the tools, he has the look. He should have a busy winter coming with college coaches coming around often.
Huntington Prep Playing Like a Top 5 Team
People look at the roster and see 10+ high major players across the lineup. Yes, that can be a blessing, however, it can also be tough to keep all of that talent happy. On Friday night, Huntington Prep gutted out a Top 100 win as they beat Word of God 77-71. This Huntington Prep team is big, athletic, and very skilled.
They were led by senior Duke signee Jaemyn Brakefield, who went for 19 points, 10 boards and 4 assists. This was Brakefields first time playing in North Carolina since signing with Duke. Michigan State signee AJ Hoggard led the push with the ball in his hands. The big bodied guard had 19 points, 9 assists and 4 steals. Add in 11 points from West Virginia signee Isaiah Cottrell and the 17 turned in from junior Brayon Freeman and you have a team who saw 8 different players score as they used depth and talent to roll.
Watch closely this season, they’ll be playing a high profile schedule which could culminate with a run at Dick’s Nationals. This roster is one of the best in the country.