By; Cooper Hart
After 3 weekends of HoopState League basketball in Raleigh, these are the names that I think benefited the most from their performances.
Trevor Best (Holy Rams Gold) – 6’2” Guard – Word of God ‘25
Trevor has been one of the top sophomores through six games in the east. What stood out to me were his shooting ability and his perimeter defense. He can shoot off the catch and off the bounce. He is especially effective at shooting out of ball screens. Defensively he uses IQ and athleticism to contain bigger and stronger players. He is also dynamic in passing lanes and as a weak side rim protector. Trevor will be coming off the bench for a loaded Word of God team this season, but next year and beyond expect him to be one of the top players on a nationally ranked team.
Isaiah Otyaluk (NC GBB) – 6’6” Wing – NC GBB ‘24
Isaiah is interesting to me because of how much potential he has. He has arguably been the best defender in the entire east division so far and he’s only going to get better. On that side of the court, he has incredible instincts on and off the ball, along with his athleticism and great strong and weak side rim protection, Isaiah is the total defender. Offensively he is an elite finisher and has good shot mechanics that should project well to the next level. Isaiah’s recruitment should explode this year while playing a loaded schedule for NC Good, Better, Best.
Ethan Montague (Raleigh Eagles) – 6’4” Wing – Enloe ‘23
Ethan emerged as the most productive player for his squad over the course of pool play. He is a wiry, athletic, and aggressive wing who uses his strides well when getting downhill. He is more than capable as a shooter and should be one of the better off-the-catch guys in the CAP 6 this season. He has loads of potential as a defender, especially on the ball and in passing lanes. He’s still a raw talent and will make huge strides in his game between now and the season’s end. Ethan is a name to keep in mind as the high school season starts next month and I like his projectability as a college recruit.
Chance Gladden (Juice Allstars) – 6’2” Guard – Cary Academy ‘25
Chance plays with an amazing pace for someone so young and accompanies that with great awareness and decision-making at the lead guard spot. Coming in at a legitimate 6’2” with room to grow, Chance already has great size for a high-level point guard. As his athleticism and frame improve over time, he will have all the physical tools he needs to succeed at the next level. He is a great shooter with deep range and has shown the ability to be a tough shot-maker. His best trait will always be his IQ and poise, which allow him to always look comfortable on the court, something that is seen through his decision-making ability. I would have to imagine that he only improves as a shot-maker and as an athlete, which will set him up nicely as a future college prospect.
Nic Anthony (Raleigh Christian) – 6’3” Guard – Raleigh Christian Academy ‘23
Nic was the best off-the-bounce shooter I saw in the east division. He plays under control and limits mistakes. He is a supreme threat shooting off ball screens and is efficient with his floater and pump fakes when he gets downhill. He is also a smart and crafty creator, and his team is at its best when he has the ball. He just recently picked up his first D-1 offer from Rider, and I would have to expect more to come over the course of this season.
Jamal Brown (Holy Rams Gold) – 6’6” Forward – Word of God ‘25
Jamal is interesting because of his playstyle. He is currently a 6’6” bruiser that is a monster on the glass and in transition. He is an efficient scorer that puts up volume production without a high number of touches or dribbles. I like the mechanics of his jump shot and naturally, that should continue to improve as he develops. He is a monster defender that takes pride in containing and disrupting his opponents. He isn’t afraid to get dunked on and will jump with anyone and everyone. He is also a great athlete and is constantly looking to dunk on someone. As far as stock goes, I don’t know if anyone benefitted more from the HoopState Fall League than Jamal Brown. Look for him to have serious D1 interest soon.
Cam Daniels (Durham Hurricanes) – 6’5” Guard – Southern Durham ‘24
Cam is one of my favorite players to watch because of his innate ability to create. He is a lethal off-ball scorer that can do it at all three levels but is especially crafty when he gets into the paint. On the ball, he is a smart passer and rarely allows defenses to speed him up. He is elite when operating out of ball screens and when attacking closeouts. Cam will be paired with Jackson Keith this season at Southern Durham, and I expect him to be the X-factor for that team. Very few schools have a secondary creator that can score and pass the way that he does, especially not at the 3A level. Durham Hurricanes were one of the top teams over the three weekends in Raleigh, and Cam took advantage of that spotlight. He has great size at the guard spot and is a plus-level athlete, expect his name to shoot up rankings in due time.
Sam Martin (Strong Center) – 6’9” Big – Apex ‘23
Sam was the most dominant player this past weekend, putting up 53 points over two games against quality opponents. Sam showed off his off-the-catch shooting ability this weekend along with his usual inside dominance. The confidence he now must shoot and make multiple threes per game will translate well to his high school season and should solidify him as a surefire can’t miss division-1 prospect. Along with his shooting, Sam continues to be a lockdown rim protector that is smart with timing up blocks and rebounds. He also has great footwork and hands inside which allows him to be an efficient volume scorer. Sam currently has one D-1 offer from the Naval Academy, and with his game fully coming together as a modern big man, he should be flushed with interest heading into the winter.