6’9 Trent Steinour (Lake Norman)

Although there’s still a ton of upside remaining, it’s easy to see the steady signs of growth with Steinour. He’s a young, developing big man with length, timing, and inside-out ability. Steinour is still adding strength to his wiry frame, but already displays an understanding of how to anchor the paint, alter shots defensively, and make his presence felt on the glass. He also moves very well for his size, possesses touch around the basket, and shoots the ball at a very high percentage for his position. In terms of attainable potential, Steinour truly has as much as anyone in his class. His growth will be exciting to monitor. 

6’6 Yohan Gutierez (Combine Academy)

The appeal of a 6-foot-6 knockdown shooter who continues to improve should be pretty obvious, which is why Gutierez could be poised for a possible breakout season. He’s a long, wiry wing prospect with a lethal spot-up presence and steadily progressing skillset. Gutierez has worked to develop his handle, creation skills, and overall defensive prowess—but has maintained his notable shooting prowess. His ability to play within a role or expand his production based on team need is a massive part of what makes him so valuable. Gutierez is able to pose a constant threat with or without the ball in his hands. Expect him to collect offers over the coming months. 

6’5 Malachi Simpson (Hendersonville)

Quietly trending upward as much as anyone in the class, Simpson has shown a ton of growth (both physical and in terms of ability) over the last few months. He’s always been a useful player, but growing multiple inches has certainly aided his process in becoming a notable prospect. Simpson is long, athletic, and skilled with the ability to effectively score from all levels. He’s shown the understanding of how to make plays without the ball or create for himself off the bounce. Simpson is also a great finisher, capable defender, and active rebounder. If he remains on his current trajectory, he should definitely have a breakout high school season.

6’6 Addison Newkirk (Greensboro Day)

After watching his most recent outing with a local travel team, it simply reaffirmed Newkirk’s ability and exceptional feel for the game. He’s a skilled, intelligent wing/forward prospect who can consistently make plays through sheer instinct, positioning, and simply seeing the game ahead of others. Newkirk is a capable scorer with vision, unselfishness, and an active motor on both ends of the floor. He’s adaptable to the team structure and can alter his approach with relative ease. Newkirk understands how to consistently make the right play within the flow of the action. He should be a very useful piece for the Bengals during the upcoming season. 

6’3 Snook Peterkin (Mount Tabor)

Given the departure of numerous teammates, Peterkin is as likely to have a breakout season as anyone on this list. He’s a long, athletic guard who excels at getting downhill and finishing seemingly anything around the basket. Peterkin is a capable playmaker and shot-maker, but simply knows how to overwhelm opponents when attacking. He finishes well above the rim, through contact, and with finesse whenever necessary. Peterkin also displays nice defensive instincts and overall feel on both ends of the floor. He should be expected to lead and carry the burden on a nightly basis for this Mount Tabor group. Expect Peterkin to generate a lot of buzz this season.