Anything The Hoop State Network puts their name on, you know is going to be a show. The inaugural Kinston MLK Showcase was no different, as the six-game slate tipped off at 12 PM with a line of 100 people waiting as the doors opened at 11.
The most anticipated matchup on the slate, in our eyes, was during game 4, as Raleigh Leesville Road took on Burgaw Pender. Not only are they two uncommon opponents, who are looking to make deep runs in their perspective classifications, but they each have one of the best point guards in the Hoop State on their rosters.
Pender is led by 2020’s #2 ranked point guard, Jajuan Carr and Leesville Road are led by 2021’s #1 ranked point guard Carter Whitt. Pender led this game the entire way, until the fourth quarter. But when that fourth quarter happened, we can go ahead and called that the Carter Quarter.
Whitt did it all during the Carter Quarter, making plays for himself and others, showcasing his excellent floor vision and high-level IQ. If the defense collapsed, Whitt found the open man where the help camp from. If the defense stayed home, Whitt took his advantage to the rim.
At the end of the game, Whitt finished with 26 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and the win, solidifying himself as a Top 50 prospect nationally and taking this battle.
…but Jajuan Carr is still one of the Best Available Point Guards in the Eastern Seaboard
Carr did everything in this game, we knew he could do. Even with Leesville Road game-planning against Carr while face guarding him, with two spies the entire game, Carr touched the paint at will. The strong-bodied lead guard, has a tight handle with great pace and multiple hesitations and counters. In this game he showcased unreal vision, dishing passes all over the floor as he was recorded with 11 assists, however by all accounts watching the game (and by the team stats, he finished with 15.
Carr rebounded the ball well and did a great job defending the ball, utilizing strength and quick hands with his anticipation to deflect or make life tough. Carr struggled a bit with his jump shot in this one, however his ability to touch the paint and make a play, on every possession, didn’t go unnoticed.
Along the way, he has claimed offers from the likes of Fordham, East Carolina, Rider, Presbyterian, and USC-Upstate. However, Carr is still available in this senior class and it still remains he is still one of the best available point guards along the Eastern Seaboard.
Welcome to the Conversation Young Man
6’5” 2022 Mikhail Pocknett moved from Wayne County to Wilmington this year, and with that move, he took a major step in his development. For the season, the strong and lengthy wing is averaging 17.8 points (58% FG) with 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. He is a very unique player, with his ability to play multiple positions on both ends of the floor, with his size and length as a great rebounder and strong defender, but also with his vision and ball skills, able to initiate and create on offense.
His uniqueness is what makes him so intriguing. The fact he already has a college-level frame to go with the ball skills and court vision he has as a sophomore in high school. We will be paying close attention to what Head Coach Wells Gullege is able to do with this one moving forward.
Dontrez Styles is the Clear #1 in 2021
Styles has a game that will translate to college now. Everything he encompasses is exactly what the college game is doing these days, especially with the way he shot the ball in last night’s game. He showcased the ability to catch and shoot, from range and he knocked in a couple two dribble pull-ups. For a player who is 6’8” with long arms and pogo sticks for legs, his developed ball skills have moved him up as a prospect. He already carries over 15 high major offer, however, expect his stock to continue to grow as a prospect and the blue bloods to start sniffing around pretty hard.
Justin Wright Had a Performance for the Ages
Not only was it the best performance of the event, but it was also arguably one of the best performances of the year in the Hoop State. Wright, an NC Central signee, finished with 28 points on 10-11 from the field and 4-4 from 3, was nearly perfect on the offensive end. Not only was he showcasing his dead-eye shooting, he also showcased an ability to get to his spots both on and off the ball. Wright has noted toughness and is a great leader of men. Without a doubt, Wright has started every game he has played for Farmville Central for four seasons and has carried Farmville Central as they remain in the richest time of their basketball history.
Rest of the Names to Know
6’1” Unsigned Senior Dylan Blake of First Flight
6’6” 2020 Jake Bertolini Felic of Trinity Academy (Gettysburg College)
6’9” 2020 Mylyjael Poteat of Burlington School (Rice)
6’6” 2020 Jadun Michael of Burlington School (Wichita State)
6’5” 2020 Dji Bailey of Greenfield (Wake Forest)
6’1” Unsigned Senior Jordan Lynch of Greenfield
6’6” 2022 Jakwon Moore of Pender
6’7” 2020 Saiquone Harris of Word of God (Hutchinson CC)
6’ 2020 Shakeel Moore of Moravian Prep (NC State)
6’ Unsigned Senior Isaac Parson of Kinston
6’3” 2021 Terquavion Smith of Farmville Central (NC State)