The high school/grassroots development process differs greatly from that of any other level in basketball. Obviously these young players are going through physical changes, some for better and some for worse, which will ultimately help sculpt their overall basketball identity. However, there are also more critical checkpoints during this journey as opposed to the higher levels. This isn’t meant to say that development doesn’toccur in college or professional leagues, but rather that high school affects the most individuals. Each year, dozens of prospects emerge and outplay their ranking, reputation, and/or projected level (from any entity). This year should be no different, even with uncertainty swirling about the likelihood of an actual season. We will take a closer look at five prospects with an odds-on chance to outperform their current ranking (with their current position in parenthesis)…
#23: 6’7 Cade Tyson (Carmel Christian)
While player movement has become one of the most widely discussed subjects within the grassroots scene, but it doesn’t feel like enough folks are talking about Tyson’s transfer to Carmel Christian. Easily one of the biggest three transfers of the summer, his incoming presence should provide the Cougars with an offensive focal point on a nightly basis. Tyson has already gotten adjusted and comfortable at running the show over his last high school season at Piedmont. Now, his stock should only continue to rise after transferring to a top program and preparing to compete against improved competition. In terms of skill and overall identity, Tyson should certainly have the attention of Division I coaches. He’s a three-level scorer with quality shot mechanics and the ability to make plays with or without the ball in his hands. Tyson also possesses great physical tools and will only continue to add strength over the next few years.
#31: 6’6 Jalen Higgins (Village Christian)
Expanded opportunity is one of the most surefire ways to determine whether a player is capable of taking the next step and evolving into a leader, which Higgins should prove this season. The long, wiry wing prospect already fits the 3-and-D archetype perfectly, but is definitely more than just a spot-up threat. He’s a quality athlete, defender, and rebounder with blossoming creation skills off the dribble. Despite not being known as a primary creator, Higgins is smart and understands how to attack with purpose off the bounce—where he’s shown the ability to finish, pull-up from midrange, or make the right pass. His game is quite simple and straightforward, which only solidifies his effectiveness without necessarily requiring flair or flashiness. If Higgins can continue on his current trajectory, there should be nothing preventing him from collecting a slew of Division I offers.
#70: 6’6 Chancellor Morrow (West Charlotte)
Athletes are extremely common within the high school landscape, but Morrow is someone who has steadily showcased his ability to impact the game beyond pure explosiveness. The long, intense wing prospect is easily one of the toughest, most rugged players within the North Carolina landscape right now. Morrow is a destructive and versatile defender with a nonstop motor and great nose for the ball. He possesses the necessary size and strength to shut down bigger opponents along with the athleticism and fluidity to cause problems for all types of perimeter players. Morrow is the type of guy that could go an entire game without a single offensive touch and still find a way to stand out as one of the more vital pieces on the floor. His recruitment is just beginning to surface, but folks should expect to see a flurry of scholarship-level programs laying groundwork.
#84: 6’4 Dawson McAlhany (Bishop McGuinness)
There are a lot of underrated and underappreciated prospects within North Carolina, and McAlhany is certainly towards the top of that list. This might be due to his unassuming nature, but he’s actually very talented and will only continue to trend upward. McAlhany is a long, wiry wing prospect with a quality combination between size, skill, and athleticism. The lefty is also a capable perimeter shooter with the ability to create for himself or others off the bounce. He’s an excellent passer with a terrific sense for setting up his teammates. McAlhany has steadily improved as a ball-handler and perimeter shooter over the years, and now stands as a respectable threat in those areas. He’s a solid defender and rebounder with the understanding of how to effectively utilize his length. McAlhany is certainly better than his current ranking and should ultimately start collecting scholarship offers within the next calendar year.
NR: 6’3 Silas Demary Jr. (Millbrook)
Though Demary has always possessed talent, it seems like his current situation is finally allowing for everything to come together. Not only is his role with Millbrook guaranteed to expand, but Demary has also shined as the star prospect for Raleigh’s Finest throughout the summer. He’s showcased the full offensive arsenal while standing out as a reliable defensive player and intelligent two-way leader. It’ll be somewhat interesting to see how Demary produces alongside numerous seniors in Will Felton, Redford Dunton, and Eric van der Heijden, especially given how dominant he’s been over the last month. Regardless, his pending role should not deter Division I coaches from getting involved right away. It’s virtually impossible to fathom a situation where Demary doesn’t at least find himself within the top thirty spots over the next few months.