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POB’s Notes from NC Top 80 (Part 3)

2022 Evan Smith (Ardrey Kell): Smith had a very good camp and really think this is a player that could see an uptick in his recruitment and game this season.  He was shifty in the open floor and was showing how he can be assertive on the court. 2022 Noah Ross (Trinity Academy): Ross is going to be a player that coaches will love and really seems to be taking his game to the next...

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POB’s Notes from NC Top 80 (Part 2)

2021 Kuluel Mading (The Burlington School): One can see that Mading has continued to make steps with his game, becoming more comfortable with the ball in hands and creating more off the dribble.  But once again, he also impacts the floor with his ability to block shots, use his long arms on the boards, and run the floor. 2021 Ben Burnham (Carmel Christian): Burnham made it known that he was...

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POB’s Notes from NC Top 80

2022 Jai Smith (Bully City Prep): Smith continues to show why he is going to be regarded as one of the top players in the Class of 2022.  There aren’t many out there that brings such energy and ability to run rim-to-rim, where he makes a living.  Smith was consistent in getting out in transition and finishing strong with several dunks.  Whoever gets him at the next level, he certainly is going...

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Special K’s Hoops Take: NC/SC Top80 Standouts

Christ Essandoko 6’11 Christ Essandoko 2022 was unbelievable today as he showcased his dominance on the offensive end scoring in a wide variety of ways. His presence in the paint is so overwhelming as he scores at will around the basket and overpowers his defender. He rebounds the ball at a very high level and runs the floor pretty well. He showcased a unique ability to attack from the high post...

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Player Standouts at NC Top 80 v. SC Top 80

Jamarii Thomas- The tough, heady point guard prospect offered a very consistent two-way presence, overwhelming opponents with his motor and toughness. Thomas attacks the basket very well and displays a strong balance between scoring and playmaking. He’s great in the open floor and shows a willingness to make hustle plays. Julian Kiett- It’s somewhat perplexing to try and understand why Kiett...

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“Getting to Know” Anthony Sellars

North Carolina Top 80 Player Introductions Expectations can mean a lot within the grassroots side of basketball. This can be applied to players, parents, and every type of coach (high school, travel ball, and college coaches), as there is always something to be desired. When it comes to someone like Anthony Sellars, there’s nowhere to hide from the massive expectations put in place from his...

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Avion Pinner: An Underappreciated Prospect?

North Carolina’s Class of 2022 is absolutely brimming with talent. Naturally, everyone is going to be drawn towards the top of the list, given the trio of Team USA players (Bradley, Rice, Hood-Schifino), but there’s a case to be made for Avion Pinner forcing his way into the upper echelon sooner than later. However, in order to recognize his current status we will need to travel backwards a few...

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“Getting to Know” Redford Dunton

North Carolina Top 80 Player Introductions We’ve seen the situation arise various times throughout the years where players receive a lot of attention at a young age and struggle to maintain dominance beyond a certain period. However, Redford Dunton is closer to the polar opposite—staying consistent and continually getting better in all facets of the game but still not getting an appropriate...

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“Getting to Know” Justin Taylor

North Carolina Top 80 Player Introductions There are dozens of examples that highlight how significant hard work and skill development can be within a prospect’s growth. That being said, Justin Taylor might be North Carolina’s best candidate for this notion in the Class of 2021, given the various stages of his progression over the years. Though he’s always possessed talent, Taylor has really...

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“Getting to Know” Toby Harris

North Carolina Top 80 Player Introductions Being able to put a positive spin on a negative situation isn’t usually thought of as an important trait in the game of basketball. However, Toby Harris took the devastating injury to MJ Rice as an opportunity to step up and showcase his next-level abilities. It would’ve benefitted no one for Durham Academy to throw their hands up and quit on the...

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“Getting to Know” Ben Burnham

North Carolina Top 80 Player Introductions There are countless situations where a prospect possesses all the makings of a next-level player but doesn’t see the results within their recruitment. Whether it be his reputation, a lack of exposure to college coaches, or just the fact that he was originally located in South Carolina, each of these reasons could be evidence for why it’s taken Ben...

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“Getting to Know” Keeyan Itejere

North Carolina Top 80 Player Introductions There have been numerous instances where young players undergo a stage or period of swift progression or physical growth. Guys like Anthony Davis or Scottie Pippen are a few of the most successful examples in history, but Keeyan Itejere is someone who has undergone a similar spike within the past twelve months. Although those names can be unfair...

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“Getting to Know” Kadyn Dawkins

North Carolina Top 80 Player Introductions Watching players progress is arguably the most rewarding thing about working within grassroots basketball. We consistently see the results of these players’ hard work, and Kadyn Dawkins is someone who has worked to defy the odds and set himself apart as a prospect. Despite rapidly gaining popularity around North Carolina, Dawkins has been a...

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From the Scouts Eyes — Brady O’Connell Commits to Old Dominion

Brady O’Connell is a 6’7″ wing out of Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He played his summer travel ball with Team Felton on the UAA Circuit. At the time of his commitment to ODU, O’Connell also entertained offers from the likes of Elon, Samford, Western Carolina and Mercer. Last season, O’Connell averaged 9.3 points per game for the 18 win Ravenscroft...

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From the Scout’s Eyes — Jadyn Parker Commits to North Florida

On Friday, 6'8" 2020 Jadyn Parker of West Brunswick High School in Shallotte, North Carolina committed to the University of North Florida.

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Phenom’s North Carolina Top 80 Camp Evaluations: Team 12

Team 12 Coach: Antonio Lowe   #13: 6’0 ’20 Arrington Jones (Atkins) Starting things off, we look at a player that knows how to run a successful team on both ends of the floor, Arrington Jones. He’s a quick, smart point guard prospect that offers a strong balance between scoring and playmaking. Jones is vocal and does a great job of setting his teammates up on offense, always getting the...

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Phenom’s North Carolina Top 80 Camp Evaluations: Team 11

Team 11 Coach: Obe Gray   #12:5’11 ’20 Treyden Williams (North Mecklenburg) Starting things off, we look at a player that showcases a lot of toughness to pair with his extremely well-rounded skillset, Treyden Williams. He’s a smart, wiry point guard prospect that offers an excellent balance between scoring, playmaking, and defense. Williams doesn’t possess true size, but has the necessary...

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Phenom’s North Carolina Top 80 Camp Evaluations: Team 10

Team 10 Coach: David Noel   #10: 5’11 ’22 Jacob Newman (Myers Park) Starting things off, we look at a player that looks likely to continue trending upward over the next few years, Jacob Newman. He’s a quick, sturdy point guard prospect that plays with a high motor and lots of intensity. Newman is an absolute pest on defense and knows how to mirror his on-ball assignment quite well. He plays...

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Phenom’s North Carolina Top 80 Camp Evaluations: Team 9

Team 9 Coach: Dre Simmons   #9: 5’11 ’21 Gavin Gillikin (West Carteret) Starting things off, we look at a player that stood out as the hardest worker on this team, Gavin Gillikin. He’s a well-rounded point guard prospect that displayed the ability to operate with or without the ball and find quality success. Gillikin plays with a high motor and did an excellent job of creating havoc on the...

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Phenom’s North Carolina Top 80 Camp Evaluations: Team 8

Team 8 Coach: Derrick Partee   #8:5’11 ’21 Cedric Patterson (Gaston Christian) Starting things off, we look at a player that showcased a fairly intriguing skillset throughout his time at camp, Cedric Patterson. He’s a wiry, quick guard prospect that can play either backcourt position due to his blend of ball-handling and perimeter shooting. Patterson is able to make plays for himself and...

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Phenom’s North Carolina Top 80 Camp Evaluations: Team 7

Team 7 Coach: Joe Badgett   #7:5’11 ’21 Carlos Raven (Wayne Country Day) Starting things off, we look at a player that showcased an excellent motor and team-first approach throughout camp, Carlos Raven. He’s a wiry point guard prospect with IQ, quickness, and a pretty useful two-way skillset. Raven is a solid all-around scorer, but is typically the most efficient when attacking the midrange...

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Phenom’s North Carolina Top 80 Camp Evaluations: Team 6

Team 6 Coach: Will Roberson   #6: 5’11 ’22 Cameron Oates (Trinity Christian) Starting things off, we look at a player that already looks quite comfortable at running a high-level offense, Cameron Oates. He’s a very quick point guard prospect with quality instincts and the ability to effortlessly set up his teammates. Oates scores the ball pretty well from all levels, but typically looks to...

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