Coach: Wayne Lipford
#15: 5’4 ’23 Caleb Bruni (Jonesborough, TN)
Starting things off, we look at a player that showed a clear desire and willingness to get better during camp, Caleb Bruni. He’s a guard prospect that is just beginning to understand his two-way skillset. Bruni played with great energy throughout the day and looked to create havoc however possible. Next in his development process is working on establishing a clear offensive identity, as it would allow him to place specific focus on his plan of attack. Coach Lipford on Bruni: “Caleb is a small guard with average ball-handling skill. He provided a solid attitude and was a sponge when receiving criticism throughout the day. Caleb could continue to work on his shot and release.” Bruni brought the correct attitude to camp and was able to improve during his time at camp, but should continue working in order to maximize his long-term potential.
#34:5’7 ’23 Etienne Strothers (Newport News, VA)
Next, we look at a player that was among the best all-around performers from this team, Etienne Strothers. He’s a long, wiry guard prospect with a strong feel for the game and the ability to make his presence consistently felt on both ends of the floor. Strothers proved to be an efficient scorer from all three levels and possesses quality playmaking skills. He’s quite skilled and understands how to get where he wants on the court without needing to force the action. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength, as it would make him even more difficult for opponents to contain. Coach Lipford on Strothers: “Etienne can play with the best in his class. He has a good feel for the game and is very coachable! He can shoot the three-pointer and finish at the rim. His quickness allows him to drive past defenders on offense while defending swift offensive players on the other end. He could continue to work on creating separation on the pick and roll.” Strothers had a great showing at camp and finished as the tenth-leading scorer with an average of 16 PPG. He’ll certainly be an out-of-state player worth tracking for the future.
#42:5’9 ’23 Marcus Locklear (Laurinburg, NC)
Moving onto a player that worked hard and brought an excellent attitude to camp, Marcus Locklear. He’s a wing prospect with solid size and a blossoming two-way skillset. Locklear doesn’t have a clear-cut identity on offense yet, but did a nice job of knocking down open shots from the perimeter. Next in his development process is working on his ball-handling ability, as it would allow him to become a much more useful penetrator. Coach Lipford on Locklear: “Marcus has a good shoot and often looks to take the three-pointer whenever possible. He takes criticism well and had proper manners. He could continue to work on his footwork and overall physicality. Improving both will help his defensive presence.” Locklear has the potential to become a solid player, especially if he’s willing to put in the necessary work on both ends of the floor.
#51:5’10 ’23 DeShawn Brown II (Sanford, NC)
Continuing onto a player with the ability to make his presence consistently felt on both sides of the ball, DeShawn Brown. He’s a long, wiry forward prospect with quality athleticism and a decent overall feel for the game. Brown utilized his quickness well to get by opponents and finish through contact around the basket. He’s an unselfish player that took advantage of available opportunities. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would open up a considerable amount of offensive possibilities. Coach Lipford on Brown: “DeShawn has good lateral movements that allow him to play strong on-ball defense. He has a great feel for attacking off the dribble. DeShawn plays hard and has a quality motor. He could continue to work on his shooting mechanics and passing skills.” Brown has a solid amount of useful tools and should be able to continue developing into a quality two-way prospect.
#53:5’11 ’23 Isaac Allen (Charlotte, NC)
Next, we look at a productive two-way player that has the upside to become a really intriguing prospect, Isaac Allen. He’s a long, strong-bodied wing/forward prospect with a nice array of perimeter skills and an incredible motor. Allen is able to affect all facets of the game, from defense to rebounding to scoring; he’s able to do it all pretty well. He shot the ball fairly well from midrange and beyond. Next in his development process is working on his ability to pass the ball, as it would make the game much easier on him. Coach Lipford on Allen: “Isaac has an extremely strong motor. He gives it 100% at all times. He’s a streaky jump-shooter but capable of knocking down shots from the perimeter. He’s a long wing that can defend multiple positions. He has good footwork and quickness. Isaac accepted criticism well and executed whatever was instructed to him. He could continue to work on finishing at the rim and utilizing his off-hand.” Allen has the chance to become a noteworthy player, given his mentality and natural physical gifts, so we’ll be watching his progression closely going forward.
#63:6’1 ’23 Cole Saunders (Harmony, NC)
Moving onto a player that brought an incredibly unselfish mentality to camp, Cole Saunders. He’s a wing/forward prospect with great size and the ability to effortlessly set up his teammates at any given time. Saunders rarely looked to score, but was able to get to his spots pretty regularly and make plays for others. He has the necessary tools to be a destructive two-way presence, but must become more assertive. Next in his development process is working on establishing himself as a true scoring threat, especially from midrange and beyond, as it would make him a really intriguing prospect. Coach Lipford on Saunders: “Cole is a pass-first wing that has a terrific grasp of where his teammates are on the basketball court. He looks to attack the gap and possesses a nice IQ for his size and skillset. He could continue to work on his shooting and confidence, as he didn’t attempt any jumpers during camp.” Saunders was on an extremely short list of guys that were almost too unselfish, but still enjoyed a great showing throughout the day.
#64:6’1 ’23 Demarion Workman (Greensboro, NC)
Continuing onto a player that possesses an incredible blend of productivity and long-term potential, Demarion Workman. He’s a strong, athletic wing prospect with excellent size and the ability to control action on both sides of the ball. Workman effectively scored on all three levels, but was at his best when getting downhill and attacking the basket. He has a quality feel for the game and was among the most well-rounded defenders on display. Next in his development process is working on moving without the ball, as it would open up an abundance of easy scoring opportunities. Coach Lipford on Workman: “Demarion is a wing with nice versatility. He can shoot, finish in the paint, and defend multiple positions. His attitude was great and maintained eye contact when listening to coaching. He can create his own shot and rebounded well. He needs to work on getting his teammates involved, as he has the tools to make plays for others.” Workman’s average of 16 PPG was the twelfth-highest scoring total at camp, which is really encouraging, given how well he performed in all other areas of the game.
#74:6’2 ’23 Devin Keasey (Newport News, VA)
Finishing up, we look at a player that was extremely productive inside the paint on both sides of the ball, Devin Keasey. He’s a post prospect with size and the ability to reliably finish with either hand from the block or when penetrating. Keasey typically operated down low and was able to consistently mix up his moves and overall approach. He isn’t particularly flashy, but that’s what makes his productivity so great as a true blue-collar worker. Next in his development process is working on his quickness, as it would allow him to start taking advantage of slower post prospects from the perimeter. Coach Lipford on Keasey: “Devin has really good footwork. He’s a problem on the interior and likes to play with his back to the basket. He’s able to create for himself or others. He never attempted a bad shot and has really good touch around the rim. Devin’s shooting mechanics are good. He rebounded the ball with strength and both hands on every rebound. He could continue to work on his speed and ability to get back on defense.” Keasey averaged 10.7 PPG and operated extremely well within his role on both sides of the ball, which should certainly make him one to keep an eye on going forward.