Coach: Ryan Bernardi
#4: 5’5 ’24 Cayden Martin (Greensboro)
Starting things off, we look at a player that competed and impacted the game well despite a lack of true size, Cayden Martin. He’s a young, wiry guard prospect with a high motor and excellent defensive instincts. Martin is quick and able to break down defenders with his quality handle, which allows him to attack the basket and set up others quite regularly. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Bernardi on Martin: “Cayden was young for this camp, but it did not impact his effort. Despite being undersized, he was involved in multiple loose balls and rebounding scrums. He guarded the other team’s point guard very well, at one point giving up four years in age. He will benefit greatly when he gets back to his middle school level. Cayden can continue his development as a floor general. He gets paint touches well but must use those opportunities to make plays for his teammates. He must also improve his jumper, going more up and down rather than a large jump forward.” Martin enjoyed a quality showing at camp and should have a very productive upcoming eighth-grade season.
#19: 5’11 ’22 Joshua Durham (Atkins)
Next, we look at a player that offered his team with a fairly reliable, consistent presence on both ends of the floor, Joshua Durham. He’s a wiry, high-motor guard prospect that shows a clear commitment to defense. Durham attacked the basket and finished well through contact, but was arguably even better on defense at forcing turnovers and pushing transition play. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would complement his scoring inside the arc nicely. Coach Bernardi on Durham: “Joshua was an awesome off-court guy all day. His attitude, effort, and basketball IQ was off the charts. He played so hard and just stuck his nose in to every effort play. His effort translated to his transition defense, which was awesome. He single-handedly stopped multiple fast breaks. He showcased his skill level with excellent spin moves and abilities to get to the paint. As he gets stronger and more athletic, look for him to become a better finisher. I was impressive with his left hand and ability to go both directions. He must shoot it better to continue to develop as a player.” Durham worked extremely hard throughout camp and should emerge as a useful contributor sooner than later for Atkins.
#23: 5’11 ’23 Russell Hawkins (Mallard Creek)
Moving onto a player that made a strong impression with his ability and upside as a shooter, Russell Hawkins. He’s a young, scrappy guard prospect with phenomenal perimeter shooting and quality instincts as an on-ball defender. Hawkins can make an impact with or without the ball, given his cutting, off-ball movements, and unselfishness on offense. Next in his development process is working to improve his transition defense, as it would make him a more complete player. Coach Bernardi on Hawkins: “Russell has the look of a big-time shooter. His mechanics are excellent and he has the confidence to translate mechanics into makes. He also guarded the ball very well all day, holding his opponent to limited production. He was a good teammate and player to coach. Russell must make reads and execute the reads at a higher level. Russell can also become better off the ball, knowing how to move and cut. Finally, his transition defense and extra effort could be better.” Hawkins enjoyed a productive showing at camp and will be a prospect to watch progress going forward.
#44: 6’1 ’23 Palmer Crichton (Lincoln Charter)
Continuing onto a player that really stood out with his shooter’s mentality throughout camp, Palmer Crichton. He’s a wiry, long-bodied wing prospect with IQ, unselfishness, and a high two-way motor. Crichton showed a commitment to defense and hustling, but also made an exceptional impact as a spot-up threat from midrange and beyond the arc. Next in his development process is working to become a craftier ball-handler, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Bernardi on Crichton: “Palmer was a plus-defender all day. On the ball, off the ball, and in transition he competed and was very effective. Palmer’s attitude and effort was off the charts. He has all the makings of an elite shooter. Good form, quick release, and great confidence. He had multiple steals, which led to baskets for our team as well. He was somewhat turnover prove throughout the day. He can work on getting in the weight room to get stronger and more physical.” Crichton displayed some excellent flashes during camp and has the tools to emerge as a useful contributor sooner than later at Lincoln Charter.
#48: 6’1 ’24 Drew Pittman (Wilson)
Next, we look at a player that was easily among the most impressive young performers on display, Drew Pittman. He’s a high-motor, fairly skilled wing prospect with nice size and two-way feel, especially for his age. Pittman can reliably create for himself and others but also scores the ball very effectively from anywhere inside the arc. Next in his development process is working to become a more consistent three-point shooter, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Bernardi on Pittman: “For an eighth-grader, Drew more than held his own. He was very aggressive when attacking the basket and had good physicality for his age. His relentless attack of the rim was an indicator of how hard he played. He has some good moments and some shaky moments from beyond the arc, so shooting consistency will be a focus for Drew moving forward. He can also work to become a better defender. With continued effort and dedication, Drew could be a player to watch moving forward.” Pittman was undeniably impressive, especially for his age, and will be one to keep an eye on over the coming years.
#50: 6’1 ’20 Charles Kiah (Henderson Collegiate)
Moving onto a player that was arguably the main hustle worker for this team during camp, Charles Kiah. He’s a strong, big-bodied forward prospect with a high motor with nice vision and penetration ability. Kiah handles and shoots the ball effectively for his size, but also knows how to secure rebounds and force turnovers at a solid rate. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a more reliable finisher around the basket. Coach Bernardi on Kiah: “Charles is a high-level athlete that played above the rim offensively and in the trenches defensively. He is physical with a low base, which allows him to really guard the ball and protect the rim. Charles can really get downhill and finish at the rim with physicality. He also made nice passes and read the floor pretty well. Charles must shoot it more consistently to take the next steps in his game. His mechanics and confidence in his mechanics will take his game forward. His motor and moving without the ball can improve.” Kiah worked hard throughout camp and should carve out a nice role during the upcoming season at Henderson Collegiate.
#72: 6’3 ’22 Drew Watkins (Northwest Guilford)
Continuing onto a player that possesses a nice blend between productivity and long-term upside, Drew Watkins. He’s a wiry, fairly well-rounded guard prospect that knows how to set himself up and shoot the ball very efficiently from midrange and beyond the arc. Wakins is a solid defender but made a major impact in transition, always working to be the first person back on defense. Next in his development process is working on playing with a more consistent motor, as it would allow him to make a stronger impact without the ball in his hands. Coach Bernardi on Watkins: “Drew had that beautiful lefty stroke and made multiple three-pointers for us throughout the day. He knows how to find openings in the defense to hunt his three-point shot. Drew started off as a high-effort guy but his effort dropped as the day went along. He could be a great rebounder with increased effort and willingness to be physical. He can also improve his defense and keeping the ball in front of him. Drew has nice size but improve ball-handling would really help him.” Watkins did a variety of things well at camp and could carve out a nice role at Northwest Guilford, especially if he continues to work.
#75: 6’3 ’21 Jacob Hukins Jr. (GRACE Christian)
Next, we look at a player that simply knows how to make a strong impact with any group of teammates, Jacob Hukins Jr. He’s a smart, well-rounded guard prospect with the ability to play either backcourt position while containing his assignment, making plays for others, and scoring from all three levels. Hukins is a reliable penetrator with vision, craftiness, and an unselfish approach on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would likely make him an even more consistent spot-up threat. Coach Bernardi on Hukins: “Jacob made multiple elite passes in which he showcased great skill and feel. He played hard the entire day with purpose and aggressiveness on both ends. He showcased an ability to score on all three level with his willingness to be aggressive. Playing for a great high school team and coach with multiple high-level players, Jacob will be a huge asset. He can get more consistent with his jumper, which could improve with better shot selection. I’m super excited about Jacob as a long-term prospect.” Hukins was impressive throughout camp and has all the tools to continue tracking as a next-level prospect going forward.
#95: 6’5 ’21 Jalen Walker (GRACE Christian)
Moving onto a player that showcased an abundance of translatable skills and tools during camp, Jalen Walker. He’s a long, wiry wing prospect with a strong blend of skill, athleticism, and two-way feel for the game. Walker possesses great size, energy, and rebounding prowess, especially for his position. He scores very efficiently from inside the arc and secures a ton of rebounds/extra possessions through nonstop effort. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Bernardi on Walker: “Jalen was an aggressive downhill attacker all day. He is a strong guard that finishes through contact very well. He got to the basket, both off the dribble and by cutting without the ball. He was a great defender all day due to his strength and willingness to be physical. The next step in Jalen’s game will be improving his jumper. At the high school level, he can get away with it but, at the next level, will have to play on the perimeter and shoot it. He is great in transition when the game gets up and down.” Walker enjoyed a great showing at camp and should be a useful contributor during the upcoming season for GRACE Christian.
#97: 6’5 ’23 Wesley Tubbs III (Northside Christian)
Finishing up, we look at a player that might’ve possibly been the most enticing long-term prospect in attendance, Wesley Tubbs III. He’s a long, athletic, skilled wing prospect with an advanced skillset and two-way approach to the game. Tubbs is extremely tough to contain from entering the paint, where he’s proven to be a reliable finisher or playmaker for others. Next in his development process is working to add a reliable three-point shot to his arsenal, as it would make him virtually unstoppable on offense. Coach Bernardi on Tubbs: “Freshman Wesley Tubbs was phenomenal throughout the day. Coming from a great high school program at Northside, Wesley had a good understanding of the game and how to play. His motor was very good, as there were multiple situations in which he would miss shots and get his own rebound to score. He made the right read throughout the day, understanding when to pass and when to score. He has nice length and touch, which make him a plus finisher. The next step for him will be to add mass to his frame. It will be fun to see how he competes against older talent at Northside this season.” Tubbs is undeniably impressive and will be a prospect for Division I coaches to start tracking now, as he could be a special type of talent with continued work.