Coach: Harold Johnson
#11: 5’9 ’23 Elijah Calhoun (Winston-Salem)
Starting things off, we look at a player that provided great effort and unselfish tendencies during his time at camp, Elijah Calhoun. He’s a young, wiry guard prospect with a nice-looking jumper from midrange and beyond the arc. Calhoun can knock down open shots, handles the ball pretty well, and makes passes to open teammates. Next in his development process is working on becoming a better penetrator, as it would complement his shooting ability nicely. Coach Johnson on Calhoun: “Elijah competes hard on every possession, especially for his size and age. He has a good handle and really good shot mechanics. His lack of physical maturity limits his ability to finish plays in traffic. Time, however, is on his size. As a freshman, I expect to see his overall feel for the game improve over the next few years.” Calhoun enjoyed a nice showing at camp and could be one to keep an eye on, especially if he continues to work.
#30: 6’0 ’20 Najir Underwood (Northside Christian)
Next, we look at a player that was able to get downhill and touch the paint at will, Najir Underwood. He’s an extremely quick, speedy point guard prospect that simply thrives in transition but also knows how to get past opponents in the half court with relative ease. Underwood shoots the ball pretty well from the perimeter and takes quality care of the ball on offense. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to coexist and make an impact alongside another primary ball-handler. Coach Johnson on Underwood: “Najir has elite level speed and can get to any spot on the floor at will. He has the ability to create shots for himself or others. He defends with an edge and rebounds his position well. He plays/uses ball screens well and has really good read-and-react ability. D2s should have an eye on this kid during the high school year.” Underwood did a lot of things well during camp and should carve out a nice role this season at Northside Christian.
#37: 6’0 ’21 Brock Bowen (Weddington)
Moving onto a player that was arguably the most impressive three-point shooter in attendance, Brock Bowen. He’s a sturdy, decently well-rounded guard prospect that embraces his identity as well as anyone, given how well he spots-up along the perimeter. Bowen moves extremely well with the ball to set himself up for success and truly only requires a glimmer of daylight to get off a clean look. Once he gets going, he’s extremely difficult to contain from beyond the arc. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him a more reliable penetrator and on-ball defender. Coach Johnson on Bowen: “Brock has excellent shooting mechanics with great footwork and a great release. One game, he went 6-of-7 from three-point territory in just two quarters of action. This kid has a clip! He works hard and is very cerebral on both ends of the floor.” Bowen set the nets ablaze during camp and should be a very useful piece throughout the upcoming season at Weddington.
#47: 6’1 ’24 Daidien Sutton (Lucama)
Continuing onto a player that competed extremely well despite being the youngest prospect on this team, Daidien Sutton. He’s a long, wiry wing/forward prospect with an excellent motor and a willingness to do whatever necessary to provide his team with an edge. Sutton already displays a great feel for the game and knows how to make plays without requiring the ball in his hands. He shoots the ball decently well from the perimeter, but is at his best when cutting or attacking the basket on penetration opportunities. Next in his development process is working to become a more consistent shooter, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Johnson on Sutton: “Daidien is one of the hardest working middle school players that I’ve ever seen. He has a great body already and utilizes it well. He has a decent handle and finishes well at the basket.” Sutton enjoyed a great showing at camp, especially for his age, and should have a very bright future with continued work.
#56: 6’2 ’21 Christian Pounds (Rocky Mount)
Next, we look at a player that possesses a pretty intriguing array of offensive skills, Christian Pounds. He’s a big, strong-bodied forward prospect with nice ball skills and the ability to rebound extremely well on both ends of the floor. Pounds clears out space and finishes at a phenomenal rate with either hand. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him a more reliable on-ball defender. Coach Johnson on Pounds: “Christian has really good feet and soft hands. He finishes around the basket with ease and has really good touch from three-point range. He brings a ton of physicality to the game on both ends. At his size, he’s extremely nimble with great lateral movement. I was going to say his opportunity is conditioning until I realized he’s a Division I caliber defensive lineman on the gridiron. He has potential as a two-sport athlete.” Pounds might be a football player but certainly knows how to make his presence felt on the hardwood, so it’ll be exciting to see how he performs throughout the upcoming season.
#62: 6’2 ’20 Travis Edwards (Atkins)
Moving onto a player that stood out with his approach and ability to operate as a glue-guy for this team, Travis Edwards. He’s a smart, steady, well-rounded guard prospect that can create, score, and fill in the gaps on both ends of the floor. Edwards rebounds well, pushes the break in transition, and can make a quality impact without the ball in his hands. He’s also a reliable defender, both individually and in the team concept. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to find more scoring opportunities as an off-ball cutter. Coach Johnson on Edwards: “Travis has good size and strength. He rebounds his position really well and locks down much taller players on the defensive end. He’s the ultimate team player. Travis plays within himself and looks to make the extra pass. D2 and D3 programs could find a steal with this kid.” Edwards made his presence felt throughout camp and should have a very productive upcoming season at Atkins.
#83: 6’4 ’23 Jakwon McKnight (Webb)
Continuing onto a player that was easily among the most impressive long-term prospects on display, Jakwon McKnight. He’s a long, skilled, intelligent guard prospect with three-level scoring prowess and the ability to already lead an efficient offense. McKnight already does a quality amount of everything and possesses an advanced skillset, particularly for his age. He’s a capable defender that utilizes his length effectively to force turnovers and push transition play. Next in his development process is simply working to add strength, as he already possesses all the tools to become a dominant talent. Coach Johnson on McKnight: “Jakwon has really good length and instincts for the game. He has a good handle and shooting stroke with the ability to create off the dribble. The upside with this player will be found when he matures physically. He’s only a freshman, so he has time. With the right development plan, he will catch the eye of college coaches in the next couple of years.” McKnight was undeniably impressive at camp and should quickly emerge as a leader during the upcoming season at Webb.
#103: 6’5 ’21 Isaiah Ray (The Burlington School)
Next, we look at a player that genuinely possesses all the tools to become a breakout prospect, Isaiah Ray. He’s a long, athletic, pretty skilled wing prospect with excellent creation instincts and the ability to get downhill whenever he desires. Ray possesses nice IQ and two-way versatility, which legitimately allows him to play multiple positions on either end of the floor. He is a great rebounder that knows how to grab the board and immediately push the break in transition. Ray is a great scorer, both primary and complementary, and simply knows how to apply pressure in a variety of different ways. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would take his offensive game to another level. Coach Johnson on Ray: “Isaiah is an absolute beast on the court. He excels in every facet of the game, from transition buckets and highlight finishes to big-time defensive plays in critical moments. His motor never stops. With his elite size and skill, I expect Isaiah to attract some college coaches in the near future.” Ray’s stock continues to trend upward and he should quickly emerge as a vital piece for the Burlington School throughout the upcoming season.
#109: 6’7 ’20 Trey Pittman (Greenfield)
Finishing up, we look at a player that simply knows how to stand out as the glue-guy with any group of teammates, Trey Pittman. He’s a wiry, skilled, high-motor forward prospect that truly knows how to do it all on the court. Pittman is somewhat unassuming but consistently fills up the stat sheet, regardless of setting or opponent. He can reliably handle, pass, and shoot the ball but also does great job of making his presence felt as a two-way rebounder. Next in his development process is working to get stronger, as it would only make him tougher to contain inside the paint. Coach Johnson on Pittman: “Trey is a complete player. He shoots the three-pointer very consistently on the catch or off the dribble. He often wins his matchup off the bounce because of his size and who is matched up against him. He’s a three-level scorer that can defend multiple positions and rebounds the ball at an elite level. D2s should be all over this kid. College coaches, Trey is a must-see. He’s a tremendous team player as well with communication skills.” Pittman is simply a winner and player that can mesh with any group of teammates, which should lead to an uptick in his recruitment during the upcoming season.