By now, the undeniable value surrounding three-point shooting should be no secret at any level of basketball. The ability to space the floor goes far beyond the basic math (three being worth more than two), as the threat typically leads to improved ball movement while regularly forcing defenses to make difficult, yet precise decisions in their rotations and closeouts. Nearly every college program seeks out knockdown shooters, as they tend to be beneficial within the bigger scheme. Anyone within grassroots basketball should already be aware of guys like Donovan Atwell and Michael Zanoni—who are already littered with scholarship opportunities. So, this article will take a closer look at five notable shooting threats who could see an uptick in recruitment over the coming months…
6’3 Joel Baucom (Combine Acdemy)
After showcasing his abilities throughout the summer with the Mint Hill Lakers, Baucom seems more than prepared to step into a similar role with Combine Academy. He was already slated to receive additional playing opportunities with the departure of Kris Robinson, but his status as arguably the best shooter on the roster brings obvious value. Baucom also moves very well without the ball and possesses quick, repeatable mechanics. Add in his IQ, size, secondary ball-handling, and overall low-maintenance identity, and various programs should be vying for his services.
6’0 Cole Sinclair (Winston-Salem Christian)
It’s fair to say that Sinclair’s ridiculous numbers from last season did not receive enough attention from the general masses—especially as a shooting threat. Granted, he’s more of a combo-guard with the ability to shoot rather than a sheer spot-up threat. Of everyone listed, Sinclair displays the least movement within his mechanics, mixes it up a ton off the catch and dribble, and averaged more points (21.5 PPG) with a higher three-point percentage (44%) than a vast majority of the state. His transfer and pending post-grad season at Winston-Salem Christian should only make him more coveted by college coaches.
5’11 AJ Cook (Weddington)
Given everything he’s done with Weddington and CC Elite, it should come as no surprise to see Cook included on this list. He’s the smallest of the group, but that should only speak volumes about his actual abilities as a shooting threat. Cook moves quite well without the ball, possesses a quick release, and is capable of hitting shots off movement or in spot-up scenarios. He’s unselfish and makes quality passes when attacking closeouts or getting out in transition. Cook also provides nice effort defensively and understands his role as well as any player in the state.
6’3 Jackson Holt (Moravian Prep)
Between his size, effortless shooting mechanics, and reliable consistency, Holt is an obvious addition to any list with three-point threats. He has put forth performances with 10+ made three-pointers on multiple occasions, and has the ability to expand his production as needed. Holt is capable of attacking closeouts but typically looks to keep the ball moving and strike in a timely manner. His repeatable mechanics is easily one of the most desirable traits about his identity as a shooter. That being said, Holt continues to make his case as one of the premier marksmen across North Carolina.
6’7 Ethan Smith (High Point Christian)
Arguably the least-known of the top shooting threats in the state, Smith brings a much different dynamic than the four previous entries. Due to his size, he naturally stands out as a stretch-big with the ability to operate inside the paint or along the perimeter. Smith is skilled for his size, showing solid creation skills and vision as a passer, but arguably poses the biggest threat as a spot-up threat. When he gets going, opponents can be in serious trouble. Given the structure of High Point Christian, Smith should be expected to produce within a leadership role.