Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJSuI1FGChQY4TvhZvUg0fWqU-0ebeY5R
Coach: Patrick King
#0: 5’8 ’24 William Ricketts (Weddington)
Starting things off, we look at a player that performed quite well despite being the smallest camper on this team, William Ricketts. He’s a young, wiry unselfish guard prospect with a team-first mentality and the ability to defend bigger than his size would imply. Ricketts is a solid spot-up threat with the understanding of how to make an impact as a cutter. Next in his development process is working to get stronger, as it would make him a better finisher through contact. Coach King on Ricketts: “William is a decent all-around guard. He’s slightly undersized and doesn’t handle the ball incredibly well but is a good team guy with enthusiasm and encouraging words for his teammates. He hit some big shots this weekend, but needs to continue working on his consistency. William gave very high effort.” Ricketts enjoyed a quality showing at camp and should be able to carve out a useful role at Weddington over these next few years.
#1: 5’9 ’22 Jared Merchant (Durham)
Next, we look at a player that provided his team with a steady, reliable presence on both ends of the floor, Jared Merchant. He’s a smart, unselfish point guard prospect with a tight handle and the ability to initiate offense or create effectively off the dribble. Merchant shoots the ball at a consistent rate from the perimeter and makes quality decisions with the ball in his hands. He utilizes his quickness well on both ends of the floor, displaying his strong penetration sense and sharp on-ball instincts. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to coexist alongside another primary ball-handler with relative ease. Coach King on Merchant: “Jared is a very solid point guard, despite being somewhat undersized. He can facilitate an offense well. He’s a good penetrator and shooter but needs to improve his drive-and-kick game. Jared is a great team player.” Merchant proved to be an asset during camp and should be a useful contributor for Riverside during the upcoming season.
#2: 5’10 ’23 Amari Richardson (Charlotte)
Moving onto a player that showcased a pretty well-rounded skillset and approach to the game, Amari Richardson. He’s a wiry, team-first guard prospect with a nice penetration sense and ability to get downhill in transition. Richardson moves fairly well without the ball and utilizes his quickness effectively to defend the point of attack. He plays with a high motor and positions himself well on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it would make him a more reliable finisher through contact. Coach King on Richardson: “Amari is a solid combo guard. He’s a good team guy that plays within himself. He needs to develop on his overall offensive skillset as far as shooting, finishing, and ball-handling. However, Amari does a nice job of getting to his spots on the offensive side of the ball.” Richardson enjoyed a quality showing at camp and could be one to keep an eye on over the coming years, especially if he continues to work.
#3: 6’0 ’22 Cameron Stout (Salisbury)
Continuing onto a player with a fairly intriguing array of skills for his size and position, Cameron Stout. He’s a big, strong-bodied forward with a very active motor and the ability to do the dirty work whenever possible. Though undersized, Stout understands how to create havoc as a defender and rebounder. He finishes fairly well around the basket and willingly utilizes his body to overwhelm opponents. Stout showed great hustle in transition, especially on defense, and was able to force multiple turnovers. 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 King on Stout: “Cameron is versatile. He can play on the wing or in the post. He provides high effort/energy on both ends of the floor. Cameron has solid post moves and uses his body well. He defends better than you’d expect. He needs to take more pride as a rebounder.” Stout did a lot of things well during his time at camp and should be poised for a productive junior season
#4: 6’2 ’25 Chris Culp (Charlotte)
Next, we look at a player that arguably stood out as one of the most appealing long-term prospects on display, Chris Culp. He’s a smart, crafty, very well-rounded point guard prospect with a great frame and dynamic two-way arsenal. Culp runs a team and handles the ball with incredible pace, showing advanced poise and a calm demeanor. He’s a reliable shooter and efficient three-level scorer with the ability to effortlessly create for himself or others. Next in his development process is working to improve his rebounding presence, as it would allow him to push the break more frequently in transition. Coach King on Culp: “Chris is a great young point guard prospect. He can run the offense. Chris is a nice penetrator with solid finishing ability. He’s a good shooter off the bounce. Chris needs to work on his motor, especially as a rebounder, to maximize his abilities on the court. He can also improve his vision and kick-outs off the drive.” Culp was exceptional during his time at camp and possesses all the tools to become a noteworthy prospect over the coming years.
#5: 6’3 ’21 Jackson Kirkman (Washington)
Moving onto a player that arguably stood out as the most reliable perimeter shooter on this team, Jackson Kirkman. He’s an unselfish, team-first wing prospect with an excellent spot-up presence and ability to make an impact on both ends of the floor. Kirkman moves very well without the ball to finds gaps and open seams within the defense, which leads to a ton of catch-and-shoot buckets. He rebounds his position very well and looks to get to his spots in transition. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would directly improve his penetration ability. Coach King on Kirkman: “Jackson is an elite shooter off the catch. He can put it on the floor and displays a solid midrange and floater game. Jackson is a decent defender with nice rebounding ability. He’s very unselfish and proved to be a great teammate.” Kirkman proved to be an asset during his time at camp and should be poised for a productive senior campaign.
#6: 6’4 ’21 Kobe Jones (Creedmoor)
Continuing onto a player that always seems to stand out as one of the most explosive performers on display, Kobe Jones. He’s a long, tough, incredibly athletic wing prospect with a strong motor and overall nose for the ball. Jones is a constant threat in transition, both with or without the ball, and always lurks for above-the-rim opportunities. He’s a useful defender that utilizes his anticipation instincts to force turnovers. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would make him a more dynamic offensive player. Coach King on Jones: “Kobe is the best athlete in the gym. He’s an excellent dunker. He’s also an excellent teammate who offered support to all of his teammates. Kobe is a leader and plays with a high motor. He’s a very good defender by needs to improve shooting from various areas. Kobe takes pride in guarding the other team’s scorers.” Jones produced very well at camp, averaging 11 PPG, and should be able to continue his quality play heading into the upcoming season.
#7: 6’6 ’24 Kaden Hammond (Burlington)
Next, we look at a player that continues to solidify himself as one of the most enticing long-term pieces on display, Kaden Hammond. He’s a big, skilled post prospect with advanced footwork and interior understanding for his age. Hammond is able to consistently assert himself around the basket or out of the post, displaying craftiness and excellent finishing ability with either hand. He has a deep arsenal of moves and understands how to effectively counter based on defensive pressure. Hammond has also added more perimeter skills over the last year and now stands as a legitimate matchup problem. Next in his development process is working on becoming a better transition defender, as he has the tools to shut down fast-breaks. Coach King on Hammond: “Kaden has elite post moves for his age. He uses his big body well. Kaden has three-point range but can be streaky. He needs to improve his motor, specifically in getting up and down in transition.” Hammond showcased a ton of intrigue at camp and should emerge as a leader for Cummings within the next few months.
#8: 6’6 ’22 Yashiya Williams-Crespin (Cary)
Moving onto a player that arguably stood out as the main glue-guy for this team during camp, Yashiya Williams-Crespin. He’s a big, versatile wing prospect with excellent size, motor, and a willingness to make hustle plays whenever possible. Williams-Crespin proved to be a terrific defender with the necessary length, athleticism, and understanding to contain multiple positions. He shot the ball at a pretty effective rate from the perimeter while displaying nice cutting instincts and a useful penetration game. Next in his development process is working on his rebounding presence, as he has the tools to outwork his assignment on the glass. Coach King on Williams-Crespin: “Yashiya provided our team with very high energy. He’s a great defender. Yashiya can be a lead guard but needs to handle the ball better against defensive pressure. He’s a streaky shooter and needs to get more consistent. Yashiya is a great teammate.” Williams-Crespin always finds ways to contribute, and this camp was no different, which should lead into a pretty productive season at Grace Christian.
#9: 6’10 ’21 Jonathan Kurtas (Mooresville)
Finishing up, we look at a player that showcased a clear, straightforward identity on both ends of the floor, Jonathan Kurtas. He’s a big, smart, fundamental post prospect with great hands, footwork, and moves from the low-block. Kurtas can reliably finish with either hand over either shoulder, but also has the necessary touch to knock down the occasional jumper. He plays above the rim whenever possible and displays no fear of physicality around the basket. Kurtas defends well, especially against other traditional post players, and rebounds the ball at a consistent rate on either side of the ball. He also runs the floor well in transition and plays with a high motor at all times. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to find even more scoring opportunities as a cutter. Coach King on Kurtas: “Jonathan is a very strong post presence. He’s expanding his back-to-basket repertoire. He gives high effort on both ends. Jonathan needs to improve court vision and passing out of the post.” Kurtas was phenomenal during camp, securing the MVP award with relative ease, and should continue to collect offers going into the upcoming season.