#24: 5’3 2029 Mason Driver (Advance)

Starting things off, we look at a player who gave maximum effort despite his size. Despite being one of the shorter players in the 7th and 8th grade division, Driver made an impression with his activity level on both ends of the floor. It seemed like every time there was a 50/50 ball, Driver was involved in the play. Offensively, Driver has a good understanding of the game. He showcased his ability to make the perimeter shot, as well as being able to attack closeouts off the bounce. He is also a good cutter. The next phase in Driver’s development will be developing more strength, which will come with time. This will help him be stronger with the ball and able to play through contact better on drives.

#29: 5’4 2029 Jamir Knight (Raleigh)

Next, we look at a player who is just now starting to scratch the surface of his potential and abilities. Since our last camp in September, Knight has made quality strides in his game. Despite being one of the smaller players in the division, Knight showed flashes of his overall skillset. He has good shooting mechanics, a solid handle, and knows how to play the game. He played unselfishly and didn’t force things. There were times when Knight could have been more aggressive in looking to make a play. Knight was active on the defensive end and wasn’t afraid of going after 50/50 balls. He was a pleasure to coach as he was always engaged, giving eye contact and did his best to implement what was being asked of him. As Knight continues to physically develop and get stronger, you will see a big jump in his game. And as a smaller player, continue to play with confidence and become more assertive on both ends of the floor.

#34: 5’5 2029 Bryson Horne (Albemarle)

Bryson Horne was another 7th grader who showed consistent flashes throughout camp. He was at his best in catch-and-shoot situations and also knocked down multiple floaters showcasing nice touch inside the paint. Horne was capable of attacking off the bounce from the perimeter. But sometimes he would dribble himself into trouble, get off balance and travel. This can easily be fixed by playing off two feet at the end of drives. This would allow Horne to be more under control and more easily make the right read and finish at the end of drives. With this being said, Horne played with confidence. He didn’t allow one mistake to affect the way he played. He kept looking to be aggressive, which in a camp setting is important.

#41: 5’6 2028 Roosevelt ‘RJ’ Whetstone Jr. (Columbia)

From the time we started stations and throughout the rest of the day, RJ Whetstone stood out for his coachability and willingness to get outside of his comfort zone and communicate, showcasing leadership qualities. These are characteristics that you want to see from a point guard. Whetstone did a nice job of creating plays for himself and others off the bounce. He provided a reliable ball-handling presence, and as the coach, I was confident we would play well as a team when he was on the floor. Whetstone has a good feel for the game and is eager to learn. We are all going to make mistakes, and there were times when he didn’t make the correct read, but after I told him what to do better the next time he was in that situation, he went out and executed what we discussed. The next phase of Whetstone’s development is becoming more consistent with his perimeter shooting. This will help open up his ability to create more off the bounce, get into the paint, and make plays for himself and others.

#46: 5’7 2028 Cam Cuffee (Raleigh)

Next, we look at a player who puts constant pressure on opponents with his speed and quickness. Cam Cuffee had to have been one of the fastest players in the camp. He excelled in the open court pushing the ball in transition. He put constant pressure on opponents with his ability to create paint touches. Defensively, he was a pest on the ball by forcing turnovers and making it difficult on opponents to get into their offense. In addition, for his position, he was great on the defensive glass. The next phase in his development will be improving his decision-making at the end of drives and becoming a more consistent perimeter shooter. While Cuffee has incredible speed and the ability to get into the paint, once he gets in the paint, he can play more under control which will help him in making the right read, whether it’s a drop off pass, kick out to a shooter, or scoring himself. As he shoots the ball more consistently, this will help only make it even easier to do what he does best which is getting into the paint.

#56: 5’9 2028 Brayden Horne (Albemarle)

Brayden Horne had an all-around productive day at camp. Often in camp settings, players tend to focus only on scoring, but Horne made an impression simply because he did all the little things that help a team. The lefty wing showcased a solid all-around feel for the game. Defensively, he was active both on and off the ball, he rotated in help, and walled up to contest drives. Offensively, he helped initiate multiple plays in transition simply by making the ball-ahead pass. Horne plays with his head up. His unselfishness cannot go unnoticed. The lefty also showed the ability to knock down the perimeter shot when in rhythm. To prepare for the next level entering high school, Horne can continue to expand his ability to create off the bounce.

#60: 5’9 2028 Marcell Washington (Raleigh)

Marcell Washington was another player who played with a high motor and impacted the game in a variety of way. On the defensive end, Washington utilized his length being active in the gaps and anticipating for steals, turning defense to offense. Offensively, he was at his best when he was attacking in straight lines towards the rim. He attacks the basket strong. He also knocked down multiple midrange jumpers. One thing we talked about as an area for improvement, was being more under control and playing off two feet at the end of drives. There were times when he would go off one foot and be forced to take a tough shot, but if he would come to a two-foot stop, he would help with finishing and decision-making at the end of drives. He can also improve his perimeter shooting. With this being said, Washington was an unselfish player who made the right read/pass on multiple occasions.

#69: 5’11 2028 Ryley Rodriguez (East Bend)

Ryley Rodriguez was a high IQ guard with a good feel for the game. He let the game come to him and didn’t force the issue. Rodriguez showcased his perimeter shooting ability throughout the day knocking down multiple three-pointers with good shooting mechanics. He was at his best in spot-up situations, but also proved he could attack closeouts and make good decisions off the bounce. Rodriguez can continue to develop his ability to create off the bounce. Defensively, Rodriguez understood positioning both on and off the ball. Often he guarded the opposing team’s better players. He did a nice job of sliding his feet, staying in front, and forcing the opponent to shoot tough, contested shots.

#78: 6’1 2028 Nick Brooks III (Raleigh)

Nick Brooks earned Camp All-Star honors for his play throughout the day. Brooks is a long, athletic wing who excels getting downhill and finishing at the rim. He is also capable of creating plays for others in drive-and-kick situations. Brooks is also capable from the perimeter but can continue to become more consistent in this area as it will only open the floor up for driving opportunities. Defensively, Brooks forced steals on the perimeter which turned into transition baskets on the other end, and he also protected the rim on the interior utilizing his length and athleticism. When his motor and activity levels are high, he was one of the best players in attendance. Brooks can continue to work on playing with this level of effort and intensity more consistently because when he does, he really impacts the game on both ends of the floor.

#83: 6’2 2028 Garrett Goerger (Carrboro)

Garrett Goerger thrives as a low-maintenance player who doesn’t require a lot of touches to impact the game. Immediately in game 1, Goerger dominated the glass. He did a good job of getting first-time rebounds on the defensive end, which helped the team push the ball in transition. Then on the offensive end, Goerger created second-chance opportunities with his activity level on the glass. He also showcased a solid overall feel and skillset. The lefty had nice touch around the basket and also was able to step out and knock down the perimeter jumper off the catch. In addition, he sees the floor and makes on-time and on-target passes, including a beautiful give-and-go for a layup. As a team, we could have gotten Goerger more touches, because when he did get opportunities, good things usually happened. The next phase in his development is to improve his overall speed, athleticism, and guard skills.