#5:5’10 ’20 Steven Riley Jr. (Ravenscroft)
Starting things off, we look at a player that did an excellent job of running the team and operating within his role, Steven Riley Jr. He’s a long, wiry point guard prospect with IQ and a well-rounded skillset. Riley understands how to get his teammates involved and take advantage of easy scoring opportunities without forcing the action. Next in his development process is working to add strength to his wiry frame, as it would allow him to be a more reliable finisher when attacking the basket. Coach Kelly on Riley: “Steven is the definition of a true point guard. He’s a pass-first type of player that gets everyone involved offensively. He possesses good court vision and is a capable shooter, especially from the midrange area. He plays very well without the ball, gives good effort, and hustles on both ends of the floor. Steven is a team player with a winning attitude. He must continue to get stronger and invest time in the weight room, as it will help elevate his game on both ends of the floor.” Riley should expect to be a major contributor again for a tough Ravenscroft group and could be poised for a productive season.
#21:6’0 ’21 KJ Garrett (High Point Christian)
Next, we look at a player that showcased a lot of high-level tools during his time at camp, KJ Garrett. He’s a high IQ point guard with strong playmaking instincts and the ability to create for himself or others with relative ease. Garrett is quite well-rounded and possesses a long list of leadership qualities. He is a true team player that will do anything necessary to provide his team with an edge. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his ability to move without the ball, as it could help his consistency when spotting-up along the perimeter. Coach Kelly on Garrett: “When describing KJ the first words that come to my mind are “winner” and “leader.” He possesses a high basketball IQ and has the ability to score on all three levels. He’s very unselfish and controls the tempo while getting everyone else involved on offense. KJ has excellent floor vision and maintains a winning attitude. To separate himself from other elite guards, I encourage KJ to keep working hard on his outside shooting. He’s simply the type of point guard that any coach would love to have.” Garrett is an excellent floor general that should only continue to get better, so it’ll be exciting to see him progress throughout the upcoming summer season.
#29:6’1 ’21 Trae Benham (Concord First Assembly)
Moving onto a player that really stood out with his knockdown shooting ability throughout camp, Trae Benham. He’s a strong-bodied guard prospect that can play either backcourt postion and thrive, based on his blend of ball-handing and shooting. Benham is a three-level scorer with deep range and an extremely fast trigger, which forces the opposition to always account for him—even without the ball in his hands. He plays with great intensity on both sides of the ball and consistently shows fear of no opponent. Next in his development process is working on his craftiness as a ball-handler, as it would allow him to create space with greater ease. Coach Kelly on Benham: “Trae is a tough-nosed kid. He is very fundamentally-sound, has a high basketball IQ, and is a proven outside shooter. Trae has above-average court vision and is extremely unselfish. He’s very coachable and a complete team player. He’s the type of player that you love to coach. Trae needs to keep working on becoming a PG/SG combo and focus on his on-ball defense as well as defending bigger guards in the paint.” Benham is already one of the main guys for Concord First Assembly and should continue steadily progressing over the next few years.
#52:6’3 ’20 Jimmy Forte (Community Christian)
Continuing onto a player that caught a lot of folks’ eye with his tough, active two-way presence, Jimmy Forte. He’s a strong, athletic wing prospect that plays with a high motor and looks to involve himself in the action on both ends of the floor. Forte is smart and does a terrific job of getting by his man and attacking the rim with force. He is great in transition, utilizes his body well through traffic, and consistently looks to pass to the open man. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would make him an even more complete scorer. Coach Kelly on Forte: “Jimmy is a strong, tough-nosed player. He penetrates to the basket hard and has the ability to finish over opposing big men. He plays extremely hard, which is especially evident in his ability to defend the ball. He loves a challenge, loves to compete, and hustles on both ends of the floor. Jimmy needs to continue to work on his consistency from outside, as he’s a very capable shooter. He has a great attitude, is a great team player, and gives tremendous effort.” Forte displayed a lot of useful tools during camp, which should carry over and allow him to start piquing the interest of college coaches.
#65:6’4 ’20 Jacari Outlaw (Greenfield)
Next, we look at a player that arguably possessed one of the most well-rounded skillsets on display, Jacari Outlaw. He’s a wiry wing prospect that can truly coexist with any group of teammates given his ability to make a constant impact on both ends of the floor. Outlaw is smart, efficient, and scores the ball extremely well from all three levels. He plays within himself and the team concept while never forcing the action on offense. Outlaw is a useful passer that knows how to create opportunities for himself and others. Next in his development process is working to become more vocal on the court, as it would help him stand out as a leader. Coach Kelly on Outlaw: “Jacari has a high basketball IQ and is a capable shooter. He hustles on both ends of the floor, competes at a high level, and is the true definition of a team player. Jacari needs to continue working on his overall game and invest time in the weight room. I truly believe that this will help elevate his game.” Outlaw has been this productive for quite a while, so college coaches should start laying the groundwork sooner than later, as he’s going to be a great contributor at the next level.
#82: 6’6 ’22 Daniel Sanford (Vance)
Moving onto a player that showcased an incredible crossroads between productivity and long-term potential, Daniel Sanford. He’s a long, athletic two-way wing/forward prospect that can already attack the basket and finish through contact at an extremely high level. Sanford has a great frame and quality feel for the game, which allows him to impose his will against basically any type of opponent. He can already dominate a game on both sides of the ball, but could become truly unstoppable upon adding a reliable three-point stroke. Next in his development process is working on his off-ball defense, as he has all the necessary tools to become a monster all-around defender. Coach Kelly on Sanford: “Daniel has a tremendous amount of potential. There’s no doubt that he possesses all the characteristics/attributes to develop into a top player in North Carolina in his respected class. Daniel has a big frame, is a high-flyer, and finishes well inside the paint. Daniel can score on all three levels but to separate himself, he needs to continue to work hard on his outside shooting. I truly believe this kid has the potential to be a very special player.” Sanford was easily among the most exciting and impressive performers on display, but could also continue progressing into a two-way star throughout the next calendar year.
#95: 6’7 ’21 Dontrez Styles (Kinston)
Continuing onto a player that has a massive chance to solidify himself as the top sophomore prospect in the state, Dontrez Styles. He’s a big, strong, athletic wing/forward prospect with excellent instincts and a blossoming two-way skillset. Styles is phenomenal at attacking the basket, welcoming contact, and finishing strong at or above the rim. He sees the floor well and understands how to make plays for others, especially in the open floor. Styles showcased a lot of defensive tools and versatility during camp, which allowed him to effortlessly force turnovers and push transition at a fairly constant rate. 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 Kelly on Styles: “There’s no doubt that Dontrez is a special type of athlete. He’s big, strong, tough, and loves to compete. His best attributes are his abilities to penetrate to the basket and finish strong in traffic. Dontrez needs to focus hard on his outside shooting and trying to develop some consistency from the three-point line.” Styles is an exciting two-way player that should only continue to get better over the next few years, but this summer season could entail a major uptick in his recruitment.
#105: 6’8 ’20 Jaden Seymour (Northside Christian)
Next, we look at a player that truly possesses all the necessary tools to become an all-around star, Jaden Seymour. He’s a long, wiry wing/forward prospect with athleticism and a blossoming offensive skillset. Seymour handles the ball, conducts offense, and is capable of creating for himself or others. He operates nicely within the team concept and can take over when necessary. Seymour is a pretty versatile defender that can already contain three to four positions effectively at the high school level. Next in his development process is working on his consistency from beyond the arc, as it would vault him into an entirely new realm of possibilities as a prospect. Coach Kelly on Seymour: “Jaden is a long, lean, and extremely athletic. He has the ability to penetrate, drive and kick, and finish at the rim. Jaden rebounds well and protects the rim on defense. He gives you extra possessions and has nice touch around the basket. Jaden needs to continue working on his outside shooting and playing with his back to the basket. He needs to hit the weight room, as it will elevate his game tremendously.” Seymour is very talented, but is truly just beginning to scratch the surface of his long-term abilities, so the next calendar year should be full of excitement.
#110:6’8 ’20 Nick McMullen (Smith)
Finishing up, we look at a player that has trended upward considerably throughout the last year, Nick McMullen. He’s a big, strong, athletic post prospect that plays with aggression and a nonstop motor. McMullen is a tenacious two-way rebounder that can overwhelm opponents with his strength and activity level. He displayed touch with either hand and was especially reliable when going to his left. McMullen has a tough, gritty, blue-collar approach on both ends of the floor and is capable of setting the tone on defense. Next in his development process is working on his ability to pass from the high post, as it would make him a more complete offensive threat. Coach Kelly on McMullen: “Nick is a big, strong player that rebounds extremely well. He’s the type of player that has a nose for the ball, especially on the offensive end. He provides you with extra offensive possessions and is a polished, fundamentally-sound post player. Nick is a tough kid that works hard and hustles. He needs to continue working on his outside shooting and ability to take defenders off the bounce. He was a dominant presence on the boards.” McMullen has collected a flurry of offers in the recent months, so it should be exciting to see that trend continue throughout the upcoming summer season.