6’9 ’21 Dante Kiesenhofer (Holly Springs)
Now that Kadin Shedrick has departed, it’s become increasingly clear that Kiesenhofer is ready to take the reigns. He’s long, active, and possesses a phenomenal frame with great mobility. Kiesenhofer offers terrific rebounding, rim-protection, and all-around timing on defense while showcasing quality touch and a pretty nice perimeter jumper on the other end. He’s a strong athlete that moves like a guard and has the ability to defend multiple positions. It’s truly crazy to think that he doesn’t already hold multiple D1 offers, but that’s guaranteed to change over the next calendar year.
6’0 ’20 Marcus Elliott (Holly Springs)
Despite some early shooting struggles, Elliott’s role a leader and high-IQ floor general has largely remained the same for this Holly Springs squad. He’s smart, crafty, and extremely shifty with the ball in his hands, which allows him to dictate the pace and consistently get everyone involved. Elliott came alive whenever it mattered most, hitting big shots at even bigger moments down the stretch and doing anything possible to nudge his team forward. Like Kiesenhofer, it’s somewhat difficult to understand his lack of recruitment.
6’7 ’21 Ben Burnham (Carmel Christian)
At this point, Burnham has to be firmly in the discussion as one of the most exciting players in North Carolina. He’s a long, wiry, athletic forward with a nonstop motor and undeniable productivity on both ends of the floor. Burnham is always looking to secure extra possessions and capitalize on second-chance opportunities, and has great success in doing so. He’s always in attack-mode, targeting the rim and any available rebound, but also continues to highlight plenty of skill and floor-spacing ability. As the season carries onward, Burnham should be an obvious candidate to collect offers.
6’2 ’20 Dylan Blake (First Flight)
The entertainment value with First Flight is unlike anything else in North Carolina high school basketball, and Blake is the main driving force. His shooting is well-documented but everything about his game is underrated. Blake is a sharp creator, excellent rebounder, and quality defensive threat with great anticipation instincts for jumping into passing lanes. He makes great decisions, finishes quite well at the rim, and competes ridiculously hard. This group does a ton with lesser talent, but one can only imagine what Blake could do alongside a supporting cast of Division I players.
6’0 ’21 Jaden Ellis (Page)
Although Evan Fancourt was the best offseason addition for Page, it’s clear that Ellis has taken a step forward in his development. He’s great at getting downhill, touching the paint, and making decisive reads with the ball in his hands. Ellis manages the game in a calm, poised, mature manner and works to get everyone the ball on offense. He displayed an improved jumper and scored with efficiency throughout this contest. Ellis continues to perform like a next-level point guard and should see an uptick in his recruitment.
6’5 ’20 Jason Sellars (Page)
Aside from Ellis, Sellars was arguably the most valuable piece for this team during their battle against First Flight. He manned the middle quite well, utilizing his motor to fight for extra possessions and length to alter shots around the basket. Sellars is mobile and rebounds the ball very well, especially for his size. He displayed athleticism and touch with either hand, but also didn’t force the action on that end of the floor. Sellars should continue to play a major role for this group throughout the season and will be a nice addition for the right program.
6’3 ’22 Jeremiah Scales (Glenn)
There’s a quality amount of talent within this Glenn roster, but it’s fair to say that Scales is somewhat underrated in the bigger picture of North Carolina basketball. He’s a long, athletic guard prospect with great ball-skills, scoring prowess, and two-way leadership attributes. This entire team defends and rebounds, but Scales is clearly among their best. He’s a smart player with the ability to penetrate and finish with either hand or set up his teammates. Scales does a strong amount of everything and naturally fills in the gaps on both ends of the floor.
6’3 ’22 Julius Reese (Glenn)
As impressive as Scales was, Reese continues to be the clear, undisputed leader of this group on both ends of the floor. He does it all and has the all-around skillset to legitimately control the action from start to finish. Reese is a reliable creator and offensive initiator, able to consistently get everyone involved while asserting himself as an efficient scorer from anywhere inside the arc. He switches across multiple positions defensively and does a phenomenal job of leading the rebounding charge on both sides of the ball.
6’1 ’21 Aisaiah Phillips (Wesleyan)
The amount of college-level talent on Wesleyan is fairly obvious, but Phillips might be the best of the group. He’s smart, strong, and knows how to set the tone quite effectively on both ends of the floor. Phillips gets downhill, attacks the basket, and can shoot the ball at a solid clip from midrange and beyond. He can defend either backcourt position, given his blend of motor, strength, and anticipation instincts. Phillips does a great job of being a leader and establishing the pace for this group.
6’4 ’20 Josh Wiggins (Wesleyan)
Despite some first-half struggles, Wiggins has stood out as the main glue-guy for Wesleyan throughout this contest. He’s long, extremely active, and fairly versatile on both ends of the floor. Wiggins can score in a variety of ways, both off the catch and dribble, and creates pretty well for others. He plays consistently hard, fights for extra possessions, and fills in the gaps however necessary. Wiggins certainly has a place at the next level and should continue to have a very productive season.
6’0 ’23 Robert Dillingham (Combine Academy)
Though young and still physically maturing, it’s already easy to see Dillingham’s path towards stardom. He’s a smart, crafty, shot-maker with range vision and the ability to fill it up without trying to do too much. Dillingham creates well off the bounce for himself and others and is almost unfair as a spot-up threat, especially alongside Kris Robinson. The fact that he’s already so polish at such a young age bodes extremely well for the future.
6’8 ’23 Mekhi Grant (Combine Academy)
In terms of long-term prospects within North Carolina, Grant’s name has to be mentioned with the best of them. He’s long, athletic, and fairly skilled for his size, but is also truly just beginning to scratch the surface of his long-term abilities. Grant already utilizes his length extremely well defensively, both when eliminating space and protecting the rim. He plays hard, finishes through contact or above the rim, and shoots the ball nicely from the perimeter.
6’4 ’20 Kalib Matthews (Henderson Collegiate)
As impressive as their floor general was, Matthews was certainly the most reliable two-way force for Henderson Collegiate throughout this contest. The Queens commit continues to look more and more ready for the next level, especially as he continues to add strength. Matthews applies phenomenal pressure as a defender, penetrator, and three-point shooter, giving him an incredible archetype going forward. Matthews will only get better as the season carries onward.
6’0 ’23 Aden Holloway (Covenant Day)
There are numerous college-level prospects on this Covenant Day roster but Holloway has arguably already established himself as their most reliable offensive option. He’s a quality floor general that operates with poise and patience but three-point shooting and scoring prowess remains his calling card. Holloway’s also one of the craftier, more daring players in the state and shows no fear of being creative with the ball in his hands.
6’8 ’20 Cason Pierce (Greensboro Day)
Though he’s not the flashiest or most explosive, Pierce is arguably one of the most valuable players on this Greensboro Day squad. He does all the thankless work and doesn’t think twice about embracing his role on both ends of the floor. Pierce can do a little bit of everything, from defending and rebounding to knocking down perimeter jumpers and attacking closeouts. There’s absolutely a place for him at the next level, as he would be a seamless fit at a number of programs.
6’3 ’20 Carson McCorkle (Greensboro Day)
Although he’s frequently tabbed as just a shooter, McCorkle put the full arsenal on display throughout this contest. He attacked the rim in transition, made defensive plays, and obviously knocked down multiple jumpers from beyond the arc. McCorkle also set up the offense and created for others at a fairly reliable rate. He fights on the glass and values each offensive possession as well as anyone.
6’7 ’21 Elijah Ormiston (Cannon)
With guys like Bradley, Moss, and Nix, it can be difficult for Ormiston to really shine. That being said, he finds a way to contribute in every single contest. He plays with a strong motor, utilizes his body around the basket, and fights for every available rebound on both ends of the floor. Ormiston displays touch around the basket and can knock down open jumpers at a pretty solid rate from midrange or beyond the arc.
6’6 ’22 DJ Nix (Cannon)
It would be a disservice to not give some ink to Nix, as he’s been nothing short of exceptional through two games at our Gate City Classic. He continues to highlight a consistent perimeter jumper but also knows how to mix in a ton of strong drives and finishes around the basket. Nix rebounds the ball effectively and displays nice versatility on both ends of the floor. Given his consistency and how well he’s played to start the season, one can only imagine that he’ll continue to collect offers.
6’4 ’20 Trent McIntyre (Piedmont Classical)
At this point, it’s simply perplexing to try and understand McIntyre’s lack of recruitment. He has D1 ability but only two D2 offers, which only furthers the confusion. McIntyre is an absolute stud that should hold at least a dozen offers by now, yet has somehow fallen through the cracks. So few players in high school basketball possess his all-around skillset and level of two-way intensity, which is a massive part of what makes him so incredibly productive. McIntyre is smart and truly competes on every single possession.
6’1 ’21 Jamarii Thomas (Piedmont Classical)
No player was more valuable for Piedmont Classical down the stretch than Thomas, who seemed to rise to the occasion whenever it was most significant. He’s smart, shifty, and runs a team with poise on both ends of the floor. Thomas attacks the basket extremely well and finishes through contact and above the rim with regularity. He digs deep on defense and defends the point of attack extremely well. There’s nothing more to say about Thomas, except that offers should start come flowing in sooner than later.
6’10 ’20 Mylyjael Poteat (The Burlington School)
It’s easy to see the appeal with Poteat, who is going to be an absolutely incredible steal for Rice. He’s continually refined his body while remaining one of the most dominant low-post players in the entire state, able to reliably finish with either hand and over either shoulder. Poteat utilizes his body extremely well for rebounds and is a sneaky-sharp passer with the ball in his hands. He’ll only get better as the season carries onward.
6’10 ’21 Kuluel Mading (The Burlington School)
Few teams in North Carolina can match The Burlington School’s sheer amount of talent, but it still feels like Mading is still somewhat underrated in the bigger scheme of things. He’s a long, athletic and capable of protecting the rim at an elite level—even despite his lanky frame. Mading regularly displays high-level flashes on offense but remains noteworthy because of his phenomenal timing and rebounding prowess. He’s already very useful, but expect him to skyrocket over the next few years.
5’10 ’21 Manny Sepulveda (Northwood Temple)
This Northwood Temple squad is simply bursting at the seams with talent, excitement, and high-level athleticism, and Sepulveda is at the forefront of their success. He’s somewhat undersized and plays below the rim but does everything that this team needs in a point guard. Sepulveda is a bulldog-like defender with great quickness and on-ball anticipation instincts. He also utilizes his shifty nature extremely well on offense to get downhill, touch the paint, and make plays for teammates.