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Check out all the standouts from Day 1 of the Hoops & Dreams Showcase in Fayetteville, NC
6’4 ’22 Tajuan Simpkins (Liberty Heights Varsity)
In watching the twins perform, it’s extremely perplexing as to why Tajuan Simpkins is so under-recruited. He’s clearly shown the ability to operate as a lead guard and very effective playmaker with the ball in his hands. Simpkins is a great, well-rounded athlete with the blend of IQ, toughness, and defensive prowess to overwhelm opponents on both ends of the floor. He’s at his best when getting downhill and attacking the basket. Simpkins should appeal to various Division I coaches.
6’7 ’22 Trey Byrd (Bull City Prep)
In many ways, Byrd stood out as the primary reason Bull City Prep was able to stay afloat throughout this contest. His scoring propelled them early on, and his length continually disrupted opponents around the basket—both as a defender and rebounder. Byrd is a quality finisher with the necessary athleticism to get above the rim or through contact. He’s also intercepted passing lanes and showed the ability to hit jumpers from the perimeter.
6’5 ’22 Lureon Walker (NC GBB)
Although they were short-handed and without many of their main pieces, Walker was quick to step up and make plays within the flow of the action. He’s arguably at his best as a penetrator, but is more than capable of hitting jumpers at a respectable clip. Walker is a quality athlete with length, toughness, and the ability to thrive in transition. He’s also a useful defender and operates well within the framework of this team.
6’2 ’22 Jaquantae Harris (Northwood Temple)
Ultimately, this Eagles squad will only be as successful as Harris allows them to be. He’s a strong, athletic, physically imposing lead guard with excellent downhill ability and the defensive prowess to overwhelm his assignment. Harris has shown the ability to set up others, knock down perimeter jumpers, and make his presence felt as a rebounder. This squad is simply better with him on the floor.
6’6 ’23 Collin Tanner (Wayne Country Day)
It’s easy to identity Tanner as the clear leader of this new-look roster, given how he sets the tone by example and asserts himself as their primary scoring option. He’s capable of operating with or without the ball in his hands, though he’s arguably better at applying shooting pressure off the catch. Tanner can make plays off the bounce, both for himself and others, and utilizes his length to effectively finish. He also does a nice job of working defensively.
6’3 ’23 Nicholas Anthony (Raleigh Christian)
The Eagles battled extremely well in this contest, largely thanks to the nonstop leadership and production from Anthony. He’s a sturdy, strong-bodied guard with the ability to do a little bit of everything for this group. Anthony shoots the ball at a quality percentage, actively looks to set up others, and contains his assignment well defensively. He also makes his presence felt on the glass.
6’6 ’22 Shane Fernald (Lake Norman Christian)
Few teams in the entire state can match the balance of Lake Norman Christian, and Fernald is a massive part of their identity. He’s extremely skilled for his size, particularly as a passer, and can reliably operate as a focal point with the ball in his hands. Fernald isn’t necessarily an explosive athlete, but makes up for it with sharp positioning and being able to naturally cause matchup problems. He shoots the ball well, rebounds at a consistent rate, and can push the break in transition.
6’7 ’23 Steven Lassiter (Trinity Christian)
Although there were numerous worthy standouts for this Trinity Christian group, Lassiter continually stood out as their leader. His tough, unselfish, low-maintenance identity allows him to do the little things and capitalize as needed on both ends of the floor. Lassiter plays with a high motor, finishes well around the basket, and works hard to secure extra possessions. He’s a quality screener, rebounder, and finisher.
6’4 ’22 Po’Boigh King (Word of God)
There were many impressive performers on this Word of God roster, and King might genuinely be the best shooter on the team. He’s a strong, sturdy wing prospect with the ability to apply scoring pressure from all three levels. King doesn’t necessarily require the ball in his hands to pose a lethal threat as a shooter off the catch, but can comfortably create off the bounce. His willingness to accept a lesser role makes this team even tougher for opponents to contain.
6’8 ’22 Ezra Ausar (Liberty Heights)
While the entire Liberty Heights roster is loaded with talent, it’s impossible to ignore someone like Ausar. His frame and enticing physical tools immediately jump out upon the first glance, and he only becomes more appealing within the context of game play. Ausar thrives at playing hard, snatching rebounds, and altering shots defensively. He runs the floor well in transition, finishes above the rim with regularity, and has shown the ability to knock down the occasional jumper from distance.
6’8 ’22 Justin Banks (Moravian Prep)
One could pick a variety of different players to be the top standout for this Moravian Prep roster, but Banks’ steady, low-maintenance identity just naturally led to production. He rebounded, blocked shots, ran the floor, and capitalized on a ton of second-chance opportunities. Banks thrives in a complementary role, and doesn’t necessarily need plays called for him to find success.
6’3 ’22 Amari Pearson (Fayetteville Academy)
Though it basically goes without saying, Pearson is the clear leader of this Fayetteville Academy squad—and it’s evident in every possible way. He’s long, tough, athletic, and understands how to outperform his assignment on both ends of the floor. Pearson is an excellent defender with the size and physicality to contain multiple positions. He prefers to get downhill and attack, but can also knock down jumpers as needed. Pearson also rebounds well for his position.