6’8 ’22 Ezra Ausar (Liberty Heights)
Though his status as one of the state’s top prospects should already be widely acknowledged, the unsigned Ausar continues to perform at a high level. He’s a long, explosive forward/post with a strong frame and the ability to simply dominate opponents with his physical two-way approach. That being said, Ausar also hit jumpers, attacked off the bounce, and consistently finished his chances within the paint. He’s a quality rebounder and versatile defender who doesn’t necessarily require the ball to make a lasting impact. It’s difficult to justify the current lack of traction within his recruitment.
6’5 ’24 Jalik Nicholls (NC GBB)
Despite some struggles as a team, it’s still easy to see the overall appeal with someone like Nicholls. He’s the youngest player on this team, but has as much raw talent as anyone on the roster. Nicholls is a well-rounded player with the ability to do a little bit of everything within the flow of the action. He knocks down shots, moves without the ball, and stands out as a useful piece defensively. As a sophomore, Nicholls will absolutely be a prospect for college coaches to closely monitor in North Carolina’s Class of 2024.
6’3 ’22 Jackson Holt (Moravian Prep)
While it’s understood that most kids are being brushed aside in favor of the transfer portal, finding shooters better than Holt would be an extremely challenging task. He possesses picturesque shooting mechanics and the ability to consistently knock down jumpers off the catch or through movement. He’s a quality team defender with understanding of positioning and how to play within the flow of the action. Holt battles for rebounds, makes the extra pass, and never tries to do too much. His complementary game simply doesn’t get enough love.
6’3 ’24 Kahmare Holmes (Lake Norman Christian)
Various guys found ways to contribute for the Storm, and Holmes is certainly among that group. He’s currently one of the youngest players on the roster, but already displays flashes of enticing ability on both ends of the floor. Holmes is a capable shooter, but can also penetrate, set up others, or finish around the basket. He’s a useful defender with great length and plenty of upside remaining on that end of the floor. Holmes should be a major piece for this group going forward.
6’5 ’24 Bray Thomas (Combine Academy)
The Combine Academy roster is as talented as any program within the state, and Thomas continues to be their most enticing young prospect. His combination of size, skill, and athleticism already makes him a useful contributor in basically any setting. Thomas can defend, attack the basket, or knock down shots. He clearly understands how produce within his role, but can expand his production if needed. Thomas possesses all the tools to be a name worth noting over the foreseeable future.
6’1 ’22 Kaden Warner (Winston-Salem Christian)
The Lions were truly resilient throughout this contest, and Warner was certainly a massive reason as to why. He’s a well-rounded guard with IQ, vision, and the ability to score efficiently from all three levels. Warner appears equally comfortable at running a team or applying pressure as a spot-up threat. He’s fairly crafty and makes smart decision with the ball in his hands. Warner is deserving of opportunities from scholarship-level programs.
6’8 ’23 Mekhi Grant (Word of God)
There’s never been a question about Grant and his incredible amount of talent, but it seems like he’s starting to tap into his upside. As a long, athletic, 6-foot-8 forward with constant flashes of skill and the tools to play inside or out (based on personnel), it’s easy to see the appeal. Grant finished around the basket, spaced the floor, and made a solid impact on the glass. Though already appealing, expect him to get better over the coming months.
6’0 ’22 David Wilkerson (Liberty Heights Varsity)
Everyone should know about this Liberty Heights Varsity squad, but it still feels like Wilkerson doesn’t receive enough attention in the bigger scheme of things. His steady, unselfish, well-rounded identity allows him to naturally affect all facets of the game within the flow of the action. Wilkerson does pretty much everything at an above-average rate, from scoring to defending to offering secondary creation ability, and excels within his role on both ends of the floor.