6’5 ’21 Lucas Taylor (Heritage)
The Raleigh area is filled with talent and Heritage has as much as anyone, especially given how Taylor looked today. He’s long, athletic, and skilled which makes him a matchup problem at his size and position. Taylor is an impressive offensive player, but has even more tools and ability on the defensive end. He’s a likely candidate to start collecting Division I offers this season.
5’10 ’22 Isaiah Tate (Kings Mountain)
There were plenty of talented guards on display, but Tate has arguably been the craftiest and most skilled of them all. He’s a sharp ball-handler with excellent vision, which allows him to regularly enter the paint and create for himself or others. Tate is a knockdown three-point shooter that can gain separation with relative ease and has the tendency to really heat up after he gets going.
6’4 ’20 Tyler McKinney (Asheville Christian)
No matter how much this team changes in personnel, McKinney will always be the glue that holds everything together. His game isn’t flashy or filled with highlights, but it’s undeniably effective and results in wins. McKinney is versatile on both ends, able to actively switch between multiple positions defensively while typically operating as the primary creator on offense. His recruitment should continue to pick up this season.
6’3 ’22 Kheni Briggs (A.L. Brown)
Few players in the area are as widely-appreciated as Briggs, and rightfully so, as he’s proven himself as one of the most reliable, consistent two-way players in the state. He’s big, strong, athletic, and very capable of leading a team on both ends of the floor. Briggs has the body and instincts necessary to outrebound and defend various types of players but also runs a team with poise and maturity. Briggs’ offer sheet will certainly increase this season, as he will easily be their driving offensive force.
6’1 ’20 Christian Hampton (Northwest Guilford)
There should be no question about the best athlete in the gym, as it’s Hampton. That being said, he continues to showcase an improved jumper with the same motor and defensive instincts that make him so special. Arguably no player in the state exemplifies true toughness and tenacious qualities like Hampton, and it’s evident in his approach on both ends of the floor. Northwest Guilford will be a title contender this year, so long as Hampton continues to maintain his identity on a game-to-game basis.
6’5 ’20 Ricky Council IV (Southern Durham)
The amount of talent that Council possesses is simply ridiculous, especially considering his offensive abilities. He’s long, explosive, and very skilled, which allows him to cause matchup problems and pile on points in a hurry. Council can reliably create for himself or others and only requires a glimmer of space to get off a clean look. His shot is somewhat unorthodox, but he scores the ball extremely well from all three levels.
6’4 ’21 Christian Cornish (Central Cabarrus)
It seems like more and more people have started to appreciate Cornish over these last few months, where he’s certainly proven himself worthy of being considered a scholarship-level prospect. He’s built like a tank but moves and thinks like a smooth, steady guard, essentially making him a matchup problem for any opponent at the high school level. Based on situation, Cornish can guard all five positions on one end while being the primary creator on the other. College coaches would be wise to get in now, while he’s still somewhat unknown.
6’10 ’21 Zachary Stone (Victory Christian)
There’s a lot to like with Victory Christian, especially given the way that Stone has performed throughout the day. He’s long, wiry, and very skilled but also plays above the rim fairly often. Stone shoots the ball at a consistent rate from midrange and beyond the arc while also adding in a healthy dose of post-ups from either block. His motor and overall activity level stand out defensively, where he’s always among the best rebounders on the floor.
6’2 ’21 Lawton Fulford (Christian Academy of MB)
Few teams are capable of shooting the ball as well as Christian Academy of MB, which starts and ends with Fulford. With Mike Green gone, Fulford has already taken over as the leader and tone-setter on both ends of the floor. He’s a knockdown shooter that plays with pace, patience, and has the ability to operate from either backcourt position.
6’3 ’22 Evan Smith (Ardrey Kell)
Although one of the youngest players on the team, it’s easy to see why Smith also stands out as one of the most talented. His combination of skill and physical tools is somewhat unique for a player of his age. Smith reliably handles the ball, creates for his teammates, and never looks rushed. He knows how to properly run a team and has no real glaring weaknesses on either side of the ball. Smith is an excellent floor general and will only continue to get better over time.
6’0 ’20 Marley Gordon (Gaston Christian)
This Gaston Christian squad has a bunch of useful weapons, but Gordon remains the clear leader of this group. He’s so smart, crafty, and plays incredibly hard at all times. Gordon is a sharp playmaker with nice vision, the ability to breakdown opponents off the bounce, and three-level scoring prowess. He finishes strong through contact, gets everyone involved offensively, and knows how to outwork his assignment on defense. Gordon is somewhat underrated and should see an uptick in his recruitment sooner than later.