by: Ethan Reece
2024 Chase Daniel (Team Force)
Every time I watch Chase he provides something a little different. But no matter what, whatever role he fills ultimately leads to a win. Today his niche was finding the chinks in the armor and settling in the soft spot of the defense. He found it so often and naturally, at times getting shots off the same read 2 or 3 possessions in a row. Along with that, his on-ball pressure is never-ending and simply irritates ball handlers into giving it up because they don’t want to handle it around him.
2023 Jaiden Thompson (Team Force)
First time I’ve seen Jaiden, but if he’s paired with the Daniel twins over at Central Cabarrus they’re all in for a stellar season. There’s no way for a defense to key in on just one of them, as they all pose major threats with their quickness and playmaking. Jaiden can run the show himself, providing a strong lead option on the break which happens so often as he dials up the pressure to force turnovers. And like the rest of their roster, he never forces shots and just allows the offense to work as they take what the defense gives.
2022 Patrick Sams (Papa Pete’s)
Patrick had probably the performance of the day, pouring in 32 points in a commanding win. He just couldn’t seem to miss and understandably so, as he found easy opportunities all over the court with his off-ball cuts both inside the lane where he was automatic or spotting up for the three-ball which he proved capable of hitting. But even more impressive, was his hustle play at the end where he dove on a loose ball in transition with 2 min to go and he was up 25, just all-out effort.
2024 Javier Ortiz (NC Wildcats)
An intriguing 2024 from Jordan High, it’s really his intensity that makes him stand out to me. He wants to stop you, especially at the basket which be protected at all costs today. He’s got the length and athleticism to stretch it outside and the mindset to battle inside on both ends. The handles will continue to develop but he’s got the makeup of a matchup nightmare for forwards. Keep him in your memory bank