We’ve finally reached July, which is when travel basketball goes up another notch and can truly change the lives of these young prospects. There are numerous players that we feel are underrated within the state, but just on the brink of blowing up. This article will take a closer look at five more guys (with varying offers) that should be regarded as definite Division I prospects. (Read Part One)
6’10 ’20 Kuluel Mading (High Point Central)
It’s easy to see the excitement surrounding Mading, even though his recruitment doesn’t necessarily reflect it. He’s a long, mobile big man with impeccable defensive timing and an incredibly appealing offensive skillset, especially at 6-foot-10. Despite being somewhat thin, Mading does a phenomenal job of protecting the rim, rebounding the ball, and utilizing his length to disrupt opponents. He already impacts the game extremely well and displays a firm understanding of his defensive role, but is arguably even more exciting as an offensive prospect. Mading is a fluid athlete with quality ball skills, post touch, and a beautiful three-point shot. It’s only a matter of time before he blows up, as the combination of talent and upside is quite clear with Mading.
6’6 ’20 Reggie Raynor (Northwood Temple)
When talking about the most athletic basketball players in North Carolina, Raynor’s name has to be mentioned with the best of them. However, he’s more than just an explosive leaper, and that’s become even more evident over the last few months. Raynor possesses a strong, athletic frame with great length, which allows him to constantly impose his will on both sides of the ball. That being said, he’s also made noticeable strides as a shooter, particularly in regards to his consistency. Raynor is also a smart, mature two-way leader that knows how to set the tone with his intensity and effectiveness. He already holds numerous offers, but it still feels like Raynor is right on the cusp on really blowing up.
6’4 ’20 Keishon Porter (Southwest Edgecomb)
Although he’s been dominating the opposition for well over the last year, it seems that folks are finally starting to realize Porter’s abilities. There’s a lot to like, including his IQ, athleticism, and two-way approach, but his sheer all-around productivity seems to stand out above all else. Porter simply does it all, scoring, playmaking, defending, rebounding, and does so while leading by example. He is an absolutely tenacious (and versatile) defender that can remove operating space and suffocate his on-ball assignment, which often leads to easy steals. Porter is a one-man wrecking crew in transition, especially with the ball in his hands, given his ability to finish at the rim or make plays for others. He’s also quite poised in the half-court, able to work as a cutter, primary creator, or fairly respectable spot-up threat. Porter began attracting Division I coaches at our Phenom Challenge and has earned multiple offers along the way, but it’s still just the beginning.
6’5 ’20 Nygell Verdier (Independence)
Despite being among the lesser-known players in North Carolina, Verdier has made it clear that he’s a Division I prospect. For starters, he’s strong, athletic, and shoots the ball at an incredibly efficient clip from the perimeter. Beyond that, Verdier is versatile and possesses the necessary ball-skills to operate within a variety of different roles, which makes him even more appealing at the next level. He has size and a strong frame with nice length, especially for a wing, which allows him to reliably switch and contain multiple positions defensively. Verdier displays a quality feel for the game on both ends and moves very well without the ball to position himself for spot-up opportunities. As college coaches get to know him over the next few months, Verdier should become an increasingly coveted across the country.
6’2 ’20 Jackeem Herbin (Burlington Christian)
There are plenty of quality guards in North Carolina, but Herbin is one that should continue to trend upward well beyond the high school ranks. The strides he’s made in the last year, particularly since beginning of his tenure at Burlington Christian, have been nothing short of spectacular. Herbin has proven to be a very talented two-way threat, given the way he scores, creates, and shows flashes of being the best player on the floor. He scores efficiently from all levels, always finding ways to score with and without the ball in his hands, and has the ability to take on a bigger role in a pinch. Herbin has all the tools to be successful at the next level, which should make him an especially intriguing prospect to watch during the upcoming live periods.