Every year, the North Carolina Top 80 is an incredible event with such a surplus of talent, which makes it extremely difficult to narrow down the numbers and overall matchups. With the Class of 2019 now getting ready to depart for the college ranks, our main focus will shift towards the current juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. The excitement and anticipation of years Top 80 should fall right in line with the previous five, and could legitimately set the standard going forward. This article will highlight some guys that we think could be potential breakout prospects.
6’8 ’20 Garrett Hien (Concord First Assembly)
Arguably one of the most underrated prospects across the entire state, Hien will enter this event with considerably less buzz than many others. That being said, he’s a strong candidate to surprise folks and make a big name for himself. Hien possesses a very unique and versatile skillset, which essentially makes him a walking mismatch against any type of opponent. He’s an underrated athlete and defender, so it’ll be interesting to see if Hien is able to truly dominate.
7’0 ’20 Francesco Borra (Tri-City Christian)
Nearly two months ago, Jamie Shaw and I ranked Borra within our respective “top five” list in the Class of 2020. The overall reaction was somewhat of a mixed bag, but he’ll likely prove all the doubters wrong at this event. Borra is from the traditional big man mold and loves to operate with his back to the basket, but also has the ability to step out and knock down perimeter shots from midrange and beyond. He’s going to be a phenomenal prospect, so hopefully, spectators will start getting on board before his recruitment takes off.
6’0 ’20 Jajuan Carr (Pender)
In terms of sheer talent level, few guys have been more underrecruited than Carr, a lead guard with an extremely complete skillset. He has a calm demeanor and is somewhat mild-mannered, but certainly possesses that “dog-like” quality on the court. Carr is a leader by example that consistently looks to make the right play on both sides of the ball. There’s so much to like with his all-around game, but East Carolina is the only program wise enough to have extended an offer to him thus far. Once Carr does his thing at Top 80, more schools are sure to get on board.
6’11 ’20 Jaylon Gibson (Grace Christian)
There’s a legitimate argument that Gibson could be the biggest stock riser over the next year, especially in regards to big men. He’s still developing physically, but his skillset is already incredibly useful. Gibson possesses excellent length and understands how to properly utilize it on both ends of the floor. His recruitment has been trending upward throughout the current high school season, but it could honestly take another leap after the upcoming summer season. Look for Gibson to be one of the more intriguing prospects on display at Top 80.
6’2 ’21 Jaquantae Harris (Hoke County)
The only sophomore on the first installment of this list is Harris, who could very well end up being a top-ten player in North Carolina’s Class of 2021 in the future. The lefty guard has size, strength, vision, athleticism, and three-level scoring capabilities, leaving him with virtually no weaknesses on either side of the ball. Harris might not have the status or reputation of other guards in this class yet, but that’s almost guaranteed to come, given how utterly dominant he’s been throughout the last calendar year. Once college coaches get on board, his recruitment should go absolutely crazy, as he already looks capable of contributing to a variety of different programs.