by: Ethan Reece

2023 Micah Jones (Strong Center)
Don’t let his size fool you, Micah is the toughest assignment to draw on both ends of the floor. As a point guard, he takes care of all his duties at a high level and then some. Offensively, he exposes any defensive liability whether isolated or as a team with his blistering speed, elite court vision and decision making, and knowledgeable prowess of when to get his or set up for others. And on defense, he’s tough as nails with the quickness to stay in front and cut off anyone. He gained two offers at the Summer Havoc and I see more coming his way after this week.

2023 Sam Martin (Strong Center)
It’s refreshing to see a post sticking o his roots in a guard driven world. There aren’t many hotter names in the area this month than Sam, and it’s easy to see why with his value on the block. He’s got foundational footwork and touch that are boosted by his length to really maximize paint touches, and utilizes that same length to block shots and clean the glass. It’s easy to appreciate how he plays given the tendency for bigs to creep outside, but he plays within himself with a comfortable range of versatility to step out when needed and work the offense.

2023 Patrick Tivnan (Team Hope)
With 20 college coaches watching courtside, Patrick stepped up and really took over the game with his two way presence. As a big, he carries a nice blend of guard play and postwork to truly keep defenders guessing on how to play him. He stretches the floor with a natural finishing drive off the turn and face from the short corner, and is as strong and reliable as they come finishing around the rim. He has the frame, skillset, and mobility to thrive at the next level producing with a polished inside out game.

2023 Greg Maxwell (Team Speights)
Team Speights was the most impressive team I saw in terms of defense, and Greg was a big reason why. He’s a handsy defender that naturally reads passes to jump out for steals and thrives in transition. Transition is one of the best tells toward how a player feels the game around him, and it’s clear Greg has a sharp sense for making the right decisions pushing the ball, seeing the numbers, and understanding what the best opportunity is for the team to score whether it’s putting his shoulder down to get to the basket or give it up and allow others to score off his drawn help.

2024 Caleb Jenkins (Carolina Pressure)
Even with all the other bigger guys and scoring pieces around him, Caleb undoubtedly had the biggest impact in their opening win. People sometimes tend to forget the one who makes everything click, but you couldn’t ignore how Caleb played. He handled full court pressure, showed his court vision with passes only seen out of the corner of his eye, and still chipped in a fair share of nice scoring plays. He got everyone involved running the offense like a machine and that led to their 20 point win over a good CC Elite team.

2023 Cole Callaway (Carolina Riptide)
One of the joys of scouting is seeing the progression of a player, and you’d be hard pressed to find another prospect who’s made more strides in his game than Cole in the last year. Gone are the days of him being limited to staying behind the 3pt line. He’s still an exceptional marksman but has established a scoring prowess that allows him to finish off the bounce and be much stronger on the glass and in the lane. He’s simply someone you have to be aware of at all times as a team handling assignments, and his recent recruitment uptick this summer speaks for itself.

2026 Nick Arnold (Carolina Riptide)
It’s impossible not to like what Nick is doing right now. He’s making a name for himself on the big stage playing 3 years up, and to say he’s holding his own would be a massive understatement. Regardless of age, he’s displaying an impressive floor game matched with a toughness on defense that is rarely seen these days. He’s not afraid to get on the floor or pressure up, and is quite cool under duress to manage things with composure. Look to hear his name a lot coming out of Lake Norman the next few years.