by: Ethan Reece

2024 Chase Daniel (Central Cabarrus)
Any other team would be complaining about their lack of height, but the Vikings have bought in and adapted to beating you with their speed. Chase is one of the quickest and scrappiest defenders in the state, snagging countless steals with sticky fingers and fully operating a two-man press with his twin Carson. No matter how skilled, coaches will love Chase because of how hard, smart and unselfish he plays. There are a lot of natural tendencies he has when creating plays that come from great feel and awareness, and he shows that off all game in the half and full court.

2023 Jacob Tiller (Enka)
The Enka vs Chambers game was my favorite of the event, and Jacob showed out for 31 points. His game highlighted an effortless shotmaking ability within a positionless system of motion. There was no shot he didn’t feel comfortable and confident with, and he has a clear next-level scoring translation with how purposeful he uses his limited dribbles. His catch-and-shoot method wasn’t always a three like most, as he also favored a midrange turnaround that was efficient due to the separation he made on the way up.

2024 Jayden Harris (Salisbury)
I finally got to see Jayden and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. Salisbury had rolled out a lot of good guards lately but he’s definitely their best prospect and his current recruitment speaks for itself. There’s a reason his nickname is Juke, he’s got the shifty handles to keep defenders guessing and at 6’5 his play as their primary ball-handler is going to be a mismatch with any team in the area. He was also a deadly shooter with range and was very disciplined in his approach as he also controlled the glass against 6’10 nationally ranked Jarin Stevenson.

2024 Peter Moye (South Meck)
Peter is one of the prime examples of not judging a book by its cover. Although unassuming when stepping onto the court, he had one of the biggest weekends scoring-wise out of anybody at the event. He showed off deep range while also being able to put it on the floor to finish strong takes or pullup with soft touch and just knows how to put the ball in the hole. He’ll carry one of the highest offensive usage rates in the state as he is what makes everything go, but could also use that to his advantage drawing multiple guys to find open teammates and making them better.

2023 Brayden Blue (Concord)
Brayden was one of the most sound players I saw this weekend fundamentally who has clear idea of his on-court identity. He’s a combo guard capable of playing inside and out with a reliable scoring touch that doesn’t just favor one specific spot or move. He never gets in a hurry, plays the game at his own pace, and uses his dribble with the purpose to attack or escape traps. His presence has a calming leadership quality that essentially led to production over pizazz. He checks a lot of boxes for what you expect out of a next-level player that is going to bring something every coach needs: consistency.