by: Ethan Reece
2024 Grant Hamilton (CC Elite)
I’ve never seen Grant have a bad shooting game, and that’s because no matter what his mechanics are rhythmically repetitive. He’s the consistent and pure shooter I’ve seen in the 2024 class and is someone who only needs a glimpse of the rim. And while it’s still expanding, he doesn’t limit himself to just shooting like some easily do. He still provides a steady leadership quality handling the ball, creating opportunities for others, and being a constantly moving piece within the action.
2024 Jack Ellyson (CC Elite)
No matter the setting, Jack seems to always find a way to produce and be effective across the board. He’s a tough, rugged worker that competes every possession, makes big plays, and maintains a calm manner that is still enforcing within the flow of things. He just knows how to play ball, taking advantage of guys when they slack off, knowing when and where to move without the ball, and has a simplistic scoring game that is reliable but doesn’t solely measure his overall impact on the game.
2025 Emari Russell (Team Hope)
Given the nature of his slightly undersized team, Emari was easily recognizable as a noteworthy contributor with his motor and scrappiness. In his first game he made the bigs look bad for not boxing out as he came up with numerous slip in boards against turned heads, and in the second he showed he can be a trusted perimeter defender staying in front of some of the quickest and most athletic guards in the division. He did all this while still finding his own offense and producing subtlely without ever going outside the team framework.
2024 Jalen Carson (Capital City Pacers)
Transition is one of the best ways to view a player’s feel for the game because of how guys can be sped up and seeing how they react. But when you’re as fast as Jalen, nothing seems to fast for you. He gets it rolling out in the open court, weaving in and out of traffic, keeping his dribble alive through traps, and consistently making plays that wear your defense down. He was a big time shot maker, a finisher with swift take off, and a feisty lead guard to propel the energy of his crew.
2025s Cairo Hines and Marcel Freeman (Garner Road)
These guys are wired to play the game full court. They’re sharp, handsy defenders that thrive being able to press up and trap or just sit down and move their feet. Because of this, teams get sped up and the faster the game is, the more plays they seem to make as the momentum builds. Guys like this thrive in the intense competitive environment 94’ of basketball brings when it’s played at full throttle. Staying within the flow of action, they synergize well together and have a way of quietly dropping big numbers when the buckets come easy off their defense.
2024 Dominic Payne (NC Rim Runners)
It’s looking like Dominic is going to have his choice when the time comes between football and basketball. He’s naturally built for both, and can excel in a physically beat and bang environment. There really aren’t many other guards built like him, nor would they have they coordination and explosiveness he has with his frame. He’s mentally aware of his surroundings attacking the rim and is in full control of his body after take off. His first two years at Trinity were big, and there’s nothing ahead in his path to slow him down.