2025 Lincoln Jackson (NC Spartans)
What's great about Lincoln's game is that he knows what his strengths are and makes the easy plays. He's a physically demanding, mobile forward that easily finds service in today's game with his ability to step in and find holes for dish offs or work as a perimeter piece in more spread out actions. His strength is practically unmatched, he's fundamental in using the glass and playing off two, and has proven to be one of the toughest guys out there again and again playing through contact willing to do the dirty work.
2025 Dylan Clark (Team MVL)
It's been a steady progression for Clark but today was without a doubt the best I've seen him and quite possibly the top performance I've seen by anyone this AAU season. He was the pure definition of dominant down low, man handling guys for the position he wanted and being confident and strong with every move he made. He looked to dunk everything, gave himself more looks through effort on the glass and running the floor, and brought good intensity as a rim protector. Very easy to say that if he can consistently go out and do that, college coaches will be all over him.
2025 Alex Waterfield (NC Spartans)
Every team needs a guy like this, multiple of them honestly to break through from being a good team to a great team. Alex is the ultimate team guy. He understands his role, works hard every possession to do his job, and never wavers in effort or tries to do his own thing offensively to find shots. He's an opportunistic scorer that knows the system, is interchangeable within positions, and brings low maintenance value finishing and maximizing touches while being a superb defender/rebounder. You can take a guy like him any day and easily plug him in anywhere to produce and battle.
2025 Taurus Lewis (Carolina Pressure)
Length at the guard spot is always highly valued, but when you pair it with a high motor it becomes a serious problem to contain. Taurus is a sound producer and doesn't care what category he has to venture into to get things done. He has a knack for finding the ball, showcases consistent touch in the lane, and just has a way of being involved in every play. This CPB group is scrappy and balanced, but you just know when good things are happening Taurus had his hands on it, whether as a passer, finisher, or rebounder finding extra possessions.
2025 Ahmari Hicks (Team Hope)
I know the game today argues for more versatile bigs, but Ahmari (and the entirety of Team Hope Gripper) makes the case for why it's sometimes just better to have the guards play bigger. Size isn't everything, and Ahmari has proven to have the fight in him to reliably guard posts and hold his own in the rebounding battle. He's a noteworthy shooter with length, a well rounded skillset and patience off the ball, but just understands the game on both sides so well schematically to compete and stay involved with a high level of production in the flow of action.
2025 Julian Johnson (Upward Carolinas)
Some guys just have 'it', and Julian has the whole package right now when you look at him developing into a long term prospect at the next level. There's so much obvious appeal and natural gifts that he's taking advantage of in his game that you just love. His length and consistent positioning on the block allow him to get touches practically every possession and reap the benefits of his postwork. He has the touch, footwork, and feel playing off his guards to lead the way and be a heavy burden for coaches to gameplan for the next two years at Lake Norman Charter.
2025 Charles Murray (Riptide Hickory)
The Riptide organization is no stranger to great guardplay, and the more I watch the more there is to love about Charles' game. He has such a savvy way of operating and it really seems like he's gliding on the court when he gets out in the open floor. He just has a way managing and keeping track of everything that's going on and maintains a calm manner while leading. Between his elusiveness as a ball handler, feel, and his utilization of fakes, pivots and rip throughs he's able to routinely navigate traffic and strike gold in the lane with his playmaking. No doubt that he makes his teammates better through his direction and facilitation.