Coach: Khalil Shakir
#14: 5’4 ’24 Rashawn Byrd (Columbia)
Starting things off, we look at a player that made a pretty lasting impression with his two-way motor, Rashawn Byrd. He’s a young, wiry guard prospect that plays consistently hard and within the team concept. Byrd moves well without the ball and utilizes his quickness to effectively defend the point of attack. He handles the ball decently well and looks to make plays for others whenever possible. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it’ll make him a better finisher through contact. Coach Shakir on Byrd: “Rashawn is a great kid with a great attitude. He plays extremely hard and gives maximum effort. He’s a decent ball-handler with decent court vision. Rashawn is a quick player that uses that to his advantage. He’s always looking to learn and get better.” Byrd did a lot of things well, especially to be the youngest player on this team, and has the tools to develop into a very useful high school player.
#20: 5’7 ’23 William “Buddy” Thompson (Florence)
Next, we look at a player with the ability to carve out a productive role with any group of teammates, William “Buddy” Thompson. He’s a young, fairly well-rounded guard prospect with a tight handle, nice penetration sense, and a reliable jumper from midrange or beyond the arc. Thompson defends and rebounds very well, especially for his size, and makes consistently smart and unselfish decisions with the ball in his hands. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would make him an even deadlier spot-up threat. Coach Shakir on Thompson: “William is a pretty good shooter with pretty good range. He’s a solid ball-handler that looks to penetrate and kick whenever possible. He looks for teammates and looks to create for them on a consistent basis. William is pretty good at passing out of the pick-and-roll and in transition. He’s a natural leader that communicates and sets the pace for the team.” Thompson continues to make strides with each new viewing and will be a player to keep an eye on going forward.
#40: 5’9 ’23 DJ Crump (Albemarle)
Moving onto a player that possesses an extremely complementary skillset and approach, DJ Crump. He’s a young, team-oriented guard prospect that shows a willingness to hustle and make the right play with regularity. Crump doesn’t require a ton of offensive touches to make an impact, given his strong defensive prowess and ability to move without the ball. He fights for rebounds, pushes transition play effectively, and looks for teammates at a quality rate. Next in his development process is working on his consistency from beyond the arc, as it would complement his penetration game nicely. Coach Shakir on Crump: “DJ has a great attitude and overall willingness to learn. He plays hard and gives maximum effort. DJ always looks for his teammates and makes the right pass. He plays defense on and off the ball and looks to crash the boards. DJ looks to create for his teammates by setting screens and moving without the ball.” Crump enjoyed a quality showing at camp and should develop into a useful contributor for Albemarle over the next few years.
#47: 5’11 ’22 Ali Currie (Albemarle)
Continuing onto a player that simply knows how to make his presence felt on both ends of the floor, Ali Currie. He’s a quick, high-motor guard prospect with IQ and the ability to thrive in transition. Currie regularly turns defense into offense, given the way he forces turnovers and capitalizes on fast-break opportunities. He moves decently well without the ball and highlighted a useful perimeter jumper but was at his best when attacking the basket. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would allow him to become a craftier finisher around the basket. Coach Shakir on Currie: “Ali is great in transition with the ball. He has a quick first step and great control when driving to the lane. He’s a good on-ball defender that is vocal and plays hard. He looks to make the right pass every time down the floor. Ali displayed a positive attitude and wants to receive criticism in order to improve. He’s a pretty good rebounder for his size and attacks the glass hard.” Currie was undeniably productive at camp and has the tools to become a focal point for Albemarle over the next calendar year.
#53: 5’11 ’23 Joshua Vaught (Conway)
Next, we look at a player that was simply at his best when pushing the pace and getting out in transition, Joshua Vaught. He’s a young, high-motor guard prospect with a sharp penetrating sense, where he’s proven to be a reliable finisher at the basket. Vaught utilizes his quickness well to attack the basket but can also knock down perimeter jumpers at a solid rate. Next in his development process is working on becoming a craftier ball-handler, as it would make him a more complete player. Coach Shakir on Vaught: “Joshua is a quick player that thrives in transition. He gets to the lane with ease and is a solid finisher. Joshua creates contact well and makes free-throws. He sets the pace for the team. He’s a good on-ball defender that utilizes his quickness to disrupt opposing ball-handlers. Joshua is a great teammate with a will to win. He gives everything he can when on the floor.” Vaught made his presence felt throughout camp and could emerge as a useful contributor for Conway sooner than later.
#72: 6’0 ’21 Thomas Spears (Wilson)
Moving onto a player that was arguably the main glue-guy of this team during camp, Thomas Spears. He’s an unselfish, high-motor wing prospect with the ability to do a little bit of everything, rebounding, defending, and attacking the basket incredibly well. Spears is able to get by opponents and finish strong or setup others quite regularly. He possesses a quality midrange and solid three-point jumper. Next in his development process is working on his ability to shoot off the dribble, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Shakir on Spears: “Thomas is a great penetrate and kick player. He possesses great athleticism and great finishing ability in traffic and through contact. He rebounds well for his size. Thomas takes pride in defense and gives all of his effort on both sides of the floor. He’s a great teammate that makes winning plays and always seems to make the right play. He was tremendous in transition.” Spears enjoyed an excellent showing at camp, involving himself in all areas of the game, and should be able to carve out a quality role for Wilson during his senior campaign.
#82: 6’2 ’23 CJ Pope (Northwestern)
Continuing onto a player that really stood out with his intangibles and movement without the ball, CJ Pope. He’s a young, wiry wing prospect with a nice balance between perimeter shooting and penetration ability. Pope does a terrific job of getting downhill and finishing strong or making plays for others but also highlighted a great cutting sense and consistently found seams within the defense. He displayed a high motor, unselfish mentality, and quality two-way feel for the game. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a more complete offensive player. Coach Shakir on Pope: “CJ is a great driver off the catch and looks to create for teammates. He has a very high IQ and quality court vision. He moves very well without the ball and always makes the right cut. CJ is very vocal on defense and plays extremely hard the entire game. He’s a great teammate that encourages and motivates.” Pope proved to be a clear asset during camp and has all the tools to carve out a strong role for Northwestern sooner than later.
#91: 6’3 ’22 TJ Warwick (Oceanside Colleigate)
Finishing up, we look at a player that really stood out with his motor and interior presence on both ends of the floor, TJ Warwick. He’s a big, strong-bodied forward/post prospect that makes up for his lack of elite size with a nonstop motor and terrific nose for the ball. Warwick is an excellent rebounder with great positioning and overall utilization of his body on the glass. He runs the floor hard in transition and proved to be a quality finisher with either hand. Next in his development process is working on developing a three-point jumper, as it would make him even tougher for opponents to contain. Coach Shakir on Warwick: “TJ is a really good rebounder and pick-and-roll scorer. He possesses great footwork in the post and finishes very well around the rim. He’s a very unselfish player that looks to create out of the post. TJ is a great teammate with passion and a clear will to win. He’s a great leader and very vocal on defense.” Warwick made his presence felt on nearly every possession at camp and should emerge as a useful contributor for Oceanside Collegiate over the next calendar year.