Coach: Elliott Pope
#10: 5’10 ’21 AJ Thompson (Northwestern)
Starting things off, we look at a player that simply knows how to hurt opponents in a variety of different ways, AJ Thompson. He’s a smart, quick-twitch point guard prospect with an excellent balance between playmaking and three-level scoring. Thompson is able to effortlessly get by his man and apply nonstop penetration pressure, but also has the ability to get going from midrange or beyond the arc. He displays sharp vision and a willingness to set up others whenever possible. Thompson is a disciplined defender with quick hands, quick feet, and the ability to force on-ball turnovers at a terrific rate. Next in his development process is working on his shooting consistency off the dribble, as it would make him an even more lethal offensive threat. Coach Pope on Thompson: “AJ is quickly approaching the identity of a floor general. He’s savvy with the ball and quick to pitch it ahead in transition. AJ is a dream as a teammate. He’s a solid player on the defensive end as well. AJ should get a lot of interest from D2 coaches.” Thompson has continually elevated his game over the last few years and should have a very productive upcoming season as a primary leader for Northwestern.
#28: 6’0 ’21 Jordan Martin (Cardinal Newman)
Next, we look at a player that showcased a quality two-way skillset and approach at camp, Jordan Martin. He’s a smart, fairly well-rounded guard prospect with the ability to operate from either backcourt position, given his blend of ball-handling and scoring. Martin is a useful perimeter shooter but typically looks to get downhill and attack the basket, where he’s proven able to finish strong through contact. He moves very well without the ball and rebounds extremely well for his size on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working on his awareness as an off-ball defender, as it would allow him to force more turnovers through jumping into passing lanes. Coach Pope on Martin: “Jordan is a solid guard that plays hard. With a little bit of work on his handle and midrange pull-up, he’s going to develop really well. Defensively, he would do well to continue his hard-nosed mentality and learn how to defend multiple positions.” Martin highlighted a lot of tools during camp and should emerge as a quality contributor for Cardinal Newman over the upcoming season.
#42: 6’1 ’22 Emmanuel Richards (Blythewood)
Moving onto a player that stood out as the main glue-guy of this team throughout camp, Emmanuel Richards. He’s a smart, team-first wing prospect with a well-rounded skillset and the ability to do a strong amount of everything on the court. Richards has a high motor and looks to create havoc however possible on either end of the floor. He actively mixes it up on offense and scores the ball very efficiently from all three levels. Richards is a useful defender that provides excellent energy from start to finish. Next in his development process is working on his ability to contain the point of attack, as it would make him a more complete player. Coach Pope on Richards: “Emmanuel is a glue-guy. He plays very hard and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He’s a little raw but, with some sharpening of his offensive skillset, can become a high-production guy on both ends of the floor.” Richards simply knows how to make his presence felt and will be a prospect to watch at Blythewood going forward, as he has plenty of upside remaining.
#43: 6’1 ’22 Quan Peterson (South Pointe)
Continuing onto a player that continues to stand out as one of the top young floor generals in South Carolina, Quan Peterson. He’s a smart, savvy point guard prospect with great size, strength, and craftiness, which allows him to dictate the offensive action with relative ease. Peterson possesses a tight handle and phenomenal vision, able to truly create for each of his teammates and apply scoring pressure as needed. He’s a great rebounder that knows how to grab and immediately push in transition. Peterson is also a high-level defender that can force turnovers at a nonstop rate. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as an improved jumper would make him basically unstoppable on offense. Coach Pope on Peterson: “Quan is an elite-level athlete that can finish with the best of them around the rim. With some work on his set jumper, Quan has the ability to be a three-level scorer. Defensively, his quickness and sudden movement around the rim allows him to finish well.” Peterson is an extremely exciting prospect with a ton of ability, so it’ll be exciting to monitor his progression over these next few years.
#56: 6’2 ’23 Zion Wright (Saluda)
Next, we look at a player that made an excellent two-way impact despite being among the youngest campers in attendance, Zion Wright. He’s a smart, team-first wing/forward prospect that simply knows how to affect all facets of the game and fill in the gaps on both ends without forcing the action. Wright does everything at an above-average level, from handling the ball and creating for others to fighting for rebounds and loose balls. He plays with a terrific motor and shows a willingness to compete on every single possession, especially on the glass. Wright is an efficient three-level scorer that will do whatever is needed to provide his team with an edge. Next in his development process is working on adding strength, as it’ll allow him to be a more physical presence on the defensive end of the floor. Coach Pope on Wright: “Zion is very long and athletic. He does a great job of slipping past defenders and getting himself open for shots. Zion needs to work on using his length to get to the rim and finishing. Defensively, his long arms allow him to alter shots that he’s not the primary defender on. A little bit of work and Zion could become a quality player in South Carolina.” Wright is still just beginning to scratch the surface and will be one to watch going forward, as he could be a special type of prospect.
#71: 6’3 ’21 Devario Sheppard (Dreher)
Moving onto a player that made a pretty lasting impression with his toughness and two-way resiliency, Devario Sheppard. He’s a long, strong forward prospect with a high IQ, motor, and the ability to operate in a variety of different roles. Sheppard is a terrific two-way player with the ability to apply constant three-level scoring pressure while locking up his assignment on the other ends. He utilizes his size and motor to outwork opponents on the glass, which leads to a strong amount of transition play and easy buckets on the other end. Sheppard is a solid creator but typically works without the ball, where he consistently showed his ability to spot-up and make plays as an off-ball cutter. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him a better on-ball defender. Coach Pope on Sheppard: “Devario is a very tough, hardworking kid that has the ability to really change a game. Devario is smart, passes well, and knocks down open shots. With some work on his quickness, Devario could develop into an extremely strong wing.” Sheppard did a lot of things well during camp and should have a productive upcoming season for Dreher.
#82: 6’4 ’21 Korey Richardson (Lower Richland)
Continuing onto a player that was easily among the most impressive two-way performers on display, Korey Richardson. He’s an incredibly smart, smooth point guard prospect with the ability to effortlessly control the action on both ends of the floor. Richardson is such a phenomenal passer and penetrator with size, craftiness, and athleticism, making him a difficult assignment for any opposing guard. He’s quick and unselfish, but knows how to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities and finish above the rim. Richardson is an excellent two-way rebounder and all-around defender with the ability to force turnovers at a nonstop rate. Next in his development process is working his consistency as a three-point shooter, as an improved jumper would make him virtually unstoppable on offense. Coach Pope on Richardson: “Korey is an unselfish player that controls the game whenever he has the ball in his hands. Korey plays well with anyone on the court and sees the floor extremely well. Development of his jumper would make him a lock as a high-level Division I guard.” Richardson is already one of the most coveted players in South Carolina but could legitimately become even better throughout the upcoming season at Lower Richland.
#83: 6’4 ’24 Cameron Scott (Lexington)
Next, we look at a player that was arguably the best long-term prospect in attendance, Cameron Scott. He’s a long, smooth two-way wing/forward prospect that showcased flashes of dominance despite being the youngest player at camp. Scott is a knockdown three-point shooter with craftiness, intelligence, and the ability to thrive with or without the ball in his hands. He handles the ball with care and is capable of creating for others pretty effectively. Scott’s feel for the game is well beyond his years. He’s already a great rebounder and useful defender that’ll only get better as his body continues to physically mature. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it would make him even tougher for opponents to keep out of the paint. Coach Pope on Scott: “Cam was the youngest kid at camp and held his own. Cam is a special player that really plays within the game no matter the setting. He can really set himself apart with continued work on the defensive end.” Scott has an incredible amount of talent but is still just beginning to harness his long-term abilities, which absolutely makes him a prospect for college coaches to watch closely going forward.
#112: 6’6 ’21 AJ Allenspach (Hillcrest)
Finishing up, we look at a player that stood out for his exceptional blue-collar approach on both ends of the floor, AJ Allenspach. He’s a smart, high-motor forward/post prospect with the ability to stretch the floor or operate from the low block. Allenspach consistently outworked his assignment for every available rebound and loose ball on both ends of the floor, simply through positioning and performing with maximum effort at all times. He’s a pretty useful three-level scorer that can pose matchup problems since he’s more fluid and athletic than most opponents of his size. Allenspach is a quality defender with the ability to switch onto smaller guards with relative ease. Next in his development process is working on becoming quicker, as it would make him an even tougher matchup for opposing forwards. Coach Pope on Allenspach: “AJ has a good shot, shot form, quality vision, and is a good athlete as well. Allowing the game to come to him will be the next step in his development. AJ, should he continue to grow his game, will be a steady player no matter where he plays.” Allenspach enjoyed a quality two-way showing during camp and should start garnering the interest of college coaches sooner than later.