Asheville School Full of Intriguing Pieces
Given their success over the years, it should come as no surprise to see the Blues rolling out another incredibly exciting squad full of notable college prospects. Although he’s up to a dozen offers, it still feels like Derin Saran is still somewhat underrated by the masses. He continues to make his case as the best true point guard within the current senior class. Either way, he remains the clear, undisputed leader of this group. Kaden Holdbrook is still a knockdown shooter with an understanding of how to fill in the gaps as a tough, scrappy veteran piece. Michael Mora has a ton of appealing tools, from his size to his perimeter shooting, and should be an obvious target for various different programs. Murathan Kocaman shines as a steady, high-motor interior forward/big man with touch, footwork, toughness, and the ability to make an impact with or without the ball in his hands. Younger guys like Cedric Kenan, Brady Donlon, and Hayezon Tobe each played well in their minutes. However, Ryan Soulis is a guy whom folks should start getting familiar with as a noteworthy prospect in North Carolina’s Class of 2024. His combination of length, polish, fluidity, rebounding prowess, rim-protection instincts, and general athleticism as a skilled 6-foot-10 post prospect should allow him to have a Saran-type blowup over the next six to eight months. He’s a clear Division I player who should be coveted by various programs.
Indian Land Trending Upward
In our preview of Indian Land and their game at our MLK Showcase, we stated that Coach Johnson was clearly on the right track with the Warriors—and their victory on Saturday only furthered that notion. It starts and ends with Mike Jones, who is already asserting himself as an intelligent, reliable leader despite only being a freshman. He’s an incredibly dynamic guard with IQ, quickness, craftiness, vision, perimeter shooting, and playmaking instincts, making him already a nightmare matchup for most opponents. Jones is already a high-level player who is only going to get better. Sincere Rasul also burdened a nice offensive load, displaying the ability to consistently attack the basket, set up others, and excel in transition. That being said, key seniors like Brandon Nelson and Jacreece Breeden are definitely deserving of more action within their respective recruitments. Nelson is a smooth shooter with a useful handle and the ability to hit jumpers off the catch, bounce, or movement; he can heat up fast and fill it up in a hurry. On the other hand, Breeden is a long, mobile, athletic post prospect with the ability to consistently finish, rebound, and alter shots defensively. Additionally, Tyler Callahan provides a lethal spot-up presence from beyond the arc. Either way, expect this team to make noise and challenge for a state title.
Per Usual, Greensboro Day Emerging as a Strong Title Contender
There are only a few guarantees in life: death, taxes, and the Bengals of Greensboro Day hitting their stride at the perfect time. Even after various ups and downs throughout the course of their battle against Chambers, they pounced at precisely the right time and would later emerge victorious in overtime. Jaydon Young (Virginia Tech) was nothing short of spectacular as the clear focal point, controlling the action with poise and stepping up to ice the game in incredibly big moments. Joseph Bachman dominated the glass and caused problems defensively with his toughness and nonstop activity on both ends of the floor. Seniors like Jordan Moody and Julius Reese made plays within the flow of the team structure. Reid Carrier and Will Otto both stood out as reliable guards. However, Addison Newkirk remains an unsung piece for this group. While the score sheet might not reflect it, he does so many little things to contribute to winning. Either way, it appears like the Bengals are beginning to settle in and start conducting themselves in playoff mode—somewhere they’ve been familiar with over the last four decades.