Coach: Justin Dempsey
#44: 5’7 ’23 Ty Hopson (Tennessee High)
Starting things off, we look at a player that impacted the game well on both ends of the court despite his lack of size, Ty Hopson. He’s a smart, young guard prospect that plays with a high motor and scores the ball effectively from all three levels. Hopson has a nice playmaking sense and rebounds particularly well for his size/position. He also showed the ability to contain his assignment on defense and was able to force turnovers at a pretty solid rate. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Dempsey on Hopson: “Ty is a young and fearless player that simply finds ways to score. He has a surprising handle and control of the game, even in comparison to older players. Ty displayed a positive attitude and team-first approach throughout camp.” Hopson enjoyed a pretty productive two-way showing at camp and will emerge as a nice contributor at Tennessee High sooner than later.
#47: 5’5 ’25 Lawson Higgins (Burnsville)
Next, we look at a player that competed and impacted the game extremely well, especially for his age, Lawson Higgins. He’s a young, smooth-shooting guard prospect with an active motor and the ability to make his presence consistently felt as an off-ball threat. Higgins was also able to put the ball on the floor, attack the basket, and finish at a pretty solid rate. He worked hard defensively and forced multiple turnovers on the day. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it’ll make him a more complete offensive threat. Coach Dempsey on Higgins: “Lawson is a knockdown shooter with an edge to prove himself and compete against older competition. He played well, especially for his age, and will continue to develop with physical maturity. He displayed a positive attitude and team-first mentality throughout camp.” Higgins worked hard, made his presence felt throughout camp, and will be one to watch grow over the coming years.
#60: 5’10 ’22 Jakobi Gillespie (Greeneville)
Moving onto a player that stood out quite regularly with his ability to score the ball, Jakobi Gillespie. He’s a fairly quick guard prospect that always seems to position himself for success, both in transition and the half court. Gillespie is able to pile on points from all three levels with or without the ball in his hands. He also proved to be an excellent rebounder for his size/position and pushed transition play at every available opportunity. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball in the half-court, as it would make him a more useful off-ball threat. Coach Dempsey on Gillespie: “Jakobi is an extremely skilled scorer and shooter that can make shots off the dribble or in catch-and-shoot situations. He needs to work on his motor but his overall skillset is well above his age level.” Gillespie displayed a variety of useful skills during camp and could be poised for a breakout upcoming season, especially if he continues to work.
#63: 5’10 ’23 Bradin Minton (Church Hill)
Continuing onto a player that was arguably the most impressive young performer on display, Bradin Minton. He’s a smart, skilled, incredibly advanced two-way guard prospect with an incredible balance between playmaking and efficient three-level scoring. Minton is crafty, possesses a tight handle, and knows how to seek out and make the right play with regularity, making him nearly uncontainable by opposing guards at his age level. He sees the floor well, especially in transition, and sets up his teammates at an impressive rate. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it’ll help prepare him for the physicality of the high school game. Coach Dempsey on Minton: “Bradin is an extremely skilled ball-handler, shooter, and passer. He has a great basketball IQ and high-level motor. He needs to continue to develop his body and physically mature, but he has a chance to develop into a college-level player.” Minton was undeniably impressive throughout camp, standing out in every single contest and against all levels of competition, certainly making him one to watch going forward.
#78: 6’1 ’22 Tyson Bombick (Catawba Ridge)
Next, we look at a player that offered his team with an energetic, balanced two-way presence during camp, Tyson Bombick. He’s an unselfish, high-motor guard with strong defensive prowess and the ability to assert himself as a quality perimeter shooter on offense. Bombick is a nice spot-up threat but also knows how to take opponents off the bounce with relative ease. He looks to make the smartest possible play at all times and works well within the team concept on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working to become a craftier ball-handler, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Dempsey on Bombick: “Tyson plays with great energy and runs the floor extremely well. He has a chance to be a tremendous defender. He’s a hard-working kid with a coachable attitude. Tyson was positive and displayed a team-first mentality throughout camp.” Bombick has a lot of useful tools and should emerge as a quality contributor sooner than later for Catawba Ridge.
#91: 6’2 ’21 Nick Klipstein (Asheville School)
Moving onto a player that arguably stood out as the main glue-guy from this team during camp, Nick Klipstein. He’s a wiry guard prospect with the ability to do a little bit of everything on the court. Klipstein is a reliable spot-up threat and overall perimeter shooter that always looks to make the best possible play. He is a quality defender and two-way rebounder with the ability outwork bigger/stronger opponents with his nonstop motor. Klipstein isn’t necessarily the flashiest, but he certainly proved his worth on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working on his ability to penetrate, as it would complement his perimeter shooting nicely. Coach Dempsey on Klipstein: “Nick rarely makes mistakes or has a lapse in judgment. He makes consistently smart decisions, plays within himself, and has a great motor. Nick is also a great shooter. He displayed positive attitude and team-first mentality throughout camp.” Klipstein enjoyed a quality showing at camp and should be a strong contributor during the upcoming season for the Asheville School.
#96: 6’3 ’20 Curtis Houston (Beckley Prep)
Continuing onto a player that possesses an exceptional crossroads between productivity and long-term upside, Curtis Houston. He’s a smart, strong-bodied guard prospect with a quality balance between playmaking and efficient three-level scoring. Houston can reliably operate from either backcourt position on both ends of the floor, given his size, athleticism, and on-ball defense. He’s an unselfish player and willing passer with great vision, making him extremely difficult to contain with the ball in his hands. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to apply even more pressure to opposing defenses. Coach Dempsey on Houston: “Curtis has a Division I-level skillset and body but needs to learn how to play with a consistently high-level motor. He has the ability to be a great defender and has phenomenal court vision. Curtis displayed a positive attitude and team-first mentality throughout camp.” Houston has an incredible array of tools and should start garnering the attention of Division I coaches sooner than later.
#98: 6’4 ’20 Jax Davis (Carolina Day)
Next, we look at a player that provided this team with a conservative, high-motor presence on both ends of the floor, Jax Davis. He’s a strong-bodied wing/forward prospect that does almost everything at a solid rate. Davis is a quality defender with nice positioning and the ability to force turnovers quite well. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would likely make him a more consistent finisher around the basket and through contact. Coach Dempsey on Davis: “Jax has a strong body and plays with a high motor. He can sometimes try to make plays outside of himself, but is a consistent threat and solid body on the court when he plays within himself. Jax has a nose to find the ball. He displayed a positive attitude throughout camp.” Davis had a fairly productive showing at camp and could be a useful two-way player during his upcoming senior campaign at Carolina Day School.
#114: 6’9 ’21 Jordan McInnis (Greater Beckley Christian)
Finishing up, we look at a player that is truly just beginning to scratch the surface of his long-term upside, Jordan McInnis. He’s a big, strong-bodied post prospect with length and useful perimeter shooting skills. McInnis can also work effectively from the post and displays a solid feel with nice touch from either hand. He runs the floor well and alters a ton of shots with his interior presence. Next in his development process is continuing to improve his footwork, as it would make him a more useful post threat on both ends of the floor. Coach Dempsey on McInnis: “Jordan is an interesting prospect with a huge body and nice skillset for his size. He seems to still be growing and maturing physically but he should be a college player lock once he grows into his own and increases his motor. Jordan maintained a positive attitude throughout camp.” McInnis proved to be a useful two-way prospect during camp and will be one to monitor closely over these next few seasons.