The Gate City Classic was noted by Max Preps as one of the countries premier high school basketball events of the season. The talent lived up to that as there were excellent individual performances to go along with some nail-biting games. What this stage also provided was a platform for unsigned seniors to make a name for themselves.
Here is a look at 4 unsigned seniors who did just that, announced themselves to college coaches, LOOK AT ME!!
6’7” Thomas Hailey (Covenant Day) – Even though he stands 6’7” with a 7’ wingspan and a pogo stick like leaping ability, it is no surprise that Hailey is flying under the radar, he was homeschooled up until this season and didn’t have the exposure opportunities of others. Well, here he is, doing what he does, on a nice stage with coaches watching. Against 3-time defending state champion Greensboro Day School, Hailey finished with 16 points on 7-10 shooting with 8 rebounds and 4 assists. He is a combo forward, the type that is so valuable in today’s game. Everyone always says the level you go is about who you can guard, well Hailey has the potential to be an all-league type defender at the Division 1 level in college. His offensive game is unorthodox, as he can create from the high post, or sit in the dunk spots finishing plays. Playing for his homeschool team last year he averaged almost 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks per game to go along with the 17 points per game. All of the eye test stuff is there, the frame the athleticism, now he is getting the exposure needed for coaches to see him. A lot to like here.
6’1” Dylan Blake (First Flight) – Blake had the performance of the event, no questions asked, as he poured in 39 points on 12-22 shooting while going 10-12 from the free-throw line. Even though he played the second game of the day, he was a treat to watch for all those in attendance. Blake walks on the floor, not passing the eye test, but he walks off the floor with standing ovations from everyone in the crowd. A noted shooter from deep as Blake has 323 career 3-pointers, which is good for 4th All-Time in North Carolina public school history. However, Blake is so much more than that, just a shooter. He is a playmaker, a basketball player. He is an excellent rebounder from the guard position, he plays good defense and he touches the paint often. Despite having multiple guys being run at him, or face guarded the entire game, Blake manages to get into the paint and create for himself or others (or get fouled as he shot 15 FTs between the two games here). High Point was an early offer, they were there to see him this weekend. Schools need to get by and see him as he also only just turned 17 years old. Take the trip out to the Outer Banks and come back with a stud basketball player.
6’4” Trent McIntyre (Piedmont Classical) – I don’t think there is any question anymore of how good, and truly effective McIntyre is to the totality of the game. The 6’4” guard is able to defend across multiple positions and he can score the ball in the half, and full court. However, what is truly unique about his presence on the offensive end of the floor, is his ability to pass the ball. McIntyre has excellent court vision, as he is able to toggle between both guard positions. McIntyre’s game is unique, so he has flown under the radar predominantly, but once you sit down and watch his game, see all the ways he affects play, you can’t help but realize, this guy will help teams win a lot of games through his four year collegiate career.
5’11” Marcus Elliott (Holly Springs) – From your point guard you want leadership, you want that position to bleed confidence and steadiness throughout your team. This is what Marcus Elliott does, every time out on the floor. In the game yesterday, Elliott started out 1-8 in the first half, yet he still had 3 assists, 0 turnovers and 2 steals. In the second half, against two time defending state champion and top 5 private school in NC, Carmel Christian Elliott kept the confidence high. In the 2nd half, he was 5-8 from the field, 3-6 from 3 and he added 4 assists, only 1 turnover and another steal. His three 3s came in the fourth quarter, during crunch time, to put his team up one point. He made the game-winning assist, took care of all the pressure on the ball and just led his team to this win. This is a very long-winded way of saying Elliott exudes everything you want in a point guard, from the skill to the leadership to the winning qualities.