The early signing period has come and gone, but an abundance of Division I prospects remain unclaimed from the Carolinas. Many of these guys made a noteworthy impression on college coaches throughout the holiday break and this article will take a closer look at some of the top standouts.


5’11 Mikey Dukes (First Baptist)

What more is there to say about Mikey Dukes? At this point, it’s time for folks to dump the speculation and finally accept that Dukes is a high-level point guard. He’s a quick-twitch athlete with incredible all-around athleticism that complements his offensive skillset nicely. Dukes effortlessly gets by opponents and consistently displays the ability to create easy scoring opportunities for others. He has a unique way of getting extremely deep into the paint, drawing multiple defenders, and somehow finding enough daylight to make plays for open teammates. Dukes possesses phenomenal vision and scores quite effectively from all levels on the floor. His overall frame makes most opponents look tiny, as he’s simply built like a tank and overflowing with strength. The likes of Providence and Towson have gotten involved, so it’ll be exciting to see what other programs begin to see Dukes’ value throughout the remainder of his senior season.


6’11 David Elien (Chapel Hill)

There’s so much to like with David Elien, yet his recruitment doesn’t seem to reflect just how special he could become. At 6-foot-11, Elien is already showcasing signs of being an elite-level rim-protector, given the way he moves and his overall instincts around the basket. His long, wiry build implies that he’ll be able to continue adding strength at the next level. Elien runs the floor like a gazelle and maximizes his touches on offense, never complicating things and always looking to make the simple play. He displays quality touch from the interior and is capable of finishing with either hand. That being said, Elien truly embraces his role within a team and understands how to impact every single defensive possession. He’s becoming a proven commodity, but currently only holds Winthrop and UNC-Pembroke offers. Other schools should definitely get involved, especially those in need of a true rim-protector.


6’1 Caleb Burgess (Moravian Prep)

Unlike most players on this list, Caleb Burgess has actually seen an uptick in his recruitment during the recent months, and rightfully so, as he’s been nothing short of spectacular since joining this Moravian Prep team. He’s a sharp, poised, scoring guard that has elevated his offensive consistency from all levels and now poses a massive threat to opponents. Burgess is unselfish and offers a quality balance of scoring to playmaking, which also allows him to toggle between backcourt positions with relative ease. His ability to shoot has continually improved throughout the last calendar year and college coaches have begun to take notice. Burgess is vocal and has done an impeccable job meshing with his cohorts, despite having only played together for a few months. He’s only going to continue to get better, so it would be wise to get involved with the combo-guard, especially after he just received offers from Towson and St. Bonaventure within the last week.


6’11 Derrick Quansah (Village Christian)

Finishing up this list, we look at a player that has very little recruitment, yet continues to prove himself against worthy competition, Derrick “Fifi” Quansah. He’s blessed with an unbelievable wingspan and overall understanding of how to properly overwhelm most opposing big men on defense. Quansah is still developing an offensive identity, and typically only looks to score off dunks along with the occasional drop-step or baby hook. He does an excellent job of anchoring the paint defensively and swatting away shot attempts one after another. Few big men in North Carolina have the fundamentally-sound defensive approach that Quansah possesses, which is part of what separates him from similar prospects. He still has an incredible amount of untapped potential, so it’ll be exciting to see where he ends up flourishing at the next level.