The trickle-down effect of Covid has largely dismantled the already-shaky structure that is college basketball. Interestingly enough, most of these kids in the Class of 2022 have yet to realize that many players will either go to a lower level than expected or be forced to fight for opportunities with players from the Class of 2021. While it’s not applicable to everyone, the additional granted year of eligibility (for current college players) will hurt a lot of high school prospects in the long run. Although the state has dozens of obvious targets for coaches, this article will take a closer look at four more specific guys…

6’4 Josh Scovens (Page/NC Gaters)

Despite being among the newest additions to the Gaters’ roster, Josh Scovens has quickly adapted into an extremely reliable, productive all-around for this group. While the flashes were already quite enticing over the last twelve months, he’s taken a clear step forward and should have a ton of scholarship-level programs currently laying groundwork. Scovens is a wing/forward with the ability to cause natural mismatches from either position due to his blend of IQ, size, skill, and versatility. He creates well for himself and others, but also finds a ton of opportunities without the ball as a cutter and spot-up threat. Scovens plays bigger than his size defensively without compromising any lateral quickness along the perimeter. He’s also a quality rebounder with the ability to push the break in transition. Scovens’ recruitment should pick up drastically over the coming months. 

6’5 Graham Worland (Hough/Team Charlotte)

Without sounding like a broken record, it’s somewhat frustrating to hear the constant pleading for next-level shooting with guys like Graham Worland still readily available. While his averages of 17.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 2.2 APG with 45/38/77 are impressive, they still only provide half of the story. Worland is a lethal spot-up threat, but often found himself tasked with being the all-around leader for Hough. His scoring production was double that of their second-leading scorer, which simply speaks to how high his expectations were throughout the last season. That being said, Worland’s value is arguably even higher as an overqualified role player with Team Charlotte. He’s smart, skilled, and able to apply consistent pressure without requiring the ball in his hands. Expect Worland to become a clear target for various scholarship-level programs sooner than later. 

6’10 CJ Collins (Greensboro Day/Garner Road)

Between his size, maturity, and obvious long-term upside, it’s truly surprising to see the lack of action surrounding CJ Collins’ recruitment. Throughout his most recent season as a newcomer to Greensboro Day, he proved his worth as an interior cog on both ends of the floor. Collins plays consistently hard, utilizes his length, highlights touch and an understanding of how to effectively run the two-man game as the roller. He can also alter shots at a reliable rate defensively while making his presence felt as a rebounder on either end of the floor. Collins is a capable offensive option but doesn’t necessarily require a ton of touches to make a quality impact. Though already useful, Collins should only continue to appeal to coaches throughout his progression over the next calendar year. 

6’6 Mikhail Pocknett (Ashley/WBC Elite)

Although he’s probably the least known or discussed, Mikhail Pocknett is also probably the most underrated player on this list. The idea of a tough, physical, well-rounded wing prospect with excellent size, ball skills, and leadership qualities should pretty much sell itself. However, Pocknett is forced to fight even harder for opportunities simply because he’s tucked away in a less-prioritized area of North Carolina. He’s a smart creator and enticing athlete with length, motor, and impressive two-way versatility. Pocknett can truly run a team as a main ball-handler, displaying a sharp downhill sense and knack for finishing or setting up others as needed. Last season for Ashley, he averaged 14.3 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.0 BPG with 59% FG. Pocknett is a strong finisher, reliable rebounder, and terrific defender with the ability to actively toggle between multiple positions. Once coaches catch on, Pocknett seems likely to receive a variety of scholarship-level opportunities.