From the Sidelines
NC Top 80
The 5th Annual NC Top 80 camp was simply filled with a wealth of talent in all age divisions. While the underclassmen usually have more difficulty in making an impact at such an elite level camp in regards to overall talent. However, the North Carolina 2020 class has a chance to be really special and one that translates well on the national conversation.
6’4 ’20 Jaden Springer (Rocky River HS)
Nursing a sore and tender ankle, Jaden Springer lived up to his word and reputation. First of all, Springer stated verbally he was attending the 5 th Annual NC Top 80. Springer who is a nationally known Top Ten prospect in his class, had very little to gain and more to lose by attending and playing on a sore ankle. That being said, he showcased his tremendous skill set in his first two games of the day, however, was unable to go in game three. His presence alone spoke volume. First of all, we’re talking about truly one of the special young players in the state, region and country and in our opinion is the best and most complete player in the state regardless of class. Springer has the complete package. He combines his ability to be the perfect teammate by allowing others to get their points while playing patiently for his opportunity to take the game over. Springer can score from all three levels, but his midrange pull up jumper is the best in the country. He’s an efficient ball handler that maximizes the most out of the least number of dribbles. In two camp games, Springer averaged 20.0 PPG, but that the luxury behind his game. He has the ability to go out and score 40. Springer was also named Mr. Top 80 as the top individual prospect in camp.
5’10 ’20 Jalen Cone (Walkertown HS)
Pound for pound, Jalen Cone may be one of the most entertaining and prolific scorers in the country, not to mention his incredible vertical leaping ability. Outside of Jaden Springer, Jalen Cone also deserves to be mentioned in the national conversation as one of the nation’s elite and not to mention one of the country’s best midrange games off the dribble pull up. While some high majors may question his size, no one can question and measure his heart. He definitely plays with the proverbial chip on his shoulder and has something to prove each and every setting. Cone averaged 17.3 PPG, but his work ethic was on full display throughout the course of the day. While most top prospects “coast” in stations, Cone was outworking everyone as he was also named the NC Top 80 Mr. Station award winner.
6’2 ’20 Camren Hayes (Ben L. Smith)
What’s not to like in a long, bouncy and athletic point guard. Simply put, he plays like a seasoned veteran and has the poise and maturity of a graduating senior. While Hayes is blessed with tremendous speed in the open court, he is even more difficult to guard by his change of pace, stop and go and dribble hesitation moves. In our opinion, he is one of the more fluid and smooth point guards and is trending as a national level prospect. That national guys just don’t realize it yet! Hayes has everything you like in a point guard at the next level. He has a unique blend of athleticism, skill and high basketball IQ and he simply makes others around him better. Hayes can also score from all three levels and is a masterful scoring point guard as demonstrated with his 18.3 PPG for the three camp games.
6’5 ’20 Ricky Council IV (Northern Durham)
Ricky Council has the frame, explosion, athleticism that will definitely scream out to college coaches, not to mention a matching skill set. The only thing needed is additional strength which will come naturally over the next few years. That being said, we’re talking about a solid all-around player that excels on both ends of the court. He’s an intense competitor and will give maximum effort. Offensively, he was as skilled a wing guard in the entire camp. While his names are not as wide known in the state as some of his peers, we strongly believe his stock is on the rise sooner rather than later. Council scored from every which way and showcased his tremendous leaping ability on several occasions. He was one of the more consistent players in the entire camp as he averaged 21 PPG.
6’2 ’20 Perez Bowser (Arborbrook Christian)
We first saw Perez Bowser last year at our NC Phenom 150 camp. He blew us away (and his defenders) with his blazing open court speed. He gets from one end of the court as fast as any player in camp. While he does need to tighten up his handles somewhat, he can be a handful on the defensive end of the court. First of all, Bowser can come down and bury a 3-point jumper off the dribble, slash to the rim, or utilize his midrange pull up jumper. And to top it all off, if you stop him from scoring, he will create scoring opportunities for his teammates.