South Carolina’s finest made their way to Lexington for the annual SC Top 80 to showcase their abilities in front of College Coaches, Media, Scouts, and many others, and there was a ton of excitement. There was talent of all levels in the gym, leading to tons of memorable moments, highlights, and kids making a name for themselves in front of a lot of eyes. Let’s take a look at some of the storylines from this prestigious event.
The Under-Recruitment of a few South Carolina 2019’s
6’7 Nate Dunlop, 6’0 Crosby James, and 6’7 Marlow Gilmore all possess a unique set of tools that make them incredibly intriguing as prospects. They each have a single division one offer, James and Gilmore from South Carolina State, and Dunlop from Navy. In reality they should probably have 4-7 division one offers each due to what they bring to the table as prospects. Dunlop is the epitome of what the 2018 4-man is. At 6’7 possessing the unique combination of outside shooting touch and athleticism he is a perfect low-mid major level prospect. He should have a huge year at Augusta Christian. Crosby James is an athletic, hard nosed, shot making lead guard that plays with a level of fearlessness unparalleled within the state of South Carolina at the Point Guard position. We saw a lot of him this summer with Upward Stars Columbia and he’s a major part of one of the most talented teams in the state at Ridge View in Columbia. Marlow Gilmore might be the most intriguing of the group due to the fact that he’s not really close to his ceiling as a prospect, yet he’s still incredibly productive and exciting to watch. He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen on a basketball court, possessing a special blend of length, vertical explosiveness, speed, and effort level that should have D1 coaches drooling over his potential as a multi-positional lockdown defender. His offensive game is expanding at a rapid rate, making me believe that he’s a bonafide gem that will make whatever coach gets him really happy.
The Ceiling of John Butler
John Butler is already considered one of the top prospects in the 2021 class by most major national recruiting outlets and deservedly so. The combination of his size at 7’1, his anticipation and timing when protecting the rim, and his ability to score the ball from the perimeter make him one of the most unique players I’ve come across throughout my entire experience in the game of basketball. He’s nowhere close to his ceiling, he still has a long ways to go with his body so he can assert his presence down low, but I have no doubt this kid is going to work as hard as possible to become the best player he can be. His skillset and style translate to modern basketball, it’s just a matter of how much further he comes along physically.
PJ Hall Asserting Himself as a Top 50 Player in the 2020 Class
PJ Hall is simply a winner, he’s won two consecutive 5A state titles, he’s a part of arguably the most prominent AAU team in the state, (Upward Stars) and he’s established himself throughout the country as someone willing to do the dirty work in order to pull out a W. This was the first opportunity I had to see Hall in person and it took about 5 minutes of game time for me to realize how special he is. At 6’10 he possesses incredible range on his jumper, but unlike a lot of young bigs that can shoot he doesn’t rely on it in order to be productive. He’s at his best when bruising down low on the block, making defenders pay for engaging with him in the paint, on the defensive end he does a great job protecting the rim, rebounding, and intimidating his opponents with his hard nosed style and attitude. I’d be pretty surprised if Hall doesn’t finish ahead of where he’s currently at in the national rankings (around the 90 range). He holds offers from Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and others.
The Depth of High Level Talent in the 2021 Class
There are simply too many names in this group so please excuse me if I leave any out, but when you’re talking about depth of high level talent within a class, South Carolina’s 2021 class has to be at the top of the discussion. Jacobi Wright, Keyon Mims, John Butler, Tyler Rice, Russell Felton, Bailey Wiseman, and so so so many more that have done a great job making a name for themselves through their first year in high school. As these kids develop physically look for them to take on a bigger role within their high school teams, developing their skillset, and boosting their confidence level to a point where there will be multiple kids from this class garnering national attention, and deservedly so.
Videographers: Meet Mason Grigg
Mason Grigg is a 6’0 guard in the 2020 class and he can simply fly. He had the entire crowd on the edge of their seat this past Sunday with his no look passes, crazy layups, and vertical ability that had multiple defenders on a poster by the end of the day. If you want page views (Lord knows we all do) be sure to check Grigg out this season at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, you won’t regret making the trip.