6’7″ 2027 Josh Leonard (Wilson)

Leonard was one of the most nationally revered prospects in attendance and he did not disappoint. It’s so easy to like what he brings to the table as a prospect given his size, athleticism, and growing skillset. This weekend, he displayed an elite ability to attack closeouts, create for himself against mismatches, and dominate the defensive end. His body control when driving through traffic is great as he’s able to contort his huge frame and use crafty footwork to carve out open looks. He’s improving as a shooting threat, showing flashes in the mid-range and from behind the arc. Defensively, there was a clear attempt by him to involve himself in every possession, which led to tons of steals, deflections, blocks, and rebounds.

6’4″ 2026 Ben Houpt (South Meck)

Houpt has enjoyed a productive summer as an important cog to the dominant NC Spartans Neisler 16u team. This weekend he proved that he could scale that production and efficiency up with an increased role as he shined as the focal point for a prolific South Meck offense. He was dynamic with the ball in his hands, able to create advantages as a shooter, handler, and passer. He understands how to manipulate weak side defenders which led to many open driving lanes and open weak side threes. While he was awesome with the ball in his hands, he also shined when operating off ball. He was prolific when coming off screens and as a cutter which only added to the attention that defenses were forced to pay to him.

6’4″ 2027 Caleb Nixon (Kings Mountain)

Nixon continues to establish himself as one of the top shooting threats in NC’s 2027 class after a productive Friday night in which he averaged over 18 PPG. He displayed quality footwork, mechanics, and confidence as a shooter, both off the catch and the bounce. He’s nearing a point where defenses simply cannot leave him uncontested. However, what intrigues me the most about Nixon is how he seemingly gets more and more comfortable operating off the bounce with each viewing. He’s grown from mostly a spot up threat to someone who can be relied upon to attack closeouts, create in the open floor, and finish through traffic with consistency. This skillset coupled with the enticing physical tools that Nixon possesses provides for a healthy amount of intrigue.

6’3″ 2025 Arael Jones (Hopewell)

Jones embodies the physical, tough, and winning nature that embodied the Northside Christian Academy program during Ed Cooke’s coaching tenure. Now at Hopewell, Jones shines as a focal point thanks to these same intangible traits that made him so revered at NCA. This weekend, he shined thanks to his ability to get into the paint virtually whenever he wanted. His ability to make decisions through traffic was also impressive as he always seemed to know where the ball was supposed to go. Defensively, he’s as tough, physical, and rugged as they come. He’s able to guard multiple positions, he makes opposing guards uncomfortable with his physicality, and he’s strong enough to handle mismatches.

6’5″ 2026 Bradley Floyd (Kings Mountain)

Floyd is on the shortlist for biggest stock riser from the weekend as he was simply dominant in his two Friday night games. While it’s easy to point out his positional size, fluidity, and ability to score at all three levels, what stood out to me the most was his elite vision and ability to control the pace of play. He’s a gifted passer that doesn’t always get the credit he deserves because he’s such a talented scorer. His unselfishness, creativity, and vision are all truly impressive and should be a large reason for his inevitable rise up the rankings. He’s smooth and patient with the ball in his hands, able to engage multiple defenders with relative ease before making the correct read.

Share to...