By: Cooper Hart

Collin Kuhl Dominance

2023 Georgia Southern commit and Holly Springs forward Collin Kuhl had another dominant day, this time against Southern Durham, scoring 20 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. He’s currently averaging 24p and 9r over the first two games. Collin has displayed great footwork within 10 feet, allowing him to get to his spots against quicker and stronger defenders. He’s always been a good player, given his numerous D1 offers before his commitment, but recently he’s taken another jump in development. He’s been unguardable in the post, too strong for smaller players and too quick for bigger ones. His movement patterns continue to get more and more fluid and his shot has shown continuous progression. He’s already a very polished prospect and still has plenty of room to improve. Look for Collin to be the favorite to repeat as District 5 POY and to continue improving.

Combine Academy Favorites

Combine Academy came out and dominated in their opening round matchup against Greenfield School. They won by a current tournament high 39 points and had four players score 16 or more. They boast one of the strongest starting five in the country and are led by point guard Silas Demary Jr. Silas embodies why this team is so dangerous, dishing out 10 assists and shooting just three times in today’s game. The rest of the team is just as dangerous between Trentyn Flowers, Collin Tanner, Rakease Passmore, Asa White, and Mason Hagedorn. This team is built to win this tournament and they have the mindset to do it.

Austin Swartz’s National Arrival

Phenom Hoops has been ringing the Austin Swartz bell for a while now and his performance in his matchup against national powerhouse Prolific Prep. Although Cannon ultimately lost, Austin scored 24 points, including 19 in the first half, and plenty of eye-opening shots. The 2024 prospect recently picked up an Illinois offer and the entire NC State staff was in to see him play today. With an entire season and a half left before he goes to college, it’s safe to assume that Swartz will receive more than his fair share of high major offers, as well as finally getting the national recognition he deserves.

Word of God Balance

Word of God won a tough game against Raleigh Christian Academy in the first round of the TJ Warren bracket. They had four players score 12 or more and no player took more than 10 shots. They also assisted on 14 of their 26 made shots, a good ratio for any team, especially one with this much talent. This team has as much talent as any team in the state, if not more, and the more they play unselfish and as a team, the harder they are to beat. Their coaches have been preaching it and it appears that the players have bought into that offensive philosophy.

Drake Powell vs DJ Wagner

While the game itself ended uneventfully with Camden winning by XX, the Drake vs DJ matchup did not disappoint. Drake finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds while DJ finished with 22 and 5. When the two guarded each other, which wasn’t often enough, Drake went right at the number 1 player in the country. He gave him fits for moments of the game, forcing him to rely on ball screens a majority of the time. Powell takes pride in his defense and Wagner clearly takes pride in his offense so to see an NC native showing out on one of the biggest stages in the country was a win for the entire hoop state.

Share to...