Coach: Rodney Carter
#2: 4’10 ’23 Malcolm Edwards (Westchester Country Day)
Starting things off, we look at a player that was able to assert himself and impact the game nicely despite his lack of size, Malcolm Edwards. He’s a young guard prospect that operated nicely as a spot-up threat and displayed a solid feel for the game. Edwards made numerous three-pointers and was able to handle the ball on occasion. Next in his development process is working to become stronger, as it’ll directly improve all facets of his game. Coach Carter on Edwards: “Malcolm works very hard without the ball to get open. He plays very hard on defense. Malcolm is a smaller guard but a very good, young talent that is going to get bigger and going to be able to lead a team. He takes criticism from coach and works very hard to correct any mistakes he may have made. He’s a great teammate that works hard to keep the team involved.” Edwards worked hard at camp and continually improved between the two days, which is definitely a positive sign for his continued growth.
#35: 5’11 ’21 Carson Shirley (Pine Lake Prep)
Next, we look at a player that made his presence consistently felt throughout camp while working within team’s flow, Carson Shirley. He’s a quick, scrappy guard prospect that showed a clear willingness to make the hustle plays on both sides of the ball. Shirley handled the ball and was able to effectively attack the rim through penetration and off-ball cutting. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his ability to finish with his off-hand, as it would make him an even better penetrating threat. Coach Carter on Shirley: “Carson is a very good teammate that was very coachable throughout camp. He was willing to let others start and came in when his number was called. Carson did all the small things for us, rebounding, passing, and got on the floor for 50/50 balls. He did a great job on defense at talking to others and being a help-side defender. On offense, Carson moved the ball and knocked down open shots.” Shirley has all the tools to be a strong contributor going forward at Pine Lake Prep.
#36: 5’11 ’22 Christian Alston (Cuthbertson)
Moving onto a player that was able to highlight a pretty well-rounded game on both ends of the floor, Christian Alston. He’s a smart, young guard prospect that showed the ability to make plays for himself and others. Alston was able to work without the ball or create off the bounce and carve out scoring chances for himself and others. He attacked the basket well and proved to be a steady two-way guard during both days of action. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would complement his penetration game quite nicely. Coach Carter on Alston: “Christian is great with or without the ball. He moves very well to get open and is very good at getting to the rim off the dribble. He has the ability to run the team and getting his teammates to follow. Christian is a natural leader. He made his teammates better by talking on defense the entire time.” Alston was one of the steadiest players on this team and should definitely be one to keep an eye on going forward.
#57: 6’5 ’20 Jalen Joiner (Piedmont Classical)
Continuing onto a player that is able to always make his presence felt on both ends, regardless of setting or supporting cast, Jalen Joiner. He’s a long, wiry, explosive wing prospect that simply overpowers the opposition with his motor and physical tools. Joiner knocked down multiple jumpers and continues to look more comfortable with the ball in his hands. He was able to attack the basket with terrific frequency while also standing out as the most productive two-way rebounder on the team. Joiner made a lasting impression with his unselfishness and leadership qualities. Next in his development process is continuing to tighten his handle, as it will only make him a better creator and open up more scoring opportunities. Coach Carter on Joiner: “Jalen is a great wing player that can go out and guard any position on the court. He was the best offensive player on the team, given how hard he played from start to finish in each contest no matter what the score was. The best part about Jalen is that he’s been to many of these events, so he tried very hard to make sure everyone got involved.” Everyone should be quite familiar with Joiner by now, so it’ll be exciting to see him return to a major role this season with Piedmont Classical.
#66: 6’2 ’21 Joel Baucom (Davidson Day)
Next, we look at a player that has the foundation and all the skill necessary to become very coveted over the coming years, Joel Baucom. He’s a young, wiry guard prospect that already understands the game extremely well on both ends of the floor. Baucom can do a little bit of everything, especially on offense, and rarely forces the action. He handles the ball, looks to create for others, and regularly knocks down perimeter jumpers. Baucom positions himself nicely on defense and is capable of applying quality pressure as an off-ball threat. Next in his development process is simply to add strength and physically mature, as his best basketball is certainly yet to come. Coach Carter on Baucom: “Joel worked very hard on both ends of the floor. He was a great kid to have on the team. He was very coachable and took anything that the coach asked him to do. He tried and worked very hard to help out every player on the court. He moved well with and without the ball. Joel still has one more year to get stronger and develop. He can shoot it very well.” It’s easy to see the appeal with Baucom, especially if he continues to trend upward at his current trajectory.
#67: 6’2 ’20 Jay Hickman (Northwood Temple)
Moving onto a player that arguably stood out as the top three-point shooter in attendance, Jay Hickman. He’s a long, wiry off-guard that can simply take over a game with his ability to spot-up along the perimeter. Hickman is smart and capable of operating off the bounce, where he’s shown a reliable midrange pull-up and quality penetration instincts. He’s a useful rebounder and defender that knows how to force turnovers and push the break in transition. Hickman possesses fluid, repeatable mechanics and is able to get going in a hurry. Next in his development process is working to become a craftier ball-handler, as it would allow him to break down opponents and attack the basket more regularly. Coach Carter on Hickman: “Jay is a great player and great kid. He competed every game on both ends of the floor. When the offense slowed down and we couldn’t get a good shot, he was able to create a quality one from inside or outside the arc. Jay got a lot of his points off of defensive play and hounding opponents full-court. He has very long arms, a high motor, and was a great team player.” Hickman is poised for a big-time season at Northwood Temple and could certainly play his way into Division I consideration.
#96: 6’4 ’22 Joe McDonough (Providence Day)
Finishing up, we look at a player that was undeniably effective and consistent during his time at camp, Joe McDonough. He’s a young, wiry, smart forward prospect that has already established his identity as a multipurpose player with an incredible three-point stroke. McDonough was one of the more unassuming players at camp, but it didn’t take long for his flashes of dominance to appear. He makes a strong impact as a shooting threat, but also rebounds, defends, and makes plays off the bounce. McDonough understands the game and does a nice job of making an impact from various different roles. Next in his development process is working to add strength to his wiry frame, as it will only continue to make him a more physical player. Coach Carter on McDonough: “Joe is going to be great to see at the end of this year. He’s very long and looks likely to have continued physical growth. Joe is a great shooter and even better at filling the lanes and finishing on the break. He works very hard on defense to keep bigger guys in front of him in the post and as a rebounder, which will become easier as he grows. Joe was very coachable and a great teammate.” The appeal is quite obvious with McDonough, especially at his age, so it’ll be exciting to see his development going forward.