Coach: Josh Griffith
#8: 5’5 ’24 Jacob McClure (Hayesville)
Starting things off, we look at a player that offered his team a fairly steady two-way presence, Jacob McClure. He’s a wiry guard prospect that did a quality job of attacking the basket and knocking down midrange jumpers. McClure provided great defensive effort and was quite disciplined on that end of the floor. Next in his development process is working to become a craftier ball-handler, as it would make him a more complete lead guard. Coach Griffith on McClure: “Jacob needs to improve his ball-handling in order to create his own shot He can work on his finishing ability from inside ten feet. Jacob can continue learning the game to make the right play. He is good on both ends of the floor and shows his ability to move pretty well without the ball.” McClure enjoyed a nice showing at camp and could be one to keep an eye on, especially if he continues to work.
#9: 5’5 ’24 Peyton Rodriguez (Hendersonville)
Next, we look at a player that stood out regularly with his motor and team-first mentality, Peyton Rodriguez. He’s a wiry, fairly well-rounded guard prospect that was able to make a useful impact from either guard position. Rodriguez shot the ball effectively from all levels but was even better at looking to create and set up his teammates. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to seize even more easy scoring opportunities. Coach Griffith on Rodriguez: “Peyton reads the floor really well and advances the ball quick in the air while on the floor. He plays well with the ball in his hands and proved to be very unselfish on offense. He can work on his acceptance of criticism and learn from it. Peyton can also work on shooting off the dribble and locking in defensively and communicating.” Rodriguez definitely added a solid two-way presence to this team and should have a pretty productive upcoming season as he prepares for the high school game.
#14: 5’6 ’25 Thomas Bryce Adams (Robbinsville)
Moving onto a player that is truly just beginning to scratch the surface of his upside, Thomas Bryce Adams. He’s a young, strong-bodied wing prospect that made his strongest impact during camp as a two-way rebounder. Adams operated pretty well within the team concept and didn’t force the action on either end of the floor, but was still able to make plays. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Griffith on Adams: “Thomas needs to play with a stronger motor on defense and learn to make the right play or extra pass when available. He maintained a pretty positive attitude throughout camp and was able to knock down the open jumper at a solid rate.” Adams is still quite young and should continue working to maximize his long-term abilities on both ends of the floor.
#27: 5’9 ’21 Davante Gonzalez (Catawba Ridge)
Continuing onto a player that was easily the most reliable two-way presence from this team during camp, Davante Gonzalez. He’s a quick, high-motor lead guard with a nice feel for the game and the ability to thrive in the open floor. Gonzalez always was willing and ready to enter the game and make a play, whether by forcing a turnover or attacking the basket with relentlessness. He knocked down perimeter jumpers at a pretty consistent rate and was able to take opponents off the dribble basically whenever he desired. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a catch-and-shoot guy, as it would make him an even better spot-up threat. Coach Griffith on Gonzalez: “Davante is an excellent defender on and off the ball. He showed excellent effort on both ends of the floor. His ball-handling and penetration ability are both very strong. He can continue to work on his shooting consistency and not jumping to pass.” Gonzalez stood out as a leader throughout camp and could be one of the more productive prospects this season for Catawba Ridge.
#28: 5’9 ’22 Josh Williams (Enka)
Next, we look at a player that quietly stood out as one of the most productive two-way performers from this team, Josh Williams. He’s a calm, steady guard prospect that can score the ball on all three levels or create for others effectively. Williams is fairly quick and understands how to properly position himself on defense to force turnovers and rebound the ball. Next in his development process is working to get stronger, as it would likely make him a more consistent finisher through contact. Coach Griffith on Williams: “Josh had excellent effort on both sides of the ball. He has a great attitude and took criticism very well. He’s a solid all-around ball player. He can continue to work on his ball-handling and finishing around the rim with both hands. Josh can also work on creating his own shot.” Williams was undeniably productive during camp and could be poised for a strong upcoming season, especially if he continues to work.
#35: 5’10 ’24 Hayezon Tobe (AC Reynolds)
Moving onto a player that showcased a pretty polished offensive skillset, especially for his age, Hayezon Tobe. He’s a long, wiry guard prospect with the ability to score in a variety of different ways. Tobe is a capable spot-up threat but also worked well off the dribble to penetrate and finish around the basket. He utilizes his quickness effectively and understands how to make plays in transition. Next in his development process is working on playing within the team concept, as it would make him a more complete player. Coach Griffith on Tobe: “Hayezon is a good athlete that can run either guard position. He’s good at penetrating off the dribble and getting to the basket. He needs to work on attitude and acceptance of criticism from coaches. Hayezon can also work on his defensive effort and playing as a team.” Tobe displayed a vast array of skills during camp and could be one to watch grow over the coming years.
#36: 5’10 ’22 Mekhi Goree (Lake Norman)
Continuing onto a player that was arguably the main glue-guy of this team during camp, Mekhi Goree. He’s a steady, well-rounded presence on both ends of the floor that is capable of making an impact without necessarily requiring offensive touches. Goree plays with great energy and can overwhelm his assignment on defense through his blend of motor and athleticism. He pursues rebounds, pushes the break in transition, and makes smart decisions with the ball in his hands. Goree can knock down open jumpers from the perimeter but typically prefers to get downhill and attack the basket. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would make him a more complete offensive threat. Coach Griffith on Goree: “Mekhi rebounds well for his size. He has strong moves in the post and gets off the floor well for his second jump. He needs to improve his vision with his back to the basket and his overall consistency as a perimeter shooter.” Goree enjoyed a solid showing at camp and has all the tools to become a useful high school contributor sooner than later.
#46: 6’0 ’23 Isaiah Joyner (Asheville Christian Academy)
Next, we look at a player that has an excellent crossroads between productivity and long-term upside, Isaiah Joyner. He’s a long, wiry forward prospect with a nice amount of skill, physical tools, and the ability to make an impact with or without the ball in his hands. Joyner scored the ball from all three levels while causing mismatches against opponents his age. He’s able to take opponents off the dribble or find seams within the teeth of the defense. Joyner rebounded the ball quite well, especially for his size, and was able to push the break nicely in transition. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it’ll only help prepare him for the physicality of the high school game. Coach Griffith on Joyner: “Isaiah is an excellent athlete. He has good, explosive moves with the ball in his hands. He can create his own shot with either hand and works hard on defense. He can continue working on his ability to move without the ball and seeing the floor better.” Joyner is a very intriguing prospect that’ll only continue to get better with playing experience and physical maturity.
#47: 6’0 ’23 Luke Earnhardt (Rabun Gap)
Finishing up, we look at a player that showcased a pretty useful array of skills during camp, Luke Earnhardt. He’s a strong-bodied forward with nice offensive versatility and the ability to effectively score the ball from all three levels. Earnhardt is fairly skilled for his size and position, able to pass, handle, and score with relative ease. He understands how to position himself around the basket and rebounds the ball nicely on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working on getting quicker, as it would make him a better on-ball defender. Coach Griffith on Earnhardt: “Luke can shoot the ball well off the catch and with his back to the basket. His movement without the ball was pretty good. He can work on his footwork in the post and ability to create off the bounce. He needs to work on his all-around defensive presence as well.” Earnhardt enjoyed a very productive showing at camp and could be one to watch progress over the next few years at Rabun Gap.