You are not logged in:     Login
future150 facebook future150 twitter
Get Exposure  /  F150 Report  GET SOCIAL:
Charlotte Hoops Challenge Showcases Top Talent
by Corey Pegram, Future150 (12:47 PM CT, Tue November 27, 2012)
Jason Boswell and Amir Warnock getting it done in Charlotte
Jason Boswell and Amir Warnock getting it done in Charlotte
Corey Pegram
Corey Pegram:

Regional Recruiting Analyst covering high school and junior nationally.

Charlotte, NC (Future150) -- The third annual Charlotte Hoops Challenge served up plenty of entertainment this weekend for those willing to leave Thanksgiving leftovers behind and make the trek out to Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Fans were rewarded with the chance to see some of the East Coast’s top talent, including the number one overall player in the country, and a few underclassmen who were there to prove their worth.  Here are your standouts.

Several Seniors Shine

Jason Boswell; 2013 PG – Quality Education: Some guys don’t have to impact the game by scoring, and Boswell is one of those guys.  His attraction lies in his ability to run an offense and a team, and that ability made him one of the more impressive players at the event.  One word can describe him: valuable.  The 6’6” lead man (yes, that’s not a misprint – he’s a point guard with great size) has great ball control and values each possession.  He takes care of the ball and knows how to get his teammates involved, whether that be through drive and kicks, post entries, or ball reversals.  Understanding the game and how to play it isn’t easy for many, but it appears that is the case with him.  He knew where he needed to be and where the ball needed to be in order for his team to take advantage of matchups they liked.  Boswell is a winner, and schools have noticed, as several offers have come in from programs in the Big East and ACC.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes; 2013 SG – Huntington Prep: While the attention of the fans and media was, for the most part, squarely on his teammate, Xavier Rathan-Mayes put together two very impressive performances that only reaffirm his status as an elite prospect and player.  Simply put, he played like the best player on the floor throughout the weekend.  Known for his silky smooth jump shot and scoring ability, Rathan-Mayes did that and a whole lot more on Friday and Saturday.  The 6’3” combo guard has vastly improved his leadership and playmaking abilities.  He’s a natural scorer who has learned how to make his teammates better.  There is so much variety and so much skill to his game, and he now knows how to apply them in areas other than scoring.  Add his composure and feel for the game to those basketball skills, and you have yourself a flat out stud.  There may not be one other player in the country who I would rather have taking the last shot for my team.  Florida State has landed itself a player.

Andrew Wiggins; 2013 SF – Huntington Prep: The main attraction and the main event.  This is the guy who draws the crowds, the guy who gets people on their feet.  Wiggins didn’t even play up to his standards this weekend, and it was still obvious as to why he is the number one ranked player in the country.  His athleticism is off the charts, and his jump is the quickest I’ve seen.  He gets off the floor before you can even blink.  Even scarier is that his skillset is not all that far behind.  He can definitely improve in areas, particularly the consistency of his jump shot, but he is far from purely an athlete.  The potential is scary, and if he maximizes it, then there is no limit to what he can do.  Florida State had Leonard Hamilton and an assistant in on Friday.

Caz’Mon Hayes; 2013 SG – Berry Academy: They only made the trip to Charlotte on Saturday, but Caz’Mon Hayes made the most of it.  By scoring 42 points, he set the tournament record and helped his team get a win in the process.  The guy is a flat out scorer.  He’s a shot maker who takes and makes tough shots.  While he is one dimensional offensively in this regard, it’s hard to deny his value.  The 6’4” Delaware commit puts himself in constant attack mode and in doing so, puts constant pressure on defenses.  An impressive athlete who can score from all three levels, Hayes is a very solid pick up for the Blue Hens.

Tyrek Coger; 2013 C – Quality Education: Part of a Quality Education team that beats you with size, Coger is a load in the paint.  He’s a below the rim type of guy who uses his skill and body to convert around the rim.  The 6’8” 245 pound five man has a solid back to the basket game and isn’t afraid of contact.  He’s not someone you have to worry about fading away, as he consistently went into the body of his defenders, sending them backwards or drawing fouls in the process.  A good area rebounder who crashed the glass well over the weekend, Coger’s next step will be to maintain and improve upon his level of focus and conditioning. 

Josh Cuthbertson; 2013 SF – West Craven: Cuthbertson should prove to be a very solid get for USC-Upstate in the Atlantic Sun.  He’s a versatile wing with good size at 6’5” and a competitive motor that serves him well on both ends.  On Saturday, he took the responsibility of guarding the opposing team’s best scorer and was willing to spend the energy it took to shut him down.  Cuthbertson denied him the ball and locked down when he did manage to get it.  Equally impressive were his offensive abilities.  He’s a capable ball handler and shooter who scores from different areas.  His play made him an easy one to like.

A Look at Some Underclassmen

Alex Owens; 2015 PF – Oldsmar Christian: Remember Montrezl Harrell who is now a freshman at Louisville?  Well, meet a younger version of that beast in the paint.  Alex Owens.  This 6’7” sophomore isn’t an exact clone of Harrell, but the similarities are there.  Owens possesses tremendous athleticism and leaping ability and uses them to rebound and block shots at a high rate.  He has a real nose for the ball and grabs boards at their highest point, a skill that can separate good rebounders from great ones.  The next step for Owens is to develop a low post game.  Right now, he is not someone who you can run a play for.  That needs to be his priority.  The upside is there.  It’s up to him to make the most of it.  Owens listed offers from Cincinnati and South Florida already, and interest from Miami, Georgia, and Florida.

Montague Gill-Caeser; 2015 SF – Hungtington Prep: This 6’5” sophomore has all the tools to be special.  He’s a physical, attacking wing with a good outside jumper and strength to finish at the rim.  Playing for Huntington-Prep has given Gill-Caeser a serious advantage.  Guys like Andrew Wiggins don’t come around every day, and Gill-Caeser competes against him in practice on a daily basis.  It shows on the court.  He’s a mature and composed player who understands that his time is coming.  That time likely isn’t too far down the road.  Schools already are vying for his services, as Baylor, Ohio State, West Virginia, and South Florida have all offered.

Shelton Mitchell; 2014 PG – Cuthbertson: Having seen Mitchell play a lot over the past year, I have grown accustomed to watching a pass first point guard who orchestrates an offense.  This time around, however, was a little different.  Mitchell searched for his shot and looked to score.  Whether this becomes the norm or not, it does show that he is looking to expand his game.  A knock on him has been the inconsistency of his jump shot.  Mitchell clearly worked on it in the offseason, as his form slightly changed and the results were better.  He is still not a knock down shooter, but he is becoming a capable one.  It will be interesting to see if he morphs into somewhat of a scoring guard or if he maintains the course of orchestrator and distributor.  The latter may suit his game better, but regardless, he is one of the better point guards in the entire 2014 class.

Aaron Augustin; 2016 PG – Peachtree Ridge: Ranked number 25 overall in the class of 2016 by Future150, Augustin backed up that spot this weekend in Charlotte.  His confidence and playmaking ability made him the most impressive freshman at the event.  The 5’11” lead man starts for his Peachtree Ridge squad and runs the show.  Owning a tight handle and strong frame, Augustin consistently broke people down off the dribble and got into the lane.  He’s a guy who simply knows how to make plays and make things happen.  Even more impressive was the certainty at which he carried himself.  He’s a freshman who believes in his abilities and knows that he can compete with the upperclassmen.  There aren’t many at that age who we can say that about. 

Troy Holston; 2014 SG – Oldsmar Christian: Every team needs a scorer, and that’s exactly what Holston does for Head Coach Jordan Fair and Oldsmar Christian.  In the second half of Friday’s game he put himself in attack mode and took over the game offensively.  What makes him such a threat on that end is that he does it in a variety of ways – shots off the catch, one dribble pull-ups, slashes to the rim, and more.  His athleticism and 6’4” size are attractive as well, and they give us some assurance that his game will translate well to the next level.  Now, his priority should be valuing every possession and finding a balance between what he does best and what he needs to improve upon.  That improvement can come in areas such as making plays for others, moving the ball, and crashing the glass.  Concentration is the key.  He should always play by instincts, but the trick will be learning which situations call for which plays.  Regardless, he understands his final two high school seasons are crucial, and he has all the makings of a very good college player.  Offers have already come in from the likes of Southern Mississippi, Georgia State, Rider, Boston University, and more.

Kenny Hairston; 2015 PG – Davidson Day: This 5’11” combo guard is an impressive looking player already.  He owns a good feel for the game and an ability to mix it up on the offensive end.  His perimeter jumper was effortless and his takes to the rim were quick and fluid.  He’s another one who appears to be confident in his abilities, a guy who doesn’t mind competing against older guys.  Hairston listed interest from Detroit, Marist, and Benedict College. 

Amir Warnock; 2014 C – Peachtree Ridge: Warnock is a promising big man prospect with good hands and a nose for the ball.  The 6’8” Georgia native played with a good motor and showed an ability to hold position in the post.  He has a good touch down low and is a factor on the offensive glass.  Warnock said he’s heard the most from Jacksonville and Tennessee Tech.

Lucas Johnson; 2015 SF – Kennedy Charter: With Johnson it’s all about upside.  He’s 6’6” with length and athleticism.  The tools and physical attributes are there.  Now, he just needs to learn how to play the game.  He already has a smooth and accurate stroke from deep, but he needs to develop an ability to affect the game without the ball in his hands.  He’s predictable right now and thinks too much.  But, there is plenty of time.  A feel and understanding for the game should come, and that’s when he can change himself from prospect into player.  VCU and UNC-Charlotte are interested.  

Some Additional Notes

-Peachtree Ridge 2013 combo forward Jordan Capps has a versatile game and has some suitors.  Samford, Georgia, and Western Kentucky have expressed interest.

-West Craven 2013 guard Demetres Adams was one of the very best shooters at the events and plays with intensity and focus.  He hit some big shots down the stretch on Saturday to help get his squad a win

-Michael Jordan showed up to the event on Friday to watch his nephew, Justin Jordan, suit it up for Davidson Day.  No surprise here.  The 2013 guard wanted to take the big shots.  He didn’t hit them this time, but he wanted to take them.  He turned down an offer from High Point and listed interest from VMI and Brown

-Freshman Jalen Sanders for North Rowan showed some promise at the point guard spot.  He’s competitive and keeps coming at you

-2013 Jordan Robinson is another big piece to that Quality Education squad.  He’s got bulk, hands, and a motor

-Mount Tabor 2013 combo guard Matthew Madigan impressed once again with his IQ and court sense.  He listed offers from Jacksonville and Gardner-Webb and interest from Brown and Air Force

A big thanks should be given to tournament directors Jermaine Walker and Cristie Mitchell.  They ran a first-class event and made it a fun one for everyone involved

Comments:

Be the first to post. Just use the form below.

Add a comment...


Advertisement:
Tweets