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South Carolina 2018 Top Ten: Zion Williamson Flying High
by Zachary Lyon, Future150 (12:11 PM CT, Mon March 20, 2017)
Zion Williamson has taken his game to another level in 2017.
Zion Williamson has taken his game to another level in 2017.
Zachary Lyon
Zachary Lyon:

Future150 Regional Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball: NC, SC & VA

Spartanburg, SC (Future150) -- The 2018 class in South Carolina may not be as deep as the 2019 class, but it still features some big time stars, including arguably the best player in the nation regardless of class. Check out below to see who are the top ten 2018 prospects in the Palmetto State heading into AAU season. 

1.| Zion Williamson, 6'7" CF, Spartanburg Day School: Really not much explaining to do here. If you don't know who Zion Williamson is, just look him up on YouTube. This young man has made a name for himself the past year, and is looking more and more like the best high school player in the nation. At 6'7", he has a freakish college-ready body, great strength, rebounding abilities, and out of this world athleticism. With an unbelievable amount of high-major offers, he has alot of the blue bloods coming after him strong (offers from Arizona, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina). At this point, he looks like a surefire one-and-done prospect at the college level and should have an excellent season wherever he goes.

2.| Sharone Wright, 6'5" PG, West Florence High School: Wright probably gets overlooked a lot in his state due to players like Zion Williamson and Chrisian Brown (2019) stealing a lot of the spotlight. But make no mistake that Wright can play, he had a great showing at NBPA Top 100 Camp and can do it all as a floor general. Holding offers from the likes of Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Memphis, and Wake Forest, he is definitely shaping up to be a high-major plus prospect. 

3.| Aaron Nesmith, 6'5" G/F, Porter-Gaud School: Nesmith is a 6'5" wing guard with a high motor that can score from all three levels and loves to get out and run in transition. He is a solid athlete and a good finisher at and above the rim. The best thing about the Charleston native is his versatility, rebounding, and floor running abilities. Nesmith currently holds offers from Charleston, Columbia, Furman, Georgia Southern, Mercer, Wofford, and others. He has the looks of a fine mid-major prospect that could turn into a star at the next level with a few years of experience under his belt. 

4.| Jake Lanford, 6'8" F/C, Porter-Gaud School: The first big man on the list also hails from Charleston and attends Porter-Gaud. Lanford is a good fundamental big that plays his role well. He has good footwork around the basket and knows how to back his man down and get good position for himself. He is relentless on the glass, and always helps his team grab some second and third chance baskets. Nothing will pop out or 'wow' you with Lanford, but he is a productive big that will always give some positive results when he's on the floor. He currently lists offers from Georgia Southern, Mercer, Winthrop, and Wofford, among others. 

5.| Travion McCray, 6'1" PG, West Florence High School: Anytime you think of prospects at West Florence, everyone automatically thinks Sharone Wright, but there is another top-tier prospect that plays with him. McCray is a speedy guard with fantastic handles who loves to finish in the lane and around the rim. He has a smooth release on his jumpshot and is capable of knocking down shots from deep as well. His speed, handles, and court vision in transition are his best strengths at this point and will probably help him translate once he gets to the next level. He currently holds offers from South Carolina State and Stetson. It wouldn't be shocking to see that list grow at least a little bit over the summer. 

6.| Jimmy Nichols, 6'7" PF, Conway High School: Nichols is a lengthy four man that finishes above the rim on a regular basis and runs the floor well. He is most comfortable on the low blocks, but he does have the ability to penetrate from the perimeter and finish at the rim. He is good at using his length to rebound over smaller defenders and put himself in good positions to block and affect shots on the defensive end. Nichols is a low-major plus talent as it stands, but it would be nice to see him grow another inch or two and get a bit stronger. Plenty of upside here with the #6 prospect. 

7.| Robert Braswell, 6'8" SF, Blythewood High School: An athletic swingman, Braswell has a very high ceiling and could very well bump up a few spots on this list once the summer comes to a close depending on his development. The physical intangibles are there with his great size, length, and abilities to finish above the rim. Keep an eye and ear out for his name over the course of the AAU season. He currently holds offers from Fayetteville State (D2), James Madison, and South Carolina State. He could work his way up towards being a mid-major prospect if he can keep improving. 

8.| Alex Caldwell, 5'11" PG, Wilson High School: Despite Caldwell's sub-six foot stature, he is a great floor general and knows how to read and break down a defense. His basketball IQ, elite handles, and sneaky athleticism will allow him to play division one basketball somewhere in a few years. Running with the Upward Stars on the Adidas Gauntlet Circuit, he has a chance to add more offers to his list before his final AAU season comes to a close. He currently holds offers from Charleston, South Carolina State, and Winthrop. 

9.| Trey McGowens, 6'2" PG, Wren High School: McGowens is going to make a low/mid-major program very happy one day down the road whenever he decides to commit. At 6'2", he has good size for the one spot and he does a little bit of everything. His natural position seems to be the point, but he should be able to play both positions in college with his versatility on defense and abilitiy to score from all three levels. He has good vision in both transition and the half-court sets. Appalachian State, Florida Gulf Coast, Furman, Mercer, and Wofford have all have extended an offer out to McGowens. He could be leading a cinderella story in the big dance in the next couple years, so remember this prospects name!

10.| Gabe Bryant, 6'9" PF, Dorman High School: Length, rebounding, and powerful finishes at the rim is the name of the game for Bryant. He is a high percentage big man as the majority of his shots come right at the rim and he makes sure to always finish with authority. On the defensive end, he pounds the glass and has the potential to be a very good rim protector. He has a swagger/confidence to his game that you love to see in players, especially a big man. Bryant rarely forces things and lets the game come to him. He is another candidate that could ceratinly bump up a few spots on this list depending on how his summer goes. He currently holds offers from Georgia Southern, Lees-McRae (D2), North Georgia (D2), and Presbyterian. 


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