Take Aways: Big Shots NC Top 100
When Big Shots are in town, it should come as no surprise that high-level basketball is soon to follow. They packed the J.D. Lewis Center with talented basketball players from throughout the HoopState. After initial skills training the players were let loose on one another where they competed head-to-head in 5-on-5 match-ups.
There was such variety of talent – big men with low post and back-to-the-basket skills, elite level wings that could shoot the lights out, and guards that could break their man down off the dribble and get to the basket. Here are some of the players that stood out:
Evan Cheek – c/o 2019, 6’1″, G, High Point Christian Academy:
Cheek was one of the better guards at the Big Shots NC Top 100. From consistently and dependably knocking down shots, making good reads on the floor flowed by sound decision making, and playing solid defense, he’s definitely showed that he’s been putting in the work to play at the next level. It was only a few short years ago Cheek made the decision to stop playing football and dedicate all his time to basketball. Initially starting out with Elite Skills Trainer, Gilbert Abraham (Akin Athletics), it was clear that he had improvements to make. Fast-forward a couple years later, and he’s doing more than holding his own in the Big Shots Top 100 playing with teammates such as Joey Baker and Greg Gant. With 2 more years left of high school basketball, it’ll be no surprise to see more growth from a talent perspective!
Marquise Rice – c/o 2022, 6’4”, PG, Roger Herr Middle School:
Regarding potential, it was hard pressing to see any other player with a higher ceiling than Rice. Not only does he already possess the body and athleticism of a high school senior while just being in the 8th grade, but he also shows a level of maturity and IQ of a well-groomed player. One of his better attributes that he put on display at the Big Shots NC Top 100 was his poise and patience, letting the game come to him. Rice is composed and allows the game to come to him. He’s a heads-up/pass-first guard that emphasizes getting his teammates involved. He gets the ball up the floor quickly on the break and finishes well above the rim – with ease. Rice also takes pride in his defense, moving his feet well to stay in front his man. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Rice as he is already exciting to watch. As he continues to grow and develop his possibilities will be limitless.
Taylor Bell – c/o 2020, 6’1″, PG, Neuse Christian Academy:
In preparing for his upcoming sophomore season, it’s clear that Bell has been putting in the work and continuing to improve. He’s already progressed from where he was this time last year, and it’s showing. Previously, where there were moments of timidness and uncertainty, have now transformed into calmness and readiness. Bell has good awareness, allowing him to read situations and react accordingly. He also showed his ability to knock down the open jumper both inside the perimeter and from the three-point line. Defensively, Bell didn’t shy away from any challenges. As he continues to make strides in his improvement, he’ll have an opportunity to turn himself into a top player in the Raleigh/Durham area.
Asa White – c/o 2022, 6’6″, W, East Garner Middle School:
Another player with a high ceiling, White showed a lot of skill and a good motor throughout the Big Shots NC Top 100. With his length and size, he handles the ball exceptionally well, often able to bring the ball up the court and start the offense. Naturally, with his skillset, White excels in the open floor using his handle combined with his unassuming speed and finishes well at the rim. He’s also good in 1-on-1 situations as he gets by his man with ease, especially if matched up with a smaller defender. With White still being young, there’s plenty of opportunities to continue to grow both mentally and physically, which will only help him become much better in the years to come.
Luke Davis – c/o 2019, 6’7″, W/SF, South Central High School:
When it comes to smooth players you probably won’t find one smoother than Davis – you may, but it won’t be easy. When it comes to on-court efficiencies, Davis is top notch, doing all the little things correctly. He sets solid screens, makes hard cuts to the basket, and is able to step out in a P&R scenario and knock down the long jumper. Davis can put the ball on the floor and take his man off the dribble or play with his back to the basket, and he’s just as effective without the ball in his hands. He’s also a fierce defender and moves well laterally to stay in front of his man. As he goes into his junior year, expect to hear big things coming out of South Central High School about Davis.
Day’ron Sharpe – c/o 2020, 6’7″, SF, South Central High School:
No one dominated the day more at the Big Shots NC Top 100 than Sharpe. In all of his games, there was no answer for him defensively. When he got to the paint, you could basically just count it as 2 points. His size paired with his footwork and athleticism made him a match-up nightmare. Sharpe also showed off a smooth jumper from both inside and outside of the perimeter. He even does well getting out on the break and filling the lane. Sharpe has good hands as well as a back-to-the-basket post game. On defense, he’s unassumingly quick allowing him to guard his man or provide help defense to protect the basket and get back to his man. Only a rising sophomore, there’s still some more development that needs to happen (i.e., continue to get stronger and quicker). As mentioned Sharpe is already dominant in his game and once he perfects smaller aspects of his game, like sealing a defender in the post, good luck trying to stop him!
Ahmad Jeffries – c/o 2018, 6’4″, PG, New Garden Friends High School:
Jeffries just barely passes the eye test upon an initial look. He’s got some size, slim and has a laid-back approach. However, when the ball goes up, and it’s time to compete, it’s almost like you see a completely different person. For starters, Jeffries has a jumper that can’t miss. During the drills, this wasn’t evident as he missed shots here and there, but when it was game time, he was lights out. Jeffries jumper is not limited to just spotting up, he’s just as efficient shooting off the dribble, so it adds an extra layer to defending him because he’s always on the move. As a point guard, he leads by example and commands through his actions. He has natural directing abilities, that combined with his skill make him easy to follow by his other teammates – even in a showcase setting. His on-court maturity shows that he’s battle tested and doesn’t buckle under pressure. He’s currently flying under the radar, but whatever college coach is able to get him will be getting a gem in Jeffries!