Torian Graham, SG – It didn't take Graham, a 6-foot-4 wing prospect, long to get it going at the Carolina Challenge. In fact he started the second half of his first game hitting six straight shots, including a pair of catch and shoot deep three balls. When he wasn't knocking down jump shots, Graham aggressively attacked the basket and looked to finish at and above the rim. He's a gifted athlete that continues to show improvement in his game. Graham appears much more comfortable shooting the ball and it showed on Saturday. He was second in scoring, averaging 23 points per game.
Montrezl Harrell, PF – Playing in his first major event since making a verbal pledge to Virginia Tech, Harrell, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound power forward, showed flashes of why he's rated among the nation's top 50. His jump shot looked more consistent, as he knocked in a pair of three-pointers in one game. But he also ran the floor looking to score and corral offensive rebounds. Harrell, who averaged 13 points through three games, sent the crowd in a frenzy a few times when he soared through the lane and threw down monstrous tip dunks.
C.J. Ford, PG – Blessed with tremendous straight-line speed, Ford raced up and down the court making plays in transition. A 6-foot-1, 180-pound guard, Ford is a pretty good athlete that knows how to score around the basket. He also mixed in mid-range pull-ups to go with finishes at the rim. In a class in need a 2012 lead guards, Ford will likely get some strong looks from some big programs.
Josh Smith, C – Every bit of the 6-foot-7, 240-pounds he was listed on the roster, Smith showed why his coaches at Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic think so highly of him. He did a variety of things to stand out Saturday, but we especially liked that he locked down his area rebounding wise, caught everything thrown his way and showed good touch around the basket. He's a below the rim guys, but don't let that fool you, as he'll work hard inside for position.
Rodney Purvis, PG – Known as the top prospect in the 2012 class in the state of North Carolina, Purvis, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound combo guard, had others at the event gunning for him. Braxton Ogbueze was the first match up and the Florida recruit managed to play impressive defense on Purvis, who couldn't get it going from the field.
Braxton Ogbueze, PG – Two areas stuck out for Ogbueze on Saturday. Not only did he played terrific on the ball defense throughout the day, but he shot the ball at an incredible rate from behind the three-point stripe. Ogbueze hunted long-range shots both off the catch and off the dribble and he certainly hit more than he missed. He finished with 13 points in the first game and scored 13 in the second and 15 in the third.
Aaron Rountree, SF – One of the bigger surprises of the event was the play of this 6-foot-8, 190-pound prospect headed to Wake Forest. Rountree played with more confidence that we'd ever seen and he made plays on both ends. For his size, he moves fluidly and runs the floor quite well. He seemed especially effective in the open court and finished at a high rate at the rim. Rountree averaged nine points through the three game event.
Codi Miller-McIntyre, PG – Just as impressive as Rountree was fellow Wake Forest commit Miller-McIntyre. A tough, hardnosed lead guard, Miller-McIntyre not only showed an ability to be a lock down on the ball defender, but he found ways to score. In his last game of the day he had his mid-range game working and managed to knock in a number of pull-up jumpers. He's a strong kid with an impressive basketball IQ. He averaged 17 points a game and went for 22 in his finale.
T.J. Warren, SF – Nobody scored it at the rate Warren, a 6-foot-7 wing, was able to on Saturday. He opened the day with a 40-point outing, scoring it in just about every way imaginable. Warren is playing with a terrific amount of confidence and it shows on the offensive end. Offensively he brings a variety of things to the table. His ball skills allow him to go off the dribble and score with pull-ups or floaters, but he's also quite the shooter off the catch and has terrific range on his shot. He averaged a camp high 28.5 points a game.
Madison Jones, PG -- Every time we watch Jones, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound guard from Raleigh (N.C.) Ravenscroft, we come away liking him a little more. A wiry guard, Jones is a solid athlete that has a nice burst of speed in the open court. His three-point shot appears to be improving, but where he's most effective is pushing the tempo and creating opportunities for his teammates in the half court. His vision is impressive and he was effective tossing the ball around to his team at the Challenge. He averaged 12. 7 points at the event.
Rob Gray, a 6-foot-1 combo guard out of Arden (N.C.) Christ School, averaged 10.3 points per game at the Challenge, including a high of 18 in his second game. He's a crafty guard with sneaky speed that made some plays on the offensive end at the Challenge.
Charlotte (N.C.) Victory Christian big man Montarius Hall had his moments on Saturday. The 6-foot-7, 225-pound post prospect has a big, thick frame, a good set of hands and he plays with energy. We also liked that he showed the ability to step out and knock down a 15-foot jump shot.
Terry Henderson is certainly a prospect to keep an eye on. The 6-foot-4, 170-pound shooting guard showed off a terrific jump shot with deep range. He got hot in game two and dropped 22 points. He finished the camp with an average of 14.3 per game.
Shooting is where J.T. Miller, a product of Clinton (N.C.) High, was able to make his presence known at the Challenge. Miller is a solid athlete with range on his shot. He went for 20 points in his opening game and average just over 10 points for the event.
From a scoring standpoint Shawn Lester was fairly consistent on Saturday. He went for 14 points in the first game, 16 in the second and 15 in the third. An unselfish guard, he started to be more aggressive in his third game and was able to show off his arsenal. A solid athlete, he hunted long-range shots here. We'd like to see him spruce up his mid-range game.
T.J. Warren said Georgetown, Wake Forest, Florida and Miami have offered him a scholarship. He also has heavy interest from Ohio State. The previous staffs at North Carolina State and Tennessee were on him as well.
Carlton Ford said Virginia, VCU, ECU and Miami were coming at him hard. He also mentioned Butler, Clemson and Charlotte.
This is the first of three reports running from the Carolina Challenge. The 2013 report will run on Monday, while the 2014 report will run on Tuesday.