The event's focus largely turned toward underclassmen. Some seniors did attend, but the day's strength resided in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes.
More specifically, the Class of 2016 continues its national onslaught of high-major talent. The scouting world tends to overstate every new class, but it's typically about this time that reality intrudes. The 2015 class, for example, began to take a word of mouth beating at this point a year ago. Tagged as lacking backcourt talent, that remains the general opinion one year later.
But these sophomores may be different. There's elite talent in the frontcourt — including Harry Giles (who attended as a bystander yesterday while recovering from knee surgery) and Thon Maker — and a slew of prospects have emerged at guard as well. The state of North Carolina appears very strong in that class as well, and the Phenom 150 certainly benefited as a result.
Junior Smith may have been the most celebrated player to attend the event. A quick, slashing driver who explodes off slams on the move, Smith has competed against national competition already and holds expansive high-major interest.
He's more of a scorer than a playmaker, but his ability to create his own shot and knock down open threes bodes very well given that he has three years of high school remaining. Smith must get stronger and continue developing his all-around game, but his trajectory remains on the incline.
Another high-major sophomore, Shaun Kirk also boasts eye-catching athleticism. He authored the most impressive slams I watched at the event, and his long arms also make him formidable on defense. He must improve his ball-handling and his jump shot, which he shoots with his wrist turned inward, but based on natural talent he may join Smith among the country's top 100 prospects in the 2016 class.
Jalen Harris may have been the quickest player in attendance. The sophomore guard already owns an enviable crossover dribble that he uses frequently (maybe too frequently) to set up defenders and attack the basket. He proved he can drive right or left, and he made a couple of slick dishes on the move as well. Harris does tend to go too fast on occasion, but that's the kind of bad habit coaches easily should be able to correct over the next few years.
Like Smith and Kirk, he appears to be a potential high-major guard prospect and gradually is building solid regional interest.
Moving to the junior class, David Carmichael proved to be one of the day's big surprises. He's a very long-legged forward who wields a smooth face-up jump shot and excels at hitting runners going to his right. He isn't particularly explosive but does run well and, if he can bury his jump shot consistently, may attract some lower major conference offers over the next year.
Quate' McKinzie remains a work in progress but is another prospect within the state receiving ample college interest. The 6-6 forward is transitioning to the full-time wing and has the coordination and developing to skill to potentially make it work. He also boasts a solid frame and is a sophomore to watch over the next three seasons.