When Mullins (S.C.) High tipped off against Myrtle Beach (S.C.) High, Jalek Felton didn’t necessarily seem intent on going for any records. But with his Mullins squad involved in a hard-fought contest in the second half, he went into berserk mode.
Felton devastated the local team with a barrage of three-pointers, transition forays and floaters on halfcourt drives. He finished with 51 points, shooting 15-27 from the floor and 7-16 on threes. He also attacked the basket relentlessly and knocked in 14-14 from the foul line.
His jump shot clearly has improved and, though his decision-making must follow suit (he had nine turnovers), his progress is enabling him to maintain elite status in the sophomore class.
Felton nearly had a shot to overtake Kennard’s record — which, prior to Friday, had stood for 19 years — but two consecutive turnovers by teammates derailed the opportunity.
”In the second half my parents and the crowd told me (I was close to the record), so I tried to chase it,” Felton said. “It didn’t happen, but I’m gonna get it, though.”
Felton’s jump shot looks far steadier and mechanically sound than it has at times in the past. He credits work with one NBA shooter as one reason for the improvement.
”I went to Steph Curry’s camp and worked one-on-one with him,” Felton said. “Just working on the mechanics of shooting and learning as much as I can.”
Given that he’s the nephew of Raymond Felton, North Carolina not surprisingly looms as the favorite. Still, Jalek will tour Kentucky, South Carolina, Arizona and “either Wichita State or Kansas” along with UNC in January.
He’s clearly traveling an accelerated timeline relative to most sophomores.
”I don’t know exactly when I’ll commit, but it will definitely be this year (2015).”