Prospects from Millbrook, Kinston, New Hanover and Greensboro Smith gathered together for a few hours to challenge themselves prior to the beginning of the high school season in North Carolina.
Linc Lyles, the head coach at New Hanover, has a couple of prospects on his hands that have a chance to develop into bonafide mid-to-high-major talents.
The best prospect we caught during the scrimmage was 2008 New Hanover center/power forward Ty Walker. A reserve on last season's team, Walker could very well begin the season coming off the bench but don't be fooled, this young man is a developing prospect.
As a 6-foot-7 freshman, Walker got a taste of action in the state tournament last winter. As a sophomore, he's gone from size 16 kicks to filling out every bit of his size 18s and he's pushing 6-9 and 200 pounds.
A long, athletic frame and a strong attention to academics in the classroom are all good signs. Running the floor, showing a touch facing the basket help too. If he can pump up the aggressiveness and start to exert himself inside, Walker should further his game this season.
South Carolina made sure it was ahead of the curve and has been down to see him. North Carolina State, North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, Wake Forest , UNC-Wilmington and Appalachian State have put out feelers to this honor roll student.
Walker's teammate, James Beatty, runs the New Hanover ship. The 2007 point guard who emerged as a player during last year's state tournament run, has a legitimate presence at the point guard slot. He can really pass and if his shot improves and Beatty demonstrates the leadership he's capable of drawing on, he too could increase his exposure.
Wells Gulledge is going to make Jerry Stackhouse proud. Kinston's finest hoop alum plays an active role in the community and he'll have plenty to cheer about from the Kinston program the next few seasons.
Gulledges' biggest challenge will be slotting guys and finding playing time for all his youth. This program will yield plenty of prospects the next few years but we've got a few names worthy of mention here.
2008 wing guard Donovan Ingram (no relation to former Kinston guard Jeremy Ingram) has one of those strong, athletic builds. At 6-foot-3 ½ he already carries himself like a player. "Bo" is one to watch in the state as a rising sophomore.
Teammate Quinton Coples, a 6-foot-5 post player, tips the scales right around 220 pounds. He's got great hands and is strong. This sophomore has a chance to be a mid-major type as well. Though we didn't get to see a ton of him during the scrimmage and might not even see a lot of him on varsity as a freshman, 2009 guard Demarcus Quinnerly is a player Gulledge warns could blossom in time.
It's important to note that the best prospects at Millbrook were not in the gym. Coach McInnes and his wife Jennifer recently gave birth to triplets – Eli, Ali and Tegan – who were home resting comfortably!