Carolina Challenge Observations

CARY, N.C. – The Carolina Challenge was a day for the best of the best to test themselves. While we don't have the time to write about everyone, here are more observations from the March 29 camp, including a look at Julius Brooks from Greensboro Page.

Photos Courtesy of Arianna Hoffman

John Wall, PG – With all eyes on him, Wall sliced his way to 27 points in his first outing and laid down the challenge to the other guards in camp. It was a challenge that went unanswered as he continues to distance himself from the pack in his home state. Because of his speed and finishing ability, he's likely the hardest guard to check in the country off the bounce.

Brandyn Curry, PG – The national crop at his position is rail thin and he's No. 2 in the state of N.C. at that position which means all eyes will be on him this summer. Loved his approach, team oriented style and presence at the position.

Adams Continues To Improve
Lakeem Jackson, SF – He's like a nuclear weapon: you aren't quite sure how to use him but he's very dangerous in the hands of the enemy. All out assault on the rims, he's a fierce competitor who plays in attack mode. Not a perimeter threat but an impact finisher who can intimidate.

Garrius Adams, SF – The Middle Creek standout played within himself, scored it from mid-range. Quietly distinguishing himself from a talented pack of wings and is tracking as an excellent mid-level prospect.

Julius Brooks, PF – He shaved his head, exerted himself and led the camp in scoring at 19.6 ppg. If we're correct, this should serve as a launching pad for this top tier mid level prospect. Until Saturday he struck us as introverted and somewhat shy. Now his bar has been raised and the challenge will be to replicate his rebounding and scoring inside while adding more post moves. Aside from the big name guys he had the best day.

Ryan Kelly, PF – A mid-major prospect a year ago on this day, Kelly was one of the day's elite performers and leading scorers. Extra shots in the gym paid off and his jumper was strength. Even his counter moves were on point.

Brooks Had Breakout Day
C.J. Harris, SG – We know he and teammate Mike Grace shot "thousands" of jumpers in preparation for the event; we know they'll work hard in college. Harris made his mark by cranking up the aggression and finishing with a purpose.

Mason Plumlee, PF – Best big man here. The behind the back laser to a 3-point shooter in the corner said it all. Pinned some shots and played to his reputation.

K.J. Sherrill, PF – At 6-6, he's ideal size for a strong mid level program to take and unleash. Loved his effort, hands and he knows his range is about 15 feet and plays to his strength.

Alex Godette, SG – Somewhat of a surprise in terms of his impact on his team. A strong day here will no doubt get more colleges in the gym looking at him this spring. Shot it, passed and exceeded expectations. Armed with new confidence he's got a chance to impress the mid-majors in April!

Jaron Lane, SF – Lock mid-level prospect who spent the day above the rim. Tucked away in the eastern part of the state, word should trickle out that he's a prospect.

Ian Miller, SG – Touted as Charlotte's finest wing in his class, Miller showed off a smooth and equally savvy game.

C.J. Leslie, PF – In terms of raw talent and natural ability, Leslie was either 1 or 2 at camp and to his credit he played consistently well each time out. Off the bounce he does things others can't and at the rim he's exceptional. Major talent and he let everyone know.

Reggie Bullock, SG – First game out against Terrell was his best effort. As smooth as he was on offense it was his defensive effort that set the tone as two of the best wings in the class let it rip. There's a lot of room to get more aggressive and as the seniors move on at Kinston he'll assume more leadership.

Reggie Price, SG – The trigger is a tad unorthodox but he makes them from downtown.

J.T. Terrell, SG – Brushed off a tough initial game and to his credit reworked his approach, trusted his jumper and finished strong. Credit him for keeping his poise, fighting through a bout of adversity and making a rally in games 2 and 3.

Mychal Parker, SF – 2010 wing spot loaded in this state and Parker's a confident kid with a strong body and jump shot. Can play the mid-range game as well.

James Carlton, PF – At 6-7 you have to work on the glass and be active. He did those things plus blocked shots and has a live body. Good day for him.

Daniels Exploded For Hoops
Bishop Daniels, SG – Coming in we knew he could score. The surprise was how it translated (14.6 ppg.) in this setting. There's an element of smooth to his game ala say a player like Joe Forte. The next step will be expanding his comfort zone and playing without the ball.

Marshall Plumlee, PF/C – After backing up his brothers and spending time on JV, Marshall was ready for The Challenge. He was impressive as the day went on – offensively and defensively – and don't be surprised if in two years he's the best performer here; he's got the ability.

Anthony Williams, PF – While his offense needs polishing, the thinking was this guy was the most impressive traffic rebounder in camp.

John Cannon, C – The big fella from the mountains got better because of the competition he faced. Great hands and already a good feel in the post.

Deuce Bello, SG – His arms must be tired after all the chin ups he did on the rims at Cary Academy. His jumper isn't textbook but he got them to fall and his athleticism was elite.

Marquis Rankin, PG – Finally got to play some PG (his h.s. team is loaded at that spot) and he demonstrated considerable floor vision and overall was impressive.

P.J. Hairston, SG – Caught fire later in the day and finished strong. Physically he's advanced and he's going to have a thick scorer's body. Prone to occasionally settling for the perimeter shot, as he gets older and achieves balance in his game he'll be quite the threat and a major talent in his class.

Great to see Bo Ingram (Challenge alum) come back and watch. There's a chance he may in fact qualify this year. …

An encounter with Wall by Daryl Traynham led to a ripped jersey in the first game. While keeping Wall in front of him wasn't going to happen, D.T. fought the battle and used a hesitation move to counter punch. Good experience for the young guard. … Paul Larsen, a hard-playing sophomore PF showed his toughness by walking off the court with a slight concussion and sprained wrist. Prior to the injury he was having a good day. …

Donta Harper (2011) was a standout with his high school team but he's too long and talented to fly under the radar too long. … Jacob Lawson looks like a thoroughbred athlete and he can run all day. … Andre Marhold found comfort with his middle game. … Xavier Humphrey is not a household name as he played only half a season. He's 6-5 and has a wide skill set with a big upside on the wing. …

Eric Mayo is one of those consummate energy guys. Skilled enough to play to mid-range he's going to be a good mid-major addition. … It's not about the points, it's about the presence at the lead guard slot. Brennan Wyatt, a 2010 kid, did an excellent job and had command of his camp team. … Stan Okoye's live body served him well as he was always around the ball. … Hopewell sophomore Jordan Downing has an exception touch from the perimeter….

"That's the toughest guy I ever played against."

  • Brandyn Curry on John Wall

    We spotted sophomore Jeremy Ingram of East Meck in the crowd. The fact that he would come up and watch his friends says a lot about him and he'll be a standout here next year. ...


    1.  Julius Brooks       19.6
    2.  John Wall           18.0
    3.  Ryan Kelly          17.6
    4.  Stan Okoye          16.0
    5.  Lakeem Jackson      15.6
    5.  Jaron Lane          15.6
    6.  P.J. Hairston       15.3
    6.  Mason Plumlee       15.3
    7.  Ian Miller          15.0
    8.  Akeem Richmond      14.6
    9.  Bishop Daniels      14.3
    10. K.J. Sherrill       14.0

  • Scout Hoops Top Stories