Sean Moran/Inside Carolina

Jalek Felton's Great Expectations

Jalek Felton is expecting deep postseason runs for his squad, as well as the Tar Heels, in 2015-16.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jalek Felton has provided Roy Williams with a firm commitment.

“He came down to my high school and just talked to me a little bit,” Felton said of a meeting with UNC’s head coach last month. “Really, that’s about it. The only thing that had me worried was the whole probation thing, but they’re not going on probation, so I’m there.”

While Felton is getting ready for his junior season at Mullins (S.C.) High, he first utilized this past weekend for a trip to test his skills against 45 of the top players in the country at the USA Men’s Developmental Camp in Colorado Springs.

A late arriving flight caused Felton to miss the first session on Saturday morning, but as a regular visitor to the USA Olympic complex, it didn’t take long for the athletic guard to get warmed up.

“I look at is as another blessing,” said Felton. “It was tough getting out here, but I’m glad to be back. I had a 6 a.m. flight out here.”

In his first USA Basketball experience one year ago, Felton impressed onlookers with his passing acumen and driving ability. His play over the two-day developmental camp was the catalyst for a top 10 ranking in the class of 2017 prior to his sophomore season.

After an up and down spring and summer on the Under Armour AAU circuit, Felton currently sits as the No. 22 prospect in his class.

“There’s always room for improvement,” said Felton. “I always want to do better than the last time I played. I always want to improve and show how much I got better. I’ve been working on a little bit of everything. The more you workout the easier stuff comes.”

Despite the late arrival, Felton’s vision was once again on display. Throughout all of the drills and scrimmages Felton was always looking for an open teammate and was often making the impossible pass look easy leading to a surprised teammate catching the ball under the basket for an easy lay-up or dunk.

While he was too unselfish at times, Felton’s scoring ability will be on display once the high school season begins. As a sophomore, Felton averaged 28.7 points per game which included a 51-point outburst at the Beach Ball Classic. Now Felton has a new coach in Steve Smith.

“He coached my uncle (Raymond Felton) to two state championships,” said Felton. “That says a lot right there and he’s expecting the same thing from me so we’ll see how it goes, but it should be a great season.”

Felton has equally high expectations for the Tar Heels in 2015-16, a group he has played pickup ball with in recent weeks.

“They should be in the Final Four, if not the championship,” noted Felton. “Basically the same team is back. The biggest improvement I’ve seen is, I’d have to say, Nate Britt. Nate Britt improved 10 times just from this past season. Second, I would have to say Kennedy. Kennedy lost a lot of weight and he’s just ready to go, running the floor well.

“I remember last time, I had this (USA Men’s Developmental Camp) last year, so I couldn’t go to Late Night,” said Felton. “I went two years ago so I should be back this year.”


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