We talked with Brian Clifton and he shared his thoughts on his top players who will suit for the Carolina Ravens for their 17U team. Clifton and Bethea will line up some of the country's best players and the results would appear to be quite promising on paper.
As Told By Coach Brian Clifton
PG John Wall (Word Of God Christian Academy, Raleigh NC) John is a kid that has super high motor. The real strength of his game is how much easier he makes it for the guys around him. At one time he's a great defender. He's being refocused on that. He's a tremendous guy. He's very special. He's still growing at 6'4 but he's got the speed of those other guys that are smaller. He's also a much better shooter than most people think. John is rated 5 stars and currently the #2 ranked point guard in the country for the 2009 class by Scout.com.
SG J.T. Terrell (Hugh M. Cummings High, Burlington NC) He's a beast man. His mom and pop both played basketball. He and John compliment each other to a tee. We're trying to redirect his defensive attention to keep people out the lane and provide helpside support. We're in a special workout on Sunday where that'll be our focus, being able to stop people. J.T. shoots the ball really well and can score off the dribble and off the catch. He does some exciting stuff with the ball. He's a great athlete and a great student as well. J.T. is rated 4 stars by Scout.com.
SG/SF Xavier Humphrey (Wakefield High, Raleigh NC) He's tremendously talented but never really played for a coach that lets him play. He's still getting accustomed to playing with a guy like John Wall that can set him up. He's gonna be pretty doggone good in his own right. Xavier is a legit 6'6. He's a good athlete but not a great one. He's gonna be just fine.
SF Antonio Stabler Antonio is 6'6 and he shot the ball well for us last weekend. I wouldn't classify him as a shooter but he can make shots. He's young and trying to find out his game. He does a lot of positive things for us. He can knock down some buckets, rebounds, and blocks shots. He does a little bit of it all.
PF Josh Brooks Josh is also a super high major football recruit as well. He rebounds the backboard very well and gets the bulk of the responsibility of defending the post for us.
C Brandon Shell (West Ashley High, Charleston SC) Brandon is 6'8 260 pounds. He's just a freshman. He gave us what we don't have. Solid guy who can catch it and get a bucket. He's got a real chance to be special. He's very soft spoken, good, and assuming. You can say he is a gentle giant but he's going to be really good. He's got huge hands and good feet. He's got some great hands down on the block.
PF Ryan Kelly (Ravenscroft School, Raleigh NC) Ryan is a faceup four, he can really shoot it, and is surprisingly athletic. He blocks some shots, has a high basketball IQ, and is a great student. He's going to miss a couple of events due to visiting some schools. We love him because he does whatever you ask him to do. He doesn't get caught up in the mix or cause any waves. No ego or attitude. Just shows up with his lunch pail and does what he needs to do. Ryan is rated 3 stars by Scout.com.
SG/SF Noel Johnson (Fayette County High, Fayetteville GA) Noel is 6'7 and really can shoot it. He's got a national reputation already. People are going to see another side of him. I think they're going to see things they haven't seen from him prior to this especially with what we try to do. Johnson is rated 4 stars and is the #7 shooting guard in the country in the 2009 class by Scout.com.
PG Tyrone Williams (Garner, NC) If we get a guy then it could be Tyrone Williams out of Garner NC. I was really pleasantly surprised with him. He's very close with John. They are good friends and I saw him with his high school team. I don't like small guards normally and he worked hard and made adjustments and played well. He went out and filled whatever role we asked him to. He guard anybody in the gym and came up with rebounds, deflections, we're probably gonna send him to a prep school. Because of his size he won't be a high major guy but he could find himself in a situation where he can get some low to mid major opportunities.