Recapping the Dave Telep Carolina Challenge.
Year in and year out, if you want to hit a one stop shop for all of North Carolina’s top talent, you clear your calendar and head to Dave Telep’s Carolina Challenge. Formerly the National Recruiting Director at Scout.com, Telep took his services to ESPN where he serves a similar role. Revered by his peers, Telep is the first guy to stick his hand out and say hello to the new guy, or chop it up with a familiar face.
The camp was broken down into three sessions and stats were provided after each. In terms of organization and quality of play, there wasn’t much more that you could ask for. DTCC also hooked it up with a pretty killer hospitality room for the media and coaches and if you know me, you know I put in major damage on hospitality rooms all throughout the country. Back to the hoops though….
Here are a few of the top Carolina boys who caught my eye:
Anton Gill, 6-3, SG, Ravenscroft, 2013
Though he doesn’t have the name of many of his more acclaimed counterparts at the Carolina Challenge, Gill may have been the best pure scorer at Ravenscroft HS. The lefty did work on his home court, slicing and dicing through the lane to finish at the rim or with pretty floaters. The sophomore’s ability to get buckets in a variety of ways impressed us enough to definitely put him in consideration for the next SLAMonline Fresh 25.
Rodney Purvis, 6-3, PG/SG, Upper Room, 2012
After starting off slow with only 7 points in his first game, Purvis seemed to get his swag back and did work in the last two games. The DWade comparisons were surely warranted after the relentless slashing that the junior did at Revenscroft. Like his older counterpart, he sliced and diced the D to shreds and got to the line a ton of times. The Louisville recruit didn’t take a ton of jumpers, but didn’t look bad shooting the ball with his feet set in the few that he did put up. `Even though his J is still a work in progress, he was the best guard in the 2013 class and he’s still the best guard in the Class of 2012.
TJ Warren, 6-6, SF, Word of God, 2012
Warren dominated the camp, leading everyone in scoring at 28.5 points per game. His 40-point performance was easily the top game by anyone in the event and he established himself as the top shooter in the group. He’s not a cat who you’ll be catching on any crazy YouTube mixes anytime soon but the big wing has a high enough skill level to attract offers from Indiana, NC State, Wake Forest and Xavier.
Torian Graham, 6-4, SG, Word of God, 2012
The silky smooth shooting guard showed off his electric style of play that has made him a fan favorite in NC and the second leading scorer of the event at 23.0 PPG. He displayed his pretty jumper that has hella lift and finished well above the rim in transition. He’s still rough around the edges, but the raw talent that Torian rocks was enough for John Calipari to make him a recruiting priority at Kentucky.
Theo Pinson, 6-5, SF, Oak Ridge Military Academy, 2014
The best freshman in North Carolina didn’t put up huge numbers (only averaged 9.3 points per game), but it was easy for all scouts in attendance to see the skills that have warranted the attention he’s received over the past few years. The freak athlete has arms that seemingly never end and effortlessly dunked the ball any time that he got within a few feet of the cup. He’s a deceptive passer and is fully comfortable playing on the perimeter already, leading analysts to debate what position this young pup will wind up playing down the road. Theo’s shot is still a work in progress, but the talent he’s got will land in SLAMonline’s initial Fresh 25 of 2014.
Gary Clark, 6-6, PF, Clayton, 2014
Known as a sleeper early on amongst scouts in North Carolina, I was fortunate enough to get a glimpse of Clark early on in the high school season and got to see what all of the buzz was about. Clark didn’t kill against the older comp, but he showed off the athleticism and potential that make him one to watch in the future.
Aaron Rountree, 6-7, SF/PF, The Greenfield School, 2012
Coming from eastern North Carolina, a lot of cats didn’t know about Aaron Rountree in his younger days. Once he committed to Wake Forest, peeps quickly took notice. He’s versatile enough to play either forward position with his great court vision and ability to finish in the paint. Though Aaron averaged only 9 points per game, it was his ability to play so many different positions that set him apart from the rest of the pack.