Commentary

Carolina Challenge features elite talent

Originally Published: March 29, 2010
By Mike LaPlante | ESPN Recruiting

CARY, N.C. -- Dave Telep's Carolina Challenge featured some of the top talent North Carolina has to offer. The well organized, one-day event was a great opportunity to evaluate the majority of the state's best players. The event also provided educational opportunities for prospects to become better informed about the recruiting process.

[+] EnlargeKelly Kline
Kelly Kline Quincy Miller's list of suitors includes Duke, Wake Forest and Kentucky.

Standouts

Quincy Miller PF (6-9, 205)
2011, Winston-Salem, N.C./Quality Education

One of the top players nationally in the 2011 class, Miller is a long athletic player who draws comparisons to Kevin Durant. The skilled forward scores in a variety of ways. He was most effective taking his opponent off the dribble or knocking down 3s from the perimeter. What is most impressive about Miller is the extraordinary skill set that he brings as a 6-9 player; he does it all! He has a guard mentality in a forward's body. He blocks shots, rebounds on both ends, handles and passes the ball, knocks down 3s and defends. He is always a joy to watch.

Bishop Daniels SG (6-2, 175)
2011, Raleigh, NC/Word of God
Daniels was a phenomenal scorer throughout the day. He led all players with a 21.7 average over three games. It is evident that he has worked hard on improving his perimeter consistency; he is a high flying athlete that combines the ability of a spectacular finisher at the rim and a pure shooter from the 3-point line. If he continues this level of play he will be a hot commodity as a high level shooting guard.

P. J. Hairston SF (6-6, 220)
2011, Greensboro, N.C./Dudley , committed to North Carolina
The North Carolina commit is a gifted athlete who showed explosiveness in the ability to get by his defender and make plays off the dribble. He knocked down jump shots from behind the arc, finished at the rim and made plays for teammates. He plays with a high level of energy and was dominant in many phases of the game as he attacked the rim in transition or crashed the offensive glass.

Tony Kimbro SF (6-6, 190)
2011, Arden, N.C./Christ School
The Louisville, Ky., native shined at this event. Although Kimbro's game is a little unorthodox, Kimbro knows how to score. He is strong and explosive with good size on the perimeter. He can put the ball on the floor and get it to the rim, or he can knock down the pull-up jumper. He has an attacking mentality and is relentless at putting pressure on his defender in both the half court or transition.

Surprise player

Montrezel Harrell PF (6-7, 215)
2012, Tarboro, N.C./North Edgecomb
Only a rising junior, Harrell created a lot of buzz with his play against some of North Carolina's best. He is bouncy and active around the rim, using his length to get second-chance opportunities. He also showed he can be a big-time finisher in transition. He is developing his perimeter offensive skills and has improved his ballhandling while becoming a legitimate threat from behind the arc. He is an impressive specimen, immediately passes the look test; as one of the top players in North Carolina's 2012 class, his recruitment will begin to heat up in a hurry.

One-to-watch

Tyrek Coger PF/C (6-8, 235)
2013, Raleigh, N.C./Upper Room
Coger has the potential to be one of the top post players in the 2013 class. The sophomore loves to play, is very skilled for his age and was dominant throughout the day with his active, aggressive play. He has a mature low-post game; Coger understands how to seal his man in the low post and is patient once he receives the ball. He showed impressive ability passing to cutters or kicking it out to shooters. He consistently gives good effort running the floor in transition.

Notes

• 2012 small forward T.J. Warren (Durham, N.C./Riverside) continues to be impressive each time we see him. At 6-6, he has the size and skill level of a future ACC wing.

Jacob Lawson (Oak Ridge, N.C./Oak Ridge Military), a 6-8 athletic power forward with a motor, was active all over the floor . In particular, he was a terror in transition and on the offensive boards.

• Already considered a top prospect nationally in the 2011 class, Marquis Rankin (Charlotte/Vance) was impressive with his improved range and his decision making.

• North Carolina's 2013 class represented itself well. Some outstanding names to remember include 6-7 Kennedy Meeks (Charlotte/West Charlotte), 6-3 Allerik Freeman (Charlotte/United Faith Christian), 6-2 Anton Gill (Raleigh, N.C./Ravencroft), 6-6 Greg McClinton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Winston-Salem Prep), and 6-5 Marcus Bryan (Raleigh, N.C./Ravencroft).

Tyler Lewis (Lewisville, N.C./Forsyth Country Day), a 5-10 point guard in the 2012 class, is a fearless magician with the ball. One of the top passers in the country regardless of class, he has steadily improved his overall game with an outstanding work ethic. He and 2012 classmate Braxton Ogbueze (Charlotte/Vance) should enjoy a healthy rivalry in the coming years.

• 2011 Xavier commitment Dezmine Wells (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) showed that he is ready for life in the spot light as he came out of the gate smoking from the perimeter in game one.

Jervon Pressley (Charlotte/Waddell) and Bernard Sullivan (Huntersville/North Mecklenburg) are two forwards in the 2011 class whom the high majors will follow.

• As always big man Marshall Plumlee (Arden, N.C./Christ School) is one of my favorite players to watch. His attitude and work ethic are what coaches covet. He is improving athletically and has an outstanding skill level for a young post player.

Mike LaPlante has spent nearly 20 years coaching college basketball. Most recently, he was the head coach at Jacksonville State University.