What we learned: SC Top 80
When you throw together a group of talented individuals to compete against one another, things tend to sort themselves out.
The South Carolina Top 80 was conceptualized with the intent on bringing in the best talent in South Carolina, putting them on the floor and then let the storylines write themselves.
Here is what we learned from the South Carolina Top 80.
A Pair of Young PGs Face Off
These events always provide a setting to see young talent. As a scout it is always fun to be able to watch who are the next prospects in line. By this time, we are well versed in the 2021 class, but with the 2024 class entering high school it is always a fun time to be able to parse through some matchups.
One of the little advertised matchups put 6’3” 2024 Jahseem Felton of Rock Hill, SC/Westminster Catawba Christian against 6’1” 2024 Kyle Greene of Blythewood, SC/Blythewood High. This matchup was one of the final matchups of the day and took place on one of the back courts while the camp semi-finals were taking place on the arena floor. I made my way over to watch as this one piqued my interest.
As expected, the two players did guard one another and each had their moments. Greene showcased ability in the open court as he cut the floor and made great reads. Greene understands angles and can score as well as distribute at a high level. Felton does a good job in the half court, where he uses his change of pace to get to his spots. Felton is already a known commodity, Greene is up and coming, but make no mistake, this matchup will be a fun one to continue to track in the coming years.
RJ Felton Wants All the Smoke
I made note of it early in the summer, but the second quarantine was open, Aiken, SC/Aiken High senior RJ Felton hit the road to play in every pick up game he could. This included the elite prep players in the state, as well as college players and pros who were home. He would drive across the state of there was an open run taking place.
The word of this got around, college coaches took notice and Felton used quarantine to pick up 10+ Division 1 offers. Felton has since committed to East Carolina and he has not slowed down his chasing the action. Despite there being 35 2021 players in the Carolina’s who are committed already, Felton was one of three who showed up to participate.
As expected, he was a standout showcasing the explosion ability to above the rim, a first step burst to touch the paint and the shot making ability to score from each level. Felton fits the blue-collar mentality Joe Dooley is instilling at East Carolina.
Noah Clowney is Starting to Emerge as a National Prospect
South Carolina already has three guys in the 2022 class who are ranked among the nation’s Top 150 prospects. At the time of this writing 6’10” Noah Clowney of Spartanburg, SC/Dorman High is on the outside looking in, however he continues to show it is only a matter of time.
Clowney checks all the boxes teams are looking for in modern day bigs as he is a very mobile big who has the ability to switch on defense, the timing to protect the rim and the toughness to gather in rebounds. His offensive game is still rounding out, but he already shows touch and hands to go with some patience with his back to the basket. In no time, Clowney should become a high major priority and the ranking should follow suit.
GG Jackson Held Up to his National Ranking
Ridge View's GG Jackson recently earned a Top 30 national ranking for the 2023 class. Of the 11 South Carolina players who are ranked among the Top 150 prospects in the 2021, 2022, 2023 classes, GG was the only one to show up for this camp. As would be expected, GG walked away as the MVP of the South Carolina side of things.
His tools are tantalizing. He has legit size to go with a skill set that allows him to attack from all over the floor. GG is also tough around the basket as he rebounds both ends and consistently blocks/alters shots at the rim. Top 30 is the starting point, now it is up to him to how good he gets. Early returns are promising.