6’9″ PF Carter Lang (Team Loaded VA)
In my first live viewing of him, Lang had a big matchup early on Sunday morning and rose to the occasion in Loaded’s win over Team United. He mixes old school and new school with a grown-man build that uses well inside paired with the ability to stretch the floor. Lang did not need the ball fed to him a bunch on the block; he made it easy by running straight to the rim and giving his teammates a good target, crashing the glass for tip-ins, and hitting trail 3’s at the top of the key. At the 16U level, he’s too much to handle physically for most. Lang is listed at 240, which includes a lot of muscle, allowing him to get positioning and punish guys in the post. He could take plays off and still get double-doubles often, but I thought his motor ran high throughout the game and it was needed against a fellow talented team.
6’10” PF Brandon White (Team United)
Lang’s adversary in the Loaded-United 16U matchup, White is a physical force himself who has solidified himself as a powerful shot-blocker and dunker; he is always look to make aggressive plays in the paint on both ends of the floor. While I know I’ll always get that from him, White is making some noticeable strides with his skillset as well. There were a few different times where he showed patience in the post and connected on hooks in the paint, in addition to taking & making some jumpers. You could also tell he wanted the matchup with Lang as he brought intensity & energy from the opening tip and tried to make an impact whenever possible. He made the move to 2023 prior to the spring and if he keeps progressing in the skill area he could have almost any choice of schools he desires.
6’6″ W Justin Edwards & 6’9″ PF Kachi Nzeh (Team Final)
Team Final’s 16U and 17U groups both won championships in their respective divisions with deep talent on both teams. Edwards and Nzeh were most noteworthy with the 16’s, making big, consistent contributions during their title run. After a great showing at Midwest Mania in my first viewing of him, Edwards seemed to raise his play to another level at Southern Jam Fest. He has length, smooth athletic ability, a reliable 3-point shot, and can be effective as a scorer and decision-maker in a multitude of spots. There just weren’t many other wings who could matchup with him and contain him during the weekend. He’s already pretty well regarded but a summer blowout could definitely be in the cards for him.
Nzeh possesses some of the prototypical run & jump qualities that are coveted for bigs these days, but also proved to be more than that during the weekend. There’s some definition to his upper body, he gets off the floor well off either 1 or 2 feet, and is active in the paint both offensively & defensively. What raised his value for me is the potential to his skillset. There were multiple times during the weekend where he looked comfortable facing up for 10-12 foot jumpers with decent form and touch. Coaches have caught on early with him and I am excited to get another look at him during July.
6’7″ SF Khali Horton (Wildcat Select)
In the best game I saw all weekend, Horton impressed with his versatility and aggressive approach on offense. He went for 22 points against Team Takeover, using a mixture of size and perimeter skill that was hard for the opponent to stop. Once Horton saw one 3 go in, he got confident and looked for opportunities beyond the arc often. He then used that to either shot fake or rip past closeouts on the wing, where he can get to the basket in few dribbles to either finish through contact and power home a dunk. He has the body to be an effective rebounder also, and did so against Takeover. All of the different tools he showed will quickly get the attention of coaches as a 6’7″ 2023 prospect. George Washington jumped in with an offer earlier this week and he should definitely be one that reels in a handful more over the next 2 months.