On Saturday, I had the opportunity to travel to the Charlotte, North Carolina area to watch Oak Hill (VA) square off against Moravian Prep (NC) at Carmel Christian School. Many thought this might be another easy victory for Oak Hill, but Jeremy Ellis who runs Moravian Prep has put together one of most talented rosters to date since opening. Moravian Prep ended up taking Oak Hill into overtime, it was a heated battle. If Moravian Prep shoots a better percentage from the free-throw line then they would of pulled off the upset. I would love to see these two teams go at it again this season.

Class of 2019 Oak Hill (VA) 6-3 PG Cole Anthony | Anthony continues to impress me every time I see him, there’s a reason why he is the No. 1 player in the nation. His athleticism at the point guard spot is just on another level. It allows him to hang in the air for a long amount time to get shots off over much larger defenders with ease. He is second to none when it comes to absorbing contact and finishing through it. His IQ of how to penetrate gaps and read the second line of defense is absolutely impressive. Anthony also displayed his three-point shot which I see translating to be a 40% or higher shot for him immediately on the next level. He is also the best guard in the country dropping weak side for blocks when the initial defender is blown by. There is no doubt in my mind the Anthony is future lottery pick. Anthony is also one of the best rebounding guards in the country, in my opinion. He finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. Anthony is down to North Carolina, Georgetown, Oregon, Miami, Wake Forest, and Notre Dame as his final 6.

Class of 2019 Oak Hill (VA) 6-7 W Christian Brown | Brown has fallen in the national rankings in the last few months, but I have always been extremely high on him. He plays with one of the best motors in the country, in my opinion. This showed up versus Moravian Prep has he had three put back dunks on the offensive glass. Brown is also one of the more elite athletes in the entire 2019 class as well. Oak Hill head coach Steve Smith ran a beautiful play to isolate one side of the court to throw a lob to Brown where he finished with ferocity. Brown thrived in transition where he made multiple nice moves to get himself or a teammate an easy bucket. He also played well defensively where Brown is extremely versatile. Brown’s athleticism and foot speed allows him to guard multiple positions allowing coach Smith to put him in any pick-and-roll situation without losing anything. I believe Brown deciding to transfer to Oak Hill was the best decision he could of made for his development. He looked like the five-star prospect we have always known him to be. He played with a lot of passion. Brown finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.

Class of 2020 Oak Hill (VA) 6-3 SG Cam Thomas | Can you say a walking bucket? Thomas is one of the best scorers in the nation, if not the best pure scorer on the national level. Many people use the term three-level scorer loosely, but he is definitely a three-level scorer. Thomas possess NBA range from the three-point line which makes him a hard guard because you have to stay attached. Since as a defender you have to stay attached he opens up gaps for his teammates to penetrate where it’s hard to help off of unless you want him to knock down another three on you. Thomas showed to ability score multiple ways in transition whether it was attacking the paint or knocking down a jumper. As much as Thomas is known for his scoring he did a good job distributing the ball versus Moravian Prep. He finished with 30 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. Thomas holds offers from schools such as Miami, Oregon, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia Tech, and Florida among many more.

Class of 2019 Moravian Prep (NC) 6-9 W Josh Hall | Outside of Cole Anthony, you could argue that Hall was the best player on the court. Hall shot the ball very well from three and did a good job with his footwork spotting up in transition. You could tell Hall had a chip on his shoulder in this one playing his old team. He showed that he can score the ball in a variety of ways. Hall has a strong enough handle on the ball to play a little point-forward to initiate offense for Moravian Prep. He showed the ability to take the ball off the bounce scoring with floaters and being able to pull mid-range. Hall even had an impressive finish over Oak Hill’s 6-11 280lbs big man Kofi Cockburn, showing he can finish through contact on much larger defenders. It baffles me that he doesn’t have any high-major offers. This should change shortly as I have been hearing that a couple of Power 5 schools have become genuinely interested. Hall finished with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.

Class of 2019 Moravian Prep (NC) 6-3 PG Caleb Burgess | Before the game Moravian Prep told me they were a little concerned with Burgess’ health since he was banged up. He showed no sign of injury during this game. Burgess is a straight dog and played like it against Oak Hill. Burgess does a good job using leverage to make moves to get defenders off balance to create space for his jump shots. What I like most about him is the ball pressure he applied while being injured that game. It speaks volumes to me when a player can suck up any injuries for a big time game to be there for his teammates. He was the catalyst for Moravian Prep, holding all of his teammates accountable as one of the leaders of the team. If I’m a mid-major school looking for a tough point guard, look no further. Burgess finished with a team-high 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. He holds offers from North Carolina A&T, Virginia Union, Hampton, and Winston-Salem State. If he continues this kind of play then expect mid-major programs to come calling.

Class of 2020 Moravian Prep (NC) 6-10 C Javarzia Belton | Belton is an absolute physical specimen at 6-10. He had a tough task taking on Oak Hill’s five-star 6-11 280lbs big man Kofi Cockburn, but in my opinion he won this match-up. Belton showed great patience in the post to score down low. One of the things I liked most is how well Belton ran the floor to get easy points around the rim or to suck the defense in so his teammates could get an easy shot in transition. He did a great job holding his position in the post defensively against a massive Cockburn. Anytime Belton gets it in the paint he has the ability to finish above the rim with force. He finished with 20 points and 3 rebounds. Belton holds offers from College of Charleston, UNLV, and South Carolina State. He is a typical physical gritty big man who can create his own offense through second chance opportunities. Belton has high-major potential and is another player that I expect his recruitment to pick up with the national schedule Moravian Prep has this season.

 

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