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Next Up Recruits Camp Recap (Class of 2023)

07/11/2022, 8:30pm EDT
By Next Up Recruits Staff

June 25th was our 10th Next Up Recruits Elite Exposure camp and the 6th in Kentucky. The camp was loaded with talent, media, and college coaches. It was a great day for campers who attended from multiple states to showcase their skills and gain exposure. So far, nearly 900 campers have gone on to college to play basketball and from the looks of this weekend, there will be plenty more added to the camp alumni list.

As follows are notes on some, but not all of the campers who stood out on the day from the class of 2023:

Greg Cole – 6’0 PG – 2023 – Pleasure Ridge Park (KY)

He understands the game very well, makes the right plays at the right moments, and he is scrappy on the inside. He put it on the floor and got to the rim a lot and was able to finish strong against the bigger defenders. He also showed signs of being able to be a solid floor general when he was in the game. He plays super hard, and he impacts the game in a variety of ways without the ball.

Jeremiah Israel – 6’3 CG – 2023 – Lloyd Memorial (KY)

A versatile athlete that can score the ball on all 3 levels. He was in attack mode all day at camp showing his explosiveness off the bounce. He has good touch on his floater when he is driving to the rim and sees a bigger defender in front of him. Quick off the bounce and blows by defenders. Has good footwork and a solid handle that allows him to shake off the defense. Finishes good through contact and plays above the rim. Just picked up an offer from NKU.

Cayden Lancaster – 6’5 G – 2023 – Pulaski County (KY)

He displayed a very high IQ at camp making a ton of plays on both ends of the floor. A sneaky athlete who can play on the rim and he showed it in spurts. He shoots it well from the outside and he displayed a good mid-range game at camp as well.

Keith Robinson – 6’5 F – 2023 – Pleasure Ridge Park (KY)

Has continued to polish his game since we last saw him. He’s a 3 / 4 position guy that can handle and pass like a good combo guard. Keith showed he had good court awareness and could score the ball at the rim and in the mid-range area consistently. Robinson also rebounded the ball well, and made a several open looks from beyond the arc.

Zee McCown – 5’10 PG – 2023 – Pleasure Ridge Park (KY)

A very quick and shifty guard who sees the game 1-2 plays ahead. He can knockdown the deep ball and has a smooth one dribble pull up game. Defensively he is a dog who gets into opponents 94 feet. He plays passing lanes very well.

Gerard Thomas – 6’2 PG – 2023 – Henderson County (KY)

A strong framed bulldog point guard that gets wherever he wants on the floor. He has sneaky athleticism, and he is very capable of catching bodies, as he caught one at camp. He competes hard on both ends of the floor and he can score at a high level. He has a nice handle and he hardly ever lost control of the ball.

Miles Franklin – 6’3 G – 2023 – Ballard (KY)

He was an absolute DOG at camp going by any defender in his way and scoring the ball in every way possible. When he got hot, he stayed hot. He sees the floor great and makes very good passes that usually lead to easy buckets for his teammates. His motor runs high and you get a lot of effort from him.

Gabe Sisk – 6’5 SG – 2023 – Ballard (KY)

Was impressive all camp and put on a scoring clinic. He has a big, solid frame and understands how to use it. Sisk, dominated the glass and bullied defenders for position to score the ball. He played physical all day and showcased his ability to score from all areas of real estate on the court. He should be a match up nightmare this season with his athleticism, 3 point shot, and ability to kill from the mid-range.

Omari Glover – 6’3 G – 2023 – Warren Central (KY)

Plays extremely hard and with a motor. Loves to penetrate gaps on offense and he gets to the paint at a very high rate. He finishes well through traffic, and he can extend the floor and hit the deep ball.

Trent Edwards – 6’8 F – 2023 – George Rogers Clark (KY)

He comes with great length that allows him to rim protect at a high level. He plays above the rim, and he runs the floor like a deer. Always stays active on defense and he almost always times his blocks perfectly.

Maki Johnson – 6’4 SG – 2023 – Huntington Prep (WV)

An elite outside shooter who competes on both ends of the floor. He finds his own offense when the ball is in his hands, and he is great at knowing when to attack the defense. He has a very high IQ and hardly ever takes forced shots.

Jerone Morton – 6’3 G – 2023 – George Rogers Clark (KY)

A smooth lefty that displays a college ready body. He never goes away from contact and he plays right through the defense. Scores from all 3 levels with his smooth mid-range jumper and 3 ball. He was a lock down defender, and a banger inside for boards and finishes.

John McCrear – 6’8 F – 2023 – Woodford County (KY)

A high motor rim runner that dunks everything available to him. He brings versatility to the floor with his abilities to put the ball on the floor, knockdown outside shots, and score around the rim with the best of them. He is super explosive getting off the floor quick and he provides very solid rim protection on the defensive end.

Darion Johnson – 6’9 C – 2023 – Ferndale (MI)

Johnson was one of the biggest campers and he owned the paint when he was in the game. He uses his size to his advantage gaining post position with ease. Had a good soft touch around the basket and scored points in the low post. Rebounded a lot on the day and altered plenty of shots.  

Mason Guffey – 6’5 CG – 2023 – Taylor County (KY)

A long armed guard that has the ability to shoot the ball consistently from the middle of the floor extended beyond the 3 point line. Guffey, can create his own shot and is a willing defender. He is athletic, and can play above the rim offensively and is a solid rebounding guard.

Ian Hart – 6’7 W – 2023 – McCracken County

He was handling the ball well, slashing, shooting, and had several nice dunk finishes throughout the day. With his size and length, he was able to get in the middle of the floor for pull-ups and shoot over smaller defenders. Hart, has a good head on his shoulders for the game and knows where his teammates are on the floor at all times. He was fun to watch all day.

Quentin Simmons – 6’1 G – 2023 – Collins High School

Played well on the day. He is an athletic guard, with a quick handle quick feet. He can get by defenders to score or pass. His jump shot was working, and he participated with good feel and energy all day. Quentin, should have a really good year.

Jordan Blythe – 6’1 PG – 2023 – Moore (KY)

A shifty PG that has the ball on a string. He makes winning plays and is an unselfish player. Can score the ball well when attacking, but has excellent court vision. Once he polishes up his perimeter jumper, the sky is the limit. A lock down on ball defender that gives maximum effort.

CJ Walls – 6’2 G – 2023 – Trinity (KY)

Walls is a glue guy that makes all of the smart plays and does a lot of the dirty work on the court that sometimes get overlooked. He has a high IQ and is a knock down 3-point shooter with range.

Rheyce DeBoard – 6’1 PG – 2023 – Ashland (KY)

An all-around solid performance at camp. He was scoring consistently and making plays for others in transition. He likes to push tempo and get the offense rolling before the defense can get set.

Ondre Wicks – 6’5 SF – 2023 – Western HS (KY)

Wicks is a player with a motor that does not stop. He can defend multiple positions and rebounds well at his size. Offensively, he is a slasher that excels at getting to the rack off the bounce. The wing is very athletic and will try and dunk it when he can. If he can add a more consistent jumper to his arsenal, his stock will rise even more.

Hudson Sparks – 6’5 SG – 2023 – Lexington Catholic (KY)

A sneaky athletic player that will finish above the rim when given the opportunity. Has a good feel and scores it well off the bounce. Finishes around the basket and shoots the ball well from mid-range and beyond the arc. He has a quick trigger off the catch and shoot and showed it at camp.

Reece Potter – 7’0 C – 2023 – Lexington Catholic (KY)

Potter showed why he is one of the top players in the state of Kentucky at our camp. Legit 7’0, has great hands, soft touch, and plenty of skill to stretch the floor and knockdown a consistent 3 ball. He is effective inside/out, dunks anything he can and defensively alters a lot of shots. Runs the floor and once his body feels out, there is no telling how good he can be.

Gabe Dynes – 7’3 C – 2023 – Simon Kenton (KY)

The big fella continues to get better and showed his progress at camp. He effects the game in a big way defensively. A high-level shot blocker that can alter anything in his area. His 7’3+ wingspan makes opponents not even want to attempt anything around the basket. He showed great touch around the basket, but also has the ability to step out and make jump shots. His future is promising. Look for a school to want to red shirt this young man and develop his body.

Crew Gibson – 6’8 SF – 2023 – DeSales (KY)

The lefty is skilled for his size and can shoot the ball very well from beyond the arc. Has a good handle for his position and showed that he can make things happen off the bounce rather than just be a set catch and shoot guy.  We believe that Crew is one of the most slept on available 2023 prospects in Kentucky.

Hunter Barr – 6’8 PF – 2023 – Breckinridge County (KY)

Hunter showed that he can run the floor, rebound in and around his area, and has nice touch around the basket. He can stretch the defense out with his ability to cash out the 3 ball when given the chance. Defensively, he stood his ground and was effective with his size, length, and athleticism altering shots.

Micah Engle – 6’6 PG – 2023 – Lynn Camp (KY)

A tall, versatile PG that can play on and off the ball. He has no issue finishing in traffic as he showed throughout the day. Can shoot the ball well from mid-range and 3. Defends multiple positions. Some college coach is going to get a steal because if he keeps working on his game, he is going to be very effective in college long term. Has all of the tools that coaches look for in a player.

WaDeng Wel – 6’11 C – 2023 – Apollo (KY)

Long, runs the floor, rebounds, alters shots, and plays hard. Has good touch around the basket. He is able to step out and knock down a mid range and even a 3 ball. Would love to see him be more physical and bang down low more. But he does have some promising upside.

Barek Williams – 6’1 PG – 2023 – Pulaski County (KY)

An unselfish playmaker that creates for teammates finding them in spots that make it easiest for them to score. Scored it well all day long and from all over the court. Good mechanics on his jump shot. Was impressed with how he made people around him better.

Devyn Powers – 6’1 SG – 2023 – Hancock County (KY)

Devyn was scorching the nets from deep and with consistency. If he had any room at all he was making his defender pay. Off the bounce, step back, or curling off of a screen, this kid can make the shot. One of the better shooters at the camp.

Qwanie McCallister – 5’11 PG – 2023 – Keys Gate HS (FL)

A shifty strong framed PG that gets where he wants off the dribble. He can finish with either hand comfortably when getting to the basket. Has a nice pull up and step back jumper. A dog on the defensive. Great court vision and passing skills. Definitely under the radar in the 2023 class.

Larenz Smith – 6’5 G – 2023 – Moore (KY)

A high-level athlete that plays above the rim. Very explosive off the bounce. Scores it well when slashing. Rebounds out of his area. Defends his butt off. Look for him to make some noise in the city of Louisville this HS Season.

Marcus Barker – 5’8 PG – 2023 – Fern Creek (KY)

A fast PG that loves to push tempo when he can. Finds open teammates and makes good passes. He is a shifty guard that can get into the paint, knock down a floater, finish with craftiness, or dump down to a big for the finish.

Lamar Conner – 6’0 PG – 2023 – Augusta Independent (KY)

Conner showed that he can create his own shot from the perimeter. He handles the ball well and has good vision. Dropped a few nice dimes throughout the camp day.

Josh Lewis – 6’0 PG – 2023 – Seneca (KY)

Lewis is an extra shifty guard with a quick first step.  He is tough to stay in front of and it seems he gets downhill when he wants. A good athlete that is a crafty finisher at the basket.  Good vision, passes well, and a playmaker that made shots from all over.

Preston Thomas – 6’2 CG – 2023 – University Heights Academy (KY)

Thomas showed a lot of toughness on his drives throughout the day making multiple shots through contact after getting downhill. Finished the ball in traffic with a lot of confidence. Gets by his man with consistency and this stood out about him during camp.

Riley Mastin – 6’6 SF – 2023 – Mason County (KY)

He showed off his versatility throughout the day. Mastin can score inside and out. He has a solid post game, but also has the ability to face up and use his guard skill set to make plays off the bounce. Shoots the ball well from the perimeter.

Eric Hackett – 6’2 G – 2023 – Tates Creek (KY)

One of the biggest sleepers in Lexington. Hackett can get hot and go crazy offensively. He is a versatile scorer that has enough in his bag to mix it up quite a bit. Can score from all 3 levels and has a really good mid-range game. If he can have a big senior year, he will pick up some offers.

Kai Simpson – 6’2 PG – 2023 – Frederick Douglass (KY)

One of the toughest guards in Lexington and showed why at camp. An aggressive play style that can get it done in so many ways. Has a smooth jump shot that he can get off whenever he wants with his ability to create space.  One of the craftiest finishers around the rim. Not just a scorer, an overall playmaker that is very under the radar with his recruitment. Picked up an NAIA offer from camp.

Walter Campbell – 6’6 SF – 2023 – Western Hills (KY)

One of the strongest players in the gym, no matter what gym he is in. An athletic slasher that gets his points when attacking the basket. Finishes through any contact. Rebounds and defends at a high level. An underrated passer. Always plays hard and gives you his maximum effort.

Trent Hinkle – 5’10 PG – 2023 – Western HS (KY)

Hinkle gets up the court as fast as anyone I have seen in transition and is a serious threat when doing so. A crafty finisher in traffic. Gets both of his feet into the paint when he wants and makes good reads when the defense adjusts. His recruitment is surprisingly still wide open.

Nick Spalding – 6’2 CG – 2023 – Dunbar (KY)

3 level bucket getter. Easily one of the top shooters in KY. Supreme confidence as a shooter and has explosive scoring ability. Competitive and plays hard on both ends. Will be one of the top scorers in the state this season.

Sawyer Thompson – 6’1 CG – 2023 – Wolfe County

Big time shooter from 3, nice pull up in the midrange, and makes winning plays. Doesn’t force things. 32 on his ACT. High academic schools need to lock in on him.

Zac Cox – 5’10 PG – 2023 – Franklin County (KY)

A heady player that plays an unselfish game. He made plays for others and took shots when the offense came to him. Can score it off the bounce, as well as a good catch and shoot player. Has a good handle and makes players around him better.

Drew Marshall – 6’4 CG – 2023 – West Jessamine (KY)

A good-sized athletic guard that stayed in passing lanes throughout the day.  He is an elite competitor with a high motor. Plays harder than anyone on the court and makes winning plays for his team. He is a good scorer and showed so with his jump shot and ability to get by his man and finish. All in all, Drew could be a great glue guy at the next level.

Luke Stansbury – 6’4 G – 2023 – Greenwood (KY)

This rising senior may have been the most unselfish player in the entire camp. We all know that camp is “get yours while you can” setting for most, but for Luke, he was the setup guy for everyone on his team. He had more assists than anyone we saw that day with his willingness to give up the ball. He is a big-time shooter from 3 as well, but he really showcased his vision in the 5 on 5 games.

Jakob Fredricksen – 6’8 PF – Central Hardin (KY)

A combination of size and skill. Fredricksen can impact the game offensively from inside and out. Has good touch and a plethora of post moves. Also, has enough skill to face up, make plays off the bounce, and has a capable jumper out to 3. Runs the floor and rebounds.

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