Each week, we'll take a look back at our North Carolina preseason All-State basketball team and update you on how some of those players are faring this year. There will be a Prime-Time Player (PTP), an Other Top Player (OTP) and an Under the Radar (UTR) player who is making his case as one of the state's top ballers.
Here's who to keep an eye on:
PTP: Allerik Freeman, Olympic, Junior
The highly touted junior earned MVP honors at the Upward Classic in South Carolina after leading the top-ranked Trojans to a big win against defending 4A champ West Charlotte in the tournament final. Freeman then put on a show in a 90-45 rout of West Mecklenburg, scoring 11 points on three 3-pointers and a dunk with UNC coach Roy Williams in attendance during the Jan. 3 contest. The Trojans need a similar effort Friday with No. 7 Harding on tap.
OTP: Peter Jurkin, United Faith Christian, Senior
The Falcons have struggled this season with a 9-8 record, but if Jurkin continues to play like he did in a 90-69 win against Gaston Day, things could turn around. The Indiana commit tallied 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks on Jan. 3.
UTR: Jalen Ross, Greensboro Day, Senior
The Bengals are on pace to make history in consecutive weeks. Ross, who recently committed to Eastern Michigan, earned MVP honors as the Bengals overcame a 12-point deficit to beat Northwest Guilford and win its 10th Pizza Hut Invitational title on Dec. 28, tying Dudley for the most tournament crowns. On Saturday, Ross will look to help his coach, Freddie Johnson, become the state's all-time winningest high school coach. With a win against Providence Day, the Bengals coach would move into first with 819 career victories. With this rèsumè and a 14-1 record, don't be surprised to see the Bengals in next week's rankings.
Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.