There are some big events taking place this weekend to kick off the regular season for many high schools in the Southeast. Given that, here is one more camp recap from the fall. I have been going to the Upward Stars Combine for the last 4 years; this year’s edition brought together a good group of talent from South Carolina and a few border states. I was able to follow up on guys I’ve see previously, as well as collecting some new names. My focus was mainly on underclassmen, so this article will focus on non-seniors who caught my eye during the camp.

6’9” 2025 Trent Steinour (Lake Norman)
There were impressive flashes from Steinour when I watched him briefly during the travel season; those were more frequent in Spartanburg and it seems like he has expanded his game a good bit over the last few months as well. Standing at 6’9”, Steinour has long arms & legs and has great mobility for a young prospect of his size. Those traits matched with good activity makes him a presence inside both offensively & defensively. He is quick off the floor and constantly involved as a rim protector, runs the floor hard in transition, and has reliable hands. Steinour also made a point to show he’s a capable outside shooter, displaying textbook form and connecting on multiple 3’s during live play. There are a lot of things to like about his long-term potential, especially when he adds strength. Steinour suffered an ankle injury last month but should be returning to the court soon.

6’6” 2024 Caden Kreger (Powdersville)
A player I hadn’t seen before the Combine, Kreger made sure to leave a lasting impression with his performance during the day. He was locked in & aggressive from start to finish, making things happen on offense with consistency. At around 6’6” or so, Kreger is an exceptional outside shooter. He’s already able to shoot over guys because of his height but also has a really quick release that helps him and can make shots off the dribble. If there’s ever an opportunity from deep, he won’t hesitate to try to take advantage of it. When identified as a shooter, Kreger proved to be competent with the ball in his hands and made some crafty plays for both himself & others that showed IQ. Size & shooting are always a combination that will attract college coaches, and Kreger has that. I’m interested to track how his game keeps expanding. The 2022-23 season could be a big one for him.

6'2" 2024 Justin Ray (Eastside)
I first watched Ray during the 2021 travel season at the 15U level but didn’t get consistent viewings of him since then. I was glad to be able to see him again in this event, where the progress he showed in his game was very encouraging. Most notable is how his explosiveness has come along. Ray springs above the rim without much effort, he’s able to hang in the air when finishing, and is hard to stay in front of off the dribble. He also makes good use of his athleticism on the defensive end. He has good hands, quick feet, and blocks shots often for a guard. Ray can make a lot happen with the ball on offense, showing a well-rounded game and the ability to play the 1 or 2. Wofford recently offered him and his name is picking up a good amount of traction among regional programs. As his physical development & maturation continues to come, an even larger rise could come for Ray.

6'7" 2025 Hayden Assemian (Legacy Early College)
Even as a 2025, Assemian was among the most physically imposing players in attendance and put it to use a lot. He played with power & aggression around the basket, converting in traffic and finishing with force above the rim. He was a factor down low all day and didn’t let up. Assemian also showed that he can step out to around 15-17 feet and put the ball on the floor, initiating contact and bullying guys to get where he wants. His strength was an asset rebounding the ball as well and I think he has tons of potential in that area. When his motor is going and he’s sticking to his strengths, he’s a tough cover. Assemian recently transferred to Legacy Early College and will be taking on the challenge of playing in the NIBC for 3 years, which should help him.