By James Blackburn
Basketball Elite was able get out to the Phenom Hoops event in Greensboro to scout the Phenom 150 Showcase. Rick Lewis and Jamie Shaw did a great job once again of bringing in some of the areas top talent to play in front of scouts and numerous college coaches. Here are the players who stood out to me divided up by class.
John Brewer (Caldwell Academy, 6’4″, SF/PF)
John seems to improve every time I have seen him. Normally plays the undersized PF role but today played on the perimeter a decent bit and showcase the ability to put the ball on the floor and a nice euro step in transition. Draws contact at a high rate and is a good rebounder. Has a go-to spin turn around jumper move in the post. Solid inside/outside threat who D3 colleges should be on heavily.
Ben Ferguson (Southwest Guilford, 6’5″, SG/SF)
Ben was one of the few players today that I saw and heard communicating on the floor. Lights out 3 point shooter who has a low release but deep range. Crashed the offensive boards and has good size for his position. Needs to improve his lateral quickness but is a player who can play at the next level.
Jordan Harris (Caldwell Academy, 6’0″, G)
Jordan does a lot of the little things during the game that often go un-noticed. Strong slasher.
Ben Ferguson (Southwest Guilford, 6’5″, SG/SF)
Ben really played well today at the event and was one of the few players that I saw and heard communicating on the floor. Lights out 3 point shooter who has a low release but deep range. Crashes the offensive boards. Needs to improve his lateral quickness but is a player that will play at the next level.
Drew Cone (East Forsyth, 5’7″, PG)
Drew didn’t try to do too much today and was solid throughout the day. Was a floor general on the court and knocked down numerous 3 pointers. Drew has been receiving interest from multiple D3 and D2 schools as of late.
Samuel Arnold (Home School, 6’7″, F)
Sam did some good things today in the limited time I saw him play. He has good length and can shoot the ball well from deep.
Brenton Davis (Victory Christian, 6’3″, PG)
Brenton was unstoppable today in the game I saw. He plays with great poise and pace. Solid change of speed guard who can get to the paint at will and finish with contact. Excellent ball handler and on-ball defender. Goes off of 2 feet when he attacks the rim and has a crafty spin move. Tough guard who D2 schools should be all over.
Riley Jones (Lake Norman, 6’10”, C)
Riley showed the ability to get solid post position and good patience once he received the ball. Strong bodied player who has some good footwork not usually seen from a player his age. Needs to improve quickness and ability to create space with his moves.
Omar Petty (Kings Mountain, 6’4″, F)
Strong and decent athlete who is willing to play in the post. Rebounds the ball with 2 hands. Has potential.
Jalen Johnson (Wesleyan, 6’5″, SF)
Arguably the best athlete I saw today, Johnson had numerous above the rim finishes. His game is not limited to his athleticism however as he is a knockdown shooter from deep. The lefty plays both ends of the floor and showcased terrific timing to block shot after shot. Has good length and can handle the ball pretty well. Both mid major and a few high majors should be tracking.
Greyson Kelly (North Raleigh Christian, 6’2″, G)
Greyson plays the game as hard as anyone. He is consistent from both the 3 point line and from mid-range and attacks the rim hard. Aggressive and strong, Kelly is a player who should see some D2 interest come his way if he hasn’t already.
Ebuka Izunda (Victory Christian, 6’10”, C)
Izunda rebounded the ball well and had several terrific outlet passes. Looked solid around the basket keeping the ball high and and finishing with 2 hands. Better defensive player at this stage than on offense. Still needs to work on his hands and a go-to move but is projecting to be a MM+ player at this point.
Osinachi Smart (New Garden Friends, 6’8″, C)
Terrific rebounder who plays with a high motor and really hustles on both ends. A little raw offensively but can and will improve here. Works hard to post up and also sets ball screens. Has a team first attitude despite the fact he didn’t get the ball at lot. Had several big time 2 hand finishes above the rim and I thought he was one of the best bigs in attendance today.
Brendan Newton (Faith Christian School, 7’2″, C)
Standing 7′ plus Newton was the tallest player in attendance. He is long and lanky but has big upside. He keeps the ball high and runs the floor well. He did a good job of blocking or contesting a number of shots, but can’t disappear from the game. He will need to add strength and a go-to post move but is projecting as at least a MM player.
Douglas Elks (Ravenscroft, 6’3″, G)
Elks had a great showing today at camp. Has a good looking jump shot and showed he could play both on and off the ball. Unselfish passer and play-maker. Crashed the boards. Good basketball IQ.
Jordan Perkins (Greensboro Day, 5’11”, PG)
Tremendous ball handler who has the ball on a string. Over-dribbles at times but has a solid pull up game.
JP Moorman (Greensboro Day, 6’6″, G/F)
JP was one of the most versatile players I saw on the day and his play really impressed me. He did it all for his team and ran PG for most of the time on the floor. Solid court vision and is unselfish. Strong player who can finish inside. Defended and showed he could knock down open shots. Made some good reads and handled the ball well. One of the top five players I saw today and is going to have multiple college choices when its all said and done.
Blake Harris (Carlisle School, 6’3″, PG)
Plays at a great pace. Solid lead guard who made great reads and has good floor vision. One of if not the best PG I saw on the day. Solid rebounder who has good size and length for position. Stayed in front of the ball and hit some open shots. Made a few passes tough by trying to make the highlight but is a D1 guard.
Tripp Greene (Forsyth Country Day, 6’0″, G)
Tripp played well in the opening game today I saw. He is always solid and is unselfish on the floor. Lights out set shooter from deep. Can play either guard position.
Nick Brown (Caldwell Academy, 5’10”, PG)
Nick played very well in game 1 at the camp and hit numerous 3’s. High IQ player who will continue to improve as he gets stronger.
KJ Henry (Forsyth Country Day, 6’5″, F)
Versatile and athletic forward who can put the ball on the floor and face the basket. Multi-sport athlete who looked a little out of rhythm today, partly because he has been playing football heavily this season. Tough player who will has potential.
John Newman III (Greensboro Day, 6’4″, F)
Confident player who really gets after it. Solid shot blocker. Unselfish player who doesn’t play outside his limitations. Understands the game on both ends and can handle the ball. I liked his on-court attitude as well.
Blan Hodges (Alexander Central, 5’11”, G)
Blan knocked down set 3 after set 3 today and showed he was not afraid to mix it up with players who were older and bigger. Plays with good confidence.