Scouting Notes: Fab 40 2017

Some scouting notes from the 2017 Fab 40 Eastern NC Regional, which invites 40 of the top unsigned players from a region to compete in front of college coaches. With over 20 college coaches in attendance and multiple media outlets, the event once again allowed those players a chance to be seen by schools who are looking to add to their rosters. With that said, here are some of my scouting notes from the event. I wasn’t able to fully scout every player since I was also involved with the game broadcasts, so I’ve only included the players I was able to make notes on in person. Video replay of the games and full rosters are also below. All schools listed by players are located in North Carolina.

Jarvez Ellis (G/F, 6’4, 2017)Village Christian – solid perimeter player with size who showed an ability to handle the ball and pass in traffic. Also showed solid deep release and good first step, able to beat defenders to the basket off of the dribble.

Emmanuel Izunabor (F/C, 6’9, 2019) Fayetteville Academy – really like the prospects of Izunabor, who has great timing on rebounds, putbacks and blocked shots. Great length and plays above the rim, and is a 2019 player who will no doubt add strength over the next two years. Izunabor is definitely a college prospect, so I’d say the next step for him is strength in order to establish rebounding position on the blocks as well as continue to improve his back-to-the-basket arsenal.

Omari Wilson (SG, 6’3, 2017) Village Christian – athletic slashing guard with an ability to play above the rim and has good timing. High level, active athlete. Showed some ability to hit from deep today as well.

China Jones (SG/SF, 6’5, 2017) Bull City Prep – big time scorer, deep shooter with high, quick, fluid release on the move. Great timing and definitely has college athleticism. Can play the 2 or 3 but looks to me to be a perfect big 2 for a college roster. Can blister teams from deep.

Liam Caswell (G, 6’4, 2018) Ocracoke HS – shifty scorer who showed an ability to finish inside repeatedly. Ability to move without the ball a plus but has good size at the guard position.

Eric Fox (F, 6’7, 2017) Apex HS – Great hands and control from Fox, who was playing at the 4 spot with Izanabor playing in the middle. Fox has good timing and can score effectively, and really took advantage of playing with another big in the lineup. Moves really well without the ball. Today looked like a stretch 4 but with continued work could fill in at the 5 and some 3 at the college level.

John Michael Wright (G, 6′, 2019) Fayetteville Academy – Quick guard who disrupted the passing lanes and showed great lateral quickness. Was able to score in transition or the halfcourt, but has a balanced game.

Samson Strickland (F, 6’6, 2017) Fike HS – Listed as a PF/C, where he would be undersized at the college level, but showed an ability to play facing the basket and really looks like he’s got the potential to be a 3. Decent footwork in the post led to several second chance points and moves well without the ball.

William Obeyni (F, 6’5, 2019) Fayetteville Academy – while I saw several forwards who showed an understanding of how to move without the ball, perhaps Obeyni was the player who I noticed the most. He did a good job of paying attention to the guards and moving to the righ spot to make himself a target and it paid off multiple times, scoring on dump offs and being in the right spot. Good hands and can finish above the rim.

Trevon Spencer (G/F, 6’3, 2019) Word of God – Despite being listed at only 6’3, Spencer had perhaps the most impressive rebounding game I saw during his first game. Extremely good timing and at times seemed to be everywhere. Athletic and active, with some good upside.

Josh Raiford (F/C 6’7, 2017) Smithfield-Selma HS – runs the pick and roll well and plays through contact in the post. Good strength.

Jimmy Sanders III (PG, 5’10, 2018) Wayne Country Day – solid ballhandler running the point and ability to get to the rim and finish against taller defenders in the lane. Puts a lot of pressure on the defense with the dribble and good end-to-end speed.

Trevor Thomas (PG, 5’10, 2019) Gray’s Creek HS – true point guard who plays heads-up and runs the offense. Good ballhandler and passer with some definite upside.

Game One Replay:

Game One Rosters:

Above The Rim (Blue)

#67 AJ Baldwin
#14 Montre Cash
#104 Jarvez Ellis
#112 Nassyr Daniels
#51 Omari Wilson
#52 Rashad Royster
#74 Shaiquan Moore
#94 Tavarus Peterson
#116 Josh Raiford
#97 China Jones

Born 2 Win (White)

#8 Devonte Petaway
#75 Cole Humphrey
#60 Liam Caswell
# 81 Deronquez Wynn
#98 John Bowen
#10 Jimmy Sanders
#92 Reggie Raynor
#80 Don Pigford
#38 Jahiri Guthrie
#89 Samson Strickland

Game Two Replay:

Game Two Rosters:

They Got Game (Blue)

#58 Jeremiah Pope
#82 D.J. Suggs
#76 Jahmari Harvey
#102 Tyree Wiggins
#103 Zaire Williams
#50 Justin Wright
#85 Xavier Boyd
#70 Jordan McNeil
#49 Messiah Barnes
#113 Marcus Richardson

Blue Chips (White)

#72 John Michael Wright
#66 Darius Spragley
#34 Malik Brooks
#64 Demetrius Jones
#115 Emmanuel Izunabor
#114 William Obeyni
#93 Eric Fox
#28 Trevor Thomas
#87 Johnathan Pearsall
#101 Trevon Spencer

2016 FAB 40 Unsigned Senior Sleepers

This past weekend, Charles Clark of Basketball Elite put on the NC Eastern Regional FAB 40 camp at Fayetteville Academy in Fayetteville, NC. This was a great opportunity for kids at every level to get an opportunity to compete in front of college coaches, media outlets and against one another. Numerous college coaches were in attendance to observe these unsigned prospects as well as several media outlets such as Netcast Sports, BallIsLife, Next Level Assessments, Born2Win Academy and more. Players from every classification (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A) were in attendance on an invite only basis and competed on both ends until the final buzzer of each game. Several seniors came into this camp with something to prove and left a lasting impression on me and several college coaches in attendance. I have listed a few of them below and what I learned about them over the course of the camp.


Plymouth HS, Marlik Brooks – 6’7” (Team Showtime)

Marlik Brooks came into the FAB 40 Camp as a relatively unknown, due to playing at small 1A Plymouth HS. However, he left a lasting impression. Brooks showed a really nice touch on his jump-shot, knocking down a plethora of 3 pointers and mid-range jumpers. Also showed a solid first step and leaping ability. Shows very good timing on blocking shots and uses his length well to grab rebounds in and out of position. Has very long arms and good instincts. Very raw overall, but possesses a ton of potential. Two seasons at a solid juco or a post-grad year will give a better understanding long term what he’ll be able to do at a higher level. I expect to hear his name more in the future.

Ocracoke HS, Evin Caswell – 6’4” (Phi Slamma Jama)

Looks can be very deceiving. Evin arrived into the FAB 40 camp as easily the least known prospect in the gym, hailing from Ocracoke Island. My first time watching him I was left in shock as he exploded for 32 points, 18 rebounds and 5 assists versus a tough Plymouth HS team. He was later named Coastal 10 1A player of the year, averaging 18 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists for his Ocracoke HS team. Fast forward to FAB 40, Evin proved his game is no fluke, showing off a solid floater, playing tough defense, rebounding and throwing down monster dunks in every game. He also was consistent in grabbing boards and getting out in transition, finishing strong at the rim against bigger athletes. Already a strong student in the classroom, D2, D3 and NAIA schools will be all over him after his showing this past weekend.

Voyager Academy, China Jones – 6’6” (Phi Slamma Jama)

China Jones was one of the biggest surprises at this event. China didn’t register a single made 3 pointer this season as his Voyager HS went on to win the 1A State Championship. This past weekend he showed incredible accuracy from 3-point range in every game to go along with his high level athleticism and motor. Standing at 6’6”, he’s an explosive athlete and showing the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter the way he did is a great sign for schools that may have been concerned with his position. He is very capable of playing and knocking down shots on the wing and he is very active defensively, registering a ton of deflections and weak-side blocks.

Kinston HS, Dominic Williams – 5’9” (Phi Slamma Jama)

Dominic Williams came into the camp with a lot to prove. Due to his size a lot of people questioned his ability to produce and run a team while dealing with bigger and stronger guards, but all year he proved more than capable. He didn’t back down from anyone at FAB 40 and more than held his own on both ends of the floor. Showed a high IQ and a great ability to execute in pick and roll and sound decision making on fastbreaks. Was also able to show an improved jump-shot, knocking down 3’s and pull-up jumpers all over. Defensively, he met opposing ball-handlers early in possessions and pestered players into bad long passes. Should have several JC options to choose from over the next couple of weeks.

Weldon HS, Koraan Clemonts – 6’1” (Dream Team)

Clemonts is a very interesting point guard prospect. He led the state of North Carolina in assists per game for the 2nd season in a row, averaging 10 assists per game for Weldon HS to go along with 17 points per game. Also interesting to note, he is one of the few point guards from NC to be able to say he registered a quadruple-double in a game (points, rebounds, assists, steals). At FAB 40, Clemonts showed an adept ability to penetrate defenses off the dribble and seemingly always knows where his teammates will be, dropping off beautiful passes for easy scores consistently. Also showed a strong ability to finish with his off hand at the rim and exhibited a very good array of hesitation moves that kept defenders guessing all day. A year young for his graduating class, I’m interested to see how his recruitment goes. Has a very unique game and could be a diamond in the rough at the next level.

Weldon HS, Mel’Quan Ames – 6’5” (Dream Team)

Mel’Quan showed off impressive abilities for a prospect his size. Standing at 6’5”, he handled the ball well, created shots off the dribble and finished plays above the rim. His wingspan may have been the longest at the event. Has solid lateral movement that should enable him to become a menace defensively at the next level combined with his length. Stayed active on both ends throughout the camp. Has the potential to develop into a versatile all-around wing at the next level with his combination of high level athleticism, length and skill. Reportedly has already picked up interest from several colleges all over.

Jacksonville HS, Bobby Grubbs – 6’4” (Phi Slamma Jama)

This kid lit it up. Was knocking down shots at an impressive clip from all over the floor off the dribble and off the catch the entire camp. Showed a ton of toughness. Didn’t back down from anyone and showed a surprising ability to rebound the ball from the SG spot. Showed a great motor. Never stopped moving on either end on every possession. He has really good size at the shooting guard position and possesses a solid frame well equipped to put on some more muscle. A great student with over a 4.0 GPA, LM and D2’s should be making their pitches right now for his services over these next 4 years.

Wayne Christian, Tyrique McClain, 6’3” (Showtime)

McClain came into FAB 40 with an impressive resume. Once had a stretch during his high school career where he scored 60, 59 and 57 in consecutive games for his Wayne Christian School. At FAB 40, once he got into attack mode, defenders struggled to keep him out of the paint. He gets into the paint at will using his quickness and array of hesitation dribbles, resulting in tough finishes and pull-up jumpers. Very explosive with plenty of potential to improve on his point guard skills. A very hard worker, any LM D1 or D2 school that gets a commitment from him will get a player that will give them their all.

Northside Jacksonville, Robert Colon, 6’1” (Lob City)

Colon was arguably one of the best players at FAB 40. He set the camp record for assists in a game with 13 helpers while showing off a very tight handle and a consistent 3 point-shot. He is very hard to contain off the dribble due to his quick yet accurate pull-up jumper, tight handle and his great passing ability. With some added strength and some adjustments to the physicality, I would not be surprised to see him have a big impact in the next few seasons at the Division 1 level. I can’t say it enough, but he possesses a strong knockdown shooting ability, a tight handle and has a confidence about him that should help his transition to the next level be smoother than most.

Nash Central, Joshua Mullins, 6’2” (Phi Slamma Jama)

There is so much to like about Joshua Mullins. Showed versatility at FAB 40, playing some point guard and sliding over comfortably at the SG spot as well. Really got after it defensively and moved his feet well against quick guards and forced opponents into tough contested shots. Rarely was beat off the dribble. Offensively, he showed why he was a 23 point per game scorer for his Nash Central HS team, showing off a smooth isolation dribble game, deadeye marksmanship from 3 point range and the ability to drive and finish above the rim. Has some college interest, but could work his way into a few offers on the AAU circuit.

Bear Grass Charter, Jahziah Dyer, 6’1” (Lob City)

Dyer is a very compact, left-handed lead guard that has a strong handle. At FAB 40 he was able to consistently get in the paint and finish at the rim as well as driving and kicking out to shooters. Defensively, he gets low and communicated well against screen action plays and showed an overall solid ability to lead on both ends of the floor. Despite pressure and facing several guards with length and high level athleticism, he was never sped up and got to his spots. Very capable point guard that could run an offense at a D2/D3 or NAIA school.