In today’s issue, we will take a look at the next tier of prospects in the 2014 class that made an impression on the numerous scouts in attendance including the Phenom Hoop Report.
6’1 2014 Colton Bishop of FCDS in Lewisville, NC
Colton Bishop has steadily worked his way to a legitimate D1 prospect and has already received D1 offers and we look for his offer list to grow. Bishop has good length and athleticism, but his calling card is his fundamentals, basketball IQ and total understanding of the game. This nice blend of skill and athleticism will make him a hot commodity at the PG for the class of 2014. More importantly, Bishop is a high character young man that is the ultimate gym rat. He has advanced ball handling and passing skills, but has the ability to slide over to the shooting guard position simply because he is an efficient and effective 3 point shooter. Coach Randy Peele stated, “ Bishop is a very good PG. He can handle and change directions with the ball. He makes excellent decisions and has good size for a PG, but can really shoot the ball. No doubt, a legit D1 PG that has MM potential.”
We have written about the Hatfield twins on several occasions and we continue to be impressed with their overall game. We are talking about two hard working players that have the skill, fundamentals, basketball IQ, heart, passion and desire to be successful. They play the game the correct way and have the ability to play with PG/SG position. They have the ability to be team facilitator and get their teammates involved or have the ability to torch the nets with their outside perimeter shooting. More importantly, they play both ends of the court and their 100% hustle and full throttle approach is appealing. They have received offers from lower tier D1 schools, but have a good upside. They will be playing with the Martin twins of Davie County and look for them to make some serious noise in the 4A ranks in North Carolina.
6’2 2014 Rusty Reigal of Charlotte Latin in Charlotte, NC
Simply put, Rusty Reigal is a “tough as nails” competitor that gives maximum effort every trip down the court. He has good size/strength for his position and has sneaky quickness as he continuously got into the lane with ease. He is a willing passer that looks to get his teammates involved rather than his own shot and at times overpassed, which can be a positive. He has excellent fundamentals, skill set, and basketball IQ. His father played at Davidson College and look for the younger Reigal to follow in his footsteps of attending a high academic D1 school. Coach Randy Peele stated, “ Rusty is a very tough kid. He is involved in a ton of plays and is a combo guard that can “deliver the blow on penetration.” He will be better in a system rather in pickup. More importantly, he is a winner and schools should not drop the ball on him since he has so many intangibles.”
5’11 2014 Chris Corchiani Jr. of Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC
The apple doesn’t fall far from the family tree with the younger Corchiani. Chris Jr. is the ultimate PG that simply knows how to run a team and run it efficiently and effectively. He is true pass first PG and has surprisingly good quickness, especially with the ball in his hands. He plays the game extremely hard and has the right attitude. Coach Randy Peele stated, “Chris Jr. game reminds me of his dad. He has a steady handle and gets the ball exactly where he wants too. He is a solid D1 prospect and knows how to play.”
6’3 2014 PG Justice Cuthbertson of Westchester HS in High Point, NC
Justice Cuthbertson is a strong and physical PG that continues to make big improvements to his game. He is fearless in attacking the rim and has an all around game that will make him appealing to D1 schools. He has a physically mature and college ready frame. He can play either guard position and may be stronger as a scoring PG. The next step in his development is learning/mastering the nuisances of the PG position. He is a true competitor and has what it takes to play at the next level.
6’3 2014 Jarrell Brantley of Ridgeview HS in Columbia, SC
Brantley is a physically mature combo guard that can flat out play. He has a quick first step and continuously blew by defenders. He has really tight handles and we were impressed with his ability to shoot the midrange pull up jumper, which is a lost art today. Like Cuthbertson, Brantley has a college ready frame that has the blend of athleticism and skill that will garnish interest from D1 schools this upcoming season.
6’3 2014 Malachi Paige of Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia
Paige is the ultimate athlete that happens to be playing basketball. He has a great body and finished strong at the rim and was nearly unstoppable throughout the game. He was simply so much stronger than anyone else and used his athleticism and strength repeatedly. That being said, Paige also has skill and a solid understanding and was a menace defensively throughout the day.
6’2 2014 Isiah Taylor of Myers Park HS in Charlotte, NC
Taylor is another physically mature young guard that is built to score. He was effective in creating his own shot and had the dribble drive pull up working to perfection. He attacked the defense only to elevate quickly for his patented jump shot. He elevated nicely and had a nice high release point that will make him a solid D1 prospect.
6’1 2014 PG Tim Branin of Deep Run HS in Richmond, VA
Tim Branin is a quick and speedy PG that has excellent court vision. He is aggressive on both ends of the court and was constantly making smart plays with the ball. His hustle will set him apart from his peers. We loved his competitive spirit and valued winning, which is refreshing. He was interested in making the extra pass and getting his teammates involved. He had command of his team and did it in a quiet, but convincing his peers by his hard work and passionate play.
6’3 2014 Jon Elmore of Christ School in Arden, NC
Elmore has been a regular at the NC Phenom 150 Camp and we continue to be impressed with his improvement and play. He has an unbelievable work ethic and it is evident on both ends of the court. He has surprisingly sneaky athleticism and moves his feet nicely on defense. Offensively, he can play either guard position. The West Virginia native has a nice arsenal of offensive moves and utilizes the chance of pace dribble moves effectively. His size for his position will make him a hot commodity with schools in the Southern and CAA Conference.
6’2 2014 Matthew Wood of Asheville Christian School in Asheville, NC
Wood is a long and slender PG that enjoyed an outstanding summer AAU season and followed up with a steady performance at the Phenom 150 Camp. He is the ultimate team player and really controls the tempo even in a camp setting, which isn’t easy to do. More importantly, he rarely turns the ball over or takes a bad shot. His shot selection is excellent and his fundamentals and technique are outstanding. He has a high release point and excellent follow through which allows him to be an efficient perimeter shooter. His skill/size for his position will make him an attractive D1 prospect.
6’9 2014 Tucker Thompson of Hough HS In Huntersville, NC
The great part of Thompson’s game is simple. He understands his role and size and he is an absolute rebounding machine. He doesn’t venture far from the low point area and is a willing rebounder and anticipates miss shots extremely well. He plays with his hands/arms up, which makes him more effective with rebounding. He was a tireless worker on both ends of the court and battles constantly for position. While he may be a little raw offensively, he has the work ethic and desire to improve and get better. There is no shortage of passion and desire and his size and ability to rebound will garnish many D1 offers before it is all said and done.
6’3 2014 Jaron Withers of Fayetteville Academy in Fayetteville, NC
Withers is a strong, physical and explosive guard with tremendous athletic ability. He has a 39” vertical and with these strong attributes it is no secret Withers is best in transition and loves to attack the rim. He finishes well in traffic and didn’t mind throwing a few impressive dunks for the fans in attendance. Currently, a solid D1 prospect, but with improvement in his perimeter shooting will enhance his college prospects.
6’1 2014 Shawn Lipscomb of Cresset Christian Academy in Durham, NC
Lipscomb has the ability to score at will and can easily play either guard position. He does have a scorer’s mentality and has no problem getting into the lane. His speed and quickness is a strong physical attribute and the next step for his development is to become more passer friendly if he wants to become a PG at the collegiate level. He has time to sort out which position will best suit him. That being said, Lipscomb has the potential to become a legit D1 prospect.
6’1 2014 PG Carlee Clemons of Millbrook HS in Raleigh, NC
Clemons is a true PG that has excellent court vision. He is a willing passer and has the athleticism and skill to be a solid D1 prospect. More importantly, camp settings are not the best place for young players to showcase their defensive ability. That was not the case with Clemons. He played excellent defense on and off the ball and his lateral foot speed was impressive. He took pride in his defense and not many players outplayed him on the defensive end of the court. Clemons has the right attitude and work ethic and a desire to maximize his efforts 100% of the time.
6’4 2014 Nick George of Charleston Catholic in Charleston, WV
George is a solid all around player that simply does a little bit of everything well. He has great fundamentals, basketball IQ and overall knowledge of the game. That being said, his calling card is his ability to absolutely shoot the cover off the ball, especially from the 3-point line. George should be a high priority of schools in the Big South or Southern Conference.
6’3 2014 SG Riley LaRue of East Forsyth of Kernersville, NC
Riley LaRue is another son of a former ACC player and current Wake Forest Assistant Coach Rusty LaRue. He is the typical coaches’ son and will be that glue guy every team needs. He does all the little things and has a knack to be around the ball. He is a “catch and shoot” guy and his ability to dive on the floor for loose balls didn’t go unnoticed. He was playing for recognition of being a total all around player and he did exactly that. He has improved his foot quickness and a year at a postgraduate school may be the ticket to push him into the D1 level. If not, LaRue will be an attractive prospect for a D2 or NAIA school. He does too many things well and all teams needs shooters.
6’0 2014 PG TJ Evans of Apex HS in Apex, NC
Evans is a talented young lefty with a soft shooting touch. He is a true PG and is a willing passer and has the poise, skill, and talent to become a solid D1 prospect. We first watched Evans at the DTCC and liked his game then and his play at the Phenom 150 solidified our strong opinion of Evans. Too often in camp settings, scoring takes a premium, but we were more impressed with his ability to be a team leader and facilitator. While he has the ability to create his own shot, he was more geared to being a willing passer and set up his teammates, which is the primary responsibility of a true PG. We like the poise and attitude Evans displayed on and off the court and would be a great addition to a D1 college program. At the Dave Telep Carolina Challenge, we wrote the following, ” the lefty dynamo put up big numbers in the Tri-9 this season and proved worthy of his DTCC and then some on Saturday. Displaying an accurate stroke from deep. Evans is unquestionably best off the bounce and attacking the rim in the half court. His body control is at an elite level and finished through contact enough on the day to rack up an impressive 12.7 PPG in three days on the day. See this complete write up.