Friday, November 28, 2014
Scout Focus Elite 80 Showcase

Scout Focus Elite 80 Showcase

We traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina Saturday to cover the Scout Focus Elite 80 Showcase and once again Joe Davis had his fair share of campers. Over 180 campers took part in his “Showcase” and we will take a close look at some of the top players in attendance plus two players we knew little about in 6’11 Yousoppha Kane of Word Of God and 6’6 Craig Hinton of East Forsyth.

Player: 6’11 Yousoppha Kane
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
School: Word of God
Class: 2013
Evaluation: Kane didn’t suit up this past season for the Holy Rams of WOG, but we expect him to be a name mid majors schools will want to keep track of. Kane is a slender and lanky 6’11 and has room to add weight and muscle to his frame. He is extremely long and his strongest attribute is his “activity” on both ends of the court. Offensively, he is still somewhat raw but does an excellent job of getting out in transition and finishes well in traffic. While you don’t want him handling the ball, he has surprising solid ball handling and passing skills in the open court. Defensively, he is intimidating with his length and ability to block shots. He has excellent timing and does a superb job of putting block shots into play and not out of bounds. He has quick hands and feet and can guard smaller opponents 15 feet away from the basket. Kane played with a lot of energy and was active all day.

Player: 6’6 Craig Hinton
Hometown: Kernersville, NC
School: East Forsyth
Class: 2013
Evaluation: We knew very little of the lanky and slender Hinton prior to Saturday, but is another definite mid major prospect that schools should put in their SIM CARD. Hinton is extremely explosive and has tremendous leaping ability, but also has the ability to step out and knock down the mid range jumper. He does sport a soft shooting touch although he could have a higher release point on his jumper. What was impressive was his ability to grab a rebound underneath the basket and go quickly up with two feet for impressive dunks during the course of the day. Hinton’s strongest attribute is his athleticism and his skill sets have improved tremendously over the course of his high school career according to Coach Short of East Forsyth. One thing is for certain, there are not many wings in the state of North Carolina that has his ability to quickly get off the floor. Hinton is a player that looks like he could add 20-30 pounds to his 190 pound frame. With added muscle and skill, he could be one to watch over the summer and his senior season. Check out a brief you tube video

Player: 6’2 Josh Newkirk
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
School: Word of God
Class: 2013
Evaluation: Newkirk shared the PG responsibilities this past season with Jaylen Robertson of WOG. This summer, he will be the lead PG for D One Sports. Newkirk has good length and athleticism and looks like he could grow a few more inches. Newkirk has all the physical intangibles to become a high major PG with his explosiveness in the open court and tremendous leaping ability. His ability to get into the lane is effortless and will continue to be one of the upper tier PG in the state for the 2013 class. The next step for Newkirk is to develop a consistent outside jumper. His mechanics are solid and with the ability to become a consistent threat from the 3 point line will only enhance his value as a PG.

Player: 6’6 Shane Whitfield
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
School: Word of God
Class: 2013
Evaluation: Whitfield is a strong and active PF that has a tremendous skill set for his size/position. He has the ability to use his strength near or around the basket to finish well, but loves to get out in transition as he is exceptionable at running the lanes. In addition, he has adequate ball handling and passing skills for his position especially in the open court. His strongest attribute is his desire to play hard and play hungry. He plays both ends of the court and is a true competitor. He does a lot of the little things that goes unnoticed such as boxing out, which is usually non-existent in a camp setting. Whitfield is a hybrid SF/PF that can play on the interior or step out and knock down the open 15 foot jumper. He is very versatile and has good mobility.

Player: Jaylen Robertson
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
School: Word of God
Class: 2014
Evaluation: Robertson is one of the top players in the 2014 class for the state of North Carolina especially at the PG position. Robertson has tremendous athleticism and explosiveness in the open court and has unbelievable leaping ability for his size and doesn’t mind trying to make the “crowd appealing” dunks in transition. While he has exceptionable ball handling abilities, he does have a tendency to make careless turnovers. That being said, he has excellent court vision and has great ball speed, but we also like his ability to change speeds and change of direction. Like Newkirk, he has little to no problem getting into the teeth of the defense. While his mechanics on his jump shot are solid, he doesn’t take many outside shots basically since he has the ability to dribble penetrate and use his athleticism and speed so effectively. The next step in his development is to become more vocal and develop on the court leadership skills. As we alluded to earlier, Robertson has all the physical intangibles in terms of athleticism; he now needs to become more of a cerebral PG.

Player: 6’7 Gary Clark
Hometown: Clayton, NC
School: Clayton
Class:  2014
Evaluation: Gary Clark is a promising young prospect at the WF position. He has good length and will surprise you with his ability to handle and shoot the basketball. His ball handling and passing skills are tremendous for his size, position and youth. While he is excellent in transition, he has the ability to step out and knock down the open jumper. More importantly, he is a very unselfish player and will hit the open teammate when open. He really plays the game the right way and his team first attitude is refreshing especially in a camp setting. He has tremendous upside and potential with a skill set to match.

Player: 6’6 Donte Reynolds
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
School: Word of God
Class:  2013
Evaluation: This was the first time watching the athletic WF from Word of God and we came away impressed. Granted, it was a camp setting and sometimes players do “show out” in exposure camps vs. a regular high school game. That being said, He is really good in the open court and he can put the ball on the floor and go court to court. More importantly, Reynolds played hard and was motivated. He was aggressive and assertive on both ends of the court. He stated offers from ECU, NC Central, and Rutgers. In our opinion, he should be a can’t miss mid major prospect.

Player:  6’0 Robert Story
Hometown: Durham, NC
School: Southern Durham
Class:  2012
Evaluation: This is the second opportunity to watch Robert Story. We last watched him at the Scout Focus Elite 80 camp last October. Nothing much has changed in our evaluation of him. He is one of the “freakiest” athletes in the state of North Carolina. This young man is super athletic and has tremendous leaping ability. Naturally, with his athleticism he loves to attack the rim. Story has a strong and powerful frame and has excellent quickness in the open court.

Player: 6’4 Josh Level
Hometown: High Point
School: The Christ School
Class: 2014
Evaluation: Josh Level is a strong and athletic WF that is developing into a solid outside shooter. He has great elevation and lift on his jumper and sports a high release point. He has a nice blend of athleticism and skill set to help separate him from his peers. He has developed in a complete player by showcasing his leaping ability on the interior by attacking the basket, but also has the ability to be an effective and efficient 3 point shooter. The next stage in his development is to tighten up his handles.

Want to know more? The Phenom Hoops staff always has loads of new information on players and teams!
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Jamie Shaw
Rick Lewis

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