In our summer review, we wanted to take another look at players that made an impression on the Phenom Hoop Report during the July “live period.” We covered the Queen City Showcase, Big Shots I and II, Peach State, and even took in a day at Peach Jam. While we will comment on players with national reputations, it will be many players that are either under the radar or had stellar performances that will elevate their recruitment.
At the Queen City Showcase, we got a chance to watch 6’7 2015 PF Luke Maye of William Hough High School of Huntersville, North Carolina and of the Queen City Thunder AAU team. We first watched Maye at the Dave Telep Carolina Challenge and he was just coming off an injury and was doubtful to attend. While he was playing with a nagging injury, Maye was somewhat timid and conservative in his play, however his play at the Queen City Showcase was simply outstanding. We labeled Maye as a high school version of Adam Morrison. He has good size and skill and may be just one of the top perimeter shooters in the state regardless of class. We stated earlier that“he is an excellent perimeter shooter with a high release point and his range is uncanny.” He has the ability to play with his back to the basket or “pop out” to the perimeter where he is deadly. He has good passing skills and court vision and has a true understanding of the game. In our opinion, he is a solid MM prospect and can even project higher with additional growth, development and increased athleticism.
Next up is 6’4 2014 WG LJ Peak of Gaffney High School in Gaffney, SC and of the Upward Stars AAU program. Peak has a physically mature body and his skill and athleticism earned him a spot on the NBPA roster in June. He overcame a troubling groin injury in the spring and his performances in July was rock solid as he continued to put up big numbers each and every game. We love the way the physically gifted WG plays under control and with so much poise and is currently tracking as a HM prospect.
Down at Big Shots I, the Phenom Hoop Report was the first to report about the nationally unknown 6’4 2014 SG Grayson Allen of Providence Christian in Jacksonville, Florida and of the Douglas Brothers AAU program. While in the 2014 class, Allen was playing up one age/grade division and he was clearly one of the top producers during the July live period. At Big Shots I, we wrote “ Allen was simply sensational and wowed the crowd with his overall skill and surprisingly athletic ability.” He was knocking down 3 pointers, driving to the basket and was on the receiving end of alley oop slam dunks. One coach even stated Allen reminded him of a younger version ofBobby Sura. Allen is a strong and big bone player with big hands and feet. We look for Allen to grow into his frame and become one of the hottest prospects in the 2014 class. He has HM written all over him.
Last year for Team Loaded, 6’6 2011 WF Andrew White decided to re-class and enroll at the Miller Academy and it paid off with a scholarship offer from Kansas. Whiteenjoyed a banner summer last year with Team Loaded and saw his recruitment explode! This year, 6’0 PG Frank Mason has decided to follow in the footsteps on his fellow AAU teammate and will re-class to 2013 and will attend Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia. Mason is a strong and athletic scoring PG that is best in transition and using the dribble drive to attack the basket. He has excellent body control and can be a lock down defender. While his recruitment may not have as much success asAndrew White, we strongly feel many HM schools will recruit him. He is a “tough as nails” player and is a hardnosed competitor on the court.
With Frank Mason adding one more year to his recruitment, on the other end of the spectrum is 6’2 2016 Seventh Woods of Hammond Middle School in Columbia, South Carolina. We first saw Woods at the NC Junior Phenom Camp several years ago. Without question, Woods will be one of the high level premier players in his class. Woodsplays way beyond his years and has the maturity of a rising senior rather than a rising freshman. He plays with so much poise and has a beautiful shooting touch from the perimeter. Just a rising freshman and HM schools are already recruiting him and rightfully so! In addition, there is another top underclassman from the state of South Carolina and his name is 6’3 2015 PG PJ Dozier. Dozier is a smooth operator and runs the PG position like a season veteran. He too plays with tremendous poise and has advanced ball handling and passing skills for his age/grade. He has the ability to be the team facilitator or create his own shot off the dribble. Dozier comes from excellent stock and his father is 6’8 and an South Carolina alum.
The great thing about the July “live period” there are always players that can make a name for themselves and further enhance their recruitment and that can easily be said about 6’7 2013 Elijah Wilson of Flight 22. He was previously committed to the College of Charleston, but decided to prep a year and open up his recruitment. The physically mature PF is mobile and versatile. He has the ability to sit low in the post and use his strength as an advantage or simply step out on the perimeter and knock down 3 pointers. Against EYBL Georgia Stars, Wilson was the best player on the court with his 25 point performance. He was making strong drop step moves in the paint and make some nifty but power moves to the basket, but we were more impressed when he stepped out and knocked down three 3 pointers. Wilson will see his recruitment pick up with MM schools this fall.
7’0 2013 Center John Egbunu of Jonesboro, Georgia and of Douglas Brothers Elite was one of the country’s best shot blockers and was stellar at the NBPA camp. He followed up with back to back performances at Big Shots and the Peach State tournament. He is a double –double player that will always be in double figures in scoring and rebounds. We like how selfless he was in the post area and rarely forced or made a bad move. If he didn’t make a quick move to the basket, he was willing to pass out of the post and reset for low post position. The South Florida commit has many college coaches scratching their heads and wondering how his HM prospect went under the radar so long. He is a great pick up for South Florida.
With a lack of quality bigs in the 2013 class, 6’10 2013 Robert Schuyler Rimmer had a long list of suitors following him at the Peach State tournament in Aiken, South Carolina. Schuyler Rimmer has a strong sturdy frame and is a fearless workhorse in the paint. He does an excellent job of posting up on the low block, but more importantly he is extremely talented in passing out of the post. Like Egbunu, he is patience and rarely makes a mistake and like 6’8 Kennedy Meeks of Team United, he has excellent court vision for his position. He has solid post moves with his back to the basket and has a good shooting touch from the FT line. More importantly, he was one of the best players at his position that actually “boxed out” on almost every offensive possession. He is a strong two handed rebounder and has a nice outlet pass. He has HM interest/offers from Florida, Virginia, Vanderbilt and Stanford.
Two players off the South Carolina Elite further enhanced their stock from the July “live period.” Up first, his 6’6 2013 WG Austin Ajukwa of Cardinal Newman in Columbia, South Carolina. Ajukwa is a premier athletic WG and his end to end speed is uncanny. He has the ability to grab a rebound on the defensive end and be on the other end with a highlight dunk in a matter of seconds. He plays with passion and his energy level is top notch. He plays above the rim and finishes well in traffic. That being said, the next step in his development is to refine his perimeter skills. We were impressed with his size/length and ability to handle the ball in the open court. He is best shooting “off the dribble” once he gains rhythm in his shot. We reported from the Big Shots event he had HM ability and has since received offers from Clemson and South Carolina.
6’8 2013 Jared Scott of Flora MacDonald High School in Red Spring, North Carolina was in “beast mode” at Big Shots and was playing well at Peach State before he sprained his ankle. Although he attempted to play, he was not 100% and did not have the same results. That being said, Scott is a MM prospect and some HM schools may show him interest due to the numbers game at his position. We also feel strong about the ability of 6’7 2013 WF TaShombe Riley of Orangeburg Wilkinson of Orangeburg, South Carolina. The long and athletic WF has the ability to create his own shot in a half court situation, but I really good in transition. We feel his biggest attribute may be his ability to defend in the open court. His length and exceptional lateral quickness will garnish a lot of offers at the MM level.
At Peach State, we thoroughly enjoyed watching 6’0 2014 PG/SG Jarvis Calhoun of Trussville, Alabama and of the Birmingham Ice 17U team. The young southpaw has a flair and moxy to his game that breaths confidence. He employed one of the better pull up jumpers and his ability to score points quickly has made him a top recruiting target in Alabama. While he can knock down shots in the open court, he is more comfortable shooting off the dribble. He has excellent lift and elevation and if Calhoun encountered a growth spurt of 3 or 4 inches, he may just be attracting HM schools. Currently, he listed Murray State, UAB, Tennessee Tech and Georgia. Another player that caught our eye has a strong MM prospect was 6’4 2014 WG Dirk Williams of Williamsburg Christian Academy in Williamsburg, Virginia. He played with the Virginia Venom and the long and length WG has excellent handles in transition with above average court vision. He has advanced ball handling moves in the half court and loves to create his own shot off the dribble. We really like his shooting touch form the perimeter that sported a high release point with excellent lift and elevation. Williams should be another quality prospect at the MM level.