Back in April, the Phenom Hoop Report was writing about guys “under the radar” on a national level. For example, we wrote about Troy Caupain from the NC Phenom 150 Camp and from the Hoop Group Pitt Jam Fest (see here and here). Fast forward to June and the “under the radar” 6’3 combo guard from Team Loaded committed to the University of Cincinnati. Next up is 6’8 Devin Robinson of the Richmond Squires. The Phenom Hoop Report was once again ahead of the bell curve with our story on him in April. Since then, Robinson attended the Reebok Challenge in Philadelphia this past few weeks and the rest is history. He has now “blown up on the national level” and now is getting high major offers with the most recent being UConn. (See below comments from earlier stories)
Player: 6’3 2013 PG/SG Troy Caupain
March 29th, 2012 Evaluation: First of all, don’t let the 6’3 listing fool you, Caupin plays MUCH bigger than that due to his freakishly long arms. The sturdily built lead guard did it all on Sunday – led the break and finished every way imaginable. Most impressively for the collegiate level was his knack at absorbing contact and finishing. Has the kind of body control/subtle movement while in the air off the bounce that simply can’t be taught. Many great attacking point guards have this. Troy also happens to be a kid that always looks like he’s smiling – he has a true love for the game and it shows. Range out to 20’, plays best with the ball in his hands but isn’t built like a typical PG. Would like to see him in some PNR situations or on an island defensively against a high major D1 guard, but these events are what they are. The X-Factor propelling Troy this far up the rankings was his tenacious rebounding. He went after missed jumpers on both ends all day. I was told by his coach at the event that he averaged 12 rebs/gm for his HS squad and it didn’t surprise me a bit. Playing off the ball, negotiating screens, and defending perimeter talent with that extra gear are areas for Caupin to focus on.
Player: 6’7 2013 Combo/Forward Devin Robinson
April 26th, 2012 Evaluation: Watching this kid on Friday night against the SC Raptors Elite (and outstanding 2014 F Dante Buford), I wondered how long it would take for him to blow up on the national scene. With a handful of D1 head coaches in attendance, Robinson torched the nets from the opening tip, knocking down 3s from multiple spots on the floor and in different situations (a pull-up, coming off a ball screen, and a spot-up). Form isn’t perfect but the result often is. Also flashed a turnaround jumper from 17’ with a defender draped all over him. What sold me on the versatile Jeremy Lamb stunt double was his unselfishness and court vision. Slight frame could use 15+ pounds of muscle. Eats space off the bounce now and can only imagine how effective he can be in 2 dribbles or less if he continues to grow. Can probably guard the 2 + 3 positions in college but not physically ready to shutdown 4’s (even undersized 4s). Has the length to wreak havoc on a stat sheet
Now, let’s take a look at some of the top performers Saturday afternoon that we were able to evaluate.
Player: 6’0 2014 PG/SG Trey Foster
City: Charlotte, NC
High School: West Charlotte
AAU Team: Team United 16U
Evaluation: Foster was simply tremendous in the “upset” win over Team Loaded 16U on Saturday afternoon in the Big Shots II tournament. Foster torched the nets for 26 points knocking down crucial 3 pointers during a second half run that saw Team United overcome a 10 point deficit. Team United won 74-70. Foster had “ice water” in his veins as he continuously hit key shots and single handedly defeated a ‘loaded” roster from the opposing team. Foster is a fierce competitor and plays the game with passion. While many people view Foster as an undersized SG, he handled the PG position with moderate poise and should be garnishing interest from MM schools.
Player: 6’6 2014 WF Josh Level
City: High Point, NC
High School: The Christ School
AAU Team: Team Loaded 16U
Evaluation: There are not many wing players in the class of 2014 that combine the strength, explosiveness athleticism and shooting ability of Josh Level. We have seen Level countless times in the past and we are impressed with his improved stroke from the perimeter. He has good shooting fundamentals with excellent lift and elevation combined with a high release point. In addition, his strength and power allow him to make “beast” moves to the basket. In his game on Saturday against Team United, Level made a nifty left to right cross over move directly into a power “crow hop” followed by a monster dunk. This move alone showcased his skill and power all in one play! He has solid ball handling skills in transition and has good court vision. He is an adequate passer off the dribble, although he could improve his decision making at times. He finished with 17 points and may be one of the more under-rated players in the 2014 class and was probably the most consistent performer for Team Loaded 16U at Big Shots this weekend. Currently, he is tracking at a MM+/HM- player, but may have a higher ceiling and will definitely garnish interest from HM schools.
Player: 6’5 2013 SG RJ Curington
City: Dyer, Indiana
High School: Oak Hill Academy
AAU Team: Team Loaded 17U
Evaluation: Curington is another undervalued player on a national level. Curington’s tenacious play on Saturday afternoon allowed Team Loaded to easily defeat the Georgia Stars by the score of 64-56. People forget Curington was the best 3 point shooter on Oak Hill and averaged 48% from beyond the arch and still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Curington plays extremely hard and that may be an understatement. He has a “full throttle” approach to the game that is refreshing. Without question, he was the best and most productive performer in the game against the Georgia Stars that included nationally ranked Jalen Lindsey and Jarquez Smith. (I’m not saying he is better, but just pointing out the fact he was the most productive performer in the game) His high motor propelled him to a game high 27 points with the majority coming off hard and aggressive drives to the basket and offensive rebounds that led to “put back buckets” for Team Loaded. He is excellent at using his “off hand” and utilized the reverse layup to perfection. A bubble player between a MM+/HM-, but strongly feel Curington will find suitors at the HM level based upon his intensity and maximized effort.
Player: 6’0 2013 PG Frank Mason
City: Petersburg, VA
High School: Massanutten Military
AAU Team: Team Loaded 17U
Evaluation: Mason was originally in the 2012 class and committed to Towson University, but has decided to prep a year at nearby Massanutten Military School and will reclass to 2013. Mason tallied 14 points in their win over the Georgia Stars with the majority coming off FT attempts since he was fouled continuously during drives to the rim. Mason has a strong and physically mature body with excellent body control and is difficult to contain in a “one on one” situation. Defensively, he sits low to the floor and can be a lock down defender although he gets a little impatience and will reach at times. Mason is a hardnosed young man and would be an excellent gift in the “dribble drive” offensive scheme at the collegiate level. The next step for Mason is to develop and fine tune his perimeter and midrange game which would give him a more balanced attack and become more lethal on the offensive end of the court.
Player: 6’7 2014 SG Jalen Lindsey
City: Franklin, TN
High School: Christ Presbyterian
AAU Team: Georgia Stars 17U
Evaluation: We were able to capture Lindsey in three separate games and simply put, the game comes relatively easy to the talented WG/WF. He has great size and a physically mature body and his jumper is usually on target. He has unbelievable lift and elevation and was dialed in early in the game against Team Loaded. He hit three early 3 pointers, but unfortunately Lindsey needed to re-introduce himself to his teammates as they simply “blew” him off and looked the other direction too many times in transition. Lindsey is a high level shooter and simply deserved more shots, but it is up to the guards to get him the ball at the right time during the course of the game. We feel Lindsey has the making of the “complete package” with his size, athleticism, skill, and ability to shoot the ball, however he does tend to “drift” way too much on the perimeter and fails to take advantage of his size over smaller opponents. That being said, he is a HM player and UNC assistant coach Steve Robinson was front and center to watch him.
Player: 6’3 2013 SG Donte Clark
City: Charlotte, NC
High School: Kennedy Charter
AAU Team: Georgia Stars
Evaluation: Generously listed at 6’5 and even more national scouting service has him listed at 6’6, we feel like he is more like 6’3 range. That being said, we have been high on Clark in the past but this weekend at Big Shots had mix reviews. Against Flight 22, we had a solid performance and used his athleticism to score 13 points, but against the loss to Team Loaded, it was an “off day” at the office and one he would quickly like to forget. Clark is an intriguing prospect due to his ability to handle the ball and create his own shot. He is very athletic and is more comfortable handling the ball at the off guard position. That being said, he will attract HM interest based upon his athletic ability and willingness to score points in spurts.
Player: 6’10 2013 SF/PF Jarquez Smith
City: Had, Georgia
High School: Jones County
AAU Team: Georgia Stars
Evaluation: Without question, Smith has all the physical tools at 6’10. He is long and athletic and has one of the better shooting strokes in the country for his size/position. He has the ability to step out and knock down 3 pointers which makes him a nightmare problem at the next level. At times, he is a willing rebounder and does block shots on the interior and creates havoc in altering shots, however he does have a tendency not to use his physical size to his advantage. He does “float” on the perimeter too much at times and his production doesn’t always match his potential, but the nationally ranked Smith is multi-talented and has excellent mobility and range.
Player: 6’7 2013 PF Elijah Wilson
High School: TBD
AAU Team: Flight 22
Evaluation: Wilson was originally in the 2012 class and will attend prep school and reclasss to 2013. He was previously committed to the College of Charleston and has decided to open things back up. Wilson probably helped his stock over the weekend as much as any one player. The physically mature PF has the ability to play either on the interior or step out and consistently knock down 3 pointers. Against the Georgia Stars, he tallied 25 points including two 3 pointers. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and make nifty but strong power moves to the basket. Several times, he had his back turned to the basket and made a beautiful drop step move that directly led to a slam dunk. We saw him in two games and his performance was simply sensational and look for his stock to rise drastically this summer.
Player: 6’8 2013 PF Ifeanyi Onyekaba
City: Roanoke, VA
High School: Virginia Episcopal
AAU Team: East Coast Fusion
Evaluation: Onyekaba is one of the most improved players since last summer. Onyekaba was simply a “man-child” in his game against Seattle Rotary. The physically imposing PF has a wide body and has a chiseled frame. He was one of the most productive players the entire weekend and was relentless on both ends of the court. He is a willing rebounder, defends, and does all the dirty work necessary for his team to compete and win. While he is limited offensively, he scored a game high 21 points against Seattle Rotary. He doesn’t demand the ball, but attacks the glass on both ends of the court. He is patience in the post area and rarely forces action and is willing to make the outlet pass and reposition himself for low post position. He has been well coached by his AAU coach and will catch a lot of attention this summer. While he have him tracking as a MM prospect, some MM+/HM- programs may will be willing to take a chance on the rapidly improving Onyekaba.