By: Tommy Michaels
This weekend at the Phenom Challenge LIVE event, there was a boatload of standout players and teams. I had the privilege to cover games at Bob Jones University and Broome High School where there were some fierce competition and individual talent. Let’s get right to it with my top 5 players I saw this weekend.
Christian Cornish – 6’4 2021 G (CC Elite 16U)
Jumping right into it, Cornish is an impressive specimen. The 6’4 guard was a tough cover all weekend for opposing teams. He uses his broad shoulders and muscular frame to get to his spots and finish through contact. His frame allows him to knife through defenses and he attacks the basket with purpose and power. On the defensive end, he uses his length to disrupt passing lanes. He was running point for his team in the game I saw and as he develops as a passer and shooter, Cornish has the opportunity to really become a special talent.
Tucker Johnson – 6’6 2021 F (CC Elite 16U)
Tucker Johnson was giving dudes post work, on both sides of the ball, all weekend long. Johnson is incredibly quick off of the floor and has a plethora of post moves. He has a great second jump, which allows him to grab offensive rebounds and get easy buckets by simply outworking opponents. Really competitive down low and was banging inside. Showed touch around the rim and flashed a fallaway jump shot from 12-feet. Loved the way he communicates on both ends of the floor, really has a chance to blow up this summer.
LeBron Thomas – 6’2 2022 G (Florence International Basketball 15U)
Thomas very well could have been my favorite player to watch this weekend. Incredibly high IQ on both sides of the ball and is a triple-double threat every time he touches the floor. He averaged 28ppg 10rpg and 9 apg in what was an incredibly productive weekend. His ability to make tough, no-look, on the money passes was something beyond his years as a passer. Tough around the basket when driving as well, as the lefty showed he could finish with either hand. Flashed a mid-range shot and as he continues to work on becoming more of a three level scorer, that will just open up more opportunity for him. Thoroughly impressed with this dude!
Jaquava Propst – 6’1 2022 G (Team Renegades 15U)
Propst is the engine that makes his Renegades team go. Incredibly hard worker and a blur up and down the court. A slasher by nature, Propst loves getting into the teeth of the defense and finishing through contact or dishing out as he drew many double teams. Very quick first step and showed he has the ability to become a three level scorer. Hard-nosed and strong on the defensive end where he competes and will challenge you thus leading to steals and breakaway opportunities. Productive weekend leading his team to a 3-1 record over four games.
Demetri “Meech” Simmons – 5’10 2022 G (TMP 15U)
Simmons proved that he has the ability to take over a game. A resilient lead guard who was in constant attack mode on the dribble drive. His quickness and athletic ability allow him to blow by on-ball defenders and finish through or over interior help defense. Great at advancing the ball in transition which is where his game really excels. Don’t let Meech get going or this young man will not stop beating you up and down the court. As his game continues to develop, don’t be surprised if you hear big things from him.