Over the last five years, the Phenom Hoops’ platform has grown tremendously and now spans across a vast majority of the country, mainly through high school prospects and college-level coaches. In that time, we’ve seen future professionals as early as middle school. It’s an exciting process that really allows us, as talent evaluators, to watch the development and understand the full scope of each prospect.
Just over two years ago, we saw Myles Tate at our Queen City Showcase, right after he led Dorman to a state championship as a freshman. Many folks, including our own staff, already knew about Tate, but few people were willing to go on a limb and proclaim his abilities at the next level. After all, he was just fifteen years old and certainly had his best basketball ahead, despite showing flashes of dominance at our event.
Fast-forward about two months to our Summer Havoc and there was something particularly interesting about this incredibly advanced post player, who was unstoppable in literally every possible way. During his first game, a phone call is made to Jamie Shaw, explaining how he absolutely had to come see this guy that already looked like a clear high-major prospect. The young man ended up being Paul “PJ” Hall, who was even more under-the-radar than Tate at the time. Most people outside of South Carolina are unaware that Hall even played JV during his freshman season.
After that event, our staff started choosing sides for the top-ranked player in South Carolina’s Class of 2020. Two felt strongly about Hall, one for Dillon Jones, and everyone else in favor of Tate. Even the Dorman coaching staff felt Tate had the edge at that time. Looking back, all three became high-level prospects, but Hall is still arguably the most enticing due to his physical gifts and modernized skillset.
Tate and Hall are close friends that genuinely root for one another in every part of life. They’ve watched each other grow and have both been incredibly mature throughout the entire process. Now, they are seeing the fruits of their labor, as both players have become absolute high-major prospects, each with ten-plus Division I offers. Look back at what was said on “Bendel’s Best of the 2017 AAU Season…”
When maturity meets youth, special things tend to happen, which is exactly the case with Tate. We’ve had the pleasure to watch the point guard skip gradual improvement and head straight for rapid development. After winning the state championship, Tate set his sights on destroying everyone in his path, not just those residing in South Carolina. Though he may display a calm demeanor, Tate is a bloodthirsty killer that takes genuine pride in shredding his matchup on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Tate becomes an immediate threat upon crossing half court, where he is quick enough to torch any opponent off the dribble or with his 30-foot range. He scores at a strong rate from all three levels with great efficiency and polish. His scoring ability is well documented; it’s his high IQ guard skills that continually impress everyone in the gym. Tate reads defenses quickly and sharply, allowing them no time to correct or compromise, and then makes the smart play without fail. With all that being said, it is his play on the defensive end that will get him recruited by every school in the country. Tate has great agility and quick hands; he has never looked overwhelmed by an opponent and consistently wins his matchup. Some coaches may be unimpressed at his average size, however, it should be noted that Tate is A+ at literally every category beyond that. He’s already begun gathering interest from HM schools and will only further solidify himself as a big-time player upon entering his sophomore high school season.
Sometimes in life, the stage is set and all the tools are provided for a player to be exceptional. It would appear to be the case here with the Dorman native. Upon the first time seeing Hall, it was almost an outright certainty that he would emerge into a HM-level player sooner than later. At six-foot-eight, he has more ways to hurt opponents on the court than many realize. Hall is already a force in the low post, showing the ability to finish with either hand from either block incredibly well; he has a vast array of tricky counters and ball fakes that warrant him easy buckets. He’s far more patient (with or without the ball) than a heavy majority of big men around the country and knows when to defer versus take it himself. In the two-man game, Hall is as close as they come to unstoppable; he is a great screen-setter with phenomenal rolling and popping capabilities. Most guys his age and height don’t possess the proper coordination or frame to carry out the game like he does. Hall is an efficient scorer on all three levels and has supreme confidence in his scoring ability (as he should). The vision he showcases is terrific; Hall has displayed the ability to handle the ball in transition and his decision-making abilities are beyond his years. His IQ is already at an elite level, along with almost every other facet of his game. Defensively, Hall understands how to use his IQ and length as well as anyone, and is able to single-handedly shut down an opposing fast break. He is very fundamental on the glass, boxing out every single time while looking to secure each rebound with two hands. Both of his parents are tall, former D1 athletes, and his sister is one of the top volleyball players in the country. For Hall to become anything other than a superstar would be uncharacteristic, especially given his advanced basketball abilities and genetic gifts. If you haven’t heard of him, go ahead and make a mental note of Hall, who will blow up very soon.
Hall picked up his first offer (Presbyterian) two months later and Tate would follow (with Presbyterian) right as his sophomore season ended. Just remember, these guys have earned everything coming their way.