5’11 ’19 Mikey Dukes
The first game of the day was filled with excitement, thanks in large part to Mikey Dukes and his phenomenal two-way showing. He’s arguably the most athletic sub-six-foot player in the entire Southeast region, especially when considering his muscular frame. Dukes is blindingly quick and possesses unbelievable end-to-end speed, which he often uses to set up teammates for easy buckets. He’s a high-IQ leader that sets the tone on both ends of the floor, shutting down the point of attack on defense, consistently making the right read on offense, and outrebounding his assignment with relative ease. Dukes is an effective perimeter shooter, but scores most efficiently when attacking the basket and showcasing his craftiness as a finisher. It’s truly unfathomable that he doesn’t hold multiple Division I offers, but that’ll likely change within the coming months.
5’11 ’19 Joseph Powell
Dukes might get most of the attention on this First Baptist squad, but Joseph Powell is an equally important part of their game plan. He’s a fundamental all-around guard with the ability to play either backcourt position and flourish. Powell is a polished ball-handler and playmaker that rarely forces the action and operates nicely within himself. Powell scores efficiently from all three levels and can generate clean looks whenever necessary. He displays a strong IQ on both sides of the ball and typically surprises opponents with his poise as a defender. Powell draws charges and forces turnovers at an impressive rate, especially given his size. His meticulous approach and well-rounded skillset should be very attractive to an abundance of D2 programs.
6’1 ’19 Devin Dean
There’s a lot to like about this First Baptist squad, which includes the quality production that they receive from Devin Dean. The guard prospect causes matchup problems with his combination of size and strength, able to get downhill, attack the basket, and finish through contact pretty regularly. He showed the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter while also creating scoring opportunities for others. Dean is a plus-rebounder for his position and continually pushed the pace in transition.
Hunter Kinard Tyler:
6’6 ’19 Marlow Gilmore
The hyper-athletic Coker commit is the heart and soul of this Hunter Kinard Tyler squad, given his ability to consistently affect all facets of the game. Gilmore is long, wiry, and looking to bite the rim at every available opportunity. His ability to play so incredibly far above the rim causes constant problems for opponents, as he’s typically the most explosive athlete on the court. In this contest, Gilmore showed solid vision and actively looked to get his teammates involved whenever possible. He’s able to score around the basket with great regularity and has continued to steadily improve throughout the last calendar year. There’s a lot to like with Gilmore, who is still in the early stages of his development process and should become even more intriguing as time passes.
6’0 ’21 Daveon Thomas
The most dominant performer from the second game slate was easily Daveon Thomas, who was able to dictate the two-way action from start to finish. He’s quick and understands how to apply constant pressure as a penetrator while offering a nice balance between passing and scoring. Thomas is able to score the ball effectively from all three levels and maintains a calm demeanor at all times, even when things aren’t resulting in his favor. He does a great job of disrupting his assignment on defense by utilizing his length and quickness, which led to numerous turnovers and miscues throughout this contest. Thomas has a strong feel for the game and is capable of being a quality leader. He is already a Division I prospect, so it’ll be fun to monitor his development process over the next few years.
6’2 ’22 LeBron Thomas
The lefty point guard was arguably the most intriguing prospect during the second contest of the day, highlighting an extremely advanced skillset for a freshman. Thomas possesses unbelievable feel and natural playmaking instincts, which allows him to regularly manipulate the opposing defense and design scoring opportunities for teammates. He’s long, rangy, and able to defend either guard position comfortably. Thomas does most of his scoring around the basket, but also showed signs of a formidable perimeter jumper. It’s quite early, but college coaches should begin taking note of the two-way floor general.
7’2 ’22 Travon Pearson
The most unique player from the first half of Phenom’s Capital City Jam was certainly Travon Pearson, who draws an incredible amount of attention from simply walking into the gym. He truly stands at 7-foot-2 and has an equally impressive wingspan to match. Right now, Pearson is very thin, but runs the floor well and looks comfortable doing most “big man” things. His shooting stroke looks pretty nice from the perimeter and free-throw line, but it’ll be interesting to see if he’s able to add strength and impose his will inside the paint. Pearson boxes out nicely and already understands how to properly utilize his length to block/contest shots. His ceiling is quite high, so we’ll be watching his progression closely over the next few years.
5’11 ’21 Evan Gebhard
Despite logging limited minutes, Evan Gebhard was the most appealing prospect on the Ben Lippen roster. He’s a point guard prospect with excellent vision, passing instincts, and the ability to shoot the ball quite effectively from the perimeter. Gebhard showed quality defensive prowess throughout his contest, but will be even better with extended minutes. He’ll emerge as a force to be reckoned with upon adding strength and improving as a leader.