The weekend in Fayetteville featured a field loaded with intriguing prospects, but there was an exclusive list of guys who separated themselves from the pack in terms of production. Far too often, the player who leads the team in scoring gets more credit than anyone else. Instead, we will look at a collection of players who truly filled the stat sheet at Phenom's 3G Showcase.

 

6'1 '23 Malik Brunson (Carolina Warriors)

There were many high-energy players on display this weekend, but no one could match the incredible motor of Malik Brunson. The Carolina Warriors were among the top middle school squads in attendance, thanks in large part to Brunson's play on both ends of the floor. At this age level, he's capable of playing four or even five positions and making a huge impact. Offensively, Brunson does everything from handle the ball to post up the opposing big man and, as a result, he was one of the most effective two-way prospects on display. Brunson's motor and unselfishness make him a special player worth keeping an eye on.

 

6'1 '23 Jalen Johnson (Flight 22 Fayetteville)

The Flight 22 Fayetteville teams were all quite competitive, but the middle school squad was arguably the most entertaining. While Cedavion Wimbley led them, it was Jalen Johnson who actually put them over the top. The 6-foot-1 guard knows how to involve himself in both sides of the action and has a terrific frame for his position. Johnson plays hard and pursues the ball with purpose, especially on rebounding opportunities, to award his team extra possessions. Offensively, he's very strong around the basket but needs to work on his overall consistency from three-point range. Johnson has all the necessary tools to become an interesting player, but only he can decide when that'll be.

 

6'8 '20 Zach Shumate (Hoop State Elite-Rexrode)

If there were an award for 'Most Productive Player,' Zach Shumate would've easily secured that title over the weekend. The 6-foot-8 big man is undeniably productive on both sides of the ball, playing with a phenomenal motor and always hunting for extra possessions. Shumate runs the floor as well as anyone and has the necessary athleticism to dunk on plenty of opponents. He has a great feel for his position and consistently outworks his matchup, regardless of size difference. There was not a better two-way rebounder than Shumate, who accumulated at least ten rebounds per game throughout Phenom's 3G Showcase. Defense is another area where he shines, given his blue-collar work ethic in the post and ability to switch across multiple positions. Expect Shumate to begin generating buzz over the next few months if he continues to overwhelm opponents this much.

 

5'11 '20 Salem Streater (Main Event Elite)

The Main Event Elite squad was one of the hardest working teams on either side of the floor, but it started and finished with Salem Streater. The point guard has a quick first step, which allows him to blow by opponents and finish inside the paint at a frequent rate. We saw Streater years ago with Mars Hill Dynasty, and he has certainly made strides towards becoming a strong two-way prospect. The game has slowed down for him and he's beginning to show patience in playmaking opportunities while converting an efficient number of his jumpers from midrange and three-point range. Streater is still a pest on defense and knows how to force turnovers with relative ease. There is still plenty of time for Streater to grow, but he's done a solid job of rounding out all facets of his game since we last saw him.

 

5'10 '18 Freddie Taylor (Team WBC)

It would be impossible to make a list of productive players without including Freddie Taylor, who has proven himself time and again as one of the toughest players in the state. Though he's never been a perimeter shooter, Taylor is the type of player that you always want on your team, both as a player and coach. Opponents tremble when the 5-foot-10 point guard makes them a defensive priority and gets one stop after another. Taylor is pound-for-pound and inch-for-inch the best perimeter defender in North Carolina, especially when you consider the amount of turnovers he's capable of forcing in a given contest. Despite his lack of size, Taylor is quite strong and a very solid rebounder on both sides of the ball. He will take advantage of scoring opportunities within the arc, but Taylor is also an intelligent and willing passer. The bulldog-like floor general has been a fan favorite for quite awhile now, but it'll be interesting to see how he handles the collegiate level.

 

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