This past weekend, Phenom Hoops traveled down to Rock Hill, South Carolina for our annual Queen City Showcase. There were dozens of quality teams from each age group and countless prospects worth noting for college coaches. The Anthony Morrow Elite squad was among the most intriguing groups for next-level programs to track. They’ve done a great job of piecing this roster together from all parts of the state. After their showing last weekend, the roster clearly has a lot of enticing prospects, and this article will shed light on each one…
After watching closely for the last four years, it’s fair to say that Jordan McPhatter hasn’t wavered as one of the top, most electric playmakers throughout North Carolina. Though he’s undersized, McPhatter has learned how to adapt over the years and actually utilizes the lack of size to his advantage. He’s a useful scorer with a solid perimeter jumper and quick first step. McPhatter is always looking to set up his teammates and has the unique ability to locate seams and passing angles before they even appear. He’s about as instinctive of a player as you’ll find and genuinely makes his surrounding teammates better.
His backcourt mate, Calik Thomas, is arguably one of the more appealing prospects on the roster. He possesses IQ, shot creation skills, and the ability to score the ball in a variety of different ways. Thomas offers a reliable presence as a secondary ball-handler but can also run a team if necessary. He shoots the ball at a high efficiency from the perimeter, especially as a spot-up threat, and forces opposing defenses to give him constant attention. Thomas has quality length, energy, and anticipation on defense, which allows him to make a constant impact without ever really needing to be the focal point.
The strong, sturdy pairing of Michael Peters and Bryson Nesbit also brought quite a bit of intrigue to this roster. Peters is a high-motor forward/post prospect with solid touch and the ability to space the floor. He gives nonstop effort as a defender and two-way rebounder, and understands how to operate effectively within a low-maintenance role. Meanwhile, Nesbit is a noteworthy football player with a pretty useful basketball identity. He’s big, strong, plays hard, and displays a quality amount of skill within his game. Nesbit utilizes his strength very well around the basket and highlighted some excellent passing instincts throughout the weekend.
When it comes to high-motor players, one would be hard-pressed to find a duo more active than Luke Davis and Glenn Bynum Jr. Davis is a long, explosive, extremely tough power forward with a great interior presence and the ability to score from midrange or beyond the arc. He’s a great defender that battles on every possession, effectively rebounds the ball, and exudes toughness on the court. Despite playing most of the weekend with another team, Bynum also stood out during his time with this squad. He’s simply a low-maintenance player that can find a way to impact the game without ever requiring offensive touches—though he’s a capable scorer and creator. Bynum is a useful defender with a nose for the ball and overall willingness to make hustle plays.
There were times when Nygell Verdier was simply the best player on the floor for either team at our Queen City Showcase. He showcased a natural knack for scoring the ball, whether spotting-up, in transition, or attacking off the dribble, and was quite efficient throughout the process. Verdier does a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor while standing out as an intelligent all-around scorer.
Rounding out the backcourt, Jaren Poole offered a steady guard presence, operating within the flow of the team and not forcing the action on either end of the floor. He’s an unselfish player with the ability to find scoring opportunities with or without the ball in his hands. Poole defends and rebounds well while making smart decisions in transition. Meanwhile, Jadon Carnes is another prospect with length and a willingness to thrive within his role. He was the youngest player on this roster and could be one to watch progress.
Last but not least, the wing pairing of John Ward and Daylan Askew could be two of the more intriguing prospects on this roster. Askew is long, wiry, and quite well-rounded. He’s a great defender with anticipation and instincts for forcing turnovers. Askew scores the ball well from all levels and has shown the ability to lead a team or thrive in a secondary role. On the other hand, Ward has great positional size and scores the ball with efficiency from all over the floor. He highlights nice athleticism, physical tools, and the necessary mentality to make plays on either side of the ball.
Anthony Morrow Elite brought a team that made an impression as one of the tougher, more veteran-laden squads on display. Their blend of IQ, toughness, and unselfishness allowed for success to naturally occur throughout the weekend. College coaches should be laying groundwork with this roster, as they have something for nearly every type of programs.