On Saturday, Phenom Hoops traveled to Hartsville High School in Hartsville, South Carolina for another loaded day of basketball. This event looked to feature a variety of different teams, both from North and South Carolina, and succeeded with a quality on-court product. There were numerous standouts, noteworthy performances, and quality competition from all sides. This article will take a closer look at some personal favorites from the showcase…
6’5 ’20 Quentin Hodge (Lakewood)
It’s truly incredible how much can change in a year within the recruiting scene. Just twelve months ago, we saw Quentin Hodge put on multiple dominant showings (with a broken wrist) in front of numerous Division I coaches at our Capital City Jam. He only held two offers at the time in Florida Gulf Coast and Mercer. Fast-forward a year and Hodge has gotten healthy, added to his skillset, looks more impressive than ever, and now holds a dozen scholarships. That being said, he might still be underrated. Hodge is such a dynamic two-way threat with exceptional offensive abilities. He’s a leader in every facet of the game for Lakewood, controlling the offense with poise, making consistently intelligent decisions, being tough and engaged on defense, and working the glass on both ends of the floor. Hodge is an efficient three-level scorer that knows how to mix things up and keep opponents guessing. He possesses a beautiful perimeter jumper, craftiness off the bounce, and the strength/athleticism to finish strong around the rim. The main justification for Hodge being underrated? If he were in North Carolina, high-major programs would likely be in heavy pursuit—he’s simply that talented.
6’0 ’20 Antonee Abraham (Liberty Heights)
There are so many unique wrinkles about Liberty Heights, primarily that the entireroster is made up of scholarship-level prospects. They have phenomenal depth, balance, and chemistry to go with their excellent coaching staff, which easily makes this group among the top handful of teams within North Carolina. Due to the aforementioned balance, guys like Antonee Abraham can soar under the radar. He doesn’t necessarily have the night-to-night productivity of someone like Kamryn Edwards but that’s because of his willingness to embrace his role for the betterment of the team. Abraham is a reliable scorer, especially as a penetrator and finisher at the rim, but doesn’t necessarily need to apply scoring pressure to make a lasting impact. He’s an extremely poised, mature floor general with a clear sense of how to properly create and set up quality scoring opportunities for his teammates. Abraham is smart, well-rounded, and leaves nothing to be desired on either end of the floor. He’s like a coach on the floor, setting the tone, leading by example, and displaying a terrific two-way motor. There’s truly nothing to dislike about his game. He could help a lot of programs at the next level, which should have scholarship-holding coaches on the prowl sooner than later.
6’8 ’21 Ben Burnham (Carmel Christian)
In most circumstances, college coaches have a clear affinity for production. However, Ben Burnham hasn’t really gotten a fair shake in that regard. Since transferring to Carmel Christian and reclassifying, Burnham has seen a slight boost in his recruitment. He picked up his first offer, from Winthrop, last month after absolutely destroying every opponent in his path to start the season. The lone offer just hasn’t been enough to justify how ridiculously well he’s performed this season. Burnham was already quite productive during his time at Nation Ford, establishing himself as a leader and averaging a double-double on a nightly basis, but has taken an obvious step forward within the last six to eight months. He’s skilled, extremely explosive, and has one of the best motors in the region, making him a walking mismatch for most opposing forwards. Burnham can score on all three levels but remains nearly unstoppable from inside the arc. He possesses touch with either hand, above-the-rim athleticism, and an array of crafty moves from midrange-in. Burnham’s still wiry and will be a nightmare assignment for opponents upon adding additional strength. Although already very talented, Burnham is the type of player that will only continue to get better over time—which is yet another reason more college coaches need to get involved.
6’3 ’22 Sam Cogan (Lincoln Charter)
The post-Kody Shubert/Jackson Gabriel/Levontae Knox/London England era has been quite interesting at Lincoln Charter. Coach Bradley Gabriel is as prepared as ever and their main leader, Sam Cogan, has been nothing short of exceptional since taking over the reigns. This roster doesn’t necessarily have one set leader, but he’s the go-to guy when things start breaking down. Cogan is smart, crafty, and tougher and more athletic than most people would assume from the initial look-test. The southpaw knows how to consistently operate as the primary creator for an efficient offense but also makes a ton of plays without the ball in his hands. Cogan is able to get downhill, attack the rim, and finish strong whenever he desires but also shoots it quite well from the perimeter. He has excellent cutting instincts and does a great job of carving out open spaces for easy buckets. Cogan is also poised in the open floor and makes smart passes/decisions at a fairly consistent rate. He’s young but there’s already a lot to like, certainly making him a prospect to watch closely going forward.
6’9 ’22 Bessanty Saragba (Trinity Byrnes)
There were plenty of intriguing long-term prospects on display, but none more enticing than Bessanty Saragba. We saw him most recently at our South Carolina Top 80 in October and he’s made clear strides since then. Although he’s not a focal point for Trinity Byrnes, Saragba’s talent and upside is somewhat obvious. He moves very well for his size and displays a quality understanding of the game on both ends of the floor. Saragba doesn’t need a lot of offensive touches to make an impact. He utilizes his length on defense to alter/block shots, runs the floor hard in transition, and is capable of finishing effectively around the basket. Saragba is a great screener despite his slender frame and looks comfortable operating out of the post. He has a phenomenal frame that should only get better over time. Saragba is truly just beginning to scratch the surface of his long-term potential and could start harnessing his tools sooner than later.