This past weekend, Phenom Hoops traveled to Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina for our third annual Hoops and Dreams showcase. As loaded as the National Showcase and Gate City Classic were, one can truly argue that this field was even better. It featured a majority of the top teams from North Carolina in addition to a national powerhouse (Huntington Prep) and a very impressive team from Canada (Rothesay Netherwood School). There was no shortage of talent in the gym and this article will take a closer look at some personal favorites from across the event…
6’2 ’20 Justin Wright (Farmville Central)
Although Saturday night’s battle against Greenfield will likely go down as the “Terquavion Smith game,” (and justifiably so) Justin Wright was the guy who controlled the action on both ends of the floor from start to finish. Everyone in North Carolina is pretty much in agreement that Levelle Moton and NC Central got an absolute steal in the strong, high-IQ floor general. He manages the game with incredible poise, maturity, and unselfishness while offering a very balanced approach between playmaking and three-level scoring. Wright has the ball on a string at all times, valuing each possession and rarely ever turning it over. He’s so crafty and effortlessly creates space/separation for scoring opportunities. Despite not possessing a ton of athleticism, Wright is a phenomenal defender with excellent positioning and anticipation instincts. His game is so smooth and has no real weaknesses within his skillset. He can go get thirty points or ten assists, or both, which is part of what makes him such a dominant force. Wright will have an extremely productive season as the leader of a state championship contender and should continue being a vital piece at the next level.
6’2 ’20 Kellen Tynes (Rothesay Netherwood)
Almost every team at Hoops and Dreams was local and/or very well known, except Rothesay Netherwood School from New Brunswick, Canada. However, their talent level became very clear after just watching mere seconds of this team perform. They have enticing prospects within various classes and at multiple positions, but Kellen Tynes is the ultimate leader of this group. He simply does it all and understands how to properly run a team on both ends of the floor. Tynes is very smart with the ball in his hands, which makes him a constant threat to set up others or assert himself as an efficient scorer from anywhere on the court. He plays with a phenomenal pace, always calm, never rushed, and able to breakdown opposing defenses at a sharp speed. Tynes displays quickness on either side of the ball, able to effortlessly get by the point of attack on offense while showing the ability to lock up his assignment on the other end. For a do-it-all guy like him, Tynes is criminally underrated and under-recruited. If he were in North Carolina, Tynes would be ranked somewhere in the top twenty and would hold at least a dozen Division offers. Kudos to Southern Illinois and Central Connecticut State for pursuing him early.
6’5 ’20 Ricky Council IV (Southern Durham)
We’ve said it before, but Ricky Council IV has a legitimate argument as the most underrated prospect in North Carolina basketball. He already possessed a body and skillset tailor-made for the college game, featuring impressive physical attributes, a scorer’s mentality, and the aptitude to pile on points from anywhere on the court. However, the recent addition of Quentin Richardson to this Southern Durham squad has allowed for Council’s game to open up even more. Now, two cold-blooded scorers (Council and Ahmad Hamilton) don’t have to worry about being full-time ball-handlers and playmakers for this group. That being said, Council has been as lethal as ever at scoring the basketball, showcasing his ability to mix it up, pick his spots, and apply constant pressure from all three levels. His recruitment is perplexing and simply does not match up with his talent level. Folks are quick to point at his unorthodox shooting form, but then realize that he’s been on an extremely short list of the most efficient scorers (and shooters) in the state for quite a while. Council is also a big-time athlete with quick-twitch explosion, incredible creation skills, and major defensive upside. Although he already holds eight Division I offers, expect Council to continue to expand that list going forward.
6’6 ’20 Reggie Raynor (Northwood Temple)
Anytime the name “Reggie Raynor” pops up, one is quick to get excited about his otherworldly leaping ability but he’s far more than just a dunking specialist and not enough people are talking about it. Of course, Raynor is an absolute monster in the open floor and when attacking the basket, as he’s always a candidate to go chest-to-chest with defenders and try to rip off the rim. However, the amount of development within his overall skillet throughout the last calendar year is undeniably impressive. After transferring, Raynor has become the focal point and primary decision-maker for a new-look Northwood Temple team. His ability to get downhill and impose his will around the basket has not changed, but he’s grown noticeably as a passer, ball-handler, and shooting threat. Raynor has made a clear point to improve his jumper and, although his mechanics remain the same, started to shoot the ball at a very high percentage from midrange and beyond the arc. He’s also still just as destructive and bothersome on the defensive end of the floor. So, after shoring up the only real deficiency within his game, what more do coaches want from him? Raynor continues to be recruited by a variety of D2s and LM programs, but can (and might) ultimately go higher.
6’5 ’21 Jayden Doyle (Freedom Christian)
Anyone who has tracked our events and top prospects over the last few months shouldn’t be surprised to see Jayden Doyle on this list. He’s been nothing short of spectacular as the leader for a completely overhauled Freedom Christian squad. Although just recently relocating to North Carolina, Doyle has quickly been identified as a special type of prospect and somewhat under the radar. His all-around skillset, paired with size, intelligence, and athleticism, make him an absolute nightmare matchup for a vast majority of opposing wing/forward prospects in the region. Doyle can run an offense, operate as a secondary creator, create for himself off the dribble, cut or spot-up without the ball, and anything in between. While his complete offensive game is worth the excitement, it’s actually his defense and overall fluidity that should have college coaches salivating. Wings at his size, with his skillset, who can defend their position at a high level typically end up making a name for themselves beyond the college ranks. Doyle is the only non-senior on this list, which really just encompasses how special of a prospect he can become.