This past weekend, Phenom Hoops traveled to Spartanburg, South Carolina for the first live period of the early summer season. There were over 150 teams in attendance from all over the region, college-level talent was on display, and college coaches of all levels were sitting baseline throughout the weekend. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of my personal standouts from the wing/forward position…
6’7 ’20 Saiquone Harris (Juice All-Stars Stephenson)
Given the way the game of basketball has embraced versatility and three-point shooting, it’s hard to understand why Saiquone Harris doesn’t already hold at least a handful of scholarship offers. He’s truly an ideal prospect for the modern style of play, especially upon realizing his special combination of size, skill, and athleticism. Harris has a very unique blend of skills and is able to cause matchup problems for the opposition just by stepping on the court. He has an unbelievable frame with ridiculous length, which allows him to shoot or finish over the outstretched arms of opponents while accumulating a staggering amount of steals and deflections on defense. Harris is an extremely fluid athlete with three-level scoring chops and a quality two-way feel for the game. His versatility is something special, considering he’s able to grab rebounds, push the break himself, and make guard-like reads with the ball in his hands. Harris is a special offensive player with the ability to switch across multiple positions on defense. Expect his recruitment to continue trending upward this summer, as he’s a no-brainer for scholarship-holding coaches.
6’5 ’20 Ahmil Flowers (Greensboro Warriors)
There’s a legitimate argument to be made for Ahmil Flowers as the prospect with the best blend of productivity and long-term upside. He has been on a tear since the high-school season ended, beginning at our NC Top 80 and continuing onward through this past weekend. Flowers does a strong amount of everything while leading and setting the tone on both ends of the floor. He has an impeccable feel for the game, which allows him to work as a primary creator or without the ball in a pinch. Flowers does a terrific job of setting his teammates up for scoring opportunities, but also knows how to create for himself and take over when necessary. He shoots the ball effectively from beyond the arc, but typically looks to get inside and attack the basket. Flowers is smart, unselfish, and really understands how to mix it up on offense to keep the opposition guessing at all times. He’s a tremendous rebounder on both ends of the floor and utilizes his impressive motor to outwork bigger/stronger opponents on the glass. Flowers is a true defensive menace with amazing instincts, versatility, and the ability to accumulate a ton of blocks and steals. This is just the start of something special, as Flowers looks ready to break out, start annihilating every opponent in his path, and collect scholarship offers.
6’5 ’20 Keishon Porter (Team Trezz)
It would be difficult to establish a clear-cut “favorite” prospect from Phenom Challenge, but Keishon Porter is certainly in the conversation. He epitomizes maturity, toughness, leadership, and intelligence on and off the basketball court. Porter possesses an exceptional frame with a lot of length, which he utilizes incredibly well to overwhelm his assignment and set the tone on defense. He’s one of the most rugged, bloodthirsty defenders in North Carolina and that was quite apparent throughout the weekend, as he was nothing short of dominant on that end of the floor. Porter plays with so much infectious energy and understands how to apply his nonstop motor extremely well as a defender, rebounder, and off-ball cutter. He’s a quality offensive threat with high-level athleticism, effortless scoring ability at the rim, and decent consistency from beyond the arc. Porter handles the ball well and displays constant unselfishness, always willing and ready to make the right play whenever possible. He truly leads by example and knows how to take over when his team needs it most, which is something that consistently stood out in crunch time. Porter is a major candidate to break out and start receiving scholarship offers over the coming weeks, especially if he continues to dominate on both sides of the ball.
6’7 ’21 Treyvon Byrd (NC Ice)
Just over a year ago, Treyvon Byrd was so full of long-term potential and just starting to scratch the surface of his abilities. Fast-forward to the present day and he’s begun to harness those incredible tools on both ends of the floor. Byrd’s body has continued to develop while maintaining his highlight-reel athleticism and explosion. His overall feel for the game has also become noticeably sharper and he’s able to work with or without the ball quite well. Byrd plays aggressive and physical on defense, which allows him to pile on the blocks and steals with relative ease. He moves extremely well for his size and causes a ton of matchup problems with his ball skills at the wing/forward position. Byrd is virtually unstoppable in transition and is capable of leading the break himself or filling the lane seamlessly. He still possesses so much upside, but is now polished and productive enough to warrant at least five to ten scholarship offers within the coming months.
6’8 ’21 Keeyan Itejere (UC27 DreamChasers)
In terms of sheer upside, no prospect was more enticing than the incredibly productive Keeyan Itejere, who highlighted flashes of pure dominance throughout this event and is guaranteed to only continue improving. Right now, he’s somewhat wiry but possesses excellent length and arguably had the most impressive three-day showing of anyone in attendance. The tantalization begins on defense, where Itejere is an absolute man amongst boys. He has really strong timing and instincts on that end of the floor, which allows him to protect the rim at a high level while securing a ton of rebounds from inside and outside of his area. Itejere handles the ball quite well for his size/position and is actually very polished when it comes to creating scoring opportunities. He’s crafty enough to get by perimeter defenders, maneuver through traffic, and finish with aggression or creativity around the basket. Itejere is truly just beginning to harness his abilities and looks likely to become a big-time prospect sooner than later.