This past weekend, Phenom Hoops continued what has been an unusual, yet exciting summer season at the Rock Hill Sports and Events Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In terms of talent, this event was as loaded as any within our schedule over the last month. Some programs made their debut while others continued to separate themselves from the pack. This article will take a closer look at some personal favorites from throughout the weekend, each of which have been heavily promoted over the last few months but still deserve more attention…
6’7 ’21 Toby Harris (Carolina Flyers)
Though the Toby Harris situation might feel like a broken record, go ahead and put the needle back on the phonograph for another listen. The kid has done everything possible to warrant Division I offers, both in the high school season and throughout the current summer months, yet programs seem almost afraid of him. Instead of shying away from his lone poor performance at Summer Havoc, let’s dive deeper. Harris simply did not shoot the ball at his normal level, but was still finished with the highest plus/minus (+9) of anyone in a one-point loss to a top-tier opponent. Across the other three games, Harris averaged 19 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1 SPG, and 1 TPG (turnovers) while shooting 53% from the floor and 57% from beyond the arc. At 6-foot-7 with IQ, athleticism, and his identity, what more needs to be said to entice these coaches? Look, it would be one thing if we were begging coaches to bring him in, make him the focal point, and give him thirty shots per game, but that’s not the case. He is a leader, but even as a role player or secondary offensive option, Harris has proven himself time and again. There’s no possible explanation that can justify his lack of recruitment across the board. Hopefully that’ll change soon, as Harris should be considered an obvious asset for numerous programs.
5’9 ’21 Kadyn Dawkins (Cobras 2021)
Similar to the name above, arguably no prospect within North Carolina’s Class of 2021 has a larger gap between their production and recruitment than Kadyn Dawkins. In all honesty, the stigma surrounding his height has become truly ridiculous—especially since literally everyone is in agreement about how incredible Dawkins has been over the last calendar year. Sure, he’s undersized, but it does not matter. Even going against opposing guards with size, length, and athleticism, Dawkins still dominates on both ends of the floor. His combination of IQ and toughness is a massive part of his overall identity. Dawkins plays with a natural understanding of how to dictate the action and make the best available play/decision with unwavering consistency. He’s found the perfect balance between playmaking and three-level scoring, and knows how to manipulate the defensive pressure in very meticulous ways. Dawkins utilizes his craftiness, tight ball-handling, and quick first step to get wherever he wants on the floor. His precision as a passer is phenomenal from anywhere on the floor, which often turns normal transition sets into guaranteed fast-break opportunities. Dawkins is also an excellent defender with the ability to continuously suffocate opposing ball-handlers. His recruitment is certainly not a reflection of his capabilities, which is why Dawkins should have dozens more suitors over the next twelve months.
6’6 ’22 Nolan Hodge (NC Gaters)
Due to being in the Class of 2022, there is a little more understanding as to why Nolan Hodge’s recruitment has been somewhat slow thus far. However, it’s very difficult to try and justify why a 6-foot-6 guard with IQ, shooting, and athleticism isn’t being pursued with more urgency. If those attributes aren’t enough to appeal to coaches, the added strength paired with improved aggression and toughness should definitely do the trick. Despite slightly unorthodox shooting mechanics, Hodge is an efficient three-level scorer with the ability to create for himself or find opportunities without the ball in his hands. Though he’s been an excellent scorer throughout the summer, his passing has been worth noting as well. Hodge plays a smart, unselfish, well-rounded brand of basketball while leading by example in various facets of the game. Along with the aforementioned improvements, Hodge is also showing more intensity and edginess as a competitor. He’s starting to really solidify his killer-instinct while still highlighting an incredible array of natural tools. In terms of buy-now prospects, Hodge should remain atop the list for various programs at the next level.
5’10 ’23 Trey Green (Team Charlotte)
There are a lot of high-level guards within North Carolina’s Class of 2023, and Trey Green might be the most underrated of them all. For starters, he’s one of, if not the smartest point guard in the state. Green offers a complete game as a floor general and rarely ever makes mistakes or has a lapse in judgment. Sometimes it feels like his abilities don’t get the appropriate respect because his greatness can be so subtle, simply through the angles he accesses and way he sees the game so differently than others. Green can effortlessly dice up the opposition with his ball-handling, vision, and incredible scoring prowess. He’s a high-level shooter but has become equally as effective at attacking the basket and finishing through contact. Green has added noticeable bounce over the last few months, which is allowing him to meet opponents at the rim on either side of the ball. He genuinely has a complete game and checks so many boxes with his ability to be like a coach on the floor. Coaches are going to be battling for Green’s services at the next level, so it would be wise to get involved early.
6’6 ’22 Jalen Hood-Schifino (Team CP3)
Anyone who read our open gym report or preview of Team CP3 entering this weekend should’ve already been anticipating a dominant showing from Jalen Hood-Schifino. Not only did he deliver, but he was also the best player on the floor for a massive portion of the event. Hood-Schifino has possessed the necessary tools to be a special player for quite a long time, dating back to his early middle-school days. However, the last six months have revealed a completely different type of monster. Hood-Schifino realized that he can still manage a game and effectively run a team while constantly staying in attack mode. His scoring abilities look as polished as ever, and his impressive defense, playmaking, and rebounding have only continued to shine. Despite being the youngest player on the roster, Hood-Schifino has stood out as a leader on both ends of the floor. Though he’s going to be recruited at the highest possible level, it still feels like the all-around point guard should start receiving more respect from national media and scouting services.