This past weekend, Phenom Hoops returned to North Carolina for our first debut at the newly built Rise Indoor Facility in Advance for our Stay Positive Classic. In lieu of everything opening back up, that area is going to see a massive increase in basketball traffic heading into the upcoming LIVE periods. There was an abundance of talented teams and individuals on display between the two-day event, and we will take a closer look at some personal favorites…
6’2 ’22 Nik Graves (Garner Road)
Often times, the steady, reliable floor general can be overlooked by the masses, but it’s arguably what should make Nik Graves such an enticing prospect for Division I coaches. As a point guard, he’s the epitome of poise, intelligence, and leadership by example, and it’s evident in his approach on both ends of the floor. Graves is among the few players across the state with the ability to actually play a mistake-free game. He’s never rushed or influenced by an opposing presence, which allows him to meticulously pick apart the defense and make consistently impressive reads with the ball in his hands. Graves is a capable scorer from all levels, and will take advantage of easy opportunities, but prioritizes not forcing the action as well as anyone. He also defends very well, works for rebounds, and forces turnovers at a quality rate. Graves is a brilliant passer with phenomenal vision, timing, and use/understanding of angles. He’s simply a winner. Boston University recently became his first offer, but one should expect a variety of programs to pursue Graves over the next twelve months.
6’2 ’23 Keyon Webb (Sheed Wallace Select)
It should go without saying but Sheed Wallace Select was easily one of the most exciting, entertaining teams on display, and Keyon Webb is an undeniably large part of their overall appeal. Like pretty much everyone else on the roster, he’s extremely tough and gritty with athleticism and a high motor. Webb offers a pretty fluid identity as a player, able to legitimately run a team or apply pressure alongside another primary ball-handler. His knockdown shooting ability from midrange and beyond the arc is what makes him such a useful threat without the ball in his hands. However, Webb is equally as strong off the catch and dribble—both from midrange and distance. He handles the ball well, displays IQ and craftiness as a creator, and sets up others at a nice rate. Webb also looks to attack in transition, where he’s a proven finisher or setup artist. Although early, scholarship-level coaches should already be laying groundwork.
6’5 ’22 Dawson McAlhany (NC Spartans)
There’s an abundance of underrated pieces within the Spartans’ program, and Dawson McAlhany is probably atop that grouping. It’s perplexing to try and figure out why a skilled, athletic 6-foot-5 wing prospect hasn’t seen more action within his recruitment. Regardless, McAlhany continues to showcase improvements within his overall game. He still offered his usual amount of penetration, finishing moves, and phenomenal two-way energy, but also shot the ball at an extremely high level from beyond the arc. McAlhany is a proven finisher, midrange shooter, and above-the-rim athlete, but the progression of his three-point shooting must take his recruitment forward. He displays IQ, toughness, and shows the ability to succeed with or without the ball in his hands. Given the combination of everything else he brings to the table, McAlhany should collect a variety of offers over the next few months.
6’5 ’24 Paul McNeil (Garner Road)
There were countless noteworthy talents showcased at our Stay Positive Classic, but Paul McNeil might legitimately be the top long-term prospect of everyone on display. Although his opportunities were somewhat limited throughout the weekend, it’s evident that something special is brewing with the young two-way wing. From a physical standpoint, McNeil already has obvious appeal with his long arms, fluid athleticism, and quality frame. That being said, his incredible skillset and overall identity is also undeniably appealing. McNeil already displays a high level of comfort/confidence as a shot-creator and all-around scorer, able to effortlessly generate (and convert) from anywhere on the floor. He displays IQ, vision, range, and sharp instincts on both ends of the floor. McNeil has the ideal tools and makings of a high-level wing, and already stands out towards the top of North Carolina’s Class of 2024. He will absolutely be a prospect for Division I coaches to monitor over the coming years.
6’6 ’23 Julius Harrison (NC Gaters)
The NC Gaters are such a balanced, well-rounded group, and Julius Harrison is a major x-factor in their overall identity on both ends of the floor. He’s a natural glue-guy who probably didn’t receive enough attention over the last year due to his willingness to adapt and make plays within the flow of the action. However, Harrison is already an obvious scholarship-level player and will only continue to get better. He plays with an excellent motor and displays a strong nose for the ball, both as a defender and rebounder. Harrison’s versatility makes him a very difficult matchup for most opposing forwards, especially given how well he’s currently shooting the ball from the perimeter. He intercepts passing lanes on a regular basis, pushes transition play with relative ease, Harrison possesses a nice balance between skill and athleticism, and actively toggles between various positions on either end of the floor. He could easily have a breakout summer and upcoming junior season.