This past weekend, Phenom Hoops traveled out to the Rock Hill Sports and Events Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina for another quality event. There was plenty of talent in the gym, featuring an abundance of new faces and guys we’ve seen numerous times throughout the years. The competition level was high, which made for some excitement, and various standouts emerged. This article will take a closer look at some personal favorites throughout the weekend, each of which have been underrated and continue to deserve an uptick in recruitment…
6’1 ’21 Kavan Horton (Team Vision)
The first name on this list, Kavan Horton, also doubles as the most perplexing, seeing as how he’s headed into his senior season with little to no traction within his recruitment. It’s actually quite bothersome, seeing as how coaches are definitely watching this Team Vision squad yet seem willing to walk away from a scholarship-level talent with no real hesitation. While it seems that dominating the ball receives more attention and appreciation, Horton’s ability to thrive and produce with or without the ball should make him more sought after. In terms of complementary players, one would be hard-pressed to find many prospects as adaptable as him. He’s guaranteed to provide nonstop energy, suffocating defense, and an all-around offensive arsenal. Even though it can be subtle at times, Horton does literally everything on the court and will make a coach extremely happy at the next level.
6’6 ’22 Karon Boyd (Charlotte Hoyas)
There have been many quiet standouts on display throughout the last month, but there’s nothing discreet about Karon Boyd and his game. He’s long, athletic, versatile, and extremely tough with a notable edge/intensity. Boyd operates within a variety of different roles for this squad, often battling around the basket but consistently showing the necessary skill to make plays from the perimeter. He finishes basically anything he attempts around the basket, typically through contact, and seems to welcome physical play at all times. Boyd is a well-rounded athlete, which allows him to play above the rim and effectively defend opponents of varying sizes. However, he showed the ability to create off the bounce, navigate through traffic, and knock down jumpers from beyond the arc. Boyd makes smart decisions with the ball in his hands and absolutely thrives in transition or an up-tempo setting. He simply refuses to show fear or backdown from anyone, and will have the attention of college coaches very soon.
6’4 ’22 Dontavious Pettaway (Raising Young Men)
While Raising Young Men has become one of the more exciting groups to watch, Dontavious Pettaway deserves the appropriate recognition for his role as their all-around dynamo. He’s long, athletic, and possesses the necessary skillset to operate from numerous different positions on the floor. Pettaway does a great job of affecting all facets of the game, particularly as a scorer, rebounder, and versatile defender. There are times when he’s able to defend all five positions on the floor with relative ease. He displays IQ, toughness, and excellent anticipation instincts, which allows him to force a ton of turnovers and simply wreak havoc for opponents. Pettaway can also knock down shots, handle the ball, attack the basket, and finish above or through contact. One of the main reasons for his lack of recruitment is due to being the lone underclassmen on a senior-laden roster in high school. However, Pettaway should start gaining traction as a breakout candidate going into the upcoming season.
6’5 ’22 Collin Tanner (ELE)
With three-point shooting at such a premium, it’s surprising that more folks aren’t talking about Collin Tanner and his abilities as a next-level prospect. Though his perimeter shooting is an obvious selling point and certainly worth acknowledging, Tanner is far more than just a shooter. He’s also played on high-profile teams for majority of his basketball career, which has prepared him to be a leader and embrace the spotlight in crunch time. Tanner is a long, smart, wiry wing prospect with nice two-way versatility. Over the last month, he’s showcased the ability to create for himself and others, attack off the dribble, and consistently cause problems for the opposition with his lethal jumper. He doesn’t even necessarily require the ball in his hands to pose a threat, as his gravity forces opponents to pay him constant attention—since he only needs a glimmer of daylight to get off (and convert) clean looks. Tanner is a useful defender and rebounder with a quality combination of length and toughness. It would be surprising if his name wasn’t in increased circulation over the next few years.
6’3 ’22 Nayshin Waller (Flight 22)
The Flight 22 organization consistently puts out some of the top talent from North Carolina, specifically from the eastern part of the state, and Nayshin Waller certainly fits that notion. Though he showcased a pretty well-rounded skillset and quality two-way approach, his leadership is arguably what shined the most across the weekend. Waller displayed a high IQ and controlled the action with poise, effortlessly creating for himself and others while picking his spots within the flow of the offense. He utilizes his length well to force turnovers and finish over the outstretched arms of defenders. Waller scores the ball effectively from all three levels, but was arguably at his best when getting downhill and attacking the basket. He doesn’t really have any glaring weaknesses and should continue to establish himself as a noteworthy name going forward.