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…
6’7 ’21 Clarence Rupert (Team Push)
While there were multiple national-level prospects on display, Clarence Rupert still stood out as one of the most intriguing. Team Push was easily among the top teams in attendance, and Rupert looked phenomenal in a leadership role (despite not even playing in every game). Though he already holds nearly a dozen Division I offers, it’s actually quite surprising that more schools aren’t involved. Rupert seems somewhat underrated, considering he’s a fairly obvious high-major talent with all the tools to be an absolute matchup problem against any type of competition. At 6-foot-7 with a fluid, football-like frame, he’s incredibly difficult for opponents to contain. Most players take what the defense is giving them, whereas Rupert has the ability to take whatever he wants—whenever he wants it. This isn’t meant to imply he forces the action or won’t take advantage of available opportunities, but rather that his combination of IQ, size, and skill makes him virtually unstoppable. Rupert can get downhill and finish with force or finesse around the basket, but also displays vision and a willingness to make the best possible play. However, he’s also proven to be an effective perimeter shooter with the ability to create his own shot with relative ease. Rupert also regularly operates out of the post and actively looks to exploit mismatches. His versatility translates to both ends of the floor, as he possesses the necessary strength, quickness, and mobility to defend at least three positions comfortably. Rupert is an exceptional rebounder with great hands and the capability to effortlessly push the break in transition. There’s simply no questioning his appeal, so folks should expect his offer sheet to continue growing throughout his senior season.
5’10 ’22 Quinton Mitchell (Raising Young Men)
The Raising Young Men program is quietly becoming one of the more exciting teams to follow, and Quinton Mitchell deserves as much attention as anyone. Though he’s slightly undersized, Mitchell possesses a complete skillset with incredible feel and pace to his game. His high IQ is evident in basically every decision he makes, from accessing passing angles to decisive scoring moves, and few opponents can truly stop him from getting where he wants on the court. Mitchell does an exceptional job of balancing his offensive approach as a floor general, able to reliably set the table for others or score with efficiency from all three levels. His ability to generate clean shots from anywhere on the floor coupled with his smooth, repeatable shot mechanics allow him to regularly dominate opposing point guards. Mitchell is very crafty, yet purposeful, and understands how to access and utilize angles that others simply cannot. Given his offensive brilliance, one would imagine that Mitchell must possess some type glaring weakness. However, it’s simply not the case. He stands out as a terrific defender with quickness, toughness, and noteworthy anticipation instincts, which leads to a ton of turnovers and transition opportunities. Mitchell is an incredible leader by example and has an identity that should seamlessly translate to the next level, which should have scholarship-level coaches buzzing.
6’6 ’22 Jaden Daughtry (BWSL Marsh)
The Boo Williams Marsh squad was easily one of the more talented teams in attendance, and Daughtry was as vital as anyone to their overall success. He’s a smart, well-rounded wing/forward prospect with size, strength, and two-way versatility. Daughtry offers a nice blend of skill, motor, and athleticism, which typically makes him a walking mismatch. He can actively toggle between various roles and positions, and possesses the necessary adaptability to succeed in any situation. Daughtry often finds himself within the paint, largely due to his notable rebounding sense and ability to relentlessly attack the basket off the dribble. However, his versatility allows him to do legitimately everything. Daughtry can initiate the offense, create off the dribble, work from the block, or operate from the high post, and consistently finds success from all areas. He’s excellent in transition and constantly poses a threat to finish above the rim, regardless of defensive pressure. Daughtry is also a proven shot-maker with the fluidity to overpower most perimeter players and skill to overwhelm bigger opponents. That being said, he’s arguably just as valuable as a defender and rebounder. Daughtry can block shots, intercept passing lanes, switch across multiple positions, outwork others for rebounds, and push the break in transition with relative ease. Right now, Daughtry holds a variety of scholarships and should certainly be able to contribute wherever he chooses to further his playing career, but expect additional schools to extend offers over the next calendar year.
6’2 ’21 Jay Mitchell (Basketpoint USA)
There were dozens of quality leaders throughout the event, but very few did more for their team than Jay Mitchell. The main thing that stood out about his leadership presence was the sole fact it he never stopped or wavered in approach. Mitchell showcased a downright resilient, seemingly nonstop motor and placed clear emphasis on every possible area of the game. He defended with purpose, made smart decisions, scored in countless ways, and genuinely sought out to do anything to provide his team with an edge. Mitchell made a great impact in transition, both as a scorer and decision-maker, and created effectively for himself and others within the half-court. He filled the stat-sheet in every possible category and, above all else, was able to rise to the occasion in crunch time when his team needed it most. Mitchell definitely has the makings of a next-level player and should be viewed as such throughout his upcoming senior season.
6’7 ’21 Xiaver Jones (DYSA Kings)
In this current time, quality offensive players are a dime a dozen while high-level defenders are few and far-between—which is arguably what makes Xiaver Jones so enticing. There are plenty of useful defenders, but Jones is legitimately destructive and capable of annihilating anything in his path. He’s a long, extremely athletic forward/post prospect with an incredible blend of motor and toughness. Jones anchors the paint with ease and effortlessly swats away one shot after another while constantly instilling fear within the opposition. There were times that he would accumulate two or three blocks in a single possession simply due to ferocity, positioning, and instincts. Although Jones is an excellent rim-protector, he also defends very well in space and has the necessary length and fluidity to suffocate numerous perimeter players. He rebounds the ball with equal intensity and secures a lot of second-chance opportunities, which often result in aggressive above-the-rim finishes. Most of Jones’ points come through finishes around the basket, though he did show semblance of a workable jumper and the ability to work within two or three dribbles. He possesses a noticeable edge and mean streak, welcoming physical play and showing fear of absolutely no opponent. At this point, Jones seems to be a diamond in the rough and should see a massive uptick in his recruitment sooner than later.