PHR Analyst Jeff Bendel looks at some of his top players from Phenom’s Stay Positive
Over the past year, we’ve seen 6’6 Coby White (2018) go from unranked to nationally regarded as one of the elite scorers in his class. However, White has always been this effective, but the general public is just beginning to understand. He can literally walk into any gym, against any competition, and get thirty points with relative ease. Very few players can be mentioned in the same breath as White, who was just named Gatorade Player of the Year for North Carolina basketball. He is an unmatched scorer that can get buckets in unlimited ways. White has such a natural feel for the game; he’s able to score every time he enters the paint, whether by a basket or going to the line (where he is exceptional). His IQ is incredibly high and he puts winning above everything else. The consistency and efficiency of his jump shot have both gone up considerably since last summer, which likely goes hand in hand with his recruiting stock. White has unbelievable talent, and any shot he takes, he can make. It’s nearly impossible to list all the various ways that he can score, but just know that UNC is getting a future pro.
His teammate, 6’9 Jack Hemphill (2018), has continued to see a major rise in his recruitment after a full summer as the lone big man for Team CP3. Hemphill’s role is huge for the team, as he is definitely their top rebounder and rim protector. He already possesses a strong, defined, next-level frame, which allows him to bully guys around the basket. Hemphill is a solid athlete that will try to meet opponents at the rim, but also has the upper-body strength to hang in the air longer than other big men. He has the ability to post-up on either block and finish over either shoulder; he is knockdown from midrange and has displayed a formidable three-point shot. Hemphill moves fluidly, running the floor and filling the lane really well. His IQ and positioning are both assets on the defensive end, where he has proven to be above average. Hemphill also does the little things: diving for loose balls, boxing out on every single possession, and securing rebounds with two hands. He has become a definite MM prospect that can fit on a wide variety of teams at that level; he will have his pick of schools when it’s time to decide.
Among the most underrated players for Team CP3 is 6’2 Chaz Gwyn (2019)and the incredible shooting he brings from a game to game basis. Aside from Trey Murphy, there isn’t a better shooter/floor spacer in the state of North Carolina than Gwyn. He is so accurate from three-point range and rarely misses any shot twice in a row. Few players have a form that is more repeatable and no one shoots it with more confidence. Once Gwyn heats up, there is no cooling him down, as only he can snap his shooting streak. However, he is more than just a shooter. Gwyn knows how to toy with opponents into giving him a free path to the basket, where he is a reliable finisher. Armed with a solid handle and high IQ, Gwyn will continue to be a productive and efficient player at the high school level. He should be a very coveted player at the next level, where he can be extremely valuable to any team at any level.
Continuing onto an extremely explosive player that lives above the rim, 6’7 Rico Williams (2019). A Kinston native, Williams is so tantalizing and exciting to watch, as he is a constant threat to dunk on anyone and everyone. He already possesses a college-ready frame and will only continue to put on strength. Williams is also a highly touted football recruit that holds offers from about a dozen programs; he plays defensive end, which is easy to envision, as he is so strong and laterally quick. Offensively, Williams operates extremely well around the basket and finishes nearly everything in sight. He does really well within two to three dribbles and is nearly unstoppable when going downhill, towards the basket. His supreme athletic ability is what makes him an incredible defensive player that can guard multiple positions well; he is capable of covering players bigger or smaller than him with relative ease. The more reliable his jump shot becomes, the higher his overall ceiling will be at the next level, should he choose to play basketball. Williams has a chance to be really special and will become a fan favorite wherever he decides to go, for either sport.