The action is cracking in Spartanburg and I’m here to bring you the latest from some early morning and afternoon standouts. This list is composed of players of multiple classes and positions, that stood out for various reasons, take a dive into my early takeaways and some names you may want to keep an eye on. 

5’10 2024 Trey Maxwell (Charlotte Supreme)- Maxwell wielded his team to a win in an absolute dog fight. Maxwell sealed the deal late with his efforts on both sides of the basketball, he’s relentless attacking the cup and although he boasts a slender frame he consistently finished through contact at the rim. Maxwell has nice mechanics on his jumper, and he’s not a high volume shooter, Maxwell gets his within the flow of the offense. Maxwell smothered the basketball and made opposing ball handlers uncomfortable, he’s got a good motor and showed it late in the game when other players looked fatigued in crunch time. Maxwell was vocal on the court and impressed with his communication on defense. 

6’0 2021 John Penderman (Upstate Warriors)-  Penderman had one of the most impressive scoring outings on the day, he turned in a slight 27 piece in the Warriors first game. Penderman  got buckets from all over the floor, he really got hot from deep. Penderman showed knockdown shooting ability from deep off the bounce and he made the most on spot up opportunities. Penderman also flashed a quick first step and he’s got a stocky build , Penderman uses his shoulders and lower body to bury defenders on his hip. Penderman is also a gifted passer and there is potential for him to be a lockdown defender at the collegiate level. I think regional division II programs and division III programs looking to add depth in the backcourt and a late spark in the 2021 cycle should take a good look.

5’3 2025 Owen Calvert (PSB Winston)- The eye test can be deceiving, Calvert is quicker than he looks and he’s got some flair to his game. Calvert possesses a tight handle, he keeps the dribble low & has a compact crossover. Calvert gets his shot off quickly in the lane as a smaller guard, he took some bumps but proved to be a gamer. Calvert is a high I.Q. Kid at this stage he  utilizes the rim to protect shot attempts from being swatted , Calvert also finishes with either hand, he’s an adept passer with reliable vision. Cavert is a pest on defense who won’t quit, he had no trouble getting underneath taller defenders and swiping the rock.

6’0 2025  Rell Jones (Charlotte Supreme)- Jones will be one to watch in the 2025 NC cycle, he’s already a skilled scorer, he rebounds the ball well at the guard position, and he can legitimately guard multiple positions. Jones operated on and off the ball, Jones is a streaky shot maker and he can create seperation off the bounce. Jones is also a very capable slasher, his movements are smooth and Jones plays at his own pace. Jones has a good feel for the game and he makes it look easy at times, on Saturday Jones got anywhere he wanted on the floor, and although Jones has the body control to avoid contact on the finish, he won’t shy away from it either. 

6’2 2022 Ben Hale III (Team CLT 2022). Hale III is a magician with the basketball and it was fun to watch. Hale III dishes the rock with flair, he dropped off several no look dimes that had some jaws hitting the floor. Hale makes winning plays, he is a selfless lead guard that understands the importance of an outlet pass, he gets the rock out quickly with some zip. Hale III also converted some strong finishes in the paint, Hale III has a solid frame, the physical game won’t shake him. Defensively Hale III moves well laterally, he’s got good balance and a solid defensive stance, he can really guard the ball. I didn’t see Hale III taking possession off either, even without the basketball he’s still heavily involved in the game.