It was another successful Phenom National Showcase held November 16-17 at Greensboro Day School. For the two day event, we had a total of 31 teams and 22 games played. That’s a lot of basketball and a tremendous amount of talent displayed. Now, let’s take a look at some of the top performances and observations.
BETTER THAN ADVERTISED: 6’7 2019 Greg Gantt (Trinity Christian-Fayetteville)
Wow! What a performance by the Providence signee! Greg Gantt’s game vs. High Point Christian. It may have been one of the best all around games we’ve watched in quite some time. First of all, Gantt did it on both ends of the court. He rebounded, block shots and played with a tremendous amount of effort and energy. He finished with 28 points including four 3-pointers. Gantt displayed the entire offensive package and made a jaw dropping “put down tip dunk.” Give Coach Jeff Battle of coming back to his home state and securing the commitment of Greg Gantt. Gantt style of play will fit in nicely at Providence and will be in the conversation as an All Big East player down the road.
PLAYING WITH AN EDGE: 6’8 2019 Nick Evtimov (Greensboro Day)
Coming into the season, the talk about Greensboro Day was their loaded and talented backcourt trio of Carson McCorkle, Cam Hayes and Austin Inge and rightfully so. However, one player was flying under the recruiting radar in 6’8 unsigned senior Nick Evtimov. After his performance at the Phenom National Showcase, that should change sooner rather than later. In the two games, Evtimov led the team in scoring with 19 and 14 points respectively and earned the Awards of Excellence Game MVP not once, but twice. Evtimov brings energy, passion, grit and a blue-collar work ethic to the team.
WORTHY OF D1 ATTENTION: 6’0 2020 Landon Sutton (High Point Christian)
If you continue to outplay opposing D1 prospects, you have to be in the conversation of a D1 player too. Simply stated, that has been the case of Landon Sutton of High Point Christian. Sutton enjoyed a banner summer, exposure camp settings, and then did it again on opening weekend of the high school season. On Friday night, Sutton had a game high 15 points and then followed it up with 37 points against a very talented and heavy touted D1 Trinity Christian roster. High Point Christian may have come up short in the 77-71 loss, however one had to walk away and ask why he continues to be under the recruiting radar. Trinity Christian has some of the toughest and athletic guards in the state and it’s not like he did it against inferior competition.
THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT: The Youngsters at Cannon School
Coach Che Roth is building something special at the Cannon School. Without question, he has two of the top freshmen in the state in 6’2 2022 Jaden Bradley (No. 5) and 6’6 2022 DJ Nix (No. 23). They will be the heart and soul of the team for the next four years. (Including this season) Bradley had 21 and 12 points respectively while Nix had 14 and 27 points respectively. As a matter of fact, Jaden Bradley picked up a Florida offer after his performance on Friday night. Both freshman are unique. First of all, they don’t play like freshmen. We’ve had the opportunity to watch them three times against high level competition and each time, they just continue to impress us with their poise, maturity and feel for the game. They are special young players!
AN UNBELIEVABLE TALENT: 6’10 2020 Isaiah Todd (Trinity Academy-Raleigh)
It’s not often you find a 6’10 wing that has attributes and intangibles like Isaiah Todd. The silky smooth, mobile and highly skilled Todd has the complete package. He has length, athleticism, ability to put the ball on the court, great court vision, can score from all three levels on the court. If there is a knock on the youngster it’s simple. He still doesn’t know how good he could really be. We’re talking about a young man who is both humble on and off the court and at times can be “too nice” on the court. If he develops that “mean streak” or alpha dog mentality, he can take his game to another level.
THE BEAT GOES ON: Carmel Christian
Head coach Joe Badgett sat quietly in his role as assistant coach (Six years at Northside Christian) and (Two years at Carmel Christian). When Byron Dinkins left for a position at Charlotte, conventional wisdom is for players to bolt and go to perceived other opportunities, even though Carmel is the defending NCISAA 2A champion. Carmel Christian made the right move, inserted Joe Badgett as the head coach and now they are nationally ranked team, but most of all is playing like one. Give credit where credit is due, Coach Badgett has done a masterful job in dealing with the nuances of a roster of D1 players and has a chance to have another special season and magical run at the National High School championship.
NO ONE DOES IT BETTER: Coach Freddy Johnson (Greensboro Day)
We could easily label this as “The Beat Goes On” Part 2. When you watch Greensboro Day, you see the signature of Coach Freddy Johnson each time they step onto the court. Yes, all the accolades about Coach Johnson are so well deserved. One thing is for certain, when you watch Greensboro Day play, they are well coached, poised and play the game the right way. They too are nationally ranked and they have all the pieces for another NCISAA title run and has another chance to play in the Dick’s National High School Championship. Greensboro Day plays team basketball and watching them is like watching a well oiled machine.
Be sure to check out part 2 https://www.phenomhoopreport.com/2018/11/18/coach-ricks-observations-from-the-phenom-national-showcase