On Saturday, Phenom Hoops traveled out to Wesleyan Christian in High Point, North Carolina, as the Trojans prepared to host the Lions of Covenant Day. Wesleyan Christian entered this contest behind an up-and-down season, enduring a combination of injuries and brutal competition through their first ten games. Meanwhile, Covenant Day came in with a 3-3 record—only suffering losses to three opponents ranked within our top sixteen. The stage was set for a quality battle, featuring numerous notable prospects on both sides, and it made for some entertaining action.
Things kicked off in quite a sluggish manner, as both teams struggled to score and only combined for four total points through the first four minutes of play. However, the offensive intensity quickly picked up and allowed for some nice back-and-forth action. Although pretty even, Covenant Day ended the opening quarter with a 16-12 lead. While Wesleyan continued to improve and fight throughout the following period, so did Covenant Day, which allowed the Lions to enter halftime with a 42-27 advantage. The second half offered more of the same, as Covenant Day never relinquished control and only continued to expand on their impressive lead, finishing the third quarter with a 61-36 lead. Both teams were able to empty their benches in the final period, as Covenant Day claimed an 81-53 victory over Wesleyan Christian.
6’1 ’23 Aden Holloway
It should go without saying at this point, but North Carolina’s Class of 2023 is absolutely brutal in terms of differentiating high-level talent. That being said, Holloway more than continues to solidify his case as the top prospect within his class. While other players might receive more attention, no one makes the game look as effortless as Holloway. His IQ and craftiness are simply ridiculous, allowing him to dictate the offensive tempo, make the right play with unwavering consistency, and get wherever he wants on the court. To call Holloway a gifted creator is almost an understatement, given the sophisticated and poised manner in which he controls the action. He’s an exceptional leader, both by example and through communication, and offers an extremely calming presence on either side of the ball. Holloway possesses beautiful shooting mechanics, finishes with finesse, and scores with impressive efficiency from all three levels. His sheer instincts and overall feel for the game actually make him quite a capable defender, rebounder, and navigator around ball screens. He exudes maturity, confidence, and that “it” factor, arguably making Holloway deserving of more attention for the top spot. Final stats: 25 points (9-15 FG), 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.
6’10 ’22 Iffy Ufochukwu
Few players across the state have trended upward as much as Ufochukwu over the last calendar year, especially in regards to his overall recruitment. The physical appeal is fairly obvious for a fluid, 6-foot-10 big man with a willingness to play hard and within himself on both ends of the floor. He already finds consistent success as a rebounder and rim-protector while also running the floor properly in transition. Ufochukwu picked up his first two offers within the last six months but is still genuinely just beginning to scratch the surface of his long-term upside. Final stats: 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
6’6 ’21 John Ward & 6’5 ’21 Britt Anderson
While Ufochukwu stands out as their primary interior presence, one simply cannot ignore the valuable contributions received from Ward and Anderson. Although both guys are somewhat undersized for their position, each entered the game and found ways to make an impact through hustle, positioning, and sheer effort. Anderson finished around the basket while Ward highlighted some nice inside-out ability. Final stats (Ward): 12 points and 5 rebounds. Final stats (Anderson): 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal.
6’5 ’21 Isaiah Ray
There are too many folks who simply get carried away with following point totals, which can alter the perception and diminish the impact of someone like Ray—specifically from this showing. He operated as the Trojans’ primary creator, reliably setting up others and dictating the offensive action, while actively defending up and down lineups. Ray is smart and looks to make the correct, unselfish read on every decision, but also has the ability to fill it up from all three levels. He’s a great rebounder, quality threat in transition, and well-rounded player. Ray’s defensive contributions cannot be overstated, and should be a useful addition at the next level. Final stats: 4 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks.