North Carolina Phenom 150 Session 2: Evaluation Team 8
Coach: Dre Simmons
#9:5’8 ’22 Percy “PJ” Wyatt (Richmond, VA)
Starting things off, we look at a player with an impressive feel for the game, given his age, Percy “PJ” Wyatt. He’s a young point guard prospect that maintains a strong motor and nonstop team-first approach. Offensively, Wyatt showed the ability to score on all three levels while showing signs of attacking the basket and making plays within the paint. For his size, Wyatt is actually a pretty strong defender with the ability to force on-ball steals. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength, as it would make him a more reliable finisher amongst bigger and stronger players. Coach Simmons on Wyatt: “PJ has a good basketball IQ and is a good passer. He’s an unselfish point guard that can shoot decently well. His shooting range could use some improvement. He showed flashes of driving ability, but could be more aggressive. PJ could continue to get stronger.” Wyatt is already quite mature, which should allow him to continue building his two-way skillset, since his foundation is already in place.
#21:5’10 ’21 Clay Hodges (Hiddenite, NC)
Next, we look at a player that truly embraces his combination of intelligence and motor to disrupt opponents, Clay Hodges. He’s a scrappy point guard prospect with tremendous leadership qualities on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Hodges initiates sets and operates the two-man game effectively, showing the ability to make the correct pass or taking advantage of the scoring opportunity. He plays with a certain decisiveness and truly understands how to manipulate opposing defenses. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength, as it would make him a more impactful on-ball defender. Coach Simmons on Hodges: “Clay is a hardnosed guard that can really shoot the three-pointer. He’s a good teammate that looks to make the extra pass. I really like his tenacity and knowledge of the game. Clay is very coachable; he only needs instruction once and it’s done. He has tremendous upside and is also a good ball-handler. He should continue to sharpen his IQ in order to become the ultimate floor general.” Hodges possesses a lot of useful skills and should certainly be a prospect worth keeping an eye on over these next few years.
#42:6’0 ’21 Aavanth Ezhilan (Mooresville, NC)
Moving onto a player that provided his team with a very smooth, reliable presence throughout camp, Aavanth Ezhilan. He’s an off-guard prospect that understands his role and never forces the action. Ezhilan is a quality shooter from midrange and beyond the arc, but also showcased the ability to get by opponents and finish at the rim. He displayed great positioning and IQ on defense, but will need to continue adding strength to maximize his impact. Next in his development process is playing with more aggression, as he should be able to take advantage of more scoring opportunities. Coach Simmons on Ezhilan: “Aavanth is a fundamentally-sound player that can shoot really well. He’s a good passer that sees things before they happen. He can get to the rack, but needs to be more aggressive. Aavanth is deceptively quick and just has a good understand of basketball. He should continue to improve his strength to play at the next level.” Ezhilan is an intriguing guard prospect and should continue building his two-way skillset going forward.
#58:6’0 ’22 Miller Shouse (Fort Mill, NC)
Continuing onto a player that looks to do whatever necessary to provide his team with an edge, Miller Shouse. He’s a strong-bodied guard prospect that does an excellent job of operating within a glue-guy role, able to simply make things happen when he’s on the court. Shouse shoots efficiently from all levels and moves really well without the ball in his hands, frequently capitalizing on off-ball cuts and chances around the rim. He works hard on defense and in transition to force turnovers and fill the lane. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him a more useful creator off the dribble. Coach Simmons on Shouse: “Miller is really solid! He has great footwork and provides nonstop hustle. He’s a hard worker that has a knack to get to the glass and rebound. He hustled for every loose ball. Miller showed decent range on his shot. He’s a great teammate and is very coachable. He should look to work on his quickness.” Shouse is very young and should be able to steadily develop over the next few years as he begins his high school journey.
#74: 6’1 2020 Justin Stephens (Clayton, NC)
Next, we look at a player that provided his team with a pretty balanced two-way approach during his time at camp, Justin Stephens. He’s a tough all-around guard with a quality feel for the game and numerous leadership qualities. Offensively, Stephens showed the ability to do it all while maintaining an efficient percentage from all levels and consistently looking to get his teammates involved. He finished virtually everything he attempted around the basket and rebounded the ball exceptionally well for his size. Next in his development process is continuing to work on asserting himself as the leadership presence with every group of teammates. Coach Simmons on Stephens: “Justin is a baller!! He’s an all-around player that gives you everything on both ends of the floor. His vertical leap is amazing. He’s a great offensive rebounder. Justin is a high motor kid that can beats defenders off the dribble and gets to the rack while also displaying a nice jumper. He should continue working on his confidence to understand how good he really is.” Few guys were as effective as Stephens, who really brought an excellent attitude and two-way mentality to camp.
#90:6’2 ’20 Jackeem Herbin (Burlington, NC)
Moving onto a player that is still just beginning to scratch the surface of his two-way potential, Jackeem Herbin. He’s a combo-guard with a strong blend of strength, skill, and intelligence. Offensively, Herbin mainly focused on getting downhill and making plays within the paint, but he’s very capable of quickly heating up from midrange and beyond the arc. He utilized his body nicely to display versatility on both ends of the floor, finishing basically every interior attempt on offense while actively switching between all five positions on defense. Herbin is a beast in transition and plays with a nonstop team-first approach. Next in his development process is becoming a more vocal leader, as communication would give him a much stronger two-way presence. Coach Simmons on Herbin: “I really like Jackeem’s potential. He’s a man in a boy’s body. He can score the ball at will when he utilizes his skillset and gets to the rack so easily. Jackeem wants to be a wing player, but wasn’t very effective as a shooter today. He could be dominant, but needs work.” Herbin is going to have a breakout upcoming season, but should continue perfecting his craft, as he could become a special prospect.
#109:6’3 ’21 Cal Riehl (Davidson, NC)
Continuing onto a player that knows how to provide his team with a steady, reliable, hardworking presence on both ends of the floor, Cal Riehl. He’s a wing/forward prospect with an impressive motor and solid overall feel for the game. Riehl is capable of doing various different things of offense, from handling the ball and creating for others to operating without the ball and spotting-up along the perimeter. He’s an efficient shooter from midrange and beyond the arc, but also shows a strong willingness to attack the basket whenever possible. Next in his development process is worker to become quicker, as it would make him a more dynamic threat off the bounce. Coach Simmons on Riehl: “Cal is a really good shooter with a nice handle and the ability to get to the hoop with ease. He’s a great teammate that looks to make the extra pass. He has a high motor and is the type of kid you want on your team. Cal should continue adding strength.” Riehl was able to contribute nicely on both ends of the floor and has the ability to continue improving over these next few years, especially if he’s willing to work.
#126:6’3 ’20 Trey Dezern (Jonesville, NC)
Next, we look at a player that knows how to operate and thrive within his off-ball role, Trey Dezern. He’s a long, wiry wing prospect that frequently looks to shoot the ball from beyond the arc. Offensively, Dezern does a nice job of setting up and picking his spots along the perimeter; he showed the ability to knock down shots of the catch or generate offense himself. He’s a willing passer with solid ball-handling skills. Dezern utilizes his length nicely on defense to poke the ball away and push transition play. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it would make him a more reliable finisher through contact. Coach Simmons on Dezern: “Trey has a nice shot and can stretch out the defense. He has a sneaky handle and is deceptively quick. Trey has a nice confidence to his game. He’s very coachable. Needs to continue adding strength.” Dezern is an intriguing prospect, but one that understands how to make his presence felt and should likely be considered a college-level prospect.
#145:6’5 ’20 Gabriel Bretherton (Durham, NC)
Moving onto a player that showed the ability to make his presence consistently felt on both ends of the floor, Gabriel Bretherton. He’s a strong-bodied forward with an excellent team-first approach, always looking to create havoc or do something to provide his team with an edge. Bretherton runs the floor with purpose and does a nice job of finishing strong around the basket. He stretches the floor nicely, but typically is most effective when cutting or posting-up on the low block. Next in his development process is working to become more efficient from midrange, as he could regularly exploit that area of the floor. Coach Simmons on Bretherton: “Gabriel is a solid post presence and good rebounder with nice footwork. He has nice touch to his shot and is a very hard worker. He can be dominant with more work on his post moves. Gabriel needs to work on catching the ball.” Bretherton worked really hard at camp and should be able to continue improving over these next few seasons.
#162: 6’6 ’21 Thomas Markun (Greensboro, NC)
Finishing things up, we look at a player that was able to highlight a strong amount of two-way versatility at camp, Thomas Markun. He’s a strong-bodied forward prospect that does an excellent job of handling the ball and creating scoring opportunities for himself and others. Offensively, Markun can operate out of the post or stretch the floor with his smooth shooting abilities from midrange and beyond the arc. He moves pretty well laterally for his size and showed the ability to consistently move his feet in space on defense. Markun utilizes his size nicely around the basket and did an exceptional job of altering shots and securing rebounds. Next in his development process is working to clean up his shot mechanics, as he could become an even more effective floor-spacer. Simmons on Markun: “Thomas has nice range beyond the three-point line. He has a nice bounce to his game and is quite crafty with the ball. He can beat opponents off the dribble and finish at the rim. Thomas is very coachable and brings a high spirit to his team. He can utilize his penetration more often.” Markun possesses a lot of useful skills and should be a prospect worth keeping an eye on going forward.