North Carolina Phenom 150 Session 2: Evaluation Team 9
Coach: Roland Whitley
#20:5’10 ’22 Luke Trogden (Asheboro, NC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that worked hard to contribute during his time at camp, Luke Trogden. He’s a young guard prospect that can do a little bit of everything while operating within the team concept. Trogden doesn’t force the issue on either end of the floor and will do whatever necessary to provide his team with an edge. Next in his development process is working to establish a go-to scoring avenue, as it would make him a much more useful offensive player. Coach Whitley on Thogden: “Luke is 2022 and was challenged playing up against older, physically mature, and more skilled/athletic players. He has a basic skill of ball-handling, shooting, and passing, but needs to improve on his aggressiveness. He could become a quality player over time. I like his attitude and acceptance of criticism.” Trogden is still just learning about his skillset and should be able to continue improving over time.
#57:6’0 ’20 Michael Mazi Mazi (Raleigh, NC)
Next, we look at a player that exerted maximum energy and made an impressive two-way impact during camp, Micahel Mazi Mazi. He’s a strong wing prospect that displays a quality feel for the game and a strong understanding of his skillset. Offensively, Mazi looks to get downhill, attacks the rim, and finishes strong through contact. He’s an exceptional defender with sharp positioning and the ability to mirror his assignment on and off-ball. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a shooter, as it would make him extremely dangerous for opponents to contain on offense. Coach Whitley on Mazi: “Michael is a great kid. He works extremely hard and is aggressive. He understands the game and plays with passion. He brings a level of play with intensity. Mike needs to improve his ball-handling and shooting from midrange and beyond. He currently plays small forward, but needs to transition to the guard position. He’s undersized for his position but plays with great heart.” Mazi’s focus and attention to detail on defense will always make him a favorite amongst coaches, but it’ll be interesting to see how his game expands going forward.
#75:6’1 ’21 Oliver O’Brien (Davidson, NC)
Moving onto a player that showed flashes of making things happen on both ends of the floor, Oliver O’Brien. He’s a guard prospect that can handle the ball or operate as an off-ball cutter and spot-up threat along the perimeter. O’Brien does a nice job deferring to teammates and hitting the open guy whenever possible. Next in his development process is working to become a more useful defender and rebounder, as it would make him a more complete all-around player. Coach Whitely on O’Brien: “Oliver is a good kid. He has an above average basketball IQ and attitude. He can run a team, but needs to improve his ball-handling against ball pressure. His defense needs to improve in all areas. If Oliver plays with more intensity, he will become a quality player. He should continue to work on his off-hand and ability to move without the ball.” O’Brien had a solid showing at camp and should continue working to expand his skillset on both sides of the ball.
#105:6’2 ’21 Kenny Noland (Apex, NC)
Continuing onto a player that made quite the impression with his unbelievable two-way impact at camp, Kenny Noland. He’s a long, wiry guard prospect that can consistently generate offense for himself and others while never having to force the issue. Noland displays a great feel for the game and unselfishly works to allow his teammates to flourish. He’s a capable three-point shooter, but truly dominated at scoring inside the arc and finishing aggressively with either hand at the basket. He utilizes his length and IQ exceptionally well on defense to alter shots and force off-ball steals. Next in his development process is working to become a knockdown shooter from distance, as it would make him basically unstoppable for most opponents. Coach Whitley on Noland: “Oh my, Kenny! Wow! This kid can flat-out play! He’s a straight baller with an excellent IQ. He understands his role and excels at it. Thank you Kenny, you are a special player and even more excellent kid. He’s coachable and has unlimited upside if he continues to play with high-level talent. He makes the game easier.” Noland will definitely be a prospect worth monitoring, especially if he maintains his team-first mentality on both ends of the floor.
#111:6’3 ’20 Cameron Skinner (Asheville, NC)
Next, we look at a player that is able to utilize his motor to impact various facets of the game, Cameron Skinner. He’s a wing/forward prospect that is ready and willing to do whatever necessary to provide his team with an edge. Offensively, Skinner is a capable ball-handler for his position and does a nice job of making passes to cutting teammates. He’s a nice shooter from midrange and beyond the arc, but also showed the ability to penetrate and finish at a solid rate. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a craftier creator and finisher. Whitley on Skinner: “Cameron is a 2020 player that has a solid attitude. He’s small in height for his position and needs to increase his intensity. He’s a capable ball-handler with the ability to penetrate and finish. Cameron should continue improving his quickness. He brought excellent effort to camp.” Skinner does a great job of operating within his role and impacted the game well throughout camp.
#125:6’3 ’20 Raphael Blue (Bunnlevel, NC)
Moving onto a player that possesses a pretty decent amount of long-term potential on both sides of the ball, Raphael Blue. He’s a wiry wing/forward prospect that focuses on getting downhill and attacking the rim whenever possible. Blue does a nice job of operating within the team concept and unselfishly making plays for others, but can improve as a passer. Next in his development process is working to establish a go-to scoring avenue, as it would allow him to make a more consistent impact on the game. Coach Whitley on Blue: “Raphael showed signs that he has ability, but struggles to make a consistent impact on the game for extended periods of time. He has to understand that running, jumping, and moving his feet is required to play this game. If he continues to work hard and commit, he can become a capable player. I liked his solid attitude.” Blue showed signs of a useful player, but should continue working to maximize his ability to contribute to the game.
#146:6’5 ’19 Gaven Swicegood (Lexington, NC)
Continuing onto a player that highlighted a lot of translatable skills before suffering an injury, Gaven Swicegood. He’s a long, wiry forward prospect with a quality amount of polish for his size. Offensively, Swicegood looks to stretch the floor and knock down shots along the perimeter, which is probably his most reliable source of points. He runs the floor purposefully and rebounded quite well on both sides of the ball. Swicegood is a pretty decent all-around defender that is capable of containing his assignment pretty well. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him a more dynamic threat to penetrate and finish inside. Coach Whitely on Swicegood: “Gaven was sidelined with an ankle injury. He has a very good body and knows how to utilize it to rebound. He understands the game with an above average IQ. He probably needs to improve his conditioning and will be a solid contributor this year. He can continue to work on ball-handling and quickness.” Swicegood still possesses a strong amount of upside and should be able to have a very impactful senior season.
#161:6’6 ’21 Sam Perez (Apex, NC)
Finishing up, we look at a player that possesses an exceptional amount of long-term upside, Sam Perez. He’s a long, wiry forward prospect that causes mismatches on every possession, given his three-point shooting and array of guard skills. Perez can score in virtually any way on offense and knows how to mix up his approach from one play to the next. He has massive upside as a versatile defender and showed flashes of doing it all on defense. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him an even more dynamic threat off the bounce. Coach Whitely on Perez: “Sam is an excellent basketball player. He can play three positions (SG, SF, PF) and defended each of them well. He understands how to play aggressively and can finish at the rim. He has a great attitude and accepts game adjustments very well. He’s easy to coach with above average ball-handling skills. He came to play today! Sam is a flat-out monster. He could work on being dominant on defense and taking over the game.” Perez is very talented and should continue building on his natural tools to maximize his abilities.