Phenom Hoops and GRACE Christian are quite familiar with each other over the years, as this is a program under head coach DeShannon Morris that has not only built something special but has developed terrific young men and student-athletes. This is a program that comes to compete every time they step on the court, and never back down from the challenge.
We had a chance to watch them recently at the Hoop State League, and we are here to tell you that this is a team to watch out for more this upcoming season. In the past, they have always had good weapons and players, but this year just seems different. They look locked in, focused, and deeper with more options as the players have really developed nicely.
Starting with this group, you have to look at the guards with 2024 Quasim Oden, 2024 Steven McLeod, and others that lead the way. Oden is tremendously athletic and a downhill, go-getting guard who isn’t afraid to be physical and attack. McLeod is a great compliment to Oden on the court, as he doesn’t need to be the focal point to be a leader on the court. McLeod blew us away with his defensive presence, creating steals and competing on every possession, while also being a strong ball-handler and one that can create off the bounce offensively. 2025 Malachi Tate was an effective piece with a ton of energy, knocking down shots, while 2024 Noah Kyritsis was another scoring option when left open as well.
A player that I believe has a ton of upside and continues to get better and better is 2026 Michael Phillips II, a 6’6 prospect who has really assertive himself on either end of the floor. He can make you pay from outside with his shot-making and range, but also use that long frame of his to help on the boards, finish around the basket, or be a tough defensive presence. And 2024 Dylan Couse was another player who helped, as the 6’7 can stretch the court and be a presence down low also.
Overall, this is a team that looks determined and isn’t going to back down from anyone. They seem to have more weapons this year along with solid depth, to not only go along with a tremendous coach in Coach Morris. I walked away impressed with this team, and they will be ready to make some noise this year.