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Bendel’s Best: Gate City Classic (Part One)

6’4 ’25 Jaylen Cross (Caldwell Academy) Given his status as the top prospect and performer in the event, it came as no surprise to see Cross continuing to showcase the full arsenal. Few players of his caliber are truly comfortable at doing what is best for the team, but Cross’ team-oriented approach seemingly never wavers. Throughout the event, he was at his best when attacking the...

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Lake Norman battles past Caldwell Academy at Phenom Lakesgiving

Phenom Hoops was in the Mooresville area over the Thanksgiving holiday for the #PhenomLakesgiving, bringing some tremendous talent to the court. It included one enticing matchup between Lake Norman and Caldwell Academy, featuring several impressive players in the Class of 2025 including Trent Steinour, Jaylen Cross, and Tre McKinnon. Check out all the highlights and make sure to...

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POB’s Eye Catchers from Carmel Tip-Off (Day 2, Part 1)

2024 Steven McLeod (Gaston Christian): McLeod stepped up big for his team throughout the game and in so many ways. A strong two-way prospect on the court, McLeod brings energy to the floor. He can be scrappy and intense defensively, is a vocal leader for his team, and does a great job in embracing contact and getting downhill.  But he also competes in all other ways, as he led the way for...

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Caldwell Academy v. Carlisle School

On Tuesday, Phenom Hoops traveled out to Greensboro, North Carolina to kick off the high school season with an exciting battle between the Caldwell Academy Eagles and Carlisle School (VA) Chiefs. Both teams had tons of supporters packed into the intimate gym, which, per usual, led to an incredible atmosphere. The energy in the air was palpable. These squads each enter the season with high, yet...

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Open Gym Report: Caldwell Academy

On Monday, Phenom Hoops traveled out to Caldwell Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina for an exciting open gym session. Entering their third season under Coach Brandon Clifford, the Eagles appear more talented than ever. They have a nice mix of young prospects, veteran pieces, and under-the-radar guys who will inevitably play pivotal roles during the upcoming season. In terms of sheer depth,...

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2025 Jaylen Cross continues to stay humble throughout the process

By: Nailah Thomas 2025 Jaylen Cross simply loves the game of basketball, as he continues to show and play throughout the summer. Playing with Team D. Will at the Phenom Summer Grind, he simply put on a show; whether it was his 70-point output or his 33-point showing vs. the Durham Hurricanes, Cross’ love of the game just can be seen. The start of the game was pretty slow for Team D. Will...

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Taking the Next Step: Caldwell Academy

The summer is coming to an end, and that just gets us excited about the high school season, even though we still have some time before we tip off here in North Carolina.  But that doesn't mean we aren't already looking at teams, as we dive into teams early with Phenom Hoops. One team that will have plenty of attention its way will be Caldwell Academy.  Under head coach Brandon...

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Jaylen Cross Goes for 70, Dominates at Summer Grind

Special moments often occur when least expected. Think about Cleveland's comeback in the 2016 Finals, Tracy McGrady going for 13 points in 35 seconds, and countless other upsets, Cinderella runs, and notable performances. Sure, every kid wants to enjoy unprecedented individual feats, but very few have the ability to actually do so. Which is why Jaylen Cross going for 70 points was...

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Must-Offer Prospects in North Carolina's Class of 2025

Given the upcoming transition for sophomores becoming juniors, this marks the time of year when college coaches will start heavily pursuing their non-senior targets. Although the transfer portal has forced coaches to navigate differently, it's difficult to excuse the lack of recruitment for so many high-level players. For anyone wanting to point at job security or some other variable to justify...

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Recruitment Update: 2025 Jaylen Cross (Caldwell)

Player: Jaylen CrossClass: 2025School: CaldwellAAU: CP3 2025 Overall, it was a terrific event at the Phenom Rise Showcase, as the talent and incredible matchups could be found all over the place.  It also allowed Phenom Hoops to get an update on a few prospects around the region, seeing what has been going on the latest as far as recruitment. 2025 Jaylen Cross put on a show, and one can see...

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Bendel's Best: Phenom Rise Showcase

This past weekend, Phenom Hoops traveled out to the Rise Indoor Facility in Bermuda Run, North Carolina for another entertaining three-day stretch of basketball. There was a slew of highly anticipated matchups on display with teams looking to work out the kinks and hit their stride going into the summer season. Though various standouts emerged, we will take a closer look at five personal...

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Player Standouts at Phenom Rise Showcase

6'2 '23 Trevor Barrett (Team Loaded 828) There's a slew of intriguing unsigned prospects on this Team Loaded 828 squad, which certainly includes Barrett. He's a smart, unselfish point guard prospect with excellent vision and playmaking ability. Barrett is a reliable scorer who can apply pressure from all levels and make plays with or without the ball in his hands. He's great in the open floor...

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POB's Eye Catchers from Day 2 at Phenom Rise Showcase (Part 1)

2025 Tyshaun Goldston (Mid State): Goldston really introduced himself to start the day, as the dual-sport prospect really made his impact felt in a variety of ways. The 6'4 prospect was able to not only play strong and finish well offensively but also made several plays defensively as well. Really was able to showcase his athleticism on the floor on Day 2. 2026 Jeremiah 'Juice' McIlwaine (Up...

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Phenom Hoops 150 Camp Evaluations: Team 3

Team 3 Coach: Colby Lewis #31: 5'9 '25 Kenneth Bartlett Jr. (West Forsyth) Starting things off, we look at a player that easily stood out among the top campers on display, Kenneth Barlett Jr. He's a smart, quick, well-rounded guard prospect with a sharp penetration sense and reliable playmaking ability. Next in his development process is working to get stronger, as it would only make him...

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Phenom Exposure Camp Award Winners (HS/MS)

Another great camp has come and gone, and not only did players walk away with their names/games on the radar for Phenom Hoops, but a few walked away with awards from the event. Check out all the award winners from the high school and middle school exposure event. High School: MVP: 2025 Jaylen CrossMr. Offense: 2023 Zion McDuffieMr. Playmaker: 2025 Graham MooseMr. Hustle: 2026 Max Van...

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Greensboro Day vs. Caldwell Academy

On Tuesday, Phenom Hoops traveled out to the heart of Greensboro for a highly anticipated battle between Caldwell Academy and Greensboro Day School. The Eagles have continued to trend upward in Coach Clifford's second year at the helm while the Bengals have maintained a powerhouse and national reputation across nearly fifty years behind the tutelage of Coach Johnson. These schools are only about...

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Phenom Game Report: Oak Ridge vs. Caldwell Academy

Phenom Hoops reviewed the tape from Thursday's game between Caldwell Academy and Oak Ridge Military Academy, checking in on a few players we have our eyes on but also learning about a few others.  Oak Ridge came out firing and built a double-digit lead early in the first few minutes, but Caldwell started to settle down with its starters and eventually was able to take the lead back by the...

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North Carolina Top 80 Camp Evaluations: Team 7

Team 7 Coach: Austin Collins #7: 5'11 '24 Keenan Wilkins (Christ School) Starting things off, we look at a player who has consistently made strides in his transition into a floor general, Keenan Wilkins. He's a polished, skilled point guard prospect with the ability to fill it up in a variety of different ways offensively. That being said, Wilkins has made clear strides as a playmaker and...

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Stockrisers from NC Top 80 (Class of 2025)

Another outstanding North Carolina Top 80 event has come and gone, and the talent was fun to watch. Some of the biggest names were all under one building and so many players could be found making this list, but these are a few players from the Class of 2025 that really popped off with their play at the event. 2025 6'5 Zacch Wiggins (Grimsley): Wiggins was extremely impressive with his showing...

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Open Gym Report: Caldwell Academy

On Friday, Phenom Hoops traveled out to Caldwell Academy to get a closer look at the new-look Eagles. Entering his second year as their head coach, Brandon Clifford certainly has one of the more underrated teams in North Carolina. Between his experience, talented roster, and roots firmly planted in Greensboro, folks should have a ton of optimism about the current and future state of this...

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Breaking Down Phenom Hoops' Rankings for North Carolina's Class of 2025

(1) 6'8 Zymicah Wilkins (R-S Central) There are numerous guys who were in the mix for the top spot in our updated rankings, but Zymicah Wilkins ultimately walked away with the honor. His blend of IQ, size, skill, and polish makes him extremely difficult for most opponents to try and contain. Wilkins can dominate from the block, space the floor, or consistently make plays with the ball in his...

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The Next Step: Jaylen Cross Joins Caldwell Academy

Life is full of constant change. Everyone eventually reaches an age where they are required to make drastic, potentially major decisions that will ultimately impact their future for better or worse. Between the grassroots scene and high school landscape, kids are being pushed into making these life-altering decisions earlier than ever before. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, it often...

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Expected Breakouts in North Carolina High School Basketball

Each year, the grassroots basketball scene shifts from travel ball to the high school season. College coaches have been out for months, seen countless kids, and should be in pursuit of their priority-level prospects. That being said, there are plenty of players whose ability don't match their recruitment. Sure, most rising juniors aren't receiving a ton of offers right now. However, given the...

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Prospects Trending Upward in North Carolina's Class of 2024

The travel ball season is always full of surprises. Given the shaky nature of the recruiting landscape, there's truly no telling which programs are even looking to extend offers to high school players. Majority of programs (for whatever reason) find it more advantageous to pursue kids who already claim a slew of scholarships, as opposed to someone who could actually be a viable, realistic...

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Bendel's Best: Phenom Team Camp

This past weekend, Phenom Hoops traveled out to the Rise Indoor Facility in Bermuda Run, North Carolina for our annual June Team Camp. The two-day event featured a ton of the top public and private teams throughout the state. There were plenty of noteworthy takeaways from the event, both in terms of individual performances and overall team showings, and this article will take a closer look at...

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Storylines from Phenom Team Camp

Jayden Harris should be entering the national picture 2024 Jayden Harris has certainly been a popular name over the last few weeks, especially with college programs.  He now holds double-digit offers from an array of schools, and it is easy to see why when you watch his game.  Getting an updated viewing of the young man, Harris has not only continued to develop his game but he has also...

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Player Standouts at Phenom Team Camp

6'1 '23 Kobe Parker (Ragsdale) Although they lost multiple key pieces, Ragsdale should still be one of the more competitive programs in Greensboro behind the leadership of Parker. He's clearly the focal point of this group, but understands how to dictate the action in a poised, unselfish, methodical manner. Parker has maintained his status as a lethal perimeter shooter, especially from beyond...

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POB’s Eye Catchers from Phenom Team Camp (Day 1, Part 1)

2024 Xavier Johnson (Fayetteville Academy): Johnson came out strong to start his weekend at the Phenom Team Camp, using his 6'5 frame well, being active on the floor, creating second-chance opportunities for his team, attacking the glass, and getting downhill to make plays. Loved the energy and motor that he set for his team. 2023 Will Gray (East Forsyth): Gray continues to be a staple here in...

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Prospects in the Class of 2024 to Watch at Phenom Team Camp

This upcoming weekend, Phenom Hoops will host our annual June Team Camp at the Rise Indoor Facility in Bermuda Run, North Carolina. The event is slated to feature a talented mix of players and teams preparing for the month of July (in addition to the somewhat distant high school season), and this article will take a brief look at some of the prospects on display. Let's take a look at the Class...

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Why is Jaylen Cross So Under-Recruited'

The recruiting landscape can be extremely frustrating, both for players and evaluators alike. There are countless instances of a player performing at a consistently high level, coaches acknowledging their abilities, and then nothing ends up happening. While it's understandable that coaches want to play the portal game, it becomes an illegitimate excuse when they are extending offers to other,...

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