Day one of the April Live Period is in the books and what a day it was. Over 100 college coaches sat courtside in Spartanburg, South Carolina to watch the incredible amount of talent playing in Phenom’s Challenge Live.
This writing will showcase the games at Spartanburg Christian.
Head Coach Watch
Frank Martin (South Carolina), Brad Brownell (Clemson), Ed DeChillis (Navy), Matt Matheny (Elon), Earl Grant (College of Charleston), Mike Jones (Radford)
Team CP3 16s is Smorgasboard of High Major Talent
They line up 8 or 9 deep of high major guys. Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State and others couldn’t take their eyes off of them. They kept circling names as some different did something each play. Then those guys would go off and a fresh bunch of studs would walk on the court. You have guys like 6’ 2020 Evan Johnson, 6’5 2020 Darrick Jones 6’8” 2020 Joshua Taylor and 6’3” 2020 Tristan Maxwell who already boast High Major offers. Then you have players like 6’3” 2020 Camren Hayes and 6’8” Cam Stitt who had ACC schools watching in their gym just this week.
Even their under the radar players, like 6’5” 2020 Ricky Council IV and 6’9” 2020 Dylan Cardwell are guys high major programs will track and possibly … probably … eventually offer.
Needless to say, college coaches need to see this team, get familiar with all of their players.
Shooters Gone Shoot
Shooting is a skill that translates, and Spartanburg Day had a couple of guys who lit it up. 6’6” 2019 Ben Lubarsky of Ball 4 Lyfe, 6’5” 2019 Grant Ledford of Tennessee Bobcats and 6’5” 2019 Braxton Bartlett each popped the nets throughout the day.
Lubarsky is a lefty who plays with a swagger. He has a good handle and is an excellent passer. In fact, his passing may be one of his best qualities. The lefty was the day’s leading scorer at Spartanburg Christian with 27 on 5 made 3s. He is one who should see a few offers fly this weekend.
Ledford’s swag is just on a different level. A below the rim wing, he has an uncanny ability to get to his spots and create space off the bounce. Great footwork, a quick trigger and a tight secondary handle, Ledford picked up three offers last week and that trend should continue.
Bartlett was an interesting case. He has great size and a confident shot. When his feet were set, he was able to catch in rhythm and let it go. Interesting player who should pick up some D1 interest. Also, if shooters are your thing, take a look at 6’1” 2020 Jake Ledbetter of Team Felton 16 and 6’ 2020 Landon Sutton of Carolina Wolves NC 16s.
Academic School Candy Store
Starting with the aforementioned Lubarsky and Ledford, those two should be enough to have the every low to mid major plus academic school salivating. However, when you add in the likes of 6’8” 2019 Garrett Hein of PSB Elite, 6’9” 2019 Chase Barrs of SEBA Select and 6’6” 2019 Nate Dunlop of TMP Elite.
Hein is a bouncy, skilled big man who can take you off the bounce, shoot over you or dunk on your head. Barrs is a long and rangy big man who battles on the block and has great, natural timing defensively. Dunlop is a parking lot range guy, once he steps on the court, watch out.
High Major Point Guard Dual
The story of the night was the match up between 6’2” 2019 Trae Hannibal of Carolina Wolves SC and 6’7” 2019 Josiah James of TMP Elite. This was a nice match up, but it was one that was very telling for the 75 or so coaches who were looking on.
We will start with this, Josiah James is an elite of the elite point guard. Standing at a lengthy and bouncy 6’7” he has next level vision and stroked the leather off the ball. He is the type of player to go ahead and start projecting as an NBA prospect.
Hannibal is a tough-minded guard. A high major point man, in his own right, Hannibal competes on every single play. He is a tough on the ball defender, he rebounds the ball at a high level and he has excellent floor vision. Hannibal does what it takes to elevate his team to the max.
With that said, this game was the difference between a Top 100 prospect and a Top 10 prospect. Both are high majors with bright futures.