On Thursday, Phenom Hoops traveled out to the heart of Greensboro for another quality open gym session at Dudley High School. The Panthers have seen a variety of talent come through their doors over the years, including some of the best athletes in North Carolina’s history. This program has never struggled with getting kids to the next level, as evidenced by their slew of college players in the last few years. Although two of their top players (Cameron Flippen and Nasir Newkirk) were not in attendance (due to injury and football, respectively), there was still plenty of talent worth noting in the gym. Let’s take a closer look…
5’8 ’22 Spencer Hairston
Arguably the top performer across this open gym session, Hairston consistently made tough shots while getting wherever he wanted on the floor. He’s slightly undersized but displays a sharp creation sense, and only requires a glimmer of daylight to get off clean looks. Hairston is capable of getting downhill and finishing at a solid rate, but clearly prefers utilizing his quick first step to gain separation for perimeter jumpers—both from midrange and beyond the arc. Hairston also possesses terrific range from distance and understands how to force turnovers on a regular basis defensively. He’s smart and (although more of a scorer) displays the necessary vision to set up others with regularity. Hairston will undoubtedly be a major contributor for this group.
6’5 ’23 Tre McNeil
Probably their most intriguing long-term prospect, McNeil highlighted some inside-out ability and flashes of versatility during practice. He’s still more of an interior forward overall, but capable of knocking down the occasional jumper and taking bigger opponents off the bounce within a few purposeful dribbles. McNeil is a solid athlete with nice length and clear upside still remaining. He does a great job of properly timing his chances as a shot-blocker from the weak side, but also works to make his presence felt on the glass. McNeil seems to embrace his general development, but still recognizes his strengths as an interior piece and doesn’t look to “prove” his perimeter skills like so many other players attempting to make a similar transition. He will play in college, but his progression over the next year will ultimately determine what level. Like his teammate above, McNeil should have productive upcoming season while seeing an uptick in his recruitment.
5’7 ’23 Denzel Foster
Although it appeared he didn’t shoot his normal percentage at practice, Foster displayed the makings of a useful guard prospect. He’s also undersized, but still brings a tough, skilled presence to this group. Foster is a capable passer, defender, and shot-maker from distance. The team is loaded with guards, but Foster should have no problem carving out a role.
6’6 ’23 Ryan Fuller
Though their roster lacks interior depth, Fuller provides a strong, sturdy, low-maintenance presence inside the paint. His game isn’t going to necessarily excite folks, but his straightforward game will lead to natural production throughout the season. Fuller is a consistent two-handed rebounder, stable interior defender, and capable finisher with an understanding of how to score as needed. He runs the floor well in transition and truly embraces his role on either end of the floor.
6’6 ’23 Antwan Sutton & 6’5 ’23 Dominique Wilson
The duo of Sutton and Wilson will provide even more size and energy for this group. Both guys possess nice length and effectively operate within their role on both ends of the floor.
5’9 ’23 Jaden Ingram, 5’9 ’22 Amari Gardner, & 5’10 ’23 Austin Steele
Similar to the interior duo above, the guard trio of Ingram, Gardner, and Steele will definitely find a slew of opportunities to fill in the gaps for the Panthers. Each guy showed the ability to defend opposing ball-handlers, make hustle plays, and hit the open shot as needed. Their production will be a difference-maker throughout the season.