Phenom Hoops had the opportunity to check out Hopewell High School practice on Thursday. In his first season as head coach at Hopewell, Jaron Goodson is excited about this year’s team. Coach Goodson has spent the last four seasons on the coaching staff at West Charlotte, so he is very familiar with what is ahead in the loaded I-Meck 4A Conference. 

One thing about a Jaron Goodson coached team is that they will take pride on the defensive end of the floor. The Titans will be a team that wins 50/50 balls. They will do all the little things that lead to winning: making the hustle plays, getting deflections, taking charges, and diving on the floor for loose balls. One thing that really impressed me on the offensive end of the floor is their willingness to share the ball with one another. They are willing to make the extra pass for a better shot. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key players for this team:

Antonio Perkins        6’3       2021

Antonio Perkins is the team’s leading scorer from last year, averaging over 12 points per game. He is a high IQ player who has a great feel for the game and makes the right play. Perkins is known for his shooting ability. He can really get hot and ring off multiple three-pointers in a row. He has the ability to get his shot off quickly and with deep range. He continues to improve creating off the bounce and can use his size to attack the basket and finish through contact. Off the ball, he is a good cutter and will find openings in the defense for easy scoring opportunities. He will be looked at to provide even more scoring this season. Defensively, he is versatile and can guard multiple positions. He has the athleticism to contain smaller guards, but also has the strength to match up with bigger opponents. Expect Perkins to have a big junior season. 

Jordan McPhatter    5’10     2021

Jordan McPhatter will be a new addition to this Hopewell team. He is a pass-first point guard. His unselfishness and ability to create off the bounce will make things much easier for his teammates. The quick, left-handed point guard has a great change of pace and makes defenses pay with his ability to get into the paint. McPhatter can get through tight spaces of the defense. He gets into the paint and finds shooters on the perimeter, he finds cutters to the basket, and he makes nice drop off passes for layups. He can keep defenses honest and knock down the perimeter shot in rhythm. Defensively, he will set the tone for the Titans. He has the ability to pick up the ball in the backcourt and pressure the ball handler. 

Thomas Jackson       6’1       2021

Thomas Jackson will provide an additional scoring threat at the guard position. He has the ability to play either guard position. He is best when he is able to get out in transition and attack the basket. He is able to get downhill off the bounce. He has an excellent midrange game and great touch on his floaters. Off the ball, he reads pindowns well and comes off ready to shoot. In addition, he will create second chance opportunities for his team with his ability to crash the glass. 

Jayden Smith            6’6       2021

Jayden Smith will provide length and athleticism at the guard spot. He has a solid handle and will also be able to provide additional ball handling responsibilities. He shoots it well from the perimeter. In addition, he can use his shooting ability to set up his drives. He is able to drive and finish through contact after setting up his defender with a shot fake. Defensively, he will be able to use his length and athleticism to guard multiple positions. 

Tyjae Haynes             6’8       2021

Tyjae Haynes will give the Titans a low-post threat. He is a strong, physical presence inside. He attacks the offensive glass for put-backs and will create second chance opportunities for his team. Haynes has really good hands and will be good in pick and roll situations with McPhatter. In the post, he is able to use either hand. He is right-handed but look very comfortable finishing with the left.