On Friday night, Phenom Hoops attended Trinity Academy’s intrasquad scrimmage. Head Coach Bryan Burrell has built a high level program that consistently competes for championships. Burrell is entering his sixth season as head coach at Trinity. During this time, he has helped numerous players reach their goal of playing at the college level. Just last season, three of their five seniors are now playing collegiately at the Division 3 level. Trinity is coming off back to back 20 win seasons, with back to back conference title appearances, and back to back conference Player of the Year’s (Isaiah Todd in 2019 and Tyler Gill in 2020). Coach Burrell also won Coach of the Year in Tri-TAC conference.
The Tigers return Tyler Gill, Noah Ross and Zach Perry from last year’s 23-5 team. The addition of recent transfers such as Jakwon Moore, Sam Perez, Timothy Robinson, Zach Sloan and Trey Barker will provide valuable depth and experience.
To start things off, we look at 6’0 senior point guard and Towson commit, Tyler Gill. Gill is coming off of a stellar junior season in which he averaged 18.1 PPG, 6.1 APG, 4.3 RPG and a staggering 4.1 steals per game. He is a super quick lefty guard who can really create off the bounce with a ridiculous left to right crossover. He does a great job of changing pace. He gets into the paint easily, and has the ability to finish strong or kick out to open shooters. He plays off two feet and is able to finish strong through contact. Gill does an excellent job of pushing the pace and attacking in transition. Defensively, he sets the tone for his team. He is an excellent on ball defender utilizing his quickness to pressure the ball handler, something he can do for 94 feet.
6’6 2022 Noah Ross is poised to have a big junior season, coming off a sophomore season in which he averaged 16.5 PPG. He is coming off a strong summer and has picked up offers from Charlotte, Elon, FIU, Rice, EKU and Hofstra. Ross, known for his shooting ability, has really improved his overall game and is now scoring at different levels. He uses his ability to shoot from the perimeter to attack the basket. His athleticism has really improved. He’s able to beat his defender off the bounce and finish above the rim. He’s also seeing an increased role as a ball handler. His overall feel for the game and high IQ help him initiate offense for his team when needed. In addition, he made several nice passes in drive and kick situations, as well as in transition with ball aheads to teammates. His length and skill is unique. He’s able to make tough passes over defenders in drive and kick situations by being able to pass over the arms of the defense. On the defensive end, he has really improved. Some of this can be attributed to his improved athleticism. He uses his length to contest shots on the perimeter and is able to rotate for blocks at the rim. His recruitment will continue to pick up during the course of the season.
Returning center, 6’8 2021 Zach Perry, will play a key role for this Trinity team giving them valuable size on the interior. He provides a scoring threat inside with his right hook. He is also able to stretch the defense with his perimeter shooting ability. Defensively, he uses his length well to wall up in the post.
2023 incoming transfer, 6’5 Jakwon Moore, will provide strength and athleticism on the wing. Last season at Pender, he averaged 15.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 1.1 SPG. Moore is a very physical wing who excels in transition and getting to the basket. He has the ability to finish through contact with either hand and above the rim. In addition, he has a really good feel for the game and is a willing passer getting his teammates involved. He has continued to improve his perimeter shooting. This will open up a lot for him, allowing him to get to the basket more easily for scoring opportunities or to make plays for others. Defensively, his athleticism helps make him a versatile defender able to guard multiple positions. Before reclassifying to 2023, Moore held offers from Hofstra and FIU. One would expect his recruitment to really pick up now that he’s a member of the 2023 class.
6’7 2022 Sam Perez is another incoming transfer who will play a major role for the Tigers. Last season at Middle Creek, he averaged 16.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG and 3.5 APG. The high IQ wing has a tremendous feel for the game. He has a knack for making the right basketball play. He constantly does things that don’t always show up in the stat sheet like making the hockey assist (the pass that leads to the assist), or he will simply give up a good shot of his own by making the extra pass to a teammate for a great shot. He is a very versatile player who has the ability to make shots from the perimeter with his smooth shooting stroke, create off the bounce, or score in the post. His greatest attribute is his passing ability. He plays with his head up, makes the ball ahead pass in transition, and finishes drives with on point drop off passes or kick outs to shooters. Perez is another player who will see his recruitment trend upward after reclassifying. He currently holds an offer from Campbell.
6’0 2023 point guard Kevon Vanderhorst is another high IQ guard who plays with poise beyond his years. I was really impressed with his ability to handle pressure. He had to go up against senior guard Tyler Gill all night. Gill is an excellent on-ball defender. Vanderhorst did a great job of initiating offense versus this pressure and didn’t turn the ball over. He’s another guy who makes the right basketball play. He connected on several drive and kicks and hits his teammates in the numbers for shots. In addition, his perimeter shooting will help. Surrounded by several other weapons, teams won’t be able to help off of him. He will make them pay with his ability to catch and shoot from the perimeter with a quick release and range.
6’5 2022 Timothy Robinson will also provide additional depth at the forward/post position. He does a great job of running the floor in transition and finishing above the rim. Defensively, he is very versatile. He has the strength to guard in the post, and also the athleticism to guard on the perimeter.
Another transfer, 6’2 2022 Zach Sloan, will play a big role as well for this year’s team. Last season at East Wake, he averaged 14.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.3 APG and 1.8 SPG before suffering an ACL tear. Sloan is another known for his shooting ability, having shot 41% from three-point range last season before the injury. In addition, he is effective at getting to his spots off the bounce and finishing at the rim over length.
Other players who will help this Tigers team include 5’11 2021 Carsten Grandy-Richardson, 6’2 2022 Trey Barker, 6’3 2022 Ben Bolyston, and 6’0 2022 Tobey Young.
In closing, this will be an exciting team to watch this season with several weapons. Coach Burrell has built a championship contender that has the potential to compete for an NCISAA 2A State Championship.