Ah, it feels refreshing to be back down here in North Carolina with our Phenom Hoops scouting team! As the Virginia guy, I’ve spent the last several months occupied with covering events in my home state. Still, I knew I had to capitalize when the opportunity presented itself to cover our annual ‘David Rose Memorial Day Classic’ (honoring the late staff sergeant, David Rose) in the city of Greensboro, NC. Dozens of teams make up the tournament games; held in four different gym locations. Assigned to Court 1 in Dudley High School’s gymnasium, I’ll spend time producing article features and Twitter coverage of players on this particular court for Day 2 today (5/26). Our other Phenom Hoops’ workers will stay busy doing the same.
Here’s my standouts of Sunday’s afternoon games:
Game 4: Charlotte Royals 17u vs. Charlotte Nets 17u
- 6’5” Josh Owens ’20 – Charlotte Nets 17u: While he gave the impression as more of an inside player during Day 1 (5/25), Owens looked relatively comfortable making drives from the wing in Charlottes Nets’ Sunday win. His valuable worth in rebounding strongly and protecting the rim still looked evident, however, and helped give the team a spark early on that wouldn’t really ever cease. He plays with a good amount of passion and helps the Nets in several categories by using a mature approach.
- 6’6” Jackson Coffey ’21 – Charlotte Royals 17u: In my opinion, the forward could have gotten more touches, but nonetheless had a big impact by going hard on the offensive glass and making the most on his looks. Coffey’s hook shot worked best for him on the scoring end, containing a nice touch and arc, while he played hard defensively to contest shots. If he can improve his mobility and show more comfort in the mid-range area, he should become more sought-out at that position.
- 6’0” Najir Underwood ’20 – Charlotte Royals 17u: One of the Royals’ best scorers, Underwood impressed with a naturalness of creating for his own off of the bounce. Whether it involved shooting or rim penetration, he always seemed to end up making a play once getting the ball. He especially became alive in the second half, going on a personal scoring run to cut Charlotte Nets 17u’s lead down to double digits. Becoming more of an efficient scorer, versus high-volume, should be his next main area of improvement.
Game 5: Juice All-Stars Telfair 17u vs. Team Stacked 17u
- 6’7” Colin Wilson ’20 – Team Stacked 17u: I liked watching the stretch 4-man play due to how smoothly he went about his business on the floor. Wilson started off hot for Team Stacked by making a number of jumpers in the game’s opening minutes and then began to work more inside. I tweeted that he fits this ‘new age’ of basketball, where guys at his size can shoot the rock comfortably. He looked a bit streaky at times, mainly when trying to shoot off of pull-ups, but clearly can shoot it and won’t hesitate if he becomes open.
- 5’10” Jahsiah Hawkins-Davis ’20 – Juice All-Stars Telfair 17u: The lefty guard showed a lot of pride on the defensive end, acting as one of the team’s initiators on that end of the floor. Nobody picked off more steals than Hawkins-Davis; his instincts and reaction time makes him an excellent pass interceptor near the top of the half-court. Offensively, he showed a capability to get his shot off while being played tough, but I felt he performed better as a slasher. That same quickness in pass interception allows him to zip past opponents and get into the lane.
- 6’1” Aaron Ross ’20 – Team Stacked 17u: Ross succeeded as one of his team’s best slashers, which says something considering how well they all attacked the basket. He has a strong frame at the two-guard spot and quickly converted forced turnovers into easy layups in the first half. Juice All-Stars’ guards had some issues containing him once he faced up and started to make way downhill. Didn’t see much perimeter shooting from him…an area that could help in his overall offensive arsenal.
Game 6: NC Spartans West 17u vs. Renegades 17u
- 6’1” Andrew Shull ’20 – Renegades 17u: Simply put, the West Virginia guard had the best individual scoring performance I saw all day. Nobody could stop Shull in scoring off of the pull-up, as he went on a tear from all three levels. His handle and hesitation results in him creating space easily and I saw some nice passes thrown; including a behind-the back dish in transition. I’d classify him more as a scorer who brings the ball up the floor but there’s ‘combo guard qualities’ in Shull’s game, for sure. Outstanding performance, which was a joy to watch, in the last game of the day.
- 6’4” Elan Muniz ’20 – NC Spartans West 17u: Muniz put on the best pure shooting display of Sunday and honestly of any game I’ve seen this spring.. He first lit it up as a spot-up guy but then continued to do the same with his own dribble once Renegades’ guards played him aggressively. He pretty much singlehandedly brought the Spartans back in the second half after being down 12 at halftime. Good height and length at the guard spot plays a big role in his shooting, as he makes great use of having ‘the green light.’ Any next-level program would appreciate that type of shooting.
- 6’8” David Tubek ’22 – Renegades 17u: I nearly dropped my laptop when I saw Tubek is still only in his freshmen year of high school. He’s still a bit raw offensively but already shows intangibles of having a motor, running the floor, rebounding, and making unselfish decisions. I also felt his body control to look pretty solid at the moment; something which will only improve the further he goes in his career. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about him quite soon.
Excellent weekend! Be sure to check out my other standouts from Saturday and Sunday morning also.