It is getting close to that time of the year, where Phenom Hoops hits the road to check out teams and get an early glimpse of the talent around the area. We first started out heading to Lincolnton, to check in on Jeff McInnis and Combine Academy who is loaded once again.
I’m going to go on record early and say this… This is a Top-10 nationally ranked team! The amount of talent they have at multiple positions is crazy. But what makes them, in our eyes, a Top-10 team will be how they attack. Combine will be able to attack early and continue to attack, as Coach McInnis is looking to push the pace with who he has. And they will come in waves, weariing you down eventually on the court.
It was impressive to watch early on, as we breakdown this year’s team and players on what we saw on the court. There is so much talent, we had to make it into a 2-part series. Here is Part 2.
Kris Robinson (2021): Robinson may not be regarded as the highest-rated prospect but he may be one of the biggest keys to this team. His understanding of the game, his ability to play on and off the ball, and really help spread the floor with his outside shot is going to be important for this team. Also, his leadership.
Mekhi Grant (2023): Grant is still continuing to develop which is scary because he is already one of the most athletic forwards in the state of NC. His blend of size, strength, mobility, and athleticism is unique, as he looks to rip the rim off every time he has a chance.
Jacori Owens (2021): Owens is going to be a pivotal piece for Combine once again with his ability to create havoc on the defensive end down low. He continues to show that he has good timing in blocking or disrupting shots, while also getting on the boards and running in transition. He isn’t flashy but plays big in his moments.
Michael Dudley (2021): Dudley will be a nice option for Combine with his size and ability to score in transition, something that he will have opportunities to do with how this team plays but also continued to show his ability to stretch the floor with his perimeter shot.
Bryce Alfino (2022): Combine was needing options at wing and Alfino will be one of them. He can really provide a lot of help in several areas and on both sides of the floor. He should also give Combine another shooter from outside and the corner, while also bringing his ability to defend multiple positions.
AJ Smith (2022): Smith is one to really watch. Now reclassing and having time to adjust and learn, he could really see his game take another level. Smith is unique with his strong frame and how he plays, usually attacking the paint and rim. But you can see that he wants to learn and soak everything he can in, as the staff seems high on what he could be for this program.
Omarion Bodrick (2021): Though he wasn’t able to practice, Bodrick is another one that could be a “tone” setter with his ability to run the floor, tremendous athleticism, and his ability to make a difference on both sides of the floor.
Braylhan Thomas (2024): A new name to many, Thomas is one that already sits a 6’3 and is one the coaches are highly interested in his game. He will get some minutes at a young age but is going to be ahead of the curve when it comes to players in his class.