On Friday, Phenom Hoops traveled to Ben L. Smith in the heart of Greensboro, North Carolina as the Golden Eagles prepared to host the Cowboys of Southwest Guilford. Smith had already asserted themselves as one of the best teams in the triad and within the state while Southwest dealt with and battled some tough adversity in the early season, so this certainly made for an intriguing matchup. The stage was set and both teams came in with something to prove.
The game opened up with intensity and competitiveness from both squads, as it was back and forth for the entirety of the first quarter. It wasn’t until the next period that Smith began to secure a lead but Southwest consistently kept it within one to two possessions. Smith entered halftime with a 34-28 lead over Southwest Guilford. Although it remained close for the next two quarters, Smith’s sheer dominance on the glass allowed them to stay in the driver’s seat and maintain the lead. Southwest Guilford forced an abundance of turnovers and kept the pressure on until the final buzzer, but ultimately fell 77-68 to Smith.
6’7 ’20 Silas Mason
There was so much to like with Smith’s talent and approach, especially given the way Mason performed throughout this contest. He showcased consistent flashes of dominance and was able to be utilized in a variety of different ways on offense. Mason operated out of the high post, off the bounce, and as the primary creator, making him extremely difficult for the opposition to contain. He attacked the basket, knocked down jumpers (both off the catch and dribble), and made plays for others whenever possible. Mason fought on the glass and wreaked havoc with his defensive presence, altering shots, intercepting passing lanes, and pushing the break in transition with relative ease. He will be a quality addition to a variety of Division I programs. Final stats: 27 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal.
5’11 ’20 Khalid Hinds
The scrappy, rugged, extremely tough two-way presence of Hinds is one of the most important elements to their identity as a team. He’s a shifty, intelligent floor general that penetrates the paint and makes plays on offense while being a relentless all-around defensive dynamo at the point of attack. Hinds plays bigger than his size, especially on the glass, and simply has a knack for locating the ball. All types of college programs should be taking a hard look at Hinds. Final stats: 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal.
6’5 ’20 Jordan Williams
No matter the context or setting, Williams seems to epitomize productivity and this contest was no different. He simply finds a way to involve himself in all facets of the game without forcing the action or ever stepping out of his glue-guy role. Williams is capable of doing a lot of things well and understands how to properly maximize his presence on both ends of the floor. College programs can certainly utilize a player like him. Final stats: 8 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.
Other Noteworthy Contributors:
6’5 ’21 Juwelz Hargrove- 8 points and 7 rebounds
6’5 ’21 Isaiah Moore- 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals
6’1 ’23 Kobe George- 2 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists
6’3 ’20 Bryce Causey
It was evident from the opening tip that Causey was going to be Southwest Guilford’s primary scoring option on the offensive end. He started out somewhat slow but ultimately proved himself to be their most reliable threat on that end of the floor. That being said, Causey also made multiple defensive plays and scored multiple times in transition. He was able to get going from all three levels and was a clear leader down the stretch. Causey should continue to get looks from various college programs. Final stats: 20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and 4 steals.
6’5 ’20 Miles Taylor
Although he struggled without foul trouble, Taylor was arguably the most difficult player for the opposition to contain. He’s big, strong, and possesses excellent two-way versatility, which allows him to operate as a primary creator and defend virtually everyone on the floor. Taylor finished very well around the basket, secure second-chance opportunities, and was their most reliable playmaker from start to finish. Taylor has the necessary tools to be a quality addition at the next level. Final stats: 14 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals.
Other Noteworthy Contributors:
6’0 ’20 Jeremy Mull- 14 points and 1 steal
5’11 ’21 Deanthony Butchee- 9 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals