South Carolina Jr. Phenom Evaluations
Coach: Troy Brace
#3: 5’0 ’24 Christopher Curry (Florence, SC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that handled the ball fairly well throughout camp, Christopher Curry. He’s somewhat small, but he navigates the floor with passion and looks to make plays in transition. Offensively, Curry did a decent job of hitting open looks while also making the extra pass whenever possible. Next in his development process is continuing to grow and add strength, as it’ll allow him to get by opposing guards with less resistance. Coach Brace on Curry: “Christopher is a solid ball-handler. He can be a quality team motivator. Christopher can work on his court vision and defensive footwork.” Curry is entering a pivotal seventh-grade season, where he should be able to gain repetitions and playing experience.
#11: 5’2 ’25 Tyson Ray (Irmo, SC)
Next, we look at a player that brought an excellent team-first approach to the game, Tyson Ray. He’s a scrappy guard with solid two-way ability for his age. Offensively, Ray shot the ball quite well from the floor, and especially well from the midrange area, throughout camp. He was able to break down opponents off the dribble and enter the paint quite often through crafty dribble moves. Ray showed his competitive streak on defense, while also moving his feet and containing his assignment. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would make him a much more complete scorer. Coach Brace on Ray: “Tyson is a good passer with nice court vision. He can see the floor and finish well around the basket. Tyson can continue to work on his ball-handling.” Ray brought a positive attitude and unselfish approach to the game, which was a large part of his team’s success.
#17: 5’4 ’23 Gabriel Williams (Elgin, SC)
Moving onto a player that showcased a quality two-way understanding of the game, Gabriel Williams. He’s a guard that shot the ball very efficiently from all three levels while toggling between playing on and off-ball. Williams was highlighted as a spot-up shooter, but also showed the willingness to create for others. He hustled and looked to many as many hustle plays as possible. Next in his development process is working on his finishing ability, as it would make him a much stronger off the bounce threat. Coach Brace on Williams: “Gabriel has good court vision and awareness. He can catch and shoot quite well, knocking down multiple looks for our team. He can work on defense and finishing. Gabriel is a good teammate and quality kid to coach.” Williams will continue to grow, especially as he enters his eighth-grade season, where he could gain a lot of experience.
#21: 5’4 ’24 Luke Chapman (Lexington, SC)
Continuing onto a player that gave incredible effort on both sides of the ball throughout camp, Luke Chapman. He’s a guard with a high motor, constantly making a play without needing the ball in his hands. Offensively, Chapman provided a nice mix of shooting and penetration opportunities; he handled the ball and consistently made plays for others. He was the first player on the floor for a loose ball and displayed fantastic toughness at all times. Next in his development process is continuing to add craftiness as a ball-handler, as it would open up his game to an entire new realm. Coach Brace on Chapman: “Luke plays with great, infectious energy. He goes after every loose ball and is not afraid to sacrifice his body. He’s an impeccable rebounder, especially for his size. Luke can work on his ball-handling and shooting.” In many ways, Chapman was the glue-guy of this squad with his ability to affect all facets of the game. He’ll be one to watch grow, given his well-rounded skillset.
#23: 5’6 ’23 Deuce Hudson (Darlington, SC)
Next, we look at a player that was arguably the leader of this team, Deuce Hudson. He’s a guard with nice size and muscle definition. Hudson brought an excellent attitude and team-first approach to the game, exerting incredible effort on both sides of the ball. He shot the ball at an efficient clip from all three levels while consistently getting everyone involved. Next in his development process is getting quicker and becoming a more poised defender, as it would make him a more complete two-way prospect. Coach Brace on Hudson: “Deuce is a good leader on and off the court. He has nice court vision and can shoot off the dribble. Deuce can continue to work on his overall ball-handling and creation ability. He can penetrate, finish, and knows how to get the team motivated.” It was clear that Hudson displayed an abundance of leadership qualities while at camp, but also showcased a strong level of skill to build his foundation with.
#27:5’7 ’24 Brayden Hendrix (Myrtle Beach, SC)
Moving onto a player that did a solid job of affecting various facets of the game throughout camp, Brayden Hendrix. Offensively, he can typically be found spotting-up beyond the arc and knocking down open shots at a consistent rate. Hendrix plays really hard and displays a solid feel for the game, on both ends of the floor. He is scrappy and looks to make plays without the ball whenever possible. Next in his development process is getting quicker, as it will benefit him on both sides of the ball. Coach Brace on Hendrix: “Brayden has a good feel for the game. He displays a strong basketball IQ and is a quality catch-and-shoot option. Brayden can continue to work on attacking the rim and finishing through contact.” Hendrix showed a firm understanding of how to make plays and fit in within the team concept. His foundation is pretty strong, so he’ll definitely be one to watch grow.
#34:5’8 ’23 Jevon Brown (Florence, SC)
Continuing onto a player that shot the ball extremely well from three-point territory, both off the bounce and catch, Jevon Brown. He’s a long-armed guard that plays with intensity and poise on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Brown attacks opponents quite often and shows a solid understanding of how to move without the ball. On the other end, he moves his feet well and possesses a clear willingness to defend. Next in his development process is working on his rebounding ability, as it would allow him to crash the boards and then lead the break in transition. Coach Brace on Brown: “Jevon is a nice team player with an unselfish approach to the game. He is excellent in catch-and-shoot scenarios, able to knock down the three-pointer and attack off the dribble. Jevon gave great effort on both sides of the ball.” Brown will continue to improve with more playing experience, which should occur during the upcoming season.
#37:5’9 ’23 Malachi Stevens (Goose Creek, SC)
Next, we look at a player that showed great versatility on both sides of the ball, Malachi Stevens. He’s long, athletic, and plays with a strong motor. Stevens thrived on defense, where he was able to defend and disrupt all types of opponents. He forced numerous turnovers and fought pretty hard on the glass throughout camp. Stevens is still looking for his offensive identity, but does a nice job of filling the lane and drawing fouls around the basket. Next in his development process is to work on a go-to scoring avenue, whether from the post, midrange, or beyond the arc, because it would make him a far bigger offensive threat. Coach Brace on Stevens: “Malachi has a nice interior presence to go with his quality size. He can rebound and is a team player willing to make the hustle plays. Malachi can continue working on posting up and his overall footwork.” Stevens has glaring upside, but he’ll need to continue harnessing his game on both sides of the floor. This upcoming season will be a critical one for his development.
#47:5’10 ’23 Zion Wright (Columbia, SC)
Moving onto a player that was among the most versatile prospects on display, Zion Wright. He’s a long, mobile forward with the ability to do a lot of different things on the floor, varying based on situation. Offensively, he usually looks to fill in the gaps but also attacks well and showcased the ability to get downhill with ease. He’s nearly as tall as his brother, Dallan, who is the star of Saluda High School, yet possesses a completely unique skillset. Wright is brimming with upside, given his athleticism and two-way abilities. Next in his development process is to sharpen his overall shooting mechanics, as his shot is currently a bit unorthodox. Coach Brace on Wright: “Zion has nice size and can move well with the ball for a big. He can finish at the basket and also is a good defensive asset. He can continue to work on his ball-handling and shooting.” Few players showcased more upside than Wright, who wreaked constant havoc as a versatile, two-way threat throughout camp. It’ll be interesting to see how his skillset pans out over the next year.
#52: 6’3 ’23 Landon Ottone (Statesville, NC)
Finishing up with a player that exerted a lot of energy throughout camp, Landon Ottone. He possesses great size and is usually the big man in most lineups, though he could develop perimeter skills. Offensively, he runs the floor and grabs a strong amount of rebounds, but needs to add strength in order to score on more second-chance opportunities. Ottone is still beginning to scratch the surface of his abilities, but he looks pretty comfortable roaming the paint and attempting to alter shots. Next in his development process is to find an offensive identity, as it would allow him to contribute more consistently on that end of the floor. Coach Brace on Ottone: “Landon has nice size for his age. He can alter shots and looks to make hustle plays whenever possible. He can improve on rebounding and finishing around the basket.” Ottone will continue to get better with added playing repetitions, which should come over the next few months.