This past weekend, Phenom Hoops traveled to the Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina for the second LIVE period of the travel ball season. Between the competition, college coaches, and talented prospects at every turn, there was plenty to enjoy. This article will take a closer look at some players who stood out with their play'
6'1 '24 Quasim Oden (Team Wall)
There's so much intriguing talent within the Team Wall roster, and Oden consistently stood out as a personal favorite throughout the weekend. His tough, heady, quick-twitch identity allows him to legitimately harass and outwork opponents on both ends of the floor. Oden possesses great feel, anticipation, and two-way instincts with an understanding of how to assert himself within the flow of the team structure. He effortlessly breaks down opponents, touches the paint at a high volume, and generates clean looks for himself and others. Oden is a menacing defender with the ability to mirror his assignment and force turnovers with relative ease. For college programs in search of a heady floor general, Oden is worthy of attention.
6'5 '24 Desmond Kent Jr. (BSA Supreme)
Again, the BSA Supreme roster is deserving of attention from top to bottom, but it would be impossible to ignore everything Kent did during the event. He's long, skilled, athletic, and versatile on both ends of the floor. It's amazing how much Kent impacts the game though his IQ, motor, and adaptable two-way game. He's a reliable finisher, both above the rim and through contact, with the ability to dominate in the midrange or effectively space the floor from beyond the arc. Kent (like the entirety of this roster) passes the ball really well and displays a clear understanding of how to locate the best available shot. He's a great rebounder and interior defender with the ability to switch onto perimeter players. Kent can initiate, fill in the gaps, and naturally cause matchup problems. He earned his first offer, coming from Lee's McRae, but folks should expect many more on the horizon.
6'5 '24 Ryan Blount (Q6 All-Stars)
Although somewhat short-handed, Q6 All-Stars played consistently well behind the production and leadership of Blount. At 6-foot-5, he's a strong, skilled wing/forward prospect with IQ, creation skills, and a polished scoring arsenal from all levels. Blount consistently burdened a hefty offensive load, dictating the action, creating for others, and stepping up in critical moments. That being said, he's also an engaged defender and quality rebounder with a willingness to make the best available play whenever possible. Blount put forth numerous impressive performances, but truly did whatever was necessary to put his team in a winning position.
6'7 '24 Cooper Jackson (NC Spartans)
Though the Spartans lost a key piece due to injury, it merely allowed Jackson to step up and showcase more of his capabilities. He's a big, strong, bouncy big man with touch, toughness, and physical nature on both ends of the floor. Jackson has always been a quality rebounder and interior finisher, but is displaying clear improvements as a passer and midrange shooter. He still plays with a really high motor, runs the floor hard in transition, and naturally overwhelms opponents on either side of the ball. Jackson is simply a team-oriented guy with the physical tools, unselfish mentality, and overall skillset to impact the game whenever he's on the court. Expect him to start collecting offers soon.
6'1 '23 Ethan Nsiona (Combine AAU)
While it probably goes without saying, this Combine AAU group continues to improve across the board'which certainly includes Nsiona. He's a tough, scrappy, polished guard prospect with a pure knack for scoring the ball. Nsiona is a capable perimeter shooter, but is arguably at his best when utilizing his quick first step to get downhill and finish at the basket. He understands how to set up others, contain his assignment defensively, and compete well for rebounds.