Phenom Hoops had a chance to hit the road and enjoy getting back on the court, as we headed down to Spartanburg to check in on the Upward Stars practice. There were a few players that caught our eyes but here are some of our thoughts and takeaways from our day in South Carolina.

Top Players:

2021 7’0 Gabe Wiznitzer (Hargrave Military): One can see that the big man has been working on his body and endurance and it showed. He moved well around the floor, showed a smooth release, and great footwork/mobility on the floor.

2022 6’8 Julian Phillips (Blythewood): Regarded as one of the top recruits, you can see he has built on his strength, still showing and developing his ability to impact the floor in multiple ways, and but an absolute tough mismatch on the court.

2022 6’6 Jordyn Surratt (Dorman): Surratt really impressed with his game.  He showcased a smooth release, can play multiple positions on the court (attack inside and out), and really good hands, showing his stroke and ability to handle the ball. 

2021 6’1 DaVeon Thomas (Lee Central): Thomas really captured our eyes all throughout the drills and open play.  Thomas is a strong-bodied guard that created space and got defenders shifting with his dribble.  His ability to change direction and change of pace was impressive, continuing to get to the rack but also finding his teammates.

Intriguing guard play:

There were a few big-time players that weren’t able to make it but it did allow for other guards to step up and showcase their game.  2021 5’10 Jalen Breazeale (Dorman) was incredibly quick on both ends of the floor and played tough, something he embraces with his size.  2022 5’10 Dylan Williams (Irmo) is another flashy and speedy guard, who showed body control, an ability to attack and get to the rim, but also make defenders pay with his range.

2021 5’10 James Lovorn (TL Hanna) just earned an offer and with what he showed, one can see why programs should have their eyes on him. Knocked down shots from three, tight handles, shifty with the ball in his hands, and made some great decisions in finding his teammates. 

Some other guards that made their mark were also 2023 5’9 Matty Foor (Summerville) and 2022 6’3 Emmanuel Richards (Blythewood).

Start tracking in South Carolina:

We mentioned above 2023 Matty Foor above, who is a crafty point guard with the ball in his hands.  However, 2023 6’7 Greg Jackson has all the makings to be a big-time prospect and he has not only gotten a little taller but also brings more versatility with his game.  Jackson showcased multiple times that he can be effective on both ends, is nimble on his feet, and is fundamentally sound down low around the paint. 

2023 6’6 Nakoyiss Sweetenburg (Camden) also had some flashes, playing inside and out, but it will also be interesting to see how much more he will grow, which could make him an even tougher matchup.