At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, over one hundred players from North Carolina went on to play at the Division I, II, III or NAIA levels, and that number looks likely to continue increasing with the current senior class. Typically, we take a closer look at guys who are overlooked and underrated, and today’s edition will highlight Dorien Ruffin of Southwest Edgecomb.

There are numerous circumstances where having a high-level player can actually make it more challenging for surrounding prospects to get recruited. It’s unclear if this has occurred with Southwest Edgecomb but after Keishon Porter committed to Radford, things have started to slow down for guys like Ruffin. Beyond his ability to operate as a quality secondary option, Ruffin has a lot to offer on the court. He’s a heady floor general that continually finds success from either guard position, given his willingness to create with the ball or make an impact as a spot-up threat. Ruffin does a great job of converting defense into offense with his quickness and instincts when getting out in transition. He plays smart, unselfish basketball and can step up whenever his name is called.

Shelton Langley, his high school coach, had this to say about Ruffin: Dorien is your prototypical captain. He’s first in the gym, last to leave. He’s a leader on the court and in the classroom (3.8 GPA & NHS). He always makes the right pass and takes the right shot, thus 33 made threes in only 78 attempts. He also plays as hard on the defensive side of the court as he does on the offensive side. Dorien is an excellent on-ball defender who usually guards the opponent’s main ball handler. Great knowledge of the game and moves well on offense without the ball in his hands. He was a huge reason SW Edgecombe went from a 6 win team two years ago to a 15 win team his junior year and a 19 win team his senior year.”

Everything that Coach Langley said in regards to Ruffin sounds like the makings of a college-level player, which has started coming to fruition. After being the primary running mate to Porter and averaging 10.5 PPG, colleges began to take notice. He’s collected an offer from Johnston CC and has received heavy interest from Peace, Davidson CC, and Fayetteville Tech CC. His effectiveness has been proven at the high school level, so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up at the next level.