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 Landon Sutton of High Point Christian Academy and Team Phoenix.
Shooting has arguably become the most valuable skill in today’s basketball but possessing an all-around offensive arsenal has proven to elevate prospects to the next level within their recruitment. That being said, what is preventing Sutton’s recruitment from taking off? He’s gone from being just a knockdown shooter to an incredibly skilled, savvy offensive threat in the last few years. Now, Sutton is more than comfortable running and being the focal point of an efficient offensive attack. He can handle the ball and create effectively for himself or others, displaying IQ, unselfishness, and a quality balance between playmaking and three-level scoring. Sutton can score in a variety of different ways and isn’t afraid to mix it up whenever possible. He’s also much tougher than opponents seem to give him credit for, both as a finisher and overall defender.
We’ve watched Sutton’s continuous growth throughout his playing career, including recently at our All-American Camp, where we stated: “Next, we look at a player that showcased one of the top offensive arsenals from camp, Landon Sutton. He’s a smart, skilled, unselfish guard prospect that can truly hurt teams from either backcourt position, given his blend of shooting and ball-handling. Sutton has a beautiful jumper that he can access literally whenever he wants through excellent creation skills. He’s also a reliable playmaker that can rebound and defend quite well—especially for his size. Next in his development process is working to continue adding strength, as it would allow him to become a more physical defensive player. Coach Doughty on Sutton: “Mr. Sutton is a long-range bomber, but that’s not all he can do. He can handle, post up, or penetrate with ease. He scores and rebounds around the basket like a big man. He sees the court like an eagle and gets plenty of separation with his dribble. It’s in his nature to play team ball. I’m very excited to see how his game progresses. College basketball is in his future.” Sutton has steadily improved as the years have gone on and will be a definite asset to whichever program secures his services at the next level.”
Everything mentioned above still holds true and Sutton has shown flashes of dominance this season, which is what makes his recruitment somewhat difficult to understand. He holds offers from Piedmont College and West Virginia Tech, but more schools should be involved. Sutton has continually performed at a high level against all types of competition and, at the very least, can be a lethal shooting threat for various different programs. Hopefully schools will realize the ability of Sutton before it becomes too late.