At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, hundreds of 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 Dominic Payne of Trinity High School.

We’ve seen Payne throughout his high school journey, recently stating, “Moving onto a player who is capable of causing matchup problems for various types of opponents, Dominic Payne. He’s a smart, skilled, strong-bodied guard prospect with a nice blend of size, athleticism, and creation instincts. Payne is a versatile piece with the skillset of a perimeter player and the physical tools to go against bigger opponents. He rebounds well, defends multiple positions, and is capable of doing a healthy amount of everything offensively. Payne can find ways to score with or without requiring the ball in his hands. Next in his development process is working to get quicker, as it would make him an even better defender at the point of attack. Coach Collins on Payne: “Dominic plays good defense and talks when needed. However, I would like to see him maintain his vocal presence for the whole entire game. Dominic needs to work on his consistency as a three-point shooter and having confidence in his shot.” Payne made a quality impact at camp and should be a target for various college coaches heading into his upcoming senior season with Trinity.”

Although we previously highlighted his gaudy per-game numbers, it’s worth reiterating the pure insanity of his production. Payne is currently averaging 29.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 5.7 APG, and 1.3 SPG while leading the way for 19-seeded Trinity in the NCHSAA 2A playoffs. He’s been utterly dominant, and that’s only carried into postseason play. They’ve already defeated a higher-seeded opponent and could continue causing problems in the coming rounds. Payne is a strong, versatile wing with the ability to run the team as a floor general, create for himself and others, and defend multiple positions. He scores the ball with relative ease from all levels, secures rebounds at a consistent rate, and reliably pushes the break in transition. Payne clearly has the ability to boost a program at the next level.