At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, over a 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 under-recruited, and today’s edition will highlight Evan Montanari of Gaston Day School.
We’ve seen Montanari in every possible setting, including at our most recent NC Top 80, where we stated, “Moving onto a player who offers a really balanced, adaptable presence in seemingly every setting, Evan Montanari. He’s a skilled, balanced guard prospect who consistently offers a dependable presence on both ends of the floor. Montanari is a knockdown shooting threat who can reliably spot-up or attack off the bounce, where he’s able to finish, hit pull-ups, or make passes to open teammates. He moves very well as a cutter, exploits open seams within the opposing defense, and makes smart decisions with the ball in his hands. Montanari makes a steady impact as a rebounder and all-around defender, always positioning himself to be involved in the action. Next in his development process is working on getting quicker, as it would make him a more lethal penetrating threat. Coach Mims on Montanari: “Evan is a gifted shooter. He can work on improving his athleticism and point guard skills in ball-screens and handoffs.” Montanari enjoyed a nice showing at camp, and should be a target for various types of college programs across his upcoming senior season at Gaston Day.”
Unsurprisingly, Montanari has only continued to prove his value throughout the current high school season. He’s been a major leader for a legitimate state-title contender in Gaston Day, both in terms of his production and on/off-court presence. Montanari is currently averaging 20 PPG, 4 RPG, and 3 APG while shooting a staggering 48% from beyond the arc on an incredibly high volume. Although he holds offers from Queens and Bridgewater, it’s somewhat shocking that he doesn’t have more action within his recruitment as a smart, unselfish, adaptable piece with vision and three-point shooting. Though he reliably can play with or without the ball in his hands, he’s made clear strides as a playmaker over the last calendar year. Add in his GPA (4.20) and overall work ethic, and it’s difficult to try and figure out why Montanari isn’t receiving more attention from college coaches. He’s found success, both team and individual, no matter where he plays. Expect him to garner attention from scholarship-level programs over these next few months.