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 Isaac Spainhour of West Stokes and NC Spartans.
The term “fundamentally-sound” can mean various different things for each type of player. That being said, Spainhour might be among the best in North Carolina that embodies that trait. He’s a smart, heady two-way guard prospect that really understands how to properly execute and make plays from all over the floor. Spainhour isn’t flashy or a powerful athlete, so his game relies more on fundamentals—which has proven to be more than effective for him. He’s pretty quick and positions himself extremely well on defense to mirror opposing ball-handlers, where he’s able to force turnovers quite regularly. Spainhour is great at manipulating the defense, penetrating and kicking out to open teammates, and scoring with poise from all three levels—both off the catch and dribble. His game is basic and straightforward but simply works.
We were fortunate enough to see Spainhour and the NC Spartans various times throughout the last summer, including our Phenom Challenge: “There’s obvious appeal with the well-rounded guard prospect, especially considering his consistent presence on both ends of the floor. Spainhour handles and passes the ball well but is also capable of truly thriving as an off-ball threat and taking advantage of scoring opportunities within the flow of the offense. He outworks opponents for rebounds, makes extra passes, and simply plays the right way.”He then showed out again at our Summer Havoc: “There’s a lot to like with this NC Spartans team, especially with the smooth, steady play of Spainhour. He’s a well-rounded guard prospect that isn’t going to do anything outside of his comfort zone on either end of the floor. Spainhour typically works without the ball and poses a major spot-up threat from beyond the arc, forcing defenses to respect him at all times. He makes smart decisions with the ball in his hands and is capable of creating for himself very well within one to two dribbles.”
After the summer season ended, Spainhour only continued to look more and more like a college-level guard. He’s emerged as a phenomenal leader for West Stokes, spearheading them to a conference championship and 22-4 regular season record with their only losses coming from RJ Reynolds and multiple close battles to Atkins and Mount Tabor. He’s proven to be an adaptable two-way guard that can run an offense or operate without the ball, which only heightens his usefulness at the next level. After accumulating 1800 career points and posting per game averages of 18.1 PPG, 5 RPG, and 5.1 APG, one would be inclined to think that his recruitment should be exploding. Spainhour could certainly help a variety of Division II programs while Division III college coaches should be making him a priority.