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 Samage Teel of Farmville Central and Garner Road Thornton.
Farmville Central has been one of the most exciting public school programs in recent memory. Guys like Justin Wright (NC Central) and Terquavion Smith (NC State) catch a lion’s share of the attention, but Teel is truly as important as anyone on this roster. He does a lot of different things for the Jaguars but scoring the ball with efficiency from all three levels seems to be his most appealing quality. Teel is unselfish and works extremely well with his teammates but remains among the top handful of pure scorers in North Carolina. He attacks the basket regularly, can pull-up from midrange or beyond, and works well without the ball as a spot-up threat. Additionally, Teel can assume secondary ball-handling duties in a pinch and understands how to set up others quite effectively. It’s strange to look at his recruitment after seeing him perform at such a high level and consistently getting it done on big stages.
After seeing Teel and Farmville Central at the John Wall Holiday Invitational, our own Rick Lewis stated: “As the old saying goes, “Big time players step up in big time games,” and this statement is custom made for 6’2 senior guard Samage Teel. We’re talking about a strong, athletic and all-around combo guard that can easily transition from point guard to scoring guard, which is exactly what he did at the John Wall Holiday Invitational, against two of the top teams in the country. For the three games, Teel averaged 24 PPG, went 22-44 from the floor, 4-10 from the free throw line, and an impressive 24-27 from the free throw line. He averaged 4.3 RPG and 3.0 APG. To put it mildly, Teel has the complete package. He can score, handle, pass, rebound and defend and is without question the “glue guy” for this talented Farmville Central team. In the game against the No. 4 team in the country, The Patrick School, Teel finished with 20 points, going 4-13 from the floor, 2-7 from the 3-point line, and 10-12 from the free throw line. He collected six rebounds, dished out four assists and had two steals with only committing one turnover for the game. In the third-place game against Millbrook, who is nationally ranked in the top 20, Teel finished with 30 points, going 9-19 from the floor, 2-6 from the 3-point line, and 10-11 from the free throw line. He also collected four rebounds, dished out four assists and even had two steals.”
There are so many prospects within North Carolina that get overlooked because of their location or lack of reputation, but Teel and Farmville Central have both. College coaches already know that this area is a hotbed for scholarship-level talent and Farmville Central has been one of the better, more talented programs in the state for quite a while. Those outlying factors make Teel’s lack of recruitment even more perplexing. He has the ability to play at a variety of programs from the Division I to high Division II levels, and would likely flourish at all of them. Only time will tell if Teel takes the college game by storm.