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 Will Kelly of Stuart Cramer.
We’ve seen Kelly a ton over the last few seasons, including at our most recent NC Top 80, where we stated, “Continuing onto a player who found ways to effectively operate as a glue-guy for this team during camp, Will Kelly. He’s a skilled, fairly active wing prospect with a solid scoring arsenal from all levels. Kelly can operate with or without the ball in his hands, and is equally reliable in transition as the half-court. He’s able to spot-up or create for himself (or others) off the bounce, and possesses the necessary size to finish amongst big men. Kelly stood out among the better defenders on this team and was willing to make hustle plays within the course of the action. He capitalized on his opportunities and filled in the gaps nicely on either end of the floor. Next in his development process is working to become a craftier ball-handler, as it would make him even more difficult for opponents to contain. Coach Robinson on Kelly: “Will is a solid ball player. He can expand his production as needed. Found ways to contribute without forcing the action.” Kelly enjoyed a nice showing at camp and should be quite productive this season as the undisputed leader of Stuart Cramer.”
Since then, Kelly has been undeniably productive as the clear focal point for Stuart Cramer. Not only is he burdening the offensive load on a nightly basis, but he’s also leading the Storm in four of five major statistical categories. Take a look at his gaudy averages, and it only reaffirms everything previously stated: 29.8 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 3.9 SPG with 51/39/82 shooting splits. Add in the additional amount of defensive pressure he’s receiving, and it’s especially difficult to ignore everything he’s doing. Kelly has proven to be a capable scoring option from all levels, but is arguably at his best when getting downhill or attacking the midrange. His recruitment has taken a noticeable step forward in the last month or so, but expect coaches to continue pursuing the wing prospect.