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 Nygell Verdier of Independence High School and DTA Elite.
Over the last five to ten years, college coaches have begun to place even more value on shooting and two-way versatility. However, it hasn’t seemed to translate with the recruitment of Verdier, who is in the midst of a quiet, incredibly productive 10-month stretch. He’s not loud or particularly flashy but has a fairly complete game and naturally knows how to affect the action on both ends of the floor. Verdier can pass, handle, and shoot the ball, which allows him to actively toggle between operating as a primary creator and off-ball threat. He’s a smart offensive initiator that can penetrate and set up others quite easily but also knows how to cut, spot-up, and secure second-chance opportunities. Verdier defends multiple positions with poise and naturally forces turnovers with his anticipation instincts.
We’ve been fortunate enough to watch Verdier countless times at our events throughout the summer season, including at our Team Camp, where we stated: “In terms of rising seniors, Nygell Verdier should be a relatively under-the-radar name that should have scholarship-holding coaches extremely excited. He’s a well-rounded wing prospect with an excellent frame and the ability to consistently impact the game on both ends of the floor. Verdier is a knockdown three-point shooter that thrives as a spot-up threat, but also displays nice creation skills and a quality overall feel for the game. He’s athletic and poses a major all-around threat in transition, given his three-level scoring and ability to draw defensive attention without the ball in his hands. Verdier is a reliable defender with great positioning, versatility, and anticipation instincts, which allow him to contain three positions comfortably at the high school level. One should expect this entire Independence team to pick up offers going forward, but Verdier could be the underrated piece that truly breaks out in the college ranks.”
That final statement seems to ring especially true now. Omarion Bodrick picked up multiple offers, Anthony Allen committed to Lee’s McRae, but Verdier has somehow slid under the radar despite arguably being the most consistent all-around player for this group on a nightly basis. He’s received interest from an abundance of programs at a variety of different levels but has yet to collect an offer, which is simply perplexing. Verdier is a guy that could genuinely be better at the next level, given his malleable skillset, presence, and frame with the ability to add strength. There’s obvious upside, so it’ll be exciting to see what schools realize the clear appeal with Verdier over these next few months.