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 Traymond Willis-Shaw of Westover High School.
In North Carolina, there’s probably the same amount of noteworthy, big-time prospects as under-the-radar guys. Recently, one of those noteworthy players, D’Marco Dunn, transferred to Westover and brought along a ton of buzz in the process. However, Willis-Shaw has been quietly leading the charge on his own for the last few years with little to no real recognition. He’s long, athletic, versatile, and genuinely understands how to consistently affect all facets of the game. Prior to the current season, there were some questions surrounding his perimeter jumper but he’s quickly proven to be a reliable scorer from all three levels. Add his improved offensive arsenal to one of the rangiest, most useful defensive players in the state, and incredible things were bound to happen. Willis-Shaw has shown his ability to lead or play in a role while controlling the action on both ends of the floor, and he’s only continuing to get better.
Last March, Willis-Shaw attended our NC Top 80 camp, where we stated: “Next, we look at a player that has the chance to enjoy a breakout senior campaign, Traymond Willis-Shaw. He’s an incredibly long, wiry forward/post prospect that can actively toggle between three positions on either end of the floor. Willis-Shaw is smart, unselfish, and does an excellent job of operating within the team concept. He showed three-level scoring ability throughout camp and utilized his length quite well when attacking the basket and looking to finish through contact. Willis-Shaw is a versatile defender that can cause problems for opponents with his motor and pristine positioning. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his three-point consistency, as he will be able to take advantage of any opponent with relative ease. Coach Smith on Willis-Shaw: “Traymond is a smooth, long, double-double machine. He runs the court with grace, speed, and flies all over the floor. Traymond rebounds out of his area and covers a lot of ground with his long legs. He has a great midrange touch and finishes around the rim with strong persistence. He’s a good player!” Willis-Shaw is an appealing prospect that has only gotten better throughout the last year, so it’ll be exciting to monitor his recruitment going forward.”
Entering that event, Willis-Shaw held zero offers but still highlighted a skillset and identity worthy of Division I consideration. It wasn’t until later that summer when he would accumulate scholarship offers from Radford, South Carolina State, and UNCG. While those are three phenomenal offers, it doesn’t feel like Willis-Shaw’s recruitment is nearing an end. Given his tools and current trajectory, it would be shocking if he didn’t collect another handful of offers over these next few months. He’s the type of player that has a high floor and an incredibly high ceiling, basically removing risk from the equation. Willis-Shaw could be a gem in North Carolina’s loaded Class of 2020.