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 Chase Mebane of River Mill Academy and Mid-State Magic.
When players are under-recruited, there is usually some type of easy excuse or low-hanging fruit pertaining to size, skill, athleticism, or just an overall lack of exposure. Ironically, Mebane has none of those issues, yet is still being pushed aside by college coaches. He’s long, strong, smart, athletic, and plays with an incredible motor on both ends of the floor. Mebane’s activity level and sheer nose for the ball allows him to consistently control the glass and capitalize on second-chance opportunities. He can handle the ball and step out for the occasional jumper but rarely tries to do too much. Mebane has a clear-cut role with any collection of teammates because so much of his game is predicated on toughness and pure effort.
We were able to see Mebane and Mid-State Magic dozens of times throughout the last few years, including at our Phenom G3 Showcase, where our Tommy Michaels stated:“Mebane is exactly what you look for from the forward position. Explosive athlete who gets to the rim at will and has no problem elevating and finishing over defenders. He makes very quick decisions when he catches the ball and often times catches the defense on their heels. Mebane is also a defense catalyst as he rebounds very well for his size and blocks a ton of shots. He averaged 22-10 and four blocks per game in his junior season at River Mill Academy and his stock will continue to rise this summer throughout his senior season as he continues to develop.”
Even glancing at those junior-year numbers leads to some head-scratching, as college coaches should’ve at least been on notice. However, Mebane has only been more impressive and productive this season but has yet to see the appropriate uptick in his recruitment. Division I schools should be taking a hard look and Division II programs should be praying he slips through the cracks. This season, Mebane is averaging 27 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 2.8 BPG, and 1.8 SPG while shooting an insane 72% from the floor. What more does he need to prove?