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 Michael Peters of Gaston Christian.
With the direction basketball has gone over the last decade, it seems that every college program is seeking out skill and versatility from all types of players. The more each player on the floor can do, the harder that team is to contain—simple. That being said, it seems like Peters is the perfect type of tweener forward to take various teams over the top. He isn’t flashy or incredibly athletic, but Peters has the skillset to be an effective contributor with any collection of teammates. He’s a big, strong forward prospect that can cause mismatches with his inside-out abilities. Beyond that, Peters is a pretty nice ball-handler and overall creator for his size, which allows him to take bigger opponents off the dribble while bullying smaller opponents with his physicality. These types of players always find a way to making an impact at the next level.
We’ve been fortunate to see Peters multiple times throughout the last calendar year, including at our All-American Camp, where we stated: “Finishing up, we look at a player that made an impression as one of most impressive two-way prospects at camp, Michael Peters. He’s a strong-bodied power forward with a phenomenal inside-out skillset and the ability to cause matchup problems on both sides of the ball. Peters plays hard, smart, utilizes his body well for rebounds, and approaches every possession with a team-first mentality. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him an even tougher assignment for bigger opponents to contain. Coach Allen on Peters: “Michael earned MVP honors twice. He has a Larry Bird style of play. He caught the nets on fire. Michael can go right or left and pull-up from deep range. He comes off the court like he came out of a pool from how hard he works. Michael moves well without the ball, has strong court vision, and will bang on the boards. I look forward to following him in the future.” Peters scored, rebounded, defended, and did all the little things to stand out as a leader, which should ultimately make him a strong contributor throughout the upcoming season at Gaston Christian.”
Typically, players with a massive tool kit and no real recruitment—like Peters—are overlooked due to a lack of production. However, that’s where things get even more perplexing, as Peters is undeniably productive. In 25 games this season, he’s posted nightly averages of 16.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG while shooting just under 50% from the floor and a fairly respectable 33% from distance. That alone should have D2s buzzing and D3s falling all over themselves, as he has the makings of an immediate contributor at the next level. Furthermore, Peters has consistently developed throughout the last few years and looks likely to continue that trend going forward.