Each year, Phenom Hoops has hundreds upon thousands of prospects come through our doors with varying levels of recruitment. Plenty of guys are highly touted or properly rated, but many more end up severely underrated or well below the radar. It might feel like a common phrase at this point, but when comparing one-to-one, it’s easy to find cracks and seams within the system. So, this article will take a closer look at some, not all, of the most underrated seniors across the state…
6’0 Isaac Parson (Kinston)
It’s honestly somewhat crazy to see Parson’s name on this list, considering where he lives and attends school. Kinston has been known for their ability to develop and produce high-level talent, which makes Parson’s recruitment even more confusing. After becoming a qualifier within the last few weeks, he should’ve been absolutely flooded with scholarship offers. Wingate deserves credit for being first to the recruiting party. However, Parson has all the tools to collect at least another dozen prior to graduation. His IQ and toughness are arguably his most desirable qualities, but add in his phenomenal leadership, decision-making, and balance between scoring and playmaking, and he should be a priority for a variety of programs. Parson is also a terrific defender with quickness and sharp anticipation instincts. It’s still early in the season but with the numbers he’s putting up on a nightly basis, it would be difficult to imagine anything other than a ton of schools getting involved very soon.
6’9 Aymeric Toussaint (Freedom Christian)
As impressive as Toussaint already is, it would be fair to say that he has the highest ceiling of anyone on this list and a vast majority of prospects within North Carolina. His appeal should be fairly obvious as a 6-foot-9 power forward with incredible physical tools and the ability to play inside or outside of the arc. Toussaint moves and runs the floor like a guard, leaps like an explosive swingman, and utilizes his length extremely well as a rim-protector. He has the ability to finish with either hand over either shoulder, displaying touch and quick-twitch athleticism around the basket. Toussaint can also regularly step out and knock down perimeter jumpers at a fairly consistent rate. That being said, the big man knowledge and development he should gain under Brandon Clifford’s coaching will turn him into a truly special talent. It hasn’t been thatlong since Clifford claimed that Toussaint was the second-most athletic big man he’s ever coached, only behind Bam Adebayo.
6’1 Dylan Blake (First Flight)
It would be nearly impossible to make an underrated list without featuring Blake, who has become something of a mythical figure at this point. As we’ve stated many times before, he is more than just a knockdown shooter, despite being one of the absolute best in recent memory. Blake is crafty, both as a scorer and playmaker, and has continued to showcase the full arsenal in each and every contest. He deals with additional pressure, double and triple teams, probably more than any player in the state. Blake highlights a ton of wizardry with the ball, slithering through defenders, breaking guys down off the bounce, making intelligent passes, and scoring with efficiency in a variety of different ways. He’s also an excellent rebounder with toughness and fairly deceptive athleticism. Blake is often quickly dismissed and labeled by his look, but has the ability and killer mentality to be a really influential player at a number of Division I schools.
6’4 Trent McIntyre (Piedmont Classical)
There are plenty of productive players in North Carolina but one would be hard-pressed to find one more consistent than McIntyre. He’s a smart, rugged tone-setter on both ends of the floor, leading with his poised passing/decision-making and never-back-down mentality. Few guys really embody that “dog-like” quality more than McIntyre. Not only does he look to defeat opponents, he wants to absolutely destroy them. That type of demeanor, leadership by example, and winning attitude is what every coach should want in a prospect. All that without even mentioning his all-around skillset and two-way presence just goes to show McIntyre’s long list of impressive attributes. He can hunt for points or assists, but truly lets the game come to him and naturally has a way of affecting the action. McIntyre does just about everything at an above-average rate and always leaves it all on the court, regardless of setting, context, or opponent. He’s simply the type of guy you’d want to run into battle alongside.
6’8 Jakob Moore (Mount Tabor)
Given the amount of big men in the state that are being recruited on a Division I level, it’s somewhat surprising that Moore hasn’t caught on in a similar way—especially with how he’s kicked off the current season. His lack of recruitment goes to show how plenty of college coaches are diminishing the value of defensive ability. His length, timing, and overall comfort level when switching across multiple positions is a major part of what should make him so desirable at the next level. The southpaw is a respectable and blossoming offensive threat with quality touch and feel around the basket. He plays within himself exceptionally well, but still knows how to fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis. Moore has also continued to sharpen his body over the last few months after a drastic transformation over the summer. There’s a lot to like with Moore, and he’s only going to keep getting better from this point forward.