South Carolina Phenom 150 Evaluations
Coach: Charles Blue
#54:5’10 ’19 Joshua Gooding (Goldsboro, NC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that played with incredible energy all camp long, Joshua Gooding. He’s a combo-guard with excellent quickness, able to blow by opponents off the dribble whenever he desires. Offensively, Gooding showcased his ability to penetrate into the paint and make plays. He’s a willing passer with a great attitude and team-first approach to the game. Gooding rebounds the ball extremely well on both sides of the floor, able to pile up second-chance points while also leading the fast break. Next in his development process is polishing his shot mechanics, as it would make him a more reliable all-around scorer. Coach Blue on Gooding: “I loved Josh’s energy and effort throughout our time at game. He’s a great transition presence. He’s willing to make any hustle play. Josh can work on his individual skills, as he’s a great teammate.” Gooding is entering his final high school season, where he could begin to turn some heads.
#76: 5’9 ’22 Shane Blakeney (Rock Hill, SC)
Next, we look at a player that really appeared to be matured beyond his years on both sides of the ball, Shane Blakeney. He’s a lead guard with quality IQ and playmaking instincts, able to consistently initiate offense for the team while rarely forcing the action. Blakeney displays a tight handle and provides a solid mix of scoring and passing. He scores efficiently from all three levels, but arguably has more value as a defender. Blakeney forced turnovers and showed a clear willingness to make the smart play whenever possible. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would help him toggle between playing on and off-ball. Coach Blue on Blakeney: “Shane is a great point guard with an excellent IQ for the game. He’s a really great passer in transition. Shane is a strong two-way player, but he can still improve his shot mechanics and overall release timing.” Blakeney is very young, yet already possesses an abundance of poise. He’ll definitely be an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on.
#77: 5’9 ’20 Takim Bond (Gaston, NC)
Moving onto a player that was able to fill a variety of different roles throughout camp, Takim Bond. He’s an off-guard with solid two-way presence, given his defensive prowess and ability to effectively get to his spots on offense. Offensively, Bond utilizes his blindingly sharp quickness and end-to-end speed to blow by opponents and touch the paint. He is a quality spot-up option with the ability to knock down shots from midrange and beyond the arc. Bond leaves nothing to be desired with his defensive presence, as he’s able to effortlessly stay in front of anyone assigned to him. Next in his development process is continuing to work on the use of his off-hand, as it would enable him to attack and utilize more angles on the court. Coach Blue on Bond: “Takim is a truly great defender that runs well on offense. He can knock down catch-and-shoot threes at an effective clip. Takim needs to improve his IQ and individual skill work going forward.” Bond was a very solid all-around performer last weekend, so it’ll be interesting to see how he builds off his strong play at camp.
#95: 6’0 ’21 Charles Williams (Savannah, GA)
Continuing onto a player that displayed a strong understanding of how to play the right way, Charles Williams. He’s a wing prospect with great poise and toughness, able to make smart decisions on offense while also absorbing a ton of contact when penetrating to the basket. Williams breaks down opponents with his ball-handling and shows a clear willingness to make plays for others; he is very unselfish and has all the tools to play as the secondary creator in most lineups. On the other end, he does a solid job of forcing turnovers and remaining disciplined on defense. Next in his development process is getting better at picking his spots in transition, as he could emerge as a quality spot-up threat given his current skillset. Coach Blue on Williams: “Charles is a nice all-around player with vision and a great court sense. He always rewards the man running the floor, hitting them in stride with an assist. Charles has a pretty good three-point shoot.” Williams’ grit and determination were both clear throughout camp, but we will be watching closely to see how he builds off this performance.
#114: 6’2 ’22 Christian Ferguson (Columbia, SC)
Next, look at a player that has made noticeable two-way strides within the last month, Christian Ferguson. He’s long, active, and mobile, which makes him quite problematic for opponents on both sides of the floor. Offensively, Ferguson is very intriguing, given his ability to attack opponents in a variety of ways. He’s shown signs of a nice midrange shot, but Ferguson actually shoots the ball better from beyond the three-point arc. On the other end, he utilizes his length exceptionally well to alter shots and protect the rim, while also securing rebounds and pushing in transition. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength, as it’ll make him a more physical interior presence. Coach Blue on Ferguson: “Christian has incredible length and does a pretty solid job of using it on both ends of the floor. He’s a good on-ball defender with the ability to move his feet. Christian can shoot pretty well, but needs to add arc to his jump shot.” Ferguson was a standout over the summer with the Palmetto City Hurricanes, so it was nice to see his tough mentality carried over to camp.
#115: 6’2 ’21 Jaden Scott (Johns Island, SC)
Moving onto a player that brought a lot of excitement to the offensive end of the floor, Jaden Scott. He’s a dynamic guard prospect with the ability to toggle between playing on and off-ball, based on situation. Offensively, Scott gets downhill with ease and attacks the defense aggressively. He shoots pretty well from all three levels and finishes through contact around the basket. Scott essentially has all the tools to become a strong two-way guard, but focus and a no-nonsense approach will carry him over the top. Next in his development process is learning how to move without the ball, as it would open up an abundance of scoring opportunities as a cutter and spot-up threat. Coach Blue on Scott: “Jaden’s speed and quickness give him the potential to be an incredible open-court player. He gets to the rim and finishes well, but needs to become a better off-ball threat in order to maximize his abilities.” Scott possesses genuine Division I upside, but he’ll need to continue putting in the necessary work to reach his goals.
#133:6’4 ’19 Javon Outlaw (Goldsboro, NC)
Continuing onto a player that’s very intriguing and could possesses a lot of upside for an unsigned senior, Javon Outlaw. He’s a long-armed wing prospect with a fairly matured game, able to consistently contribute on both ends of the floor. Outlaw is able to get by opponents and finish around the rim, especially in transition, yet also shows flashes of a quality midrange shot. He rebounds exceptionally well for his position and really wants to compete on the glass, showing no interest in backing down or any fear of opponents. Outlaw was arguably among the top unsigned seniors on display, and already has the two-way presence to play college basketball. Next in his development process is continuing to work on the consistency of his three-point shot, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Blue on Outlaw: “Javon was a constant contributor for our team, on both ends of the floor. He has the length to be able to finish over defenders while also being a pest on defense.” Outlaw displayed a high motor and willingness to do whatever necessary to put his team in a winning position.
#134: 6’4 ’21 Levi Leard (Seneca, SC)
Next, we look at a player that actually improved throughout the duration of camp, Levi Leard. He’s a strong-bodied prospect with an excellent approach to the game, looking to make any hustle play possible while also showing determination on the defensive side of the ball. Leard didn’t force the action on offense; he scored a majority of his points through putbacks and transition play. That being said, he moves well without the ball and knows how to wall-up on defense, instead of trying to block everything. Next in his development process is finding a reliable identity on offense, as it would make him a much bigger problem for opponents to account for. Coach Blue on Leard: “Levi understands his role, getting rebounds and doing all the little things in order to get buckets. He’s very patient on offense and his post footwork has already shown growth since the start of camp.” Leard brought the correct approach to camp and should continue having success with the proper mentality.
#136: 6’4 ’22 Tony Lorick (Columbia, SC)
Moving onto a player that was able to make an impact in a lot of different ways despite his young age, Tony Lorick. He’s big, strong, and knows how to utilize his body to make things happen. Offensively, Lorick is more versatile than he appears, providing a pretty nice mix of ball-handling, driving, passing, and rebounding. He didn’t try to overdo things on offense, but he was willing to take advantage of opportunities to finish around the basket and had strong flashes as a cutter. Next in his development process is continuing to sharpen his overall skillset, as he can still approach the game in a variety of unique ways. Coach Blue on Lorick: “Tony is a great young man with excellent size and rebounding ability. He is a sneaky athlete who can defer to teammates or push the break off rebounds. Tony needs to improve his footwork and back-to-basket moves going forward.” Lorick wasn’t afraid to compete or use his strength to create scoring opportunities; he displayed a terrific motor on both sides of the floor and should be one to watch progress.
#144: 6’7 ’20 Clay Killoren (Spartanburg, SC)
Finishing up with a player that really embraced his role throughout camp and should ultimately get looks as a college-level prospect, Clay Killoren. He’s a big man with nice strength and mobility. Offensively, he doesn’t force the action, but he will knock down shots from midrange and the short corner when open. Killoren is a determined rebounder, able to secure two and three boards on the same possession, before ultimately finishing the second-chance opportunity himself. He’s a true hustle player with a clear desire to do anything possible to gain extra possession for his team. Next in his development process is working on his ability to handle the ball, as it would allow him to do more in transition and possibly create scoring chances for himself. Coach Blue on Killoren: “Clay really understands his niche as a rebounder. He does all the little things extremely well in order to set up his teammates for success. Clay has excellent intangibles and exudes leadership qualities.” Killoren could be a candidate to enjoy a breakout junior season after his performance at camp.