5’11 ’19 Mikey Dukes (First Baptist)
There were a lot of talented performers throughout the day, but Mikey Dukes’ showing to open the event was truly unbelievable. At a strong, sturdy 5-foot-11, Dukes is a special athlete that can impose his will against any point guard. That being said, he also has a terrific basketball sense and exceptional overall feel for the game, which is what should vault him into possible high-major consideration. It seems that schools were afraid to offer, as they assumed that the two-sport athlete would pursue a football career—simply given his status on the gridiron. However, Dukes has stated that he’s all-in for basketball, which should immediately make him the most appealing unsigned senior player in the Carolinas. He possesses such a rare blend of intelligence, smoothness and ruggedness, able to frequently highlight his athleticism while also showcasing incredible poise and finesse. Dukes is an efficient three-level scorer with the ability to toy with his opponent and consistently dictate the action on offense. He’s able to make phenomenal reads on a routine basis and was possibly the best all-around leader on display. It’s highly unlikely that Dukes will remain offer-less going forward, so it’ll be exciting to see where he ultimately decides to further his basketball journey.
5’11 ’19 Joseph Powell (First Baptist)
This First Baptist team has a lot of useful pieces, but what Joseph Powell brings to the table is arguably irreplaceable. He’s fundamentally-sound and simply productive in all areas of the game, leaving him with virtually no holes on either end of the court. Powell does a great job of toggling between guard positions and showcasing his ability to excel with or without the ball in his hands. He’s a capable creator, both for himself and others, and scores well from all three levels. Powell is a quality ball-handler and intelligent passer that always looks to make the smartest read available, regardless of situation. Defensively, he’s exceptional at mirroring his on-ball assignment and positioning himself for deflections or steals. He pursues the ball well and typically outrebounds his matchup. Powell isn’t flashy, but he’s a guy that you’d go to battle with—no question. His recruitment should see an uptick sooner than later, as he’s a scholarship-worthy prospect that should become a priority for an abundance of D2 programs.
6’8 ’20 Josh Hall (Moravian Prep)
It’s crazy to think, but at this point it feels like Josh Hall’s three-point shot is as reliable as a layup. It just speaks to how unbelievably well he’s able to shoot the ball, even though he’s already a proven walking mismatch for most opponents given his ability to score from anywhere on the floor. In the first four minutes against Northside Christian, Hall was able to knock down four three-pointers (without missing) and notched 14 points. This trend continued throughout the course of the contest, leading to an offer-worthy performance of 36 points and a scholarship from St. Bonaventure shortly after. He’s made it clear that he’s prioritizing adding strength during the next calendar year and should gradually begin garnering the attention of various high-major programs.
6’6 ’20 Quentin Hodge (Lakewood)
All the aforementioned performers were great, but Quentin Hodge playing—and dominating—with a fractured wrist cannot go unnoticed. He’s a long, versatile, two-way wing prospect that really put the entire arsenal on display during this showing. Hodge scored incredibly well from thirty-five feet and in, which is an accurate representation of how effortlessly he controlled the offensive action. He showed the ability to create his own shot and handle the ball on a regular basis, allowing for great positional flexibility on both ends of the floor. Hodge is a fiery competitor that dials in on defense and is capable of switching across three positions comfortably at the high school level. There’s really no knock on him; it’s just astounding that he doesn’t hold more offers by now, even though Mercer and Florida Gulf Coast have been involved for a while. Hodge is already on the cusp of greatness, but it feels like he could thrive even more at the next level, especially if he’s able to continue adding strength.
7’2 ’22 Travon Pearson (Lee Central)
No player in attendance at Phenom’s Capital City Jam was more intriguing than 7-foot-2 Travon Pearson of Lee Central. He’s very tall and thin, but there’s clearly talent there. The most impressive thing about Pearson was his overall coordination and timing on defense. He blocked multiple shots and accumulated an abundance of deflections, and not just due to his height. Pearson moves surprisingly well for a young man of his size, both laterally and in transition, and understands his current role on the court. Pearson is somewhat timid at times, but that’s to be expected with a legitimate seven-footer at this age. His jumper looked effective and could be useful in the future, but adding strength and getting in-game repetitions will be the top key to his growth. Pearson has all the tools to become a big-time player and will have a phenomenal supporting cast throughout his high school career in DaVeon and LeBron Thomas. He’s a name that folks should take note of now, as he will become increasingly coveted in three to four years.