Brandon’s Takeaways: Phenom’s Feast of Champions
Our annual feast of Champions showcased pitted some of the top programs across the southeast against one another 24 hours removed from turkey and stuffing.
Let’s examine some key points that stood out after two days of action packed rim rocking hoops!
1. Josiah James has as much upside as any point guard in the 2019 class
At 6’7 James serves as the primary ball handler and playmaker for Porter Guad, his size at point guard is rare at the prep level which makes James a mismatch nightmare.
James has impressive court vision and elite passing ability, in the open floor he’s truly exciting James will drop a crisp dime to a teammate or finish over the defense.
Currently Josiah sits at #31 in the Rivals rankings and the rising four star holds 20 offers from programs all across the nation.
Porter Gaud won both their games in impressive fashion, and in a matchup of heavyweights, James flirted with a triple double twice.
2. Elijah McCadden will be GA Southern’s next star from NC
McCaden has the goods to earn Newcomer of the year in the Sun Belt next season, we’re talking about a true combo guard with game changing scoring ability and superb court vision.
Throughout our showcase McCadden served as the primary ball handler for Greenfield (NC), he shined in pick N roll sets making the right play with the rock. When defenses slacked off McCadden scorched them with a polished mid range game, defenders began to pressure the ball and he blew past them with a plethora of dribble moves.
At 6’5 McCadden was easily able to see over traps thrown his way and hit teammates with pinpoint dimes. .Playing alongside the number one ranked player in the state hasn’t taken away from McCadden’s shine, his game can’t go unnoticed. Ga Southern has recruited the Hoop State exceptionally well, the program currently boasts five hoopers from the Tarheel state.
McCadden turned down local in state ACC power Wake Forest, along with, Unc- Charlotte to join the Eagles program.
Ultimately McCadden should play a similar role to fellow NC guard Mike Hughes, like hughes McCadden can create his own shot or create for others. McCadden is an absolute steal for the eagles. He will bring star power, leadership, and big play ability on both ends of the floor. Ga State is known for stellar guard play and McCadden could be the best yet.
3. Emanuel Izunabor is definitely a high major prospect
Izunabor has added depth to his overall game in the last year and he wowed a lot of scouts in both of Fayetteville Academy’s contests.
Offensively the 6’9 forward is still a bit raw but Izunabor flashes major upside on that end; down low he is automatic around the rim and utilizes a broad frame to establish position, Izunabor has added finesse to his post game, Emanuel can beat his man off the spin or attack off the dribble. Another element that Izunabor has improved on is passing out of the post he leads the Eagles in assists, as well as Rebounds and blocks. Izunabor has already messed around twice this year and those may not be his last triple- doubles before this thing is over.
Defensively this dude is an absolute game changer Izunabor averages three blocks a game and bothers countless others. Izunabor’s natural athleticism allows him to impact the game on both ends.
Currently East Carolina is the lone offer but Kansas State, Central Florida, and College of Charleston have reached out.
4. Greene Central is the best team you don’t know
The blue collar group out of Snow Hill, NC, the Rams come to work every game and it's obvious they aren’t backing down from anyone.
This group put the entire showcase on notice when they pulled off arguably the biggest upset against Greenfield (NC). Central were considered underdogs which isn’t a knock on them, Greenfield features the state's top prospect 2018 five star Coby White as well as Ga State signee Elijah McCadden.
Greene Central is a team on a mission this year, they trailed the entire game but continued to scrap and stick around. In the end they were able to make enough plays down the stretch to earn a W.
Coach Charles Harris has this group disciplined and hungry, they compete for every board, and will get dirty for the 50-50 balls. Imajae Dodd is the centerpiece, the 6'7 bruiser is a serious problem in the lane. Every time Dodd goes up he’s looking to break the rim, if Dodd is anywhere near the rim it's a bucket.
“ They don’t know about us yet, but by season's end y’all will put Greene Central on the map.” coach Charles Harris said.
DonQuez Davis was the X-factor his leadership and perimeter shooting is crucial to this group's success. Davis nailed two threes late to send the contest into overtime, he also serves as the primary ball handler.
The Rams currently sit 3-1 on the year and Coach Harris’s group looks primed for a deep postseason run.