North Carolina Jr. Phenom Camp Session Two Evaluations
#9:5’0 ’23 Jaydyn Sowell (Pageland, SC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that was able to consistently highlight a strong two-way presence at camp, Jaydyn Sowell. He’s a point guard prospect that can handle the ball and generate scoring chances for himself and others. Sowell was able to effectively touch the paint and finish strong throughout the day. He moves pretty well without the ball and rebounds nicely for his size. Sowell made a huge impact on defense and forced numerous turnovers on the day. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would allow him to utilize and attack more angles on offense. Phenom Coach on Sowell: “Jaydyn plays very hard on defense and displayed very court vision throughout his time at camp. He’s an all-around passionate player with a nice motor.” Sowell enjoyed a quality showing at camp and should continue working to add strength as his body physically matures.
#24:5’5’ 23 Casian Richard (Winston-Salem, NC)
Next we look at a player that possesses a lot of natural talent and impressive long-term upside, Casian Richard. He’s a point guard prospect with the ability to dominate opponents in a nice variety of ways. Richard is pretty gifted with the ball in his hands and displays great feel when creating for others. He’s a crafty passer, ball-handler, and useful three-level scorer. Richard is a capable defender, but should become even better with consistent focus. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to take advantage of off-ball scoring chances through cuts and spot-up opportunities. Phenom Coach on Richard: “Casian is a great all-around player. His game just needs some fine-tuning. With the proper fundamental conditioning, Casian should be able to become one heck of a player.” Richard has steadily elevated his game at each of our camps and should be a prospect to monitor during the upcoming season.
#32:5’6 ’23 Gabe Littlejohn (Greenville, SC)
Moving onto a player that provided his team with an excellent high-motor presence on both sides of the ball, Gabe Littlejohn. He’s a wing prospect that truly understands how to play within his role and the team concept. Littlejohn penetrates and finishes strong around the rim while also applying constant pressure as an off-ball cutter. He rebounds pretty well for his size and looks to push transition play whenever possible. Littlejohn is a well-rounded defender that can guard multiple positions at this level. Next in his development process is working on his ability to shoot the ball, as it would add a new wrinkle to his offensive game. Phenom Coach on Littlejohn: “Gabe is an excellent penetrator that will become a solid player with continued work, he just needs more playing experience to realize his skillset. Gabe plays hard and is a great teammate.” Littlejohn should be one to watch grow over the next few years, especially if he’s able to continue improving.
#37:5’7 ’23 Elijah Calhoun (Winston-Salem, NC)
Continuing onto a player that made quite the lasting impression with his ability to shoot the ball, Elijah Calhoun. He’s an off-guard that really thrives as an off-ball threat, able to find openings within the defense and consistently knock down shots off the catch from midrange or three-point territory. Calhoun has a solid handle and is capable of putting the ball on the floor and finishing in transition. He’s pretty aware of his skillset and does a nice job of operating within those confines. Next in his development process is working on his ability to rebound, as he possesses the necessary size to contribute on each possession. Phenom Coach on Calhoun: “Elijah is a lights-out shooter! He needs to work on making himself available more often, but has a good basketball IQ and is capable of contributing on both ends of the floor.” Calhoun worked hard at camp and was able to make a pretty nice impact as a result.
#40:5’7 ’22 William Hall (Denver, NC)
Next, we look at a player that provided his team with a reliable two-way presence throughout camp, William Hall. He’s a wing prospect that did a nice job of outworking opponents while operating within the team-first concept. Hall can typically be found off-ball, spotting-up around the perimeter and preparing to launch three-pointers. He’s a quality all-around shooter that knows how to make a strong impact on defense. Hall defended the point of attack well and forced multiple turnovers on the day. Next in his development process is working on his ability to finish around the basket, as it would make him a more lethal scoring option. Phenom Coach on Hall: “William is an excellent shooter off the dribble, but needs to be able to utilize his penetration skills once opponents realize he’s a shooter.” Hall applied great pressure as a shooter and should continue working to round out the rest of his skillset over the next few years.
#46:5’9 ’23 Alex Gruber (Mt. Pleasant, NC)
Moving onto a player that operated masterfully without requiring the ball in his hands, Alex Gruber. He’s a wing prospect that thrived as an all-around offensive threat while consistently highlighting his pure shooting stroke from beyond the arc. Gruber is an efficient three-level scorer with terrific cutting ability. He handles the ball nicely and is capable of creating open looks for himself and others. Gruber is unselfish and communicates pretty well with his teammates. Next in his development process is working on his overall defensive presence, as he possesses the necessary tools to contain his assignment. Phenom Coach on Gruber: “Alex is an excellent kid that just needs to have more confidence in his abilities. He’s a good all-around player with an unselfish approach to the game.” Gruber showcased an abundance of noteworthy skills during camp and could be a prospect worth keeping an eye on going forward.
#54:5’11’ 23 Malik Brunson (Fayetteville, NC)
Continuing onto a player that was truly able to dominate every single facet of the game during camp, Malik Brunson. He’s a big, strong, somewhat positionless player at the middle school level. Brunson simply barrels down any opponent in his path and can bully his way to the rim whenever he desires. He handles the ball very well for his size and consistently highlights his ability to generate offense for others. Brunson is a leader by example and it’s evident in his motor and the passionate way he plays defense. He’s able to guard any position on the floor and overwhelm them with his sheer physicality. Brunson is an extremely smart player that is capable of dominating the glass on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working on his ability to shoot the ball from beyond the arc, as it would make him virtually unstoppable for the opposition. Phenom Coach on Brunson: “Malik can be described in one word: monster. With proper development, he is going to be an excellent two-way player. He was a tireless worker and great teammate throughout camp.” Brunson is a high-level athlete with intelligence and unmistakable talent on the court, certainly making him a prospect worth noting for the future.
#56:6’0 ’23 James Ellis Scott (Fayetteville, NC)
Next, we look at a player that offers a pretty balanced presence on both ends of the floor, James Ellis Scott. He’s forward prospect that does a little bit of everything, from scoring to rebounding, and rarely ever forces the action. Scott displays nice touch around the basket and was able to show signs of an accurate three-point stroke. He maintains somewhat of a calm demeanor, but gives great energy and operates well within the team concept. Next in his development process is working to establish a go-to scoring avenue, as it would allow him to become more assertive on offense and regularly take advantage of scoring opportunities. Phenom Coach on Scott: “James should be able to develop into an excellent wing player with continued growth. I didn’t see him get hungry for the ball during camp, but he’s a great kid and very respectful.” Scott possesses a strong amount of upside and should be able to continue steadily improving over these next few years.
#57:6’0 ’24 Jonathan Williams (Fayetteville, NC)
Moving onto a player that made an incredible two-way impact during his time at camp, Jonathan Williams. He’s a long, athletic wing/forward prospect with an excellent motor and hardnosed defensive approach. Williams was the only seventh-grader on this team, but showed fear of no one and looked to attack opponents on every possession. He got downhill and scored whenever he desired, able to get to the rim quickly and finish through any amount of contact. Williams is an amazing defender with a great feel and understanding of positioning and how to utilize his length to disrupt opponents. Next in his development process is working on his ability to shoot from beyond the arc, as it would make him a truly dominant two-way force. Phenom Coach on Williams: “John has tremendous leaping ability and can affect various different facets of the game. He plays hard and needs to remain under a fundamentally-sound coach.” Williams received votes for numerous awards at camp, but ultimately took home the Mr. Defense trophy with relative ease.
#63:6’3 ’23 Landon Ottone (Statesville, NC)
Finishing up, we look at a player that showcased a lot of legitimate long-term potential on both sides of the ball, Landon Ottone. He’s a big man with nice length and the ability to run the floor. Ottone is still learning the game, but he plays extremely hard on every possession and looks to impact the game however possible. He brings great energy and a positive attitude to each contest, but should look to become more aggressive. Ottone knows how to wall-up on defense and pursues every possible rebound around his area. Next in his development process is simply becoming more comfortable on the court and communicating with his teammates, as it’ll make the game much easier. Phenom Coach on Ottone: “Landon seems somewhat new to playing competitive basketball, but played hard. He brings a great attitude and is definitely coachable. He was a pleasure to coach and should continue to develop.” Ottone should be able to develop nicely over these next few years, especially if he’s willing to work.