North Carolina Phenom 150 Session 3: Evaluation Team 3
#3: 5’7 ’22 Messiah Robertson (Statesville, NC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that contributed nicely while showcasing quality long-term upside, Messiah Robertson. He’s a young point guard prospect that offers a pretty solid balance between scoring and playmaking. Robertson plays hard on both ends of the floor and was able to contain his assignment fairly well on defense. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it’ll help improve his ability to finish inside the paint. Coach Smith on Robertson: “Messiah is a point guard that can penetrate and find open teammates. He’s a solid defender that can contain his on-ball assignment from the perimeter. He shoots the ball decently well from the floor. Messiah can continue to work on holding his follow through and finishing around the rim.” Robertson is young and displayed a pretty well-rounded skillset, so it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses going forward.
#17: 5’9 ’20 Jacquez Smith (Salisbury, NC)
Next, we look at a player that showcased a solid skillset and approach on both sides of the ball, Jacquez Smith. He’s a strong-bodied guard prospect that looks to create for others whenever possible, but also knows when to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities. He showed the ability to knock down open shots and fill the lane effectively in transition. Next in his development process is working to improve his body, as it’ll make him a more dynamic threat with the ball in his hands. Coach Smith on Smith: “Jacquez is a point guard with a great strong build. He penetrates strong to his left hand, which makes it hard for opponents to keep him out of the lane. He plays good defense on the ball as well as helping on the interior. He needs to continue to work on his off-hand.” Smith understands how to operate quite well within the team concept and showed the ability to impact the game consistently during his time at camp.
#24: 5’10 ’21 Adrian Durham-Thomas (Manson, NC)
Moving onto a player that possesses a pretty solid crossroads between productivity and long-term potential, Adrian Durham-Thomas. He’s a guard prospect with a nice combination of strength, athleticism, and motor, which allows him to consistently overwhelm opponents. Durham-Thomas looked to attack the rim whenever possible and was able to convert a healthy amount of his attempts. Next in his development process is working to tighten his ball-handling skills, as it would make him a more reliable creator for himself and others. Coach Smith on Durham-Thomas: “Adrian is a left-handed guard with a strong frame and the ability to attack the rim. He shot the ball decently well during camp. He has a great attitude and was very coachable. I loved his work ethic. Adrian did a nice job of moving without the ball and can continue to work on his off-hand.” Durham-Thomas’ relentless hustle and team-first approach should allow him to contribute to any team, including his own high school during the upcoming season.
#37: 6’0 ’21 Aavanth Ezhilan (Mooresville, NC)
Continuing onto a player that provided his team with a pretty reliable two-way presence throughout camp, Aavanth Ezhilan. He’s a guard prospect that is capable of operating with or without the ball and finding success. Ezhilan displayed a solid feel for the game and can score or create plays for others. He’s an efficient spot-up option, but also showed a willingness to drive hard and finish around the basket. Next in his development process is working to become a better leader on both ends of the floor, as he possesses the necessary ability to do so. Coach Ezhilan: “Aavanth is a true point guard with great range and accuracy from beyond the three-point line. He has a high IQ for the game and plays with a calm approach to both sides of the ball, which allows him to play at different speeds. He has a great attitude, but needs to become more vocal.” Ezhilan enjoyed a quality showing at camp and should be able to continually progress over the coming years.
#46: 6’0 ’20 Nathan Schoone (Greensboro, NC)
Next, we look at a player that worked extremely hard and was willing to do anything to provide his team with an edge, Nathan Schoone. He’s a combo-guard prospect that operates nicely within the team concept. Schoone is capable of knocking down open shots and penetrated aggressively whenever possible. He’s a decent off-ball defender, but can continue to work on staying in front of his man. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him a more dynamic creator and scoring threat. Coach Schoone: “Nathan is a combo-guard that has an excellent attitude. He takes criticism well and has a strong body, which allows him to defend nicely. Nathan did a good job of running the floor and filling the lane. He moves well without the ball, but can continue to work on his off-hand.” Schoone competes with passion and it shows on both ends of the floor; he should be a solid contributor for Grimsley this upcoming season.
#60: 6’0 ’21 Lawrence “LT” Thomas (Gastonia, NC)
Moving onto a player that arguably possessed more skill and long-term upside than anyone in attendance, Lawrence “LT” Thomas. He’s a long, wiry guard prospect with an exceptional feel for the game. Thomas showed the ability to dominate opponents while generating scoring opportunities for his teammates. He’s an efficient three-level scorer that can get downhill and play above the rim whenever he desires. Thomas possesses such an advanced sense on both ends of the court and effortlessly forced turnovers throughout the day. Next in his development process is working to assert himself as a vocal two-way leader, as he possesses all the necessary tools to lead while dominating. Coach Smith on Thomas: “LT is a very athletic guard that can shoot the ball well from midrange and beyond the arc. He can penetrate to the basket and finish strong. He’s a tough defender that knows how to play the game. LT has a great attitude, but should work on playing with a consistent motor.” Thomas was easily one of the most impressive all-around prospect on display and should be actively monitored by numerous Division I programs, especially considering that he’s only entering his sophomore season.
#65: 6’2 ’19 Matthew Lee (Durham, NC)
Continuing onto a player was able to highlight his scoring ability quite well during his time at camp, Matthew Lee. He’s a wing prospect that plays with great energy and looks to bother opponents with his size. Lee looked to attack the rim and finish whenever possible, but also showed a willingness to create plays for others and set up his big man on penetration attempts. Next in his development process is working to refine his shooting mechanics, as it would make him a more consistent perimeter shooter. Coach Smith on Lee: “Matthew is a combo guard with nice length and athleticism. He has a great attitude and was a very coachable young man. He possesses strong ball-handling skills and knows how to properly feed the post. Matthew has a good understanding of the game, but can continue to improve his three-point shooting.” Lee is a solid two-way prospect and should be able to carve out a meaningful role with Mt. Zion throughout the upcoming season.
#81: 6’4 ’24 Elijah Slaughter (Greensboro, NC)
Next, we look at a player that was able to showcase an incredible amount of long-term potential at camp, Elijah Slaughter. He’s a long, wiry forward prospect that is just beginning to scratch the surface of his two-way abilities. Slaughter plays hard and does a nice job of deferring to teammates, but should steadily become more comfortable in his abilities over time. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength and sharpen his overall feel for the game, as he could become special one day. Coach Smith on Slaughter: “Elijah has an excellent attitude and took criticism well throughout the day. He worked hard and gave his best effort on both ends of the floor. Elijah did an excellent job of running the floor in transition. He can work on catching and facing the basket.” Slaughter is extremely young and already possesses an advanced physical frame. He’ll be a major prospect to watch grow, especially if he’s able to continue refining his perimeter skills.
#85: 6’4 ’19 Javon Outlaw (Goldsboro, NC)
Moving onto a player that was able to display a strong scoring sense throughout his time at camp, Javon Outlaw. He’s a long, wiry wing/forward prospect that does an impeccable job of attacking defenses and utilizing his length around the basket to finish. Outlaw can shoot, but is most reliable when attacking the rim. He’s a disruptive defender and has the tools to become great, especially if he adds strength and becomes more vocal. Next in his development process is working on his ability to consistently shoot from beyond the arc, as it would make him a really dangerous assignment against most opponents. Coach Smith on Outlaw: “Javon is an athletic wing that can run the floor well and finish strong through traffic. He’s a long and lanky kid that can defend quite well. He has decent dribbling skills and can find teammates whenever they are open. Javon can continue to improve his shooting ability.” Outlaw has proven time and again that he can compete with anyone and should certainly see a boost in his recruitment during his upcoming senior season.
#89: 6’5 ’19 Elroy Clark (Durham, NC)
Continuing onto a player that showed the ability to make nonstop contributions on both sides of the ball, Elroy Clark. He’s a strong-bodied wing/forward prospect with a quality feel for the game. Clark attacked the basket and finished pretty well on penetration attempts. He showed solid versatility on defense and rebounded the ball extremely well for his position. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a more impactful ball-handler and finisher. Coach Smith on Clark: “ Elroy is a true shooting guard that can score in a lot of different ways. He can shoot from midrange, beyond the arc, or put it on the floor whenever necessary. Elroy rebounds well for his position and displayed a high IQ for the game. He passes well in transition and can work to improve his on-ball defense.” Clark knows how to play and make his presence consistently felt, which is just part of what will allow him to enjoy a productive upcoming season at Mt. Zion.
#102: 6’8 ’19 Sean “Tony” Hauser Jr. (Charlotte, NC)
Finishing up, we look at a player that consistently displays a firm understanding of how to impact the game on both ends of the floor, Sean “Tony” Hauser Jr. He’s a throwback big man, given his scoring moves and ability to thrive out of the low post. Hauser possesses exceptional patience and touch around the basket, and knows how to apply quality pressure as a passer. He moves well for his size and runs the floor with great purpose. Hauser has three-level scoring ability, but knows his strengths are on the interior. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it will make him a more complete two-way player. Coach Smith on Hauser: “Tony has a strong post body and displays good footwork around the basket. He can finish with both hands and has a high IQ for the game. Tony shoots the three-pointer well for his position. He can continue to improve his conditioning, so that he can run the floor better.” Hauser is such a fundamentally-sound big man on both ends of the floor and should expect to see an uptick in his recruitment during the upcoming season.