North Carolina Phenom 150 Session 3: Evaluation Team 6
Coach Antonio Threadgill
#7: 5’7 ’22 Sam Hepler (Hickory, NC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that was able to contribute nicely throughout camp, Sam Hepler. He’s a young guard prospect that showed the ability to knock down shots and work well within the team concept. Hepler knows how to defer to others and when to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities. He worked hard on defense and should continue to grow on that end of the floor. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it would allow him to become a more dynamic threat off the dribble. Coach Threadgill on Hepler: “Sam is a good passer and quality team defender. He moves his feet well on defense and operates nicely without the basketball. Sam is a smart player, but need to continue playing in order to develop his overall skillset. He can also work to add strength.” Hepler has some solid skills, but should continue working to maximize his skillset, especially given his young age.
#14: 5’9 ’21 Arun Somasundaram (Winston-Salem, NC)
Next, we look at a player that showed the ability to make his presence felt on both ends of the floor, Arun Somasundaram. He’s a wiry guard prospect that displayed a solid feel for the game. Somasundaram was able to knock down shots from the perimeter or make plays for others. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it would allow him to be more assertive in hunting for his shot. Coach Threadgill on Somasundaram: “Arun did a great job of moving the basketball on offense and frequently looked to make the extra pass. He shoots it pretty well, but can continue to work on ball-handling and finishing strong around the rim. Arun understands what he can and can’t do on the floor and doesn’t overdo things.” Somasundaram knows how to play hard and within in his role, so it’ll be interesting to see his productivity over the coming years.
#27: 5’10 ’22 Kaali McCullough (Rural Hall, NC)
Moving onto a player that highlighted his excellent foundation and intriguing array of skills during camp, Kaali McCullough. He’s a young guard prospect with a solid frame and the ability to overwhelm opponents with his energy on both ends of the floor. McCullough is a capable three-level scorer, but typically looks to create easy scoring chances for teammates. He displayed a solid feel for the game and was able to force multiple turnovers on defense. Next in his development process is working to become a more consistent three-point shooter, as it would make him a very intriguing two-way prospect, especially for his age. Coach Threadgill on McCullough: “Kaali had one of the best attitude in camp, always asking what he could do to get better. He always plays the game with great effort and runs the floor very well in transition. Kaali finishes nicely around the basket and communicates well on the defensive end. He plays the game very unselfishly.” McCullough showed a lot of translatable skills at camp, but his attitude and intangibles will always make him a favorite amongst coaches.
#34: 5’11 ’21 Noah Watkins (Asheboro, NC)
Continuing onto a player that was able to consistently elevate his game throughout the day, Noah Watkins. He’s a guard prospect that offered a nice blend of ball-handling, scoring, and creating for others. Watkins showed the ability to defend within the team concept and contain his assignment. Next in his development process is working on his ability to create for others, as it would make him an especially intriguing point guard prospect. Coach Threadgill on Watkins: “Noah played a lot better in the second half of the day. He’s a good ball-handler that was able to get to the basket. He performs better as an off-ball threat than as an on-ball creator. He did a good job of hustling and pursuing loose balls. I would like to see him work on not overdribbling the basketball when slotted at the point guard position.” Watkins showed a lot of intrigue during his time at camp and should continue working to refine his two-way skillset going forward.
#42: 6’0 ’19 Jaelen Whitley (Charlotte, NC)
Next, we look at a player that was able to bother opponents in a wide variety of ways, Jaelen Whitley. He’s a strong-bodied guard prospect that showed the ability to score efficiently from all levels while constantly creating for others. Whitley possesses excellent quickness and it shows on both ends of the floor, as he’s able to enter the paint whenever he desires on offense while mirroring his assignment on defense. Next in his development process is working to better utilize his strength advantage against smaller guards around the basket. Coach Threadgill on Whitley: “Jaelen is skilled and possesses a dog-like mentality on defense. He’s very good with the ball in his hands, able to make plays for himself and others. He’s a great finisher at the rim and uses his body to ward off defenders in order to get a clean shot off.” Whitley is a very skilled and well-rounded player, which should certainly allow him to be among the main two-way contributors for his high school during the upcoming season.
#57: 6’1 ’19 Dylan Jones (Rougemont, NC)
Moving onto a player that provided his team with a lot of energy on both ends of the floor during camp, Dylan Jones. He’s a guard prospect with a pretty well-rounded skillset, able to fill various different roles within a team. Jones knocked down the open shot regularly and made passes to open teammates whenever possible. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his ability to create scoring opportunities off the bounce, as it would make him a more impactful offensive threat. Coach Threadgill on Jones: “Dylan plays aggressively on both ends of the floor. He’s a good on-ball defender that possesses quality strength and rebounds the ball quite well for a guard. He moves well without the ball in his hands, but needs to continue playing to refine his understanding of the game. Dylan is a great team player that communicates well on the floor with teammates.” Jones bought in nicely to the team concept and was able to contribute effectively on both sides of the ball during his time at camp.
#68: 6’2 ’20 Nathan Green (North Charleston, SC)
Continuing onto a player that was able to effectively highlight his intriguing skillset throughout camp, Nathan Green. He’s a strong-bodied big man knows how to bully opponents with his size, despite his lack of height. Green utilizes his body extremely well to navigate around the basket and create space to score. He rebounds the ball very well and passes the ball ahead quickly in transition. Next in his development process is working to extend the range of his jumper, as it would add an entirely new dimension to his offensive approach. Coach Threadgill on Green: “I love the way Nathan plays. He’s a strong, old-fashioned post player with good moves around the basket. He’s a good rebounder that runs the floor well. I would’ve loved to see him get more offensive chances. Nathan is a good physical presence that showed the ability to finish around the basket.” Green is somewhat unique, but showed the ability to make a consistent impact on both ends of the floor and should be expected to contribute nicely during the upcoming season.
#77: 6’4 ’21 Trajan Green (Greensboro, NC)
Next, we look at a player that possesses a lot of intrigue and two-way upside, Trajan Green. He’s a long wing prospect that is still just beginning to scratch the surface of his abilities. Green knows how to cut without the ball and find seams within the defense. He utilized his length well on defense to pressure opposing ball-handlers and alter shots around the rim. Next in his development process is working to add strength to his wiry frame, as it would allow him to absorb more contact and finish on penetration attempts. Coach Threadgill on Green: “Trajan is long with an impressive wingspan. He plays unselfishly and moves well without the basketball. He needs to work on getting in the weight room and adding strength to his frame. Trajan is learning how to finish at the rim.” Green is still quite young and possesses a solid array of tools to work with, so it’ll be interesting to see how he develops over the coming years.
#90: 6’4 ’19 Jay’den Turner (High Point, NC)
Moving onto a player that showcased an abundance of two-way polish and versatility during his time at camp, Jay’den Turner. He’s a long, athletic combo-forward prospect that does a strong amount of everything on the court. Turner is a walking mismatch on offense, given his efficient three-level scoring and ability to attack off the dribble. He displays a great feel for the game and gets to the rim with relative ease. Turner defends multiple positions whenever necessary and is capable of piling up blocks and steals. He’s very overwhelming for opponents to handle in transition, especially when he’s looking to score. Next in his development process is working on his ball-handling ability under pressure, as it would allow him to create scoring opportunities for others with less strain. Coach Threadgill on Turner: “Jay’den does a great job of using his first step to get around defenders. He’s a great rebounder and his second jump is always better than the playing defending him. He’s a great hustler that gets out in transition and finishes well above the rim.” Turner is an extremely talented and versatile prospect, which is a major part of why college coaches should be actively pursuing him.
#94: 6’6 ’20 Collin Wilson (Graham, NC)
Finishing up, we look at a player that was able to show flashes of offensive dominance during camp, Collin Wilson. He’s a strong-bodied big man that stretches the floor exceptionally well and applies constant pressure as a post-up threat. Wilson utilizes his size nicely around the basket to rebound and finish through contact. He’s very skilled for his size, able to handle the ball and create really well for himself or others. Wilson knows how to make his presence consistently felt on defense and does a terrific job of altering shots around the basket. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would allow him to play on the perimeter more frequently. Coach Threadgill on Wilson: “Collin is very skilled. He can use either hand to finish around the basket. He’s big with a great body and embraces physical play. He does a good job of rebounding on both ends of the floor. Collin handles the ball well for his position and can start the break. He’s a load inside the paint and has great footwork.” Wilson was certainly among the top performers on display, winning the Mr. Station trophy as a result, and should certainly emerge as a college-worthy prospect sooner than later.