North Carolina Phenom 150 Camp Evaluations
Coach Bryson Cousins
#67: 5’7 ’22 Isaiah Smith (High Point, NC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that understands how to constantly involve himself in the action on both ends of the floor, Isaiah Smith. He’s a young point guard prospect with an excellent team-first approach to the game. Offensively, Smith does most of his scoring from beyond the arc, but showed the ability to pull-up from midrange and finish at the basket. He passes pretty well in transition and runs the floor hard. Smith provides great energy on both sides of the ball and knows how to disrupt opponents with his motor. Next in his development process is continuing to tighten his handle, as it would allow him to create more scoring opportunities as a penetrator. Coach Cousins on Smith: “Isaiah is a hard worker and great teammate. He has a pretty reliable shot from the three-point line, but needs to become more vocal as a point guard and making plays for others.” Smith should continue improving over the next few seasons, as he’s just beginning his high school career.
#95:5’9 ’20 Tyler Cox (Durham, NC)
Next, we look at a player that possesses a pretty well-rounded approach and offensive skillset, Tyler Cox. He’s a point guard prospect that offers great energy, always looking to utilize his motor to overwhelm opponents. Offensively, Cox is capable of knocking down open shots from all levels while mixing it up and getting downhill fairly often. He’s a reliable catch-and-shoot option and has the ability to score on off-ball cuts. Cox displays nice positioning on defense and is solid at defending the point of attack. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would allow him to utilize the entire floor on offense. Coach Cousins on Cox: “Tyler is a hard worker and great teammate. He displays nice touch from the three-point line and is very active on defense. Tyler needs to work on his off-hand and becoming a more vocal presence.” Cox is a quality contributor and could be poised to enjoy a breakout junior season.
#113:5’11 ’21 Jordan Nelson (Charlotte, NC)
Moving onto a player that truly embraces his role and consistently operating within the team concept, Jordan Nelson. He’s a fairly young point guard prospect with quality vision and the ability to confine to various different roles. Nelson showed signs of a formidable three-point shot and could finish open chances around the rim, but his playmaking is his most reliable offensive approach. He’s sneaky-quick and does a nice job of getting by opponents and making plays inside the paint. Nelson works hard on defense and runs the floor very hard at all times. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would allow him to make a stronger impact as a cutter and spot-up shooter. Coach Cousins on Nelson: “Jordan is a quick guard with good court vision and team-first approach. He has good shot mechanics but can become more efficient. Needs to continue working to utilize his vision.” Nelson showed great flashes of two-way play at camp and could be a prospect worth keeping an eye on, especially given his young age.
#134:6’0 ’21 Omari Bolden (Winston-Salem, NC)
Continuing onto a player that made quite the impression with his ability to consistently score the ball, Omari Bolden. He’s a strong-bodied guard prospect with a solid feel for the game on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Bolden offers a nice balance of shooting and attacking the rim, able to vary his choice based on the opposition, and converts a strong majority of his attempts. He gets downhill well and finishes strong around the basket. Bolden is typically slotted off-ball, but possesses the ability to slide over and take on secondary ball-handling duties whenever necessary. He’s a terrific defender, both on and off-ball, and displays a clear desire to overwhelm his assignment with his motor. Next in his development process is working on moving without the ball, as it would allow him to seamlessly cut and spot-up without the ball. Coach Cousins on Bolden: “Omari is a really good ball-handler that breaks defenders down quickly. He should use quickness to make more plays for others and can become more vocal. He’s a hard worker and good teammate.” Bolden was among the most reliable scoring options on his team and enjoyed great success as a result.
#157:6’2 ’20 Austin Locklear (High Point, NC)
Next, we look at a player that provided his team with a nice, well-rounded presence on both ends of the floor, Austin Locklear. He’s a wiry guard prospect with great quickness and the ability to get by most opponents. Offensively, Locklear looks to attack and finish at the rim whenever possible, however, he’s also capable of regularly highlighting an effective midrange pull-up. He has quality footwork around the basket and shows a clear willingness to create scoring chances for others. Locklear is a solid overall defender, though he’s at his best when defending the point of attack. Next in his development process is working on his pursuit of rebounds, as he should be a plus-level rebounder for his position given his size and motor. Coach Cousins on Locklear: “Austin is a hard worker and good teammate. He was the MVP of our second game. Austin is very active on defense and can attack the rim at will. Once his three-point shot becomes consistent, he can take his scoring arsenal to the next level.” Locklear is intriguing and could be a prospect to keep an eye on going forward, especially if he continues working.
#172:6’2 ’20 Travis Edwards (Winston-Salem, NC)
Moving onto a player that was able to consistently highlight his active motor and positive attitude throughout camp, Travis Edwards. He’s a forward prospect that makes an impressive impact on defense while rarely forcing the action on offense. Edwards is a capable rip-through option and looks to finish at the rim on nearly every penetration attempt. On the other end, he utilizes his excellent footwork and quickness to contain his assignment quite well at all times. Edwards rebounds the ball nicely for his position and consistently hits the glass on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working on the makings of his jumper, as the ability to score from midrange or three-point territory would make him very problematic for opponents. Coach Cousins on Edwards: “Travis is an athletic rebounder that attacks the basket with aggression and strength. He needs to work on his off-hand and overall shooting mechanics. Travis is a hard worker and good teammate.” Edwards knows how to impact the game without stepping out of his comfort zone, so it’ll be interesting to see how his junior season unfolds.
#203:6’4 ’20 Kurtis Taylor III (Raleigh, NC)
Continuing onto a player with a pretty intriguing combination of size, touch, and defensive poise, Kurtis Taylor III. He’s a strong-bodied forward prospect that is capable of consistently affecting action on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Taylor typically sets up around the basket and prepares for offensive rebounds or dump-off passes from teammates, which he’s usually capable of finishing. He runs the floor pretty well and utilizes his strong motor to outwork his assignment in transition. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would allow him to utilize more angles on the floor. Coach Cousins on Taylor: “Kurtis is a long, athletic forward player with good touch around the paint. He can draw bigger defenders out and take them off the dribble. He has a quick first step when getting to the rim. Kurtis is a hard worker and good teammate.” Taylor is just beginning to realize his long-term potential and should continue steadily improving on both sides of the ball.
#205:6’4 ‘19 Shamarri Allen (Asheville, NC)
Next, we look at a player that possesses a terrific blend of productivity and long-term upside, Shemarri Allen. He’s a wiry, athletic guard prospect with great length and an excellent team-first approach. Offensively, Allen is able to score well on all three levels, but makes the most impact as a penetrator and midrange shooter. He displays a quality feel for the game and can finish strong through traffic. Allen is a solid defender, but could continue to improve, especially given his tools. Next in his development process is taking more pride in his transition defense, as it would allow him to highlight his leadership qualities and set the defensive tone. Coach Cousins on Allen: “Shemarri is an athletic guard that scores really well in transition. He is pretty active on defense and has the ability to force turnovers. He is a hard worker and good teammate. Shemarri was the MVP of our first game.” Allen is heading into his senior season, but could certainly see an uptick in his recruitment if he maintains the strong play that he showcased at camp.
#224:6’7 ’21 Hunter Sloop (Rockwell, NC)
Finishing up, we look at a player that brings a lot of polish and intrigue on both sides of the ball, Hunter Sloop. He’s a strong-bodied forward prospect with the ability to do a healthy amount of everything, from scoring to rebounding to even creating for others. Offensively, Sloop scores efficiently on all three levels and does an excellent job of operating from the elbow or out of the low-post. He rebounds really well on both ends of the floor and is capable of pushing transition play on defensive boards. Sloop has well-rounded athleticism, which complements his skillset nicely and allows him to overwhelm opponents in a vast variety of ways. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his quickness, as it will allow him to handle the ball more often while expanding his perimeter skills. Coach Cousins on Sloop: “Hunter is a great hustler and rebounder with nice touch around the basket. His range extends beyond the three-point line. Hunter was the MVP of our third game.” Sloop is a pretty unique prospect, especially given his age, and will be worth keeping an eye on over the next three years.