For the sixth consecutive year, Phenom Hoop Report travelled up to Oak Hill the first Monday of the fall NCAA viewing period. Legendary coach Steve Smith is entering his 34th season at Oak Hill. Coach Smith has complied an unprecedented 1118-72 record. In other words, Coach Smith has won 94% of his games and has won nine national high school championships. Year after year, Oak Hill is competing for the national championship and this year is no exception. This year’s roster is loaded with depth, length and athleticism and may be one of Oak Hill’s deepest teams in the last ten years. Now, let’s take a closer look at the players that stood out the most at open gym. Unfortunately, 6’3 Cole Anthony is currently out with a hand injury and was unable to play at open gym.
Based upon their play at open gym, the play of 6’8 2019 Chandler Lawson and 6’3 2020 Cam Thomas literally stole the show on the Monday. Up first is 6’8 Chandler Lawson who is blessed with tremendous length. (He sports an amazing 7’6 wing span) He was definitely the best two-way player at open gym. Simply put, Lawson gets his hands on a lot of shots. He is either getting block shots, deflections, or altering the shot of his opponent. He really created havoc the entire day defensively. On offense, Lawson showed good range and occasionally knocked down some 3-pointers, although he could use a “tad” more arch on his shot. That being said, Lawson was very active on both ends of the court and also impressed us with his ball handling in the open court.
We first watched 6’3 2020 Cam Thomas a few years back at a Phenom event. We were impressed then and even more impressed at open gym. Thomas has outstanding range. Simply put, he is just a “bucket getter.” Thomas has the ability to create his own shot off the dribble or is equally effective in a catch and shoot situation. No matter what, Thomas can flat out score the ball. Thomas has a strong frame and lengthy arms and plays much taller than his listed height.
Mountain of a Man
6’11 290 pound Kofi Cockburn is just one huge player. That being said, we were impressed with his ability to run the floor, motor, athleticism and his fluidness around the rim. Cockburn can score from either shoulder using the jump hook shot. In addition, he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and utilize a nifty reverse spin move in the paint. In our opinion, he is much more skilled in the paint as an offensive scorer than David McCormack. That being said, we would like to see Cockburn be a little more aggressive on the boards.
Tough as Nails
6’5 2019 Jahmius Ramsey is just a physically strong scoring guard. He has a chiseled frame and can hurt you in so many ways. We were really impressed with Ramsey at the CP3 Backcourt camp. Ramsey will be used at both guard positions and looked the most confidence at the lead guard position with the injury to Cole Anthony. Ramsey is always in attack mode and has a “warrior like” mentality and relentless approach to the game.
6’0 2019 Evan Johnson will bring instant offense to Oak Hill this season. The bouncy and athletic guard has unbelievable range and has a super quick release. While he can play both guard positions, we strongly feel Johnson will be used as the team’s most effective 3-point shooter.
6’8 2019 BJ Mack isn’t the flashiest player on the court, but will always bring a rock steady approach to the game. We really like his ability to stretch the defense with this midrange and ability to consistently knock down the 3-point shot.
Head coaches in attendance
Frank Martin (South Carolina), Jeff Capel (Pitt), Chris Mullin (St. Johns), Chris Beard (Texas Tech), Brian Gregory (South Florida)
Assistant coaches in attendance
Wilbur Allen (App State), Larry Dixon (South Florida), Chuck Martin (South Carolina), Win Case (Ole Miss), Tim O’Toole (Pitt) and assistants from St. John and Notre Dame