Our Phenom Hoop Report head scouts have been debating about several topics and players from the Phenom Challenge LIVE. Don’t worry, it has all been fun and games but everyone loves to hear the thoughts of others on who is the best-of-the-best from the event. So, we broke it down into several topics.
Check out the thoughts of each scout on who they think is the best in each category.
Who has the highest ceiling from the #PhenomChallengeLIVE
Jeff Bendel: 6’7 ’21 Keeyan Itejere (UC27 Carolina Dreamchasers)
There were numerous guys in contention for this category, but Itejere gets the slight nod over Treyvon Byrd and Kuluel Mading. He has the most unique blend of skills, physical tools, and long-term upside, yet is already incredibly productive on both ends of the floor. Itejere dominates the paint by playing far above the rim on dunks, blocks, and rebounds, and will be a true two-way force with additional strength.
Miles Masercola: 6’7 2021 Treyvon Byrd: NC Ice
We’ve written extensively about Treyvon Byrd since the start of the travel ball season due to his ability to have jaw-dropping moments time and time again against any level of competition. He does a little bit of everything for this NC Ice team, and he’s really just starting to scratch the surface on what he can become. His awareness is rapidly developing, showing that he can make great reads in spots, while continuing to keep his foot on the gas in transition, soaring over defenders for gravity-defying finishes at the rim. His ability to shoot the ball is starting to turn questions into answers, as he is a capable perimeter threat that must be respected. Byrd is a defensive nightmare, with the quickness to stay in front of guards and the size/athleticism to make game-changing plays at that end of the court. Others Considered: 6’10 Kuluel Mading (NL Disciples) 6’1 2020 Jajuan Carr (WBC Elite), 6’5 2020 Ahmil Flowers
Jamie Shaw: 6’7/2021 Treyvon Byrd/ NC Ice 16s & 6’10/2020 Kuluel Mading/ New Light Disciples
This one I went back and forth on as both have a ridiculous set of raw tools. We will start with Byrd, the long, 6’7″ human highlight reel. He gets downhill with aggression and attacks the basket with ferocity. Byrd showcased the ability to shoot the ball opening the event with a 39 point game. Mading is 6’10” with a 7+’ wing span. He is a world-class runner, possibly the fastest in the entire event, as he switches ends with ease. Mading also showcased pristine timing blocking shots and the ability to step out and knock down the 3-ball. All in all, both have the highest level upside, and coaches at that level should get to know both ASAP, but they both have things to work on. Should be a fun year watching them grow. (Hat Tip to 6’3/2022 Lebron Thomas (FIBA SC))