Phenom Hoops has released their rankings for North Carolina’s class of 2021 and boy, are there some good prospects.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, here are our rankings: NC’s Class of 2022

With our latest rankings, let’s dive in and breakdown the Top-5 players in the class as our scouts provided their thoughts on each prospect.

6’3 Jaden Bradley
(Cannon School)

  • Bradley has earned the nickname “Silk” and rightfully so. Standing a strong and sturdy 6’3, Bradley is a high IQ, cerebral, fundamentally sound and yes “silky smooth” point guard. Currently, Bradley is in the conversation as one of the nation’s best at the “lead guard” position. He has the ability to control the tempo and plays with tremendous poise, and simply knows how to run a team effectively. Simply put, he makes his teammates better and has a delicate balance between scoring and dishing out assists. – Rick Lewis
  • Bradley is the consummate modern-day lead guard. He has the handle to go with good length, athleticism & vision. When he goes through his spurts of when he wants to dominate, he is something to watch. ESPN has him in the Top 10 and he is one of 3 guys who are Team USA staples. – Jamie Shaw
  • It’s easy to see why so many folks are already huge fans of Bradley, as he’s long, athletic, and very skilled from the point guard position. He handles the ball and creates for himself and others at a pretty reliable rate. Bradley utilizes his length well when defending or attacking and finishing over/around contact. Bradley checks a ton of physical boxes and has the skillset to match, which has already led to a ton of high-level offers. – Jeff Bendel

6’5 MJ Rice
(Durham School)

  • Strong, athletic and explosive! MJ Rice is a walking highlight and can complete dominant a game with his elite-level athleticism. That being said, we’ve been impressed with his competitiveness, hustle and hard-nosed approach to the game. Always in attack mode, Rice is relentless at getting to the rim with thunderous dunks. In addition, Rice is underrated as a top-line defender. He simply has the length, strength, and athleticism that makes him one of the toughest two-way players in the state. – Rick Lewis
  • Rice is probably the most physically dominating player in this class in North Carolina. The wing has ball/initiation skills to go with a college-ready frame and elite level explosion. The game is still slowing down for him, as he continues to get big reps he will only get better. He’s ranked among the nation’s Top 20 and he is one of 3 guys who are Team USA staples. – Jamie Shaw
  • As the most physically-dominant prospect in North Carolina’s Class of 2022, Rice has certainly solidified himself as a special type of talent. That being said, Rice has also done an incredible job of expanding/developing his skillset and becoming a reliable offensive leader while maintaining his poise and versatility on defense. He’s a game-changing rebounder and defensive presence that can now operate as the primary creator for himself and others. – Jeff Bendel

6’3 Jalen Hood-Schifino
(Combine Academy)

  • Poise and maturity are synonymous with Jalen Hood-Schifino. The physically mature point guard is advanced beyond his age/grade and is without question one of the premier point guards in the country. Sporting a college-ready frame, he has already played on the national stage and has proven to be a coach on the floor. The calm, cool and collect Hood-Schifino plays like a veteran guard, not to mention one of the most genuine and humble young players for his high-ranking status. – Rick Lewis
  • The two pieces that stand out about Hood Schifino are his positional size along with his feel and poise for the game. He has great vision and plays with a great pace. He is being recruited by many of the high majors, is a Top 25 Prospect and he is one of 3 guys who are Team USA staples. – Jamie Shaw
  • There’s so much to like with Hood-Schifino, who has an unbelievable blend of size and skill at the point guard position. He’s so smooth and has been more mature/advanced than a vast majority of the players in his class for quite some time. Hood-Schifino has continually improved as a scorer but has maintained and embraced his identity as a pass-first guy. – Jeff Bendel

6’11 Patrick Wessler
(Butler High School)

  • What’s not to like about a highly-skilled big? Wessler is one of the most fundamentally sound, high IQ and complete players in the state for his size/position. The southpaw has a soft shooting touch and can play with his back to the basket or step out and consistently knock down the face-up 15-foot jump shot. Sporting excellent and passer friendly hands, Wessler is a willing passer out of the post and is a terrific passer for a player his size. In addition, Wessler is tremendous in setting the pick and roll and pick and pop. – Rick Lewis
  • What is not to like Wessler’s future. The 6’11 lefty has hands, touch, toughness, and length to go with his legit size. He will be a double/double threat for Butler HS this season, his ability to pick/pop, put the ball on the floor & finish with his back to the basket brings back memories of Jason Collier. Expect the HM recruitment to pick up for him as he becomes a commodity at that level. – Jamie Shaw
  • Looking for size, skill, and fluidity? Then Wessler would be an excellent candidate for Division I coaches to start tracking now. Folks need to start getting excited about his long-term potential, as he’s already undeniably skilled and plays with an aggressive mean-streak on both ends of the floor. Wessler is so polished on the low-block but also has the ability to stretch the floor and operate off the bounce. – Jeff Bendel

6’7 DJ Nix
(Cannon School)

  • Tough, resilient, versatile and aggressive! DJ Nix simply has a nose for the ball. He plays with a full-throttle approach and brings a workmanlike approach to each and every game. Don’t be surprised if Nix averages a double-double in points and rebounds this season. More importantly, Nix doesn’t demand the ball and will score within the framework of the offense, not to mention picking up garbage and hustle points. One thing is for certain, you don’t and won’t have to teach effort. – Rick Lewis
  • Nix has basketball in his genes as his father played collegiately at the D1 level. He is a jack of all trades wing whose motor is probably the first thing you notice. He can put on the floor some and defend multiple positions. As he continues to carve out himself positionally, expect the offers to continue flowing. – Jamie Shaw
  • In terms of sheer physicality, few players are going to draw as much attention as Nix, who simply plays with a rugged, blue-collar mentality. He’s somewhat between positions, but has a phenomenal motor and simply knows how to make his presence felt in a variety of different ways. Nix can handle the ball, attack the basket, and switch across multiple positions defensively. – Jeff Bendel

 

Notes:

North Carolina’s 2022 Class is reminiscent of 2016 somewhat. There are 3 players trending nationally, among the Top 25 as well as a slew of others who will be High major recruits. There will be a lot of fluidity in these rankings moving forward, but it’s already trending in big-time level.