South Carolina Phenom 150 Evaluations
#57: 5’6 ’21 Robert Reed (Columbia, SC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that provided his team with great energy on both sides of the ball, Robert Reed. He’s a guard prospect with nice quickness and the ability to make plays on defense. Reed is usually slotted on-ball, but he moves extremely well as an off-ball cutter, able to slide between the seams and find scoring opportunities. He has an unselfish approach to the game and always looks to outwork everyone in transition play. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a shooter from midrange and beyond the arc, as it would make him a more deadly offensive threat. Coach Major on Reed: “Robert played hard during each game. He’s a good on-ball defender with a great attitude. Robert was a good teammate throughout camp. He needs to work on his ball-handling and jump shot.” There were numerous flashes of Reed’s two-way ability and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly he develops going forward.
#72: 5’9 ’21 Jett Hammes (Anderson, SC)
Next, we look at a player whose solid two-way presence is highlighted by a smooth three-point stroke, Jett Hammes. He’s a lead guard with the ability to play off-ball in a pinch. Hammes creates well and makes intelligent decisions as a playmaker, but he won’t hesitate to take advantage of a clear scoring opportunity. Offensively, he sets the floor, moves the ball, and quickly relocates; he moves purposefully without the ball and often looses his man in the process. Hammes shot the ball exceptionally well from midrange and beyond the arc, making him one of the main scoring threats on this team. Next in his development process is becoming a stronger/more consistent finisher at the rim, as it would make him a strong all-around scoring threat. Coach Major on Hammes: “Jett has nice ball-handling skills and is an excellent three-point shooter. He plays with a high motor and brings good help-defense. Jett sees the floor well and is a quality passer; he is very competitive and always plays hard.” Hammes showcased his ability to contribute on both sides of the ball, so we’ll be looking for him to maintain that same level of play over the coming months.
#80: 6’0 ’22 Emanuel Richards (Columbia, SC)
Moving onto a player that is young, hardworking, and physically advanced for his current age, Emanuel Richards. He’s an off-guard with a strong, athletic frame and the ability to make plays from beginning to end. Offensively, Richards has a nice understanding of how to space the floor and move without the ball. He picks his spots pretty well, especially from midrange, but typically looks to apply pressure as a penetrator and finisher. Richards rebounds the ball extremely well on both ends of the floor and scores an abundance of second-chance opportunities. Next in his development process is working on his overall three-point consistency, as it would make him a more complete player on offense. Coach Major on Richards: “Emanuel has nice size; it’s easy to see that he may have dominated at his grade level. He was very aggressive and initially had some turnover issues from playing with the older boys. After the second game, his skills and strength were well on display. He penetrated well and finished around the basket while also showcasing his ability to knock down shots. His upside as a ninth-grader is tremendous.” There’s no telling how skilled Richards will become, but we’ll be watching closely throughout his development process.
#92:5’11 ’21 Tyus Johnson (Columbia, SC)
Continuing onto a player with an intriguing overall skillset and the ability to penetrate to the rim whenever he wants, Tyus Johnson. He’s a lead guard with solid scoring instincts, consistently showcasing the ability to get by defenders and make plays with the ball. Johnson has a nice first step and knows how to utilize it, especially when looking to make plays for others. He exerts great effort on defense and plays with an excellent motor, always pursing the ball and attempting to create havoc. Next in his development process is to become a more poised defensive presence, as he has all the necessary tools to become a disciplined defender. Coach Major on Johnson: “Tyus has great toughness on the offensive side, driving to the basket at will and finishing everything at the rim. He has nice range on his jumper and plays more mature than his age would imply. If he commits to defense, he will be one to watch in the future.” Johnson is at a quality crossroads right now, between age and skill development. He’s already ahead of the curve, but he should continue putting in the necessary work to become a two-way monster.
#99: 6’2 ’21 Ty Schaafsma (Charleston, SC)
Next, we look at a player that brought scrappiness, toughness, and an unselfish approach to this team, Ty Schaafsma. He’s a guard prospect with the willingness to do anything to win, from making the hustle plays, to defending the best opposing player—he’ll attempt to make it happen. Offensively, Schaafsma showcased his ability to move without the ball and find scoring chances through spotting-up around the perimeter. He displays a solid feel for the game and doesn’t force bad shots. Schaafsma rebounded the ball very well throughout camp and lead the break in transition multiple times. Next in his development process is become a better all-around defender, as it will make him a more complete two-way player. Coach Major on Schaafsma: “Ty is a strong rebounder that plays with a high motor. He has nice three-point range as a shooter and was a good teammate today. He also displays a good IQ and above-average passing skills. He needs to improve his footwork on defense, but has a lot of upside as a prospect in the Class of 2021.” Schaafsma has clear basketball ability and we’ll be actively tracking his growth over the next few years.
#111: 6’2 ’22 Avion McBride (Florence, SC)
Moving onto a player that has a strong two-way presence to pair with his quality upside, Avion McBride. He’s a wing prospect with long arms and an impressive overall motor. McBride utilizes his length exceptionally well on rebounding opportunities, able to secure the board and push the break. He fights hard on the offensive glass too, where he frequently pulled down and finished second-chance opportunities. McBride is great in the open floor and displays pretty strong instincts in transition, able to consistently take it himself or pass to the open man. Next in his development process is becoming a more reliable three-point shooter, as it would make him a very difficult player for opponents to contain. Coach Major on McBride: “Avion has nice length and is another young player that you can tell probably dominated at his age group. He’s a strong rebounder with quality athleticism. Avion plays well with his teammates and runs the floor nicely. He needs to get stronger, which should come with age.” McBride was among the youngest players on this team, but he certainly made a lasting impression at camp and could be one to keep an eye on.
#119: 6’3 ’22 Marcus Kell (Fort Mill, SC)
Continuing onto a player that currently possesses a pretty strong blend of ability and upside, Marcus Kell. He’s a wing prospect with a strong two-way presence. Offensively, Kell is capable of scoring from all three levels, and shows a nice understanding of how to utilize his length inside the paint. He moves really well without the ball, able to score a lot of his points as a spot-up threat or rebounder. Kell is a quality on-ball defender, but can still improve his attention and focus when guarding off-ball. Next in his development process is becoming a better penetrator, as it would make him a very imposing all-around threat on offense. Coach Major on Kell: “Marcus is another player that has likely dominated at his grade level. He has great size and length for a ninth grader with a lot of upside as well. Marcus is a solid defender, especially when defending the ball. He handles the ball well and consistently knocks down shots from beyond the arc, also shooting well off the dribble. He brings a good attitude and was not overwhelmed by the competition. He will continue to grow and, with improved strength, will be tough to guard. Marcus was also a good rebounder.” It’s difficult to envision a scenario where Kell doesn’t continue to improve on both ends of the floor and we will be watching his growth along the way.
#130: 6’1 ’21 Isayah Owens (Columbia, SC)
Next, we look at a player that was able to run a team on both sides of the ball throughout camp, Isayah Owens. He’s a point guard with size and athleticism, which already makes him a headache for opponents. Add in the ability to score whenever and wherever he desires, and Owens is extremely difficult cover for most opposing guard prospects. He has a lightning-quick first step that he utilizes to blow past defenders and get into the lane, where he’s able to score or assist to a teammate. Owens shot the ball efficiently from the floor and displayed an excellent IQ at all times. He was a leader on this team and it showed on the defensive end, forcing turnovers and consistently getting stops. Next in his development process is continuing to improve as a three-point shooter, as it would make him virtually uncontainable for most opponents. Coach Major on Owens: “Isayah has quality ball-handling skills and is able to get into the paint at will. He finishes strong at the rim and shot the ball particularly well in game one, securing the MVP. Isayah is also a strong on-ball defender with toughness. He responds well to criticism and has high upside for the Class of 2021.” Owens was among the top two-way players on his team; it’ll be exciting to see how he builds off his strong showing at camp.
#137: 6’6 ’20 Benjamin Burnham (Fort Mill, SC)
Moving onto a player that stood out all day long at camp, from the skills and drills to the games, Benjamin Burnham. He’s a forward with the ability to toggle between multiple positions and roles on the basketball floor. Offensively, Burnham is capable of being the main creator, given his ability to consistently beat opponents off the bounce and score from all three levels. He scored effectively and efficiently from all three levels, but his bounciness is what took most on-lookers by surprise. Burnham was a constant threat to put his teeth on the rim on blocks, dunks, and rebounds. He showcased a nice blend of athleticism, skill, and leadership on both sides of the ball. Next in his development process is to become a better passer, as he possesses the necessary vision to make plays, he just has to get sharper with his angles. Coach Major on Burnham: “Ben Burnham is a beast! He drove to the basket and dunked on his defender multiple times. He had multiple traditional three-point plays (inside the arc) and was a pretty strong outside shooter as well. Ben is an excellent rebounder on both sides of the floor. He finished with 25 points and was the MVP of our second game. He’s a solid off-ball defender, but he can still improve as an all-around defender. He is definitely among the top players in his class in attendance.” Burnham was one of the top all-around players at camp and just narrowly missed out on winning an award. He should have a huge junior season, especially if he continues to play like he did at camp.
#146:6’6 ’20 Leon Moore III (Columbia, SC)
Finishing things up, we look at a player that is often forced to play out of position, but seems to always make an impact, Leon Moore III. He’s a long-armed forward with terrific defensive upside, given his ability to defend all frontcourt positions. Offensively, Moore displays quality touch around the basket and has the ability to play above the rim. Right now, he’s most effective at finishing over his left shoulder and finishing second-chance opportunities on rebounds. He patrols the paint quite well on defense and shows great timing when contesting and altering shots. Next in his development process is continuing to add more perimeter skills to his game, as it would make him extremely difficult for opponents to contain. Coach Major on Moore: “Leon has great length and a quality motor to match. He’s a great rebounder on both ends of the floor and displays solid moves around the basket. With a little more strength, he will be quite tough to handle.” Moore was solid throughout the summer, but we’ll be looking for him to take that next step after his showing at camp.