Tennessee Phenom 150 Evaluations
Coach: Russell Biven
#33:5’10 ’21 Jalen Branton (Burnsville, NC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that brought an excellent attitude and team-first approach to camp, Jalen Branton. He’s a guard prospect with the ability to thrive when slotted off-ball. Branton displayed the ability to knock down shots from midrange and three-point territory while consistently looking to make the extra pass. He moved well without the ball and showed a fiery sense on the defensive side of the ball. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength, as it’ll allow him to become more of a threat on defense and off the dribble. Coach Biven on Branton: “Jalen is a hard worker and good teammate. He communicated whenever possible and made multiple hustle plays on the day. Jalen knocked down shots and wanted to get his teammates involved frequently. He had a nice IQ for the game.” It’ll be interesting to see how Branton continues to shape his game, as he’s already laid a solid foundation as a spot-up shooter and high-motor player.
#34:5’10 ’20 Nate English (Smithfield, PA)
Next, we look at a player that played with an outstanding motor on both sides of the ball, Nate English. He’s a guard prospect with a solid frame and the ability to disrupt opponents throughout the course of a game. Offensively, English can handle the ball, but he makes the most efficient use of his touches as an off-ball threat. He scored the ball quite well throughout the day and never forced the action on either end of the floor. English displayed a nice understanding of defense and how to force turnovers on a fairly consistent basis, especially in transition. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his ability to penetrate and score off the dribble, as it would make him a more dynamic offensive threat. Coach Biven on Enlgish: “Nate was another guy that contributed to our team in a variety of ways. He looked to make teammates better and showcased a nice three-point shot with deep range. Nate plays hard and did a nice job of containing his assignment on defense.” English will be one to monitor, as his upcoming junior season should be pivotal for his development.
#35:5’10 ’19 Noah Morison (Thompson’s Station)
Moving onto a player that showcased an incredible understanding of how to operate the point guard position, Noah Morrison. He’s a floor general with IQ and the ability to elevate each of his teammates on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Morrison is quick, shifty, and makes sharp movements with the ball; he effectively gets by opponents and possesses quality ball-handling skills. His vision is absolutely terrific and he knows how to truly manipulate opposing defenses with his passing ability. Morrison frequently utilized his quickness to enter the paint, where he attacked the rim with aggression. Though small, he was able to finish through contact and make a constant impact as a cutter. He’s deceptive on defense and forced numerous steals throughout the day. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would give him the full offensive package. Coach Biven on Morrison: “Noah is a tremendous point guard that sees the floor extremely well and commands respect from teammates and opponents. He has a great IQ and knows how to run a team. Noah was coachable and brought a great approach to the game.” Morrison was among the top lead guards on display and made an impressive impact at camp; he’ll be one to watch during his upcoming senior season, as he could have a breakout campaign.
#51:6’1 ’21 Collin Mills (Arden, NC)
Continuing onto a player possesses a very intriguing blend of potential and production, Collin Mills. He’s an athletic wing prospect with a strong two-way presence and an understanding of how to affect the game without needing the ball in his hands. There are times when Mills outworks opposing wings, but he has the ability to do so with even more regularity. He attacks the basket with force and isn’t afraid to meet opponents at or above the rim, and finish with strength. Mills isn’t a great creator yet, but he has a lot of tools to develop and advance his game, and knows how to make plays as a cutter. He defends with purpose and displayed the ability to force turnovers, both through utilizing his quick hands and accumulating blocks around the basket. Next in his development process is working on his consistency from beyond the arc, as it would make him even more difficult for opponents to contain. Coach Biven on Mills: “Collin is a very athletic player that has a calm demeanor to go with his fairly loud game. He goes to the basket hard and frequently finishes through contact. Collin has an excellent step-back jumper.” Mills is definitely one to watch progress over the next three years, as he could become a really intriguing two-way prospect.
#63:6’2 ’20 Max Rogers (Waynesville, NC)
Next, we look at a player that filled a terrific complementary role throughout his time at camp, Max Rogers. He’s a wing prospect with size and an excellent motor, allowing him to cause havoc on both ends of the floor whenever he desires. Rogers plays with toughness and nice relentlessness, able to take an incredible physical toll and roll with the punches. He scored a majority of his opportunities in transition and showed the ability to finish strong around the basket. Rogers worked hard on defense and made his team better through constant hustle and intensity. Next in his development process is working on the utilization of his off-hand, as it would allow him to attack more angles on offense. Coach Biven on Rogers: “Max is a great teammate and coachable young man. He exerts great effort on both ends of the floor and knows how to get up in his matchup. Max was extremely tough during camp and sacrificed his body for the team’s benefit.” Rogers was able to make great two-way contributions and should continue improving as he enters his junior season.
#64:6’3 ’19 Nicolas Tybenn Sturm (Hurricane, WV)
Moving onto a player that motivated his team and showcased his ability to complement any group of teammates, Nicolas Tybenn Sturm. He’s a wing prospect with nice athleticism and the ability to score whenever he desires. Offensively, Sturm is able to apply pressure from all three levels and maintains a strong level of efficiency when hunting for his shot. That being said, he was also able to drive to the basket and finish a majority of his chances inside the paint. Sturm is a great spot-up threat, but his pull-up midrange jumper is arguably his most reliable scoring method. He played really hard on defense and moved his feet well, especially when defending the ball. Next in his development process is continuing to work on his ball-handling ability, as it would allow him to create off the dribble with less resistance. Coach Biven on Sturm: “Nicolas has tremendous hops and can get to the basket with frequency. He knows how to generate a shot for himself or others, based on what the team needs. Nicolas was a good teammate and brought a positive attitude to camp.” Sturm could be a candidate to enjoy a quality senior campaign, especially if he maintains a high level of play.
#76:6’4 ’21 Thomas Messimer (Johnson City, TN)
Continuing onto a player that is very intriguing athlete with quality range and perimeter skills, Thomas Messimer. He’s a long, wiry forward prospect that understands how to properly affect the game on both ends of the floor. Messimer uses his body and length extremely well to disrupt opponents, while showcasing a strong overall feel for the game. He really exposed teams with his midrange stroke, which seemingly fell on every open opportunity, and displayed signs of a formidable three-point shot. Defensively, Messimer is scrappy and does a good job of forcing turnovers at a steady rate. Next in his development process is continuing to add strength, as it’ll make him a much stronger two-way rebounder. Coach Biven on Messimer: “Thomas is a hard worker and quality teammate. He hustled throughout camp and gave a ton of energy to both sides of the ball. He has a nice midrange jumper and attacks the rim hard. Thomas is intriguing and will continue to grow.” Messimer has a lot of translatable tools and should keep shaping up his skillset, as he could become a terrific two-way prospect.
#77: 6’4 ’20 Tyler McKinney (Weaverville, NC)
Next, we look at a player that made an incredibly lasting two-way impression at camp, Tyler McKinney. He’s a wing prospect with an athletic frame and extremely well-rounded skillset. Offensively, McKinney approaches the game with the right mentality, constantly looking to move the ball and score within the flow of the game. His shooting mechanics are somewhat unorthodox, but he knocks down an efficient clip from all three levels and mixes it up pretty regularly. McKinney drives often and attacks the basket extremely well, where he’s proven capable of finishing through an abundance of contact. That being said, one could argue that he’s even more valuable on defense, where he’s able to switch between three positions seamlessly while forcing turnovers. McKinney rebounds quite well and is very difficult to stop in transition, given his IQ and willingness to make plays for others. Next in his development process is continuing to tinker with his shot form, as it would make his consistency much better from beyond the arc. Coach Biven on McKinney: “Tyler was simply the best player at camp. He’s athletic and goes hard on every possession. He scored on all levels and displayed a strong feel for both sides of the ball. Tyler was very hard to defend for opponents.” McKinney’s impressive showing inevitably led to his presentation of the Mr. Tennessee 150 award, being named the MVP of the camp.
#89: 6’7 ’21 Tre’lin Harper (Candler, NC)
Moving onto a player that showcased an abundance of intrigue and useful skills during his time at camp, Tre’lin Harper. He’s a strong, muscular big man that truly understands how to make plays while utilizing his body. Harper runs the floor quite well and shows no concerns about absorbing contact or sacrificing his body. He displayed a formidable midrange jumper throughout the day and was downright dominant in the low-post at times. Harper is an excellent two-way rebounder with a particularly strong motor and relentlessness on the glass. He’s a motivating presence on and off the floor, and his role elevated everyone else on the team to another level. Next in his development process is continuing to improve as a ball-handler, as it would allow him to utilize his athleticism to blow by slower big men around the perimeter. Coach Biven on Harper: “Tre’lin is a big body with excellent size and a great attitude. He plays hard on both ends of the floor and was able to knock down the short jumper whenever possible. Tre’lin will continue to progress, as he’s young and possesses ample time to develop.” Asheville Christian has done a terrific job with big men similar to Harper, so it’ll be interesting to see how his game develops over the next three years.
#93: 6’0 ’21 Keegan Pangoe (Pickins, SC)
Finishing up, we look at player that brought a team-first approach to both ends of the floor, Keegan Pangoe. He’s a solid guard prospect with a great attitude and nose for the ball. Pangoe moves fairly well without the ball and knows how to fill in the gaps on offense, especially as a cutter and spot-up threat. He pursued rebounds often and pushed the break in transition, frequently looking to make plays for others. Smith can still improve as a defender, but he showed the ability to get stops and force some turnovers. Next in his development process is continuing to improve as a passer, as it would allow him to take advantage of opposing defenses more often. Coach Biven on Pangoe: “Keegan shoots the ball very well and has a great attitude at all times. He was coachable throughout camp and plays with a strong motor on both ends of the floor. Keegan displayed a decent feel for the game.” Pangoe has upside and time to grow, so it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses going forward.