Biggest Subplots of July
TMP Elite Players Finally Receiving Due Diligence
This was an extremely underrated storyline of the summer, as we saw prospects from TMP start to pop up on a national scale. This is in reference, more specifically, to their top five: 6’7 ’19 Josiah James (PG), 6’6 ’18 Aaron Nesmith (SG), 6’7 ’18 Shaq Davis (F), 6’8 ’18 Jalen Slawson (F), and 6’9 ’18 Jake Lanford (C).
Now, it goes without question to refer to both guards (James and Nesmith) as “high-major” players, though they’ve both played the same brand of basketball for a while now. James had already picked up numerous high-level offers when we saw him at CFA Classic in December, and was one that many expected to enjoy an uptick in his recruitment. Nesmith’s journey has been a little different, but anyone who has actually watched him play in the past should’ve seen this coming. He held six offers in November of 2016, but now holds 35, with the most recent schools being Boston College, Georgia, Penn, and Wichita State.
Meanwhile, Davis and Slawson are guys that have stepped into bigger roles and thrived. Davis only stood about 6’4 (maybe 6’5) one year ago, but now possesses the size to properly use his next-level athleticism. He plays so far above the rim whenever possible and is fully capable of going chest to chest with defenders on dunks, which he will flush. Davis is also a very intriguing football prospect and should have his choice of sports come decision time. His frontcourt mate, Slawson, has become an attractive prospect due to his versatility and ability to play inside or outside the arc effectively. Slawson has begun shooting threes frequently and efficiently, which is a large part in his boosted stock. Aside from Charleston Southern, all of his offers have come since May 2017, with the most recent being Appalachian State, Coppin State, New Orleans, Stetson, and Winthrop.
Last, but certainly not least, we look at Lanford, who has been the epitome of consistency for Porter Gaud and TMP. We’ve covered the big man quite extensively, but college coaches are finally starting to appreciate the simplistic nature of his game. Lanford does all the little things while anchoring the defense and glass exceptionally well. Few players take pride in every facet of the game like he does. Lanford is so fundamentally sound and such a hard worker that he will immediately become a favorite upon his arrival on campus. His latest offer is Western Carolina, which joins eleven other D1 schools that have made Lanford a priority.
All in all, these guys have always deserved the spotlight and are a tremendous group of recruitable young men. Phenom Hoops has been fortunate enough to watch these guys grow and continually prove themselves against elite-level talent. Finally they are receiving the appropriate attention for their successes.