Mark Bialkoski talks about his top six players from the Phenom Hoops Challenge

The spring evaluation period has become a vital opportunity for prospects to get onto College Coaches radars as they prepare, cultivate, and condense their recruiting list moving into the summer live period. Phenom Hoop Challenge was able to do just this with more than forty college coaches in attendance with over 70 schools competing in Greensboro. There was plenty of talent to be found.

I have put together 6 need to know players based on excelling in 6 different categories. Below are these categories and players:

Most upside: Jordan Shepherd 2016 Team Vision Black

The versatile Shepherd showed why he is a player worth chasing this spring and into the summer. Impressed with his ability to allow a ballscreen to develop using different speeds to keep the defense on their heels. He excels in transition possessing the talent to make plays above the rim, for others, and my favorite the ability, to use his brakes to allow a play to unfold. An ever-improving jump shot Shepherd showed why he has the most upside at the next level.

Player that helped himself the most: Carter Collins 2017 Durham Hurricanes

A scoring point guard allowed his game to do the talking. The lefty point guard’s uncanny ability to ball ahead in transition placed early pressure on defenses. In the half court he seemed to have a hand in almost every one of his teams made field goals. Going left to right off of numerous middle ballscreens Carter was able to rise up and knock down the 3. He was the catalysis for his team offensively getting everyone involved and meticulously choosing when to pick his spots to get “his”. The youngster will need to develop another speed off of ballscreens when a straight line drive isn’t present. Struggled at times when pressured in the back court however his ability to get into the paint, distribute, and shoot the basketball will have Carter on most Mid Major College coaches radars.

Best overall Shooter: Matthew Halvorson 2017 Team Vision Black

With a quick college ready release and great footwork Matthew was a threat from deep every time he touched it from the perimeter. He gave Team Vision great court spacing with teams unable to help off of the corners allowing guys like Shepherd to get into the paint. He didn’t rely on just catch and shoot 3s off of drive and kicks but was able to find his shot by sprinting in transition, off of flare screens in the half court and offensive rebound kick outs. Has the ability to put it on the floor to pass but not yet ready to finish at the rim. Coaches always find room for shooters on their roster and with his ability to shoot he will eventually land on someone’s college roster.

Best Big Man: Iran Bennett 2016 USA United

There is no hiding Iran on the court, and either is his talent. Great footwork and soft hands gives Iran the ability to be a threat on every catch. Capable passer from the post allows USA United to play their offense through him. Left Shoulder dominant Iran, paved out space getting second chance basket after basket. Must improve his stamina to play harder for more spurts as when fatigued would commit poor fouls in transition and when driven. If he can become a relentless sealer and improve his percentage from the stripe he can become a prime target for the next level.

Mr. Hustle: Fasion Brock 2016 WBCA

Having a high motor is a skill, a skill that Fasion seems to revel in. As if he’s on the court wearing a construction hard hat, Fasion is everywhere on the court effecting the game in all different phases. He is constantly getting deflections, runs outs, tips, and offensive rebounds that doesn’t always show in a stat sheet but are vital in a win. A face up slashing four man he at times showed his ability to make a 15 footer but will need to do more so this coming summer.

Floor General: Michael Melvin 2016 SEBL

Extremely quick guard with great court awareness guided SEBL to a perfect record over the weekend. His knack to beat his man off the dribble without a ballscreen allowed him to live in the paint making good decisions once there that lead to winning plays throughout. His communication with Coach Miller and his teammates during special situations (FTs, deadballs, timeouts) kept everyone on the same page.

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