PHR Analyst Jeff Bendel looks at some of his top players from Phenom’s Stay Positive

NC Runnin’ Rebels

It’s become increasingly obvious how valuable a player like 6’6 KD Burt (2018) is for a team. The game that Burt brings to the table is so unique and basically irreplaceable; he plays with a tremendously high motor and dominates the interior with craft. Offensively, he has looked increasingly comfortable getting the ball on the wing, breaking down his opponent, and finishing at the basket. He is so bouncy, often getting offensive rebounds on second or third jumps, then following it up with a crafty finish. Burt’s motor is relentless and he is an extremely versatile defender; his agility, strength, and IQ combination makes him a quality defender. The school that takes a chance on Burt will be ecstatic about everything he can bring to a team.

Though we have covered 6’1 Chris Barnette (2018) very often lately, his play simply cannot go unnoticed. Barnette is so tough, he truly does anything and everything a college program could want in their point guard. He immediately has the highest IQ on the floor, regardless of matchup, and is always in the right place at the right time. Apparently, Barnette is an underrated defender, but he has consistently been locking down opposing teams’ point guards. He is a vocal leader on both ends of the floor: initiator of the offense and the tone-setter on defense. Barnette’s role to a team, like his teammate Burt, is irreplaceable; he has innate vision and feel for his teammates, always setting them up at the perfect time. Barnette is an incredibly skilled all-around player that will instantly become the coach’s favorite player upon entering his first practice.

Another one of the most consistent factors for the Rebels is 6’3 Marque Maultsby (2018) and what he provides to the team. Each game, Maultsby harasses opposing guards until they simply don’t want to dribble; he is ready and willing to defend full-court at all times. What he provides defensively is so tough to replicate, given his quickness and length that frequently disrupts opponents. Maulsby’s jumper has been looking better and better in the recent months, and when he adds the consistent three-level shooting to his strong slashing ability, he will be a force.

Likely the most intriguing player for the Rebels is 6’8 Aaron Cash (2018). He’s a strong, incredibly athletic forward that has all the tools to be a quality player at the next level. Cash plays above the rim on both sides of the floor, able to finish nearly anything around the basket and send shots flying from the weak side. He has a fluid jumper, but he’ll only be able to maximize his ability once he improves the consistency of his shooting. However, the versatility, rebounding, and athleticism alone should make Cash a coveted prospect, as he is typically one of the most exciting players on the floor.

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