Phenom Hoops traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina this weekend for our annual National High School Showcase. It has become a staple for media across the country to attend and cover some of the most talented prospects around the Southeast region. We hosted teams from seven different states, which featured an abundance of must-see players and college coaches from all levels. This article will take a closer look at some of my favorite performers from the event.
6’0 ’20 Shakeel Moore (Piedmont Classical)
At this point, most folks should know about Shakeel Moore and all the excitement he brings to the table. He’s an incredibly explosive point guard that does far more than just dunk, able to completely take over any given contest on either end of the floor. We’ve seen Moore in every possible setting (camps, travel and high school ball), but this was arguably the best he’s ever performed. He was nothing short of dominant on Saturday, controlling the tempo, outworking his assignment, and showing his consistent unselfishness. Moore scores however he desires and possesses enough craftiness to change his approach in an instant. He’s become even more efficient with his touches, yet still maintains a strong balance between scoring and playmaking. Moore utilizes his strong frame to be aggressive and attack the basket with sheer relentlessness, which also highlights his excellent body control. He’s a quality defender and tremendous rebounder for his position. Moore has an instinctive feel for the game and makes terrific decisions with the ball in his hands. He’s a very smooth all-around player that lives above the rim and can shut down a gym with his highlight-worthy dunks. This Piedmont Classical is deep and talented, which should certainly make them among the top teams in the area, especially with Moore as their leader.
6’2 ’19 Mike Green (Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach)
It’s really difficult to look at Mike Green’s offer sheet without walking away perplexed at how he doesn’t hold at least five to ten Division I offers. He’s a true leader that knows how to set the tone at the point guard position. Offensively, Green is a savvy ball-handler with the ability to create quality looks for himself and others off the dribble. The lefty is a definite three-level scorer with deep range and toughness around the basket, which makes him a pretty unpleasant assignment for most opponents. He’s deceptively quick and gets by opponents quite well, despite not being an eye-popping athlete. Green has terrific vision and displays great playmaking instincts within the arc. He’s the ultimate decision-maker for this team and is like a coach on the floor, highlighting his constant intelligence and leadership. Green makes the players around him better and simply approaches the game with poise.
6’10 ’21 Moussa Diabate (DME Academy)
There were so many noteworthy players in the building, but Moussa Diabate was clearly the top long-term prospect at National Showcase. He’s long, athletic, and very intelligent on both sides of the floor, which already makes him quite the dynamic threat, but his meticulous footwork and defensive versatility make him a one-of-a-kind talent. Diabate is already so polished at this stage in his development, yet is still just in the early process of truly unlocking his full offensive skillset. He showed the ability to handle the ball and make plays in transition, which is incredibly rare for a player of his size, but could continue to expand as a ball-handler and creator over the coming years. Diabate has absolutely beautiful shooting mechanics with excellent rotation and was able to consistently stretch the floor beyond the three-point arc. His balance between posting-up, spotting-up, and passing to teammates is terrific, as it allows him to constantly keep opposing defenses on their toes. He’s very unselfish, but knows when to pounce and showed flashes of offensive dominance when attacking or operating around the basket. Diabate is a fluid athlete that moves extremely well for his size, frequently protecting the rim while also showing his ability to attack closeouts and seamlessly switch across multiple positions. He gets so deep in his defensive stance when guarding the perimeter, which is a big part of what allows him to set the tone on that end of the floor. Diabate leads and communicates very well, especially for his age, and did a great job of justifying his reputation over the weekend. He’s a special prospect and will be fun to watch grow throughout his high school career.
6’6 ’19 Max Farthing (Word of God)
In today’s basketball, shooting is more valued than ever before, so it’s somewhat challenging to fathom that Max Farthing doesn’t have multiple scholarship offers. At 6-foot-6 with legitimate thirty-foot shooting range, Farthing is an unbelievable floor-spacer and scoring threat that can make his mark against any opponent. He’s continued to tighten his handle and add poise as a creator within two to three dribbles. Farthing is a smart player that understands his skillset and embraces his role on both sides of the ball. He moves really well without the ball in his hands, able to dart around screens and quickly fire perimeter shots upon receiving a mere glimmer of space. Farthing showed the ability to go down low and take advantage of his size against smaller players at National Showcase, which was something he hasn’t really emphasized or prioritized until now. He’s an impactful defensive player that utilizes his length well to accumulate deflections and switch across multiple positions. His skillset is clearly defined, but that should honestly make him an even more attractive prospect for Division I programs
6’8 ’19 Puoch Puoch (Wesley Christian)
There was an abundance of intriguing projects and players on display at National Showcase, but Puoch Puoch was clearly the most unique prospect in attendance. He’s a long, wiry wing prospect that operated as Wesley Christian’s lead ball-handler, creator, and scorer. Puoch is simply a walking mismatch, given his blend of size and athletic fluidity, which allows him to be an all-around threat on offense. He’s so smart and sees the game with a different perspective than most players. Puoch is a consistent three-level scorer with incredible craftiness; his distinct, slippery ability to knife into the lane and make plays is part of what makes him so special. He’s a problem for opponents in the open floor, with or without the ball, and navigates extremely well in traffic. Puoch has excellent court awareness and showed the ability to succeed without the ball in his hands, as a cutter or spot-up option. He rebounded nicely on both ends of the floor and pushed transition play with purpose, always being unselfish and looking to make plays for others. He attacks aggressively and finishes quite well around the basket, despite his lack of strength. That being said, arguably the most extraordinary qualities about Puoch are his vision and overall passing abilities, which are simply elite for a player of his size. He’s just recently come over from Australia and should be a high-level Division I prospect for coaches to start noticing sooner than later.