Our own, Ron Murphy, takes a very close look at the class of 2018 at the NC Top 80.

NC Top 80 – 2018 focus

I have both a vested interest and a keen eye on the 2018 hoop class in North Carolina. My son, Qon Murphy, was one of 20 invited freshmen to the Phenom Hoop Report NC Top 80.
In basketball circles there are things coaches and scouts seek out- size, athleticism, shot makers, dead eye shooters and play makers. The 2018 class has its fill in every need area.
NC Top 80 is designed to showcase players who are on track to play Division 1 basketball and the Phenom Hoop Staff is on the correct path with 2018…
Play Makers-
6′ Josh Cotrell, took what was available in drill work and during game 1. By game 2 & 3 he was attacking off ball reversal and making open jump shots.
6′ Tripp Greene, made hustle plays from start to finish during camp. He was able to set his teammates up for open looks and defend on the ball.
6’4 Re’Chon ‘Leaky’ Black, is a big time point guard. He understands the game on both sides of the floor and makes it easy for all on his team.
Attack Guards
6’1 Jomaru Brown defended on ball like Top 80 was a conference championship game. The athletic combo also attacks the rim with a vengeance.
6’4 Jalen Morgan, was off my radar initially but impressed me during the ball screen drill with his strength and ability to turn the corner through contact. He continued the onslaught through traffic during the two games we saw.
6’1 Tre Turner made plays all over the floor. He plucked rebounds over and around taller players. Turner hustled for loose balls and defended. He also found ways to score, including a smooth 3point stroke.
6’1 Malik Johnson is a well proportioned lead guard. He showed fearlesness (think Westbrook) as he went to the basket or released deep 3s. Malik sat down on D and played passing lanes. He is a BIG TIME dude!
Shooting Guards
6’4 Nate Hinton was impressive all day. He plays through every play- high motor- which allows him 2nd chance opportunities. Hinton also put ball on floor and burried mid range shots.
6’4 Qon Murphy showed off his versatility. He stuck his nose in on the defensive glass, led fast breaks and showed ability to locate and deliver ball to shooters. Qon also knocked in deep threes and scored off the dribble.
Big Fella
6’8 Jude Akubeze bullied everything in sight at the Top 80 camp. He bullied Sophomore and Junior post players. He demands the ball in the post when open and Jude dunks it at every opportunity. He is a high level rim protector and rebounder as well.
Athletes with skills!
6’1 Will Dillard is among the elite 9th grade athletes in the country. He is also a really talented player. He plays hard all the time and he is excellent attacking the basket and in transition.
6’6 Aaron Cash is a match-up problem. He followed up shots on offensive glass. He made mid range buckets and when at the rim – he is a highlight in waiting. Defensively, Cash protects the basket and rebounds at an elite level.
Money Ball
6’2 Trey Wertz makes shots. He struggled with physical play early in drills and games, but when he got comfortable- he made 60% of the shots we saw! The shots we saw were mostly behind the arc…
6’2 Coby White could have landed in a couple sections here. The true pg shot lights out from beyond the 3point line. He also drove to the rim and finished, made 12 foot bank shots and distributed on time and accurately.
It will be interesting to watch this class grow up. The other 7 Freshman in camp all had flashes of brilliance. There are another half dozen that just missed invitation as underclassmen. It is so much fun watching players develop over their High School careers and this group could be special.
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