NC Jr. Phenom 150
Team 11 Evaluations
Coach: Brandon Blakeney
For many middle school prospects around the region the Jr Phenom Camp is the first big and prestigious exposure showcase they’re able to attend.
This camp serves as a jump start in the first step to building a hoops resume, a chance to blow up on some scouts radars and make a name in the process. The journey starts here, some players have earned a rep on the circuit already and others are working to bust onto the scene.
No. 28 Marquis Ophilant 5’0
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Ophilant is a young scrappy guard on both ends of the floor, he plays with a toughness and mentality only ballers from the Queen City carry.
He’s strong with the rock, Ophiliant possess solid court vision and proved to be effective running the break in transition. Ophilant struggled with turnovers in game two when defenders unleashed a full court press, like most young players the frustration from consecutive turnovers was apparent on his face and Ophilliant seemed to checkout mentally.
During game three Ophiliant bounced back strong and really showed the camp what he was made of. He dished the rock effectively; ran appropriate cuts and spaced the floor, also defensively Ophiliant caused havoc using his speed to get under ball handlers to force steals and jump passing lanes. What stood out above all to our staff was Ophilant’s respectful demeanor to coaches as well as staff.
No. 55 Casian Richard 5’3
Hometown: Winston- Salem, NC
Richard has been considered a young phenom for several years now, he starred with team Felton two years ago and really set the grassroots circuit on fire.
His saucey handle and next level passing ability really make Richard standout above his peers. Richard sees the entire floor and he can make passes that players five years his senior would struggle to make. Offensively Richard can score at all three levels; his jumper is textbook and it’s accompanied by a fluent follow through, Richard posses a fatal crossover that allows him to beat defenders effortlessly, and from mid range Richard is lethal on the pull up.
It’s truly mind blowing to witness how polished Richard’s overall game is, on several occasions he flashed the fade away jumper in the post and it’s obvious he has dedicated a lot of work to the move. Richard took a year off to train and recover from an injury and the process has paid big dividends. Richard scored 20- plus in two of the three games and finished as one of the top assist men in the entire camp.
No. 99 Troy Scarborough 5’6
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
Scarborough is tough and goes hard on both ends, this kid plays with big time confidence and really trusts his game like most ballers from the Boro.
Playing in that area gives players a certain swagger on the floor, Scarborough loves competition and he embraces taking the big shot. He came up big from deep, if Scarborough gets the rock on a catch and shoot you may as well count it. Scarborough is smooth in space he can find cracks in the D and get to the cup.
Just a seventh grader Scarborough still has years to develop and polish up his raw skills, Scarborough should be one of the better guards in Greensboro when he hits the high school ranks.
No. 108 Kendall Davis 5’7
Davis projects as a nice two way wing he flashed a nice all around offensive game and he was voted as the best defensive player in the entire camp.
He comes from a strong basketball pedigree his dad Larry Davis is a former Assistant at James Madison. The younger Davis has an advanced basketball I.Q. he truly plays the game the right way. Davis showed the ability to guard multiple positions he was a pest for opposing guards and wings on the perimeter.
Davis has quick hands and suffocates his man on ball, whoever Kendall is matched up against will have to work for every bucket.
It will be interesting to watch Davis’s development over the next few years as he grows and harnesses his raw ability.
No. 120 Valerian Bruce 5’8
Hometown: Florence, SC
Bruce is a quiet kid with a real laid back demeanor but on the court he is a fierce competitor.
On a roster stocked with wings Bruce provided grit and versatility to team 11, when the squad needed a big bucket Bruce was there. His game can fit any system Bruce is unselfish and smart with the rock, he plays the game clean and players enjoy playing along side Valerian.
Bruce is a solid athlete he’s blessed with long arms and quick feet, at the next level there is potential for a lockdown perimeter defender to be born. Bruce will continue to grow and potentially add muscle to a slender frame, Bruce can be as good as he wants to be.
No. 131 Isaiah Joyner 5’9
Hometown: Old Fort, NC
Joyner is a long and explosive wing prospect in the early stages of his development. Throughout camp Joyner was effective taking defenders off the dribble, he is a strong finisher and as he continues to grow Joyner will play above the rim. Currently Joyner has a reliable mid range game he shot the rock at a high percentage from 15-18 feet.
Defensively Joyner is ahead of majority of his peers the way he locks in on his man is impressive. Joyner utilizes his long arms to disrupt passes and he easily converts turnovers into easy transition points. Coming in Joyner was relatively unknown amongst our staff but he drew praise for his combination of athleticism and effort on both ends.
No. 143 Riley Berkoff 5’10
Hometown: Chapel Hill
Berkoff is a nice stretch four prospect he shoots it at a high percentage and can make the extra pass clean.
During camp Berkoff showed a high motor, he competed for every board it seemed like and it helped gain team 11 extra possessions. Berkoff won’t back down from anyone this dude is tough as nails, along with a nice shooting stroke Berkoff will bang down low and he will do all the dirty work other player shy away from.
Coaches absolutely need guys like Berkoff to win because he is unselfish, this kid will make whatever play necessary in order to secure a win. Riley has the poise of a vet he really understands floor spacing and reading the defense. Berkoff welcomes constructive criticism and he will dedicate himself to getting better.
No. 161 Donovan Atwell 6’0
Hometown: Huntersville, NC
Atwell was one of the best overall prospects at the entire camp, this dude has potential to be big time if his development continues.
At 6’0 Atwell has an extremely long frame he’s built for attacking the basket and finishing over defenders. Atwell got to the cup relentlessly in transition as well as taking his defender off the dribble. In all three games Atwell scored in double figures, he shot the ball at a high percentage and flashed a very polished mid range pull up.
Defensively Atwell is still a work in progress but physically he has all the tools to be a lockdown perimeter defender down the road. When team 11 faced late fatigue issues Atwell was forced to play down low and he showed natural shot blocking instincts in help defense situations.
No. 177 Demetri Patterson
Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
Patterson has as much upside as any prospect in the camp and if he harnesses his size and skill he could be a dominate player.
It took some time for Patterson to get into the flow of the game but once he got established it was a treat to watch. Patterson is raw offensively but he is a strong finisher in the post and with every rep his confidence grows. Patterson is an animal on the boards he converted many offensive boards into putbacks.
Defensively Patterson is still grasping schemes and rotations but he’s a natural shot blocker and his presence bothers shots that aren’t swatted. Patterson is almost too unselfish at times he will have to work on being more assertive to reach his ultimate ceiling.