NC Jr. Phenom 150:
Team 14 Evaluations
Coach: Brandon Nelson
#39: 5’1 ’23 Colby Jenny (Raleigh, NC)
Starting things off, we look at a player that was able to demand attention on all three levels with his shooting ability, Colby Jenny. He’s a point guard that is able to play off-ball given his strong spot-up presence, as he is certainly capable of knocking down open looks. Jenny played hard and understands how to find adequate space without the ball; he made great effort on both sides of transition. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand more, as it would allow him to become a more dangerous overall player. Coach Nelson on Jenny: “Colby shot the ball well and his shooting is among his best attributes. With growth, Colby needs to get more comfortable handling the ball. At his current size, Colby needs to become a nuisance on defense.” Jenny is a tough player that has a chance to reach his ceiling if he continues working on honing the strongest facets of his game.
#79: 5’5 ’23 Gabriel Littlejohn (Taylors, SC)
Next, we look at a player that brought a great attitude and willingness to listen and learn throughout camp, Gabriel Littlejohn. He’s a guard that looks to score on all three levels while mixing in a solid amount of penetration looks. Littlejohn stays active and was able to disrupt the opponents’ play in transition multiple times throughout camp. He shot the ball decently well from midrange and three-point territory but needs to work on becoming more consistent. Next in his development process is continuing to work on all facets of his game, as he will need to improve in order to reach his ceiling. Coach Nelson on Littlejohn: “Gabriel worked hard during camp but needs to continue to polish his play on both sides of the floor. He took advantage of opportunities in transition and could be a solid player with work on his game.” Littlejohn had a solid outing and should improve with necessary time.
#93: 5’6 ’23 Jayden Harris (Salisbury, NC)
Moving onto a player that possesses no real holes within his game and stood out as a glue-guy, Jayden Harris. He’s a guard that can play with or without the ball and thrive. Offensively, Harris knows how to get a shot in nearly every circumstance from all three levels and looks quite comfortable when creating for others. On the other end, he did a solid job of bottling up his man and removing any possible airspace to work with. Next in his development process is getting stronger at playing through contact and finishing at the rim, as that’ll help him become a more complete player. Coach Nelson on Harris: “Jayden was a solid all-around player. Though he didn’t specialize in any area, he contributed majorly. He’s a team-first guy who made the right play at the right time.” As long as Harris continues playing unselfish, high IQ basketball, he will be a successful prospect.
#117: 5’7 ’23 Christopher Parker (Columbia, SC)
Continuing onto a player that has considerable potential to tap into on both ends of the floor, Chris Parker. He’s a wing with the ability to mix it up on offense while competing exceptionally hard on the other end. Parker has a pretty solid grasp of how to involve himself in the action on both ends of the floor and forced various turnovers when pursuing the ball. Next in his development process is working on moving without the ball, as it would open up a tremendous amount of easy scoring chances. Coach Nelson on Parker: “Chris had strikes of good play in him during camp, he just needs to get more consistent. We would like to see him tighten up his defensive ability. Chris has the ability in him, just needs to continue working hard and he will show people that he has game.” Parker will be one to watch if he starts making an effort to be the hardest working player on the floor.
#118: 5’7 ’22 Evan Werner (Columbia, SC)
Next, we look at a player that showcased his exceptional shooting ability throughout camp, Evan Werner. He’s a strong-bodied wing with a high IQ and understanding of the game. Offensively, Werner is a threat to score with or without the ball at any time, as he will spot-up away from the ball or create his own shot with ease. He’s very efficient from all three levels and will have no problem getting minutes this season if he plays like he did at camp. Werner is a solid defender that exerts a great amount of energy on that end of the floor. Next in his development process is hitting the glass harder, as it would help him become a more complete player. Coach Nelson on Werner: “Evan has a great shot! He played well all day and made winning plays on both ends of the floor. Evan was a great kid to coach and he can be a known player in the state if he continues working.” There’s no doubt in Werner’s ability to perform and he will be one to watch going forward.
#136: 5’9 ’22 Jacob Newman (Charlotte, NC)
Moving onto a player that has a chance to be among the top point guards in his class, Jacob Newman. He’s incredibly quick and speedy with the ball, facing zero opponents that could effectively stay in front of him. Offensively, Newman gets to the rim in the blink of an eye and showed that he can finish through contact. He has a terrific feel for his teammates, able to find them in stride at their optimal spot. Next in his development process is working on his ability to spot-up and knock down open shots off the catch, as it would give him time to catch his breath and still remain effective. Coach Nelson on Newman: “Jacob is a blaze with the ball; he’s one of the fastest guards in 2022, especially in North Carolina. He’s strong and gets to the basket at will, but needs to improve his jumper and effort on defense. Jacob also showed a high-level basketball IQ and court vision. With his speed and quickness, Jacob needs to become an elite defender. He has a very bright future ahead of him.” Newman is already surrounded by buzz and should be one to put tabs on now, as he is almost a lock to breakout in the coming seasons.
#140: 5’9 ’23 Jesse Shelton (Mars Hill, NC)
Continuing onto a player whose positive attitude and intangibles will take him a long way, Jesse Shelton. He’s a forward that looks to do anything possible to put his team in a winning position, including the little things. Shelton plays with a high motor and does everything in his power to force turnovers on the defensive end. He benefitted from playing off-ball, where he was able to spot-up and run freely in transition. Next in his development process is continuing to work on polishing all facets of his game in order to become a more complete player. Coach Nelson on Shelton: “Jesse is a hard worker and good kid; he tries extremely hard when on the floor but needs to improve his overall game to have a bigger impact. He’s still young and has plenty of time to develop.” Shelton has great size and will only get better from here, especially if he is willing to put in the necessary work on both ends of the floor.
#164: 6’0 ’22 James Marshall (Raleigh, NC)
Next, we look at a player that understands how to play effective basketball inside and outside of the arc, James Marshall. He’s a forward with a fairly well rounded game, as he can hurt opponents with his size or shooting, which are both efficient scoring avenues for Marshall. Throughout camp, his versatility stood out among his peers, as so few players showed the ability to affect all facets of the game like him. Offensively, Marshall was at his best outside the arc, where he displayed a silky-smooth jumper with a consistent form. Next in his development process is working on his ball handling ability, as it would allow him to create for others from the wing much easier. Coach Nelson on Marshall: “James is a good inside-out player with the ability to score well in both ways. He was solid on defense and proved to be a nice shot-blocker. James should work on speed and agility going forward, as he has most of the tools necessary to become a strong player.” Marshall will be one to keep an eye on in the future, as he could certainly emerge as a quality player in the area.
#155: 5’11 ’22 Justin Alquiza (Cornelius, NC)
Moving onto a player that was able to use his strong basketball IQ and fairly well rounded game to hurt opponents, Justin Alquiza. He’s a guard with a solid two-way presence and high motor, which allows him to make countless plays in transition. Offensively, Alquiza makes great decisions with the ball in his hands, as he’s able to create shots for himself or others and always seems to know where his teammates are. He makes a concerted effort to involve his teammates in the offensive flow and has the passing necessary to do so. Alquiza played quality half-court defense, shutting down his opponent more times than not. Next in his development process is working on his ability to play without the ball, as he could become a very nice spot-up option when playing alongside another point guard. Coach Nelson on Aquiza: “Justin is a great teammate with a quality basketball IQ; he knows the game and how to make plays for others. He’s a solid overall player with a real chance to be a really good player.” If Aquiza continues to put in work, his ceiling could certainly be attainable.
#174: 6’2 ’22 Jalen Hood-Schifino (Cornelius, NC)
Finishing up, we look at a player that is already far beyond his years in terms of body maturity and overall skill level, Jalen Hood-Schifino. He’s a wing that can play as the secondary ball handler whenever needed; he sees the floor incredibly well and has the ability to create for others with ease. Offensively, Hood-Schifino doesn’t settle for jumpers, as he prefers taking it inside and finishing through any contact. He rebounds at a high level for a guard and makes countless plays in transition with his scoring, IQ, and vision. Hood-Schifino plays unselfishly and will do whatever is needed to put his team in a winning position. Next in his development process is working on his ability to shoot from midrange and three-point territory, as it would make him virtually unstoppable on offense. Coach Nelson on Hood-Schifino: “Jalen has a chance to be special. He has elite vision and basketball IQ. He rebounds and defends his position well. With continued work on his shooting from outside, he can become a high-level talent. You will hear about Jalen in the near future.” Hood-Schifino finished second in scoring (at 22.7 PPG) and was unanimously named to the All-Camp First Team.