Phenom Hoops previews each team participating in the NC Top 80. We check out Team 5 here.

Team 5

The Name

6’1 Sophomore Lavar Batts (Jay M Robinson HS) – Batts is a blur with the ball in his hands, not many (if any) defenders are able to stay in front of him. He is ambidextrous with his handle, even at full pace. Batts is a well-known name on the national scale, as he is ranked in most Top 100 lists.

The Dog

6’ Junior Darion Slade (West Forsyth) – Slade is a recruited football player with multiple BCS level offers. That mentality transfers smoothly to the basketball court where he plays with a toughness that produces. This year, Slade averaged around 14.5 points per game shooting 55% from the field and 67% from beyond the arc.

The Player to Watch

6’5” Junior Brian McElveen (Elite Skills Academy) – McElveen is a new name that would be sure to excite. He has a long frame and ball skills to play on the ball in the half court. McElveen gets into the lane regularly and the athleticism to finish in the lane. He should have some good matchups in this event, that could spring his name forward.

The Breakout

6’3” Sophomore Jonathan Hicklin (Rocky River) – Another new name for many, Hicklin is a sturdy combo guard that is built more like a linebacker than a guard. Hicklin has an ability to get into the lane, with his quick first step. It will be interesting to see him in this setting, against this caliber of player. Something tells me he will perform well.

The Knockdown

6’4 Sophomore Josh Searcy (RS Central) – Searcy can flat shoot the rock. He used his long frame and quick release to averaged 13.5 points as a sophomore on Varsity this season. He also made 42 threes and shot 49% from the field. He is a very confident player, and has a frame to build on.

The Human Highlight

6’7” Junior Thank God Msughter (Freedom Academy) – Msughter is a rough and tumble power post. He has long arms and a high motor that he uses to try and dunk everything around the rim. Msughter, is still raw offensively, but he collects a lot of loose balls and finishes at a very high rate.

The Young Buck

6’6” Freshman Josh Cottrell (Hayesville) – While Cottrell is the younger brother of Top 80 alum Zach Cottrell, he does not have a game like him. The Aaron Craft comparison gets thrown around a lot for Cottrell. He has an all out motor, is a coach on the floor, and really has an infectious way about him. Look for Cottrell to win a lot of games in his high school career.

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