Phenom Hoops continues their open gym tour, as Patrick O’Brien stopped at Independence high school to see what head coach Preston Davis and the Patriots were working with this season.
Excited about the talent, we were able to get a better feeling and understanding of what Independence has this season after finishing 22-7 last year. With several seniors leaving form last year, the Patriots will look to regroup with some intriguing talent.
Let’s dive into the roster for this season…
2021 Omarion Bodrick: As a sophomore, Bodrick was only scratching the surface of his potential. Now, he seems geared up to showcase just what he is capable of doing. For DTA Elite this summer, Bodrick exploded onto the scene even more for college coaches and several are headed his way. He brings length, extreme athleticism, versatility, and shot-blocking to the table. Bodrick’s bounce is impressive and his ability to run the floor is what sets him apart, beating defenders down the floor and slamming it down. That doesn’t take away his ability to step out and knock down a jump shot or be an elite defender. After averaging 4.3 points last year, expect a BIG jump from him this season as one of the go-to players for this team.
2020 Anthony Allen: Allen looks to take control of this team as one of the lead guards this year. Allen really came onto the scene as well this summer, as a strong point guard that looks to prove to be one of the best in the area. He is extremely crafty with the ball in his hands, being able to breakdown defenders with his dribble, battle through contact, and finding those openings for his shot. See what Jeff Bendel had to say this summer about Allen:
“Allen has always been a very well-rounded player, but now has a complete game and is starting to show flashes of two-way brilliance. Offensively, he’s a strong ball-handler, passer, and three-level scorer with the ability to thrive with or without the ball in his hands. Allen offers terrific scoring balance from all levels, yet has an absolute flamethrower from beyond the arc. He’s smart, unselfish, and knows how to play the right way. On the other end, Allen is equally as important, given the way he consistently defends the point of attack. He’s an aggressive, physical defender with quick hands and feet, which allows him to accumulate steals at an impressive rate.”
2020 Nygell Verdier: Maybe one of the most underrated versatile forwards in the state. Unfortunately, he was sick during the open gym, so we weren’t able to see him on the court. But watching him this summer, he is strong, athletic, and shoots the ball very well from the perimeter. What is also great about is his ability to play multiple roles, which he should do the same this season for Independence.
2021 Jalen Hinton: Hinton will be an interesting guard to watch and see what he can do for this team, especially being that other go-to guard at times. Coming from Butler HS, Hinton is a physical guard that plays hard and can knock down shots when left open or take control in being that secondary ball-handler at times. He is very quick on the floor and should be a big contributor this season.
2020 Dedrick Givens: Givens will be another critical piece, especially with his 6’6 frame, as he should be able to take some of the pressure off for Bodrick and company. His versatility is what makes him stand out, as he can play multiple positions on the floor and be a rebounder as well for this team. Givens is a vocal leader on the team and displayed the ability to knock down shots, especially inside the arc.
2021 Camren Little: a high academic prospect, he takes the role of being one of the better defensive players on this team. He is that glue-type player that coaches love and is fundamentally sound.
Also keep a lookout for freshmen Landon King and Rasheed Davis, both of which still have room for improvement but could provide nice depth, as well as 2021 Tachai Miller who should see action playing point guard at times.