Man, oh man, what a summer it was for Phenom Hoop Report. Not only were our own expectations exceeded but the amount of talent that rolled through our events was absolutely impressive. Whether it was rising seniors, high-major talent, young and rising prospects or new faces, there was talent all over the place.
Now that the season has come to an end, let’s take a stroll through memory lane with our scouts on which players made the biggest impressions.
Players that should make the biggest jump in the rankings
Rick Lewis: 6’0 Trayden Williams (North Mecklenburg)
At the end of the 2018-19 basketball season, Williams was not in our current rankings. Early summer rankings showed him tracking in the 60s and with our updated ranking, look for Williams to be in the 30’s. Williams is a quick on quick scoring point guard. He has a nifty left to right cross over pull-up jumper and sports one of the better midrange games in the state for his class. Williams plays with tremendous energy and effort. The next step in his development is to be more efficient in his assist to turnovers.
Jeff Bendel: 6’5 ’20 Josh Banks (Olympic/Team United)
While Flowers also probably applies here, Josh Banks really ascended to an entirely different level this summer. When we saw him at NC Top 80, Banks held a single Charlotte offer. Fast-forward four months and the incredibly dynamic two-way wing has become an obvious high-major prospect. He’s earned UNCG, Charleston, Elon, Coastal Carolina, VCU, UMass, Murray State, Virginia Tech, and Providence, but it still only feels like the beginning of his blow-up. Banks checks virtually every box, both physically and in terms of skillset, and should continue climbing national rankings.
Miles Masercola: 6’7 2021 Dontrez Styles (Kinston/Team CP3)
Personally, there isn’t even a question who the top 2021 in the HoopState is anymore, Styles combination of size, skillset, athleticism, and continued room to grow make him too great of a prospect to ignore compared to his rising junior counterparts. His undeniable productivity on the best travel ball circuit in the world playing against guys 1-2 years older than him and his areas to improve still being huge, the ceiling on Styles is astounding. I think he is Blue Blood level good and we’ll see those schools jump into the picture over the next 8-12 months. He checked in at #7 when we did our rankings last, I expect him to become the unanimous top guy when we redo them here in the near future. If it’s not then, it will be after the first few months of the High School season where it’s simply too obvious to ignore.
Jamie Shaw: 6’2” 2021 Javonte Waverly (Henderson Collegiate)
In our last brush at the rankings we had Waverly ranked at 82 in North Carolina, he should expect around a 60-70 spot jump in the upcoming rankings. There are no other players who can pass and slice up a defense like Waverly. He is a streaky scorer as well, but his vision and ability to create passing lanes is unparalleled.