Phenom Hoops’ Low Country Showcase continues to be a January staple in Charleston, South Carolina, and this field might be the best collection of talent yet. The slate is littered with noteworthy contests from top to bottom, but the most anticipated matchup will be between CJ Felder and Josiah James, as Sumter versus Porter Gaud will conclude the evening with a flurry of highlight plays. Though Felder and James are committed to Boston College and Tennessee, respectively, this game should be overflowing with additional subplots outside of the two big-name prospects.
Felder is expected to make his return from a shoulder injury this weekend and should be able to slide right back into his normal groove. In his absence, Omar Croskey has been the unquestioned leader of this Sumter squad. At a long, wiry 6-foot-5, Croskey put the entire arsenal on display throughout the recent weeks and deserves consideration as a Division I prospect. Previously tabbed as a scorer, he’s been able to affect all facets of the game while consistently setting the tone on both ends of the floor. Croskey has an unorthodox shooting form, but he’s still able to manufacture points from anywhere on the court with relative ease. His defensive prowess has also been quite impressive, as he’s regularly leading both teams in blocks and steals. All eyes will be on Felder and James, but Porter Gaud might not have anyone capable of stopping Croskey—which could become a scary sight.
That goes without even mentioning Jalen Johnson or Sumter’s glut of quality role players, who seem to make the difference on a night-to-night basis. Meanwhile, Porter Gaud possesses a much less appealing on-paper roster, yet somehow is able to compete with anyone. Obviously, James is going to draw a ton of attention, but the gradual development of Chase Cannon should continue to surprise folks. Big and surprisingly athletic, Cannon seems to get better, tougher, and more comfortable each time he takes the floor. If he’s able to remain out of foul trouble, Porter Gaud will have a chance to win this game, especially when including their three-point shooters that seem to always come alive. This game should be packed, as this should become one of the most exciting matchups of the early year.