You may see some of these players jumping through your TV set soon, so take the trip on the THEN and NOW with some of the top men’s basketball prospects in the country coming out of HS soon……
from Rick Lewis and the Phenom Hoop Report at www.phenomhoopreport.com:
In today’s issue of the Phenom Hoop Report, we will take a look at last year’s Dave Telep Carolina Challenge that took place in Raleigh, N.C. This is one of the single greatest exposure events in the country as 80 of the top players in North Carolina were chosen for this prestigious event. We will go back through our archives for our evaluations from the event with the “Then and Now”.
Rodney Purvis – 6’3”, 190 PG/SG (2012 – Upper Room Academy, Raleigh, NC)
THEN: The heralded local prodigy took everybody’s best shot on Saturday and Ryan Mattock was front and center for his final test of the event – a showdown with another Raleigh Phenom, ’13 wingman Anton Gill. Although Purvis struggled to finish in the lane in the early going, the explosive athlete showcased his tightened handle and nearly unstoppable combo of lightning quick first step and bruising upper body strength. Hitting on a couple perimeter bombs, he displayed solid mechanics on the jumper (although he could use a little lift). What sets this local product apart from a handful of other great prospects at the this year’s CC, along with most other elite level wing prospects on the national landscape, is Purvis’ undeniable “extra gear” that needs to be seen to be believed. The mark of a true champion is how they respond to a bad game and adversity. In the early morning game with his head to head matchup with fellow 2012 guard Braxton Ogbueze, Purvis struggled to find his rhythm on his jump shot and clearly was disappointed in his performance. Most kids would hang their head and feel sorry for him but Purvis bounced back in the next two games. Next up for Purvis long term development is to develop a consistent outside jumper.
NOW: Purvis is a consensus top 20 player according to every major scouting service and a McDonald All American. Purvis is a fierce competitor and plays the game with passion and purpose. The future NC State Wolfpacker already sports a college ready frame and should see significant playing time and contribution as a freshman. On the court, Purvis is a proven winner!
T.J. Warren – 6’7” , 215 SF (2012 – Word of God, Raleigh, NC)
THEN: Warren makes the game looks so easy at times that it appears he’s loafing. Not at the CC. The versatile SF scored every way imaginable, including a handful of treys in his first game of the day. In the 40 point performance, the matchup nightmare also posted up smaller defenders, hit pull up jumpers from 15’ on the wing in the half court, and dazzled the crowd with his craftiness around the tin in transition (through contact). His most impressive move came on a hard drive to the baseline against heavy ball pressure where he stopped on a dime and drilled a high arching step-back jumper in a helpless defender’s face. Toeing the line between ‘one of the best prospects in the state’ and ‘can’t miss national prospect’ before the event, Warren may have firmly entrenched himself in the latter category with his outstanding performance in Raleigh on Saturday. One area Warren needs work on is shot selection (although everything was clicking for him at the CC). At his size and skill set, he can get good looks from midrange and in virtually any time he wants at the prep level.
NOW: We were calling Warren “a can’t miss national prospect” at the Dave Telep Carolina Challenge and before his ascension in the national rankings. Warren has displayed an uncanny ability to score at every level and is leading scorer on the loaded Brewster Academy team. (Not an easy task) Warren is also a legitimate top 25 prospect and McDonald All American. His overall skill set for his size and position is unique and should also be an impact player for NC State. He will need to add strength and muscle to his frame, but he has all the skill sets to play at the highest level.
Torian Graham – 6’4”, 180 SG (2012 – Word of God, Raleigh, NC)
THEN: The junior’s jump shot was a thing of beauty this weekend – and the best part wasn’t the fact that the ball was going in the basket most of the time. Graham’s lift is rarely seen from a prospect his size at such a young age and allows him to get his shot off almost anytime. His slight frame belies the aggressive streak Graham uses to get into the lane off the bounce. He finished strong at the rack with two hands at the CC and had no qualms mixing it up with bigger players. Physical strength is an issue for TG in terms of possible early impact at the next level. Has the length/speed to defend two positions in college, possibly three. Graham will need to improve his shot selection in actual game situations, but clearly there was not a more athletic and explosive WG at the event.
NOW: Torian Graham went through last spring and summer with a knee injury and sat out some major events for rest and recovery. Unfortunately, Graham never recovered his explosiveness until he enrolled at Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Florida. Since then, he has left the school and has enrolled in Christian Faith Academy in Durham, N.C.
Braxton Ogbueze – 6’1”, 180 PG (2012 – United Faith, Charlotte, NC)
THEN: The Florida pledge lived up to his billing on Saturday, torching the nets from deep all day. What set Ogbueze apart from other shooters, though, was his ability to knock shots down from distance off the dribble. His body control in the air was impressive, routinely coming off high ball screens and adjusting his torso in mid-air to square up. The junior point man’s physique continues to develop as well and, frankly, is ready for the physical pounding of Division 1 basketball right now. At most showcase events, defense is not in many people’s vocabulary, but not with Ogbueze. He had a stellar defensive effort against Purvis in the first game of the day and his tenacity on both ends of the court was impressive. That being said, Ogbueze’s greatest strength is his ability to score!
NOW: The Florida signee may just be one of the best scoring point guards in the country. Ogbueze has an excellent right to left crossover where he elevates for his patented midrange jumper. He is an accurate 3 point shooter, but his bread and butter are the midrange game off the dribble. He has a muscular frame and sports a high elite level athleticism that should make him a contributor early in his freshman season for the Gators.
Montrezl Harrell – 6’7”, 235 PF/SF (2012 – North Edgecombe, Tarboro, NC)
THEN: Although Harrell’s performance in the game wasn’t his best (he basically mailed it in the first half), his incredible athleticism and intimidating defensive presence were too strong to be held down for long. He opened up the second half of an afternoon game with an earth-shattering, two-handed tip dunk that had the crowd stirring and was easily the Play of the Day in Gym 2. Harrell has the potential to guard the 2, 3, and 4 positions in college and could become the ACCDPOY if he wanted to. He’s that talented, athletic, and versatile. Offensively, his handle has to improve by leaps and bounds and he needs to decide if he’s an undersized 4 at the next level or try to move his game outside (I say the former). If he stays on the block, Harrell will need to hone a go-to move. Incredible talent that will fun to follow, but right now his position at the next level will greatly depend on his overall growth. (Committed to Virginia Tech)
NOW: Harrell has regained his explosiveness at Hargrave Military Academy this season and has developed an aggressive approach to his game. He is relentless in attacking the basket and has become a major force on the interior this season. He is extremely versatile and has the ability to take over a game on both ends of the court.
Anton Gill – 6’3”, 170 SG/PG (2013 – Ravenscroft, Raleigh, NC)
THEN: The Raleigh product with a growing reputation stepped up to the plate Saturday and more than held his own against the best competition in the state. In the final game of the day in Gym 2, Gill locked horns with Rodney Purvis and drew the unenviable defensive assignment. To his credit, Gill frustrated RP in the half court and forced him into a few ill-advised shots and even stripped him on a drive. Purvis eventually got it going, but the Ravenscroft sophomore deserves credit for slowing him down. Offensively, AG looked outstanding. He excelled in transition and left the crowd gasping with a hesitation move in the second half. Gill plays a little bigger than 6’3” at this point (wingspan) and compounds his effectiveness with effort/athleticism when crashing the glass hard on both ends. No guard at the event rebounded the ball better than Gill. What makes AG so impressive is his ability to score in so many different ways. If you leave him open, he will knock down the 3 ball efficiently and will also jab step you to create space. If you play up tight on AG, he has a really quick first step and he will blow by you for an aggressive drive to the basket.
NOW: Anton Gill surprised many by committing to Louisville and many schools in the ACC may wish they would have aggressively recruited him more. In our opinion, Gill has tremendous upside and still hasn’t received his full potential and we personally feel Gill along with UNC commit and AAU teammate Isaiah Hicks may be the two best prospects in the state for the 2013 class. He has large hands and feet and looks like he could easily grow a few more inches. He has the ability to create his own shot and is really effective in coming off screens in a catch and shoot situation.
Codi Miller-McIntyre – 6’2”, 170 PG (2012 – First Assembly, Concord, NC)
THEN: If I had one word to describe MM’s game, it’d be “winner”. The 6’2” lead guard doesn’t wow you on first look – not elite athleticism, average size, not a dead-eye shooter, but in game 3 was shooting on all cylinders and was playing more of the off guard position. In earlier games, he played more of a lead guard position and found teammates in the open court with precision passes for easy scores all game. Makes the easy play instead of the flashy play. Miller-McIntyre’s intensity of the defensive end was refreshing to see. Gets up high for boards – not necessarily a big 6’2”, but certainly not small. Maintained great spacing in PNR situations and found the roll man. Finished nicely in the lane with his left. Great leadership capabilities and could possibly be a boon for Coach Bzdelik in years to come in Winston-Salem. (Committed to Wake Forest)
NOW: Since the DTCC, Codi Miller-McIntyre enjoyed an outstanding NBA player’s camp and enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy and that move alone has paid huge dividends. He has excelled and we feel that CMM is a top 40 player nationally. He has added strength and explosiveness to his game and will be the surprise player in the ACC next season. He is extremely talented and can play both guard positions. He has the unique ability to come off screens and be effective in a catch and shoot situation or create his own shot off the dribble. In addition, he has the size and athleticism to throw down impressive dunks in the lane.
Aaron Roundtree- 6’8, 180 SF/PF (2012- Greenfield School, Greenfield, NC)
THEN: Roundtree is unique because of his size, length, and ability to handle the rock. He has exceptional ball handling skills for a 6’8 player and has good court vision and his passing ability is tremendous. In speaking with his high school coach, Rob Salter, he made the best comment, “Tree doesn’t do anything great, but does a little bit of everything well.” He can create mismatches with his size, but will need to develop a mid range arsenal to his skill sets. (Committed to Wake Forest)
NOW: Aaron Roundtree continues to be one of the country’s most unique players. He has the size and ball handling skill of a PG, but rebounds extremely well, plus has the length to be an effective shot blocker. This season “Tree” has enjoyed some triple doubles and his ability to affect the game defensively as well as offensively makes him one of the state’s most versatile players. He is another player that should make an early impact in the ACC at Wake Forest.