From emerging stars to traditional powers showing they’re back there were plenty of takeaways at the Phenom Hoops National Showcase this past weekend.
Here are a few of the observations we made.
Greensboro Day School is for real.
Whether it’s the 10-year chemistry among their core group of players, their legendary coach Freddy Johnson or one of the most spirited and creative student sections in the country, the Bengals are the real deal.
They won two games at the Phenom Hoops National Showcase by an average of 30 points per game and have all the key ingredients that make up a special team.
It’s a familiar status for Greensboro Day.
Last season the Bengals finished 28-5 and lost in the state semifinals. They won the state title in 2015.
They’ve got plenty of formidable foes on the schedule like Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), ranked No. 9 in the USA Today Super 25, and two games against No. 20 Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.).
The Bengals narrowly missed being ranked in the preseason Super 25 and play with a competitive chip that’s as big as the ball they throw into the hoop.
Oscar Tshiebwe is dominant.
The rims at Greensboro Day will need a good tightening after all of the “hinge-loosening” dunks Mountain Mission (Grundy, Va.) forward Oscar Tshiebwe threw down all weekend.
The best way to describe the 6-foot-9 big is active. Tshiebwe was relentless on both ends of the floor; swatting shots in abundance, grabbing rebounds and making the extra pass to turn good shots for him into great shots for his teammates.
He averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds a game to keep the Challengers unbeaten at the Phenom Hoops National Showcase.
The best part?
Tshiebwe is only a sophomore.
Word of God Christian Academy will make noise.
The Holy Rams dropped both of their games at the Phenom Hoops National Showcase; that’s the bad news, but don’t let those outcomes fool you, they’re stronger than they’ve been in years.
Word of God led for most of the game against No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), the defending national champions, and, but for a poor free-throw shooting night, the outcome could’ve been very different. Led by Washington recruit Blake Harris and North Carolina recruit Brandon Huffman the Holy Rams have all the pieces to make a vintage Word of God run.
Devon Dotson is a bad man.
Sadly, it’s all too common an occurrence to list “lack of motor” as a weakness for elite players; that, however, is just not a problem for Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.) point guard Devon Dotson.
Not by a long shot.
Dotson was relentless on both ends of the floor, hounding the ball defensively, running the show masterfully and finishing at the rim.
He averaged 25 points per game at the Phenom Hoops National Showcase, willing his team to wins in both games.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY