On the first play of his scrimmage at the Bank Hoops All-State Camp, Cass Phillips caught an alley-oop dunk. A fitting celebration, as there was nothing subtle about the 6-8 Lakeland junior’s performance. Nor has his rise as a recruit been subtle, blowing up on GLIAC, Horizon and MAC radars in the week since.
And why not? Phillips fills a void among the junior mid-major power forward prospects. While he doesn’t have the wingspan or shooting touch of Calvin Christian’s Blake Verbeek or Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Marcus Bingham, Phillips is sturdier and tougher. While not as strong as another GRCC junior, Jacob Polakovich, he’s a better athlete who makes plays above the rim with regularity. The only thing Phillips lacked that they didn’t, until now, was exposure, as he’s played travel baseball. College coaches have to be salivating wondering what a natural athlete like him would look like if he ever became a full-time basketball player.