Basketball Recruiting - Shaw's Takeaways: Savage Academy
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Shaw's Takeaways: Savage Academy

Julian Phillips
Julian Phillips (Rivals.com)

Columbia, S.C. – During quarantine Christian Savage started Savage Academy, an invite-only exclusive run where the best high school and college basketball players around the state would show up and compete. This week, the Savage Academy started back, and there was no shortage of talent in the gym. Rivals.com’s Jamie Shaw was on hand to take in the action.

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2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30

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PHILLIPS CONTINUES TO ROUND OUT HIS GAME

The most impressive player on the floor was 6-foot-8 junior Julian Phillips. Already sitting at No. 28 in the 2022 Rivals150, Phillips continues to improve his overall skillset. Phillips has spent tireless hours in the gym over the past year, focusing hard on his jump shot and defense which in turn has him playing with extreme confidence.

Phillips says Clemson, Wake Forest, Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and Ole Miss are on him hard right now, but he is not in any rush to make a decision.

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PROGRAMS STARTING TO PRIORITIZE BLAKENEY

The long-armed Shane Blakeney has always had the skills, it was only a question about waiting for his body to fill out his lengthy frame. That change has rapidly come upon us as he started this event off with an impressive dunk. With all the hard work put in Blakeney averaged close to 16 points per game and shot 41-percent from beyond the arc this season at Rock Hill/Legion Academy.

Going into the Summer, Blakeney carries a lone Div. I offer from UT-Martin, however the 6-foot-2 guard has recently heard from the likes of Virginia Tech, Marshall, Brown and others. A lot of coaches' eyes will be on Blakeney this summer as he will be playing with the Upward Stars SE program on the Adidas Gauntlet.

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HORTON TO STAY WITH CHARLESTON

Pat Kelsey was named the new head coach at the College of Charleston after Earl Grant accepted the same position at Boston College. With this transition, six players entered the portal and one signee decommitted from the Cougars. However, 6-foot-6 signee Raekwon Horton is going to stay pat. Horton is an explosive, do-it-all forward who graduated from Columbia/Keenan High School and did a post graduate year last season at Hickory/Moravian Prep.

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GREENE, JR. CALLED NEXT FOR SOUTH CAROLINA POINT GUARDS

South Carolina is known for its guard play, going back to standouts like Raymond Felton, Ramon Sessions and more recently Ja Morant. Kyle “KJ” Greene, Jr. is doing everything he can to solidify himself as the next in line. As a freshman KJ, already with multiple varsity starts, stands 6-foot-2 with a strong frame. His IQ and pace really stand out at this point, his understanding of angles and his ability to change speeds and deliver pocket passes or buckets. He is playing travel ball this summer with the Upward Stars SE 15u team, during his first event he averaged 18 points and 6 assists per game. Watch this one closely as he progresses.

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MADDOX SET TO CARRY THE TORCH

Treyvon Maddox, a 6-foot-6 8th grader, spent his first year in South Carolina this past season as he moved up from Florida after Maddox’s father, Artis Maddox, was named the new head coach at Benedict College. Treyvon has great length and a true frame. He also has a nice skill set to go with the IQ you would expect from a coach’s son. Naturally, he is only finishing 8th grade, but tuck this name away for the future. He is playing this summer with the E1T1 14u team.