Posted On: 11/7/18 4:24 PM

In an eventful Oklahoma offseason, I’ve begun to pay more attention to the ebbs and flows of a basketball game; and the players who are catalysts in those ebbs and flows. At many tournaments, I’ve been tasked with writing a list-column of “most explosive” players from those tournaments. I feel like my perception of explosiveness may differ from some other, more practical connotations of the word; what I’m talking about when I say explosive, is the tendency to be a catalyst in those ebbs and flows in the game of basketball, not necessarily the ability to jump out of the gym. With that being said, these are the players I was able to watch from the Elite 14 Showcase who had the greatest tendency to “explode” or command attention through their play.

Trey Phipps 2020 Booker T. Washington PG 

Quick hits: off-the-dribble shooter, floor leader, energy-builder

Trey Phipps, who has demanded attention from opposing defenders throughout his career, is perhaps playing his best basketball now. He must have gotten some quality sleep on the drive from Tulsa to Wichita Falls last weekend, because he was near-unstoppable. In a matchup with Duncanville (TX), Phipps came out of the gates firing, scoring or assisting on all but 2 of BTW’s first 23 points while shooting 100 percent from the field. The Duncanville defense could not stop his quick shot release, and when they were finally able to limit his shots, he got inside and finished some absurd circus shots over guys a lot taller and taller than the 6-foot-even point guard. He proved that he can do the same thing to Texas defenders he has been doing to Oklahoma defenders for a couple years. I’m sold on Trey Phipps this season.

Camryn Dennis 2019 Sapulpa G

Quick hits: Game-changer, show-stopper, bucket-giver

Camryn Dennis, in his first outing for the Chieftains, was nothing short of spectacular, especially in a match-up with Little Elm (TX) who boast one of the top point guard in the nation in RJ Hampton (2020 PG) in which Sapulpa came out with a win in one half. I found it funny that so many people were surprised Dennis was able to limit, match, and even supersede, at times, Hampton’s play. I mean no disrespect to Hampton, as his recognition is well-deserved and received, but Dennis is far from a no-name athlete in Oklahoma. We’ve been seeing him do these things for years. His defensive tenacity was on full display Saturday, and the energy he brought each time he came down the lane to give the Little Elm defense a bucket was uncanny. 

Keylan Boone 2019 Tulsa Memorial W

Quick hits: bold play, bucket-giver, overpowering

Keylan Boone’s strength was on full display Saturday. Run-TMC Head Coach Bobby Allison limited his starting group and rotated his full lineup as to avoid the risk of injury, but the looks I got at Boone were convincing to say the least. He has ability to overpower opposing defenders to rebound, score, and defend the rim. The Oklahoma State commit led his team to easily outscore opposing teams with his ability to create second chances and high-percentage transition plays while he was on the floor. His play is really frustrating for those that face the challenge of guarding him in a straight man. Even if you can manage to force a bad shot, he’s more likely to get a shot off the rebound than he isn’t.