St. Mary's High School has lost some players to transfer over the past few years, so this year's team will look a little different than years past, as Head Coach Damin Lopez will institute a much faster playing style than year's past. Led by the superb play of star 6-foot-2 junior point guard Styles Phipps, the Knights will be a high scoring group of performers this high school season. Phipps and his teammates showed just how fast and exciting they will be this season, in this year's Arizona Preps Fall Showcase, as they defeated a talented Eduprize Prep team in the event - a game in which Styles Phipps absolutely put on a show @ The Showcase.
Phipps will have a season this year much like the season had by Mesquite's Nate Calmese (Lamar University) last season, and Phipps is only a junior. One of the top 2024 prospects in the country, Phipps has had a terrific high school career thus far - winning a state title as a freshman and putting up tremendous numbers as a sophomore. Now, only a junior, Phipps is prepared to have his biggest season to date. Spectators received a nice preview at last weekend's Arizona Preps Fall Showcase, as Phipps poured in 38 points in his team's narrow victory over Eduprize Prep. In the game, Phipps did it all, including handling the ball as it was on a string and making play after play, for himself and his teammates. Phipps who can score with the best of them, played like a general orchestrating his troops in this year's Showcase, as he facilitated the offense and assisted on numerous scores in the game.
Phipps should also have a big year in his college recruitment, as many Division-I college programs now focus on the 2024 Class. Phipps is scheduled to take an unofficial recruiting visit this weekend to TCU. He currently possesses offers from Auburn, TCU, Washington, Washington State, Missouri, Portland, UC-Santa Barbara, San Diego, GCU, Wastern Illinois and Hampton University. Currently, Phipps does not have a clear leader for his services yet, and he is still very early in his college recruitment. I expect his recruitment to take more shape this junior season in preparation for a decision during the fall of his senior year. There have been no indications yet of an early college decision.
Phipps will lead a band of young Knights' players that will include promising 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Caspian "Cash" Jones, who is one of the top overall 2025 prospects in the state. The combination of Phipps and Jones will be very strong all season long. Phipps will have his work cut out for him, as he will be completely keyed on by every opposing team's defensive efforts this high school season.
Phipps is well beyond his years as a basketball player and as a person. Raised thoroughly and hard, but with love, by his father Simon Phipps, Styles was built for everything that he is currently going through today on the basketball court. Simon's father played collegiately and professionally, while also having a stint with the Harlem Globetrotters.
I am truly looking to see what Phipps has in store for his opponents this high school season, as he is very entertaining to watch perform his craft. He will have a huge season. I will also continue to follow his college recruitment closely and bring you any updates as they continue to develop.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: Whether as a scorer or as a facilitator, Phipps enjoys having the basketball in his hands. The ball is a string in his hands and he is almost a magician with the basketball. Phipps has put in countless hours of ball handling and practice for himself over the years, and it seriously shows in his approach to the game. He is difficult to defend as a result of being able to get anywhere he wants to on the floor. He almost toys with his defenders at times, which can be a blessing and a curse. Because Phipps can almost do what he wants, he will continue to develop when and what to do with the basketball, as the game simply comes easy to him. But not without the countless hours of hard work that he has put into his craft. Phipps is fundamentally sound and looks like he is having fun every time he plays, as a result. Phipps pushes the basketball up the floor to the open man, and plays fast, but in a controlled manner. He dissects defenses and surveys the floor - looking for cutters or the open man on the floor. He is a good shooter of the basketball with range, and will really develop in this area over time. He has an excellent mid-range game and is becoming much more consistent from longer ranges. He is a very good rebounder for his size and position, as he has a serious knack and nose for the basketball. When he locks in defensively, he is very capable of becoming a serious lock-down defender over time - an attribute that will benefit him a great deal throughout his high school career and down the road.