Sixty-Four Things To Know Before We Tip Off The 19-20 HS Season In North Carolina

Sixty-Four Things to Know Before The HS Season Starts in North Carolina

1. As HoopSeen editor-in-chief Justin Young said in his 64 things to know before the 2019-2020 Georgia High School Basketball Season, repeating is hard. Really hard. But don’t tell these teams. I dive into my 64 starting with the private school division of North Carolina and seeing if these programs have what it takes to do the deed. 

 

 

2. Can NCISAA 4-A Greensboro Day make it four straight? Head Coach Freddy Johnson is in the North Carolina Basketball Hall of Fame, he has coached in the McDonald’s All-American game and has over 1,000 wins in his career. Again this season, he has Virginia recruit Carson McCorkle along with NC State pledge Cam Hayes. 2021 guard Brock Williams has transferred in from nearby Burlington Christian and 2023 guard Jaydon Young transferred in from Wayne County. Young may be the best freshman in the state. Also add in 2021 wing Bryce Harris, who transferred from Brentwood (NY) already sports offers from American, Howard, LaFayette and Stony Brook. 

3. Can NCISAA 3-A Carmel Christian make it three straight?  University of North Carolina-Charlotte 49ers Director of Basketball Operations, Byron Dinkins led the charge and laid the foundation for what is now the powerhouse basketball program in Charlotte taking them to a championship game in 2017 and the title in 2018. Head Coach Joe Badgett led Carmel to the title last season. With another strong roster, the 3-A NCISAA has to go through Charlotte. Carmel Christian return Youngstown State commit Myles Hunter, a 6-foot-7 wing and Kenny Gwynn, a 6-foot-5 small forward. 6-foot-8 sophomore Elijah Gray should see his minutes pick up and I expect a big year out of him. 

4. Can NCISAA 2-A Fayetteville Academy repeat? Billy Boyette is one of the best coaches in the state and lose all but three players that had varsity experience from last season. John-Michael Wright is now a freshman at High Point along with big man Emmanuel Izunabor. It will be tough but don’t count out any Boyette coached team. He holds state titles in the public and private school divisions in North Carolina. 

 

5. Can NCISAA 1-A Greenfield School repeat after winning it all last season and advancing to the state final the year before? Wake Forest recruit Djimon Bailey will have a say so and so will under-recruited senior guard Creighton Lebo. One thing is for sure with the Wilson, North Carolina program, Head Coach Rob Salter always has his Knights ready to play come tournament time. The Burlington School with Ja'Dun Michael, Ji'Lil Michael and transfer big man Kuleul Mading will have a say-so if Greenfield repeats. 

6. Can NCHSAA 4-A South Central HS repeat after winning it all last season? South Central will have a monumental task of repeating with the loss of Day’Ron Sharpe in what would have been his senior season. Instead he transferred to Montverde Academy in Florida and star point guard Shykeim Phillips graduated and is now at UNC-Wilmington. This is the toughest division in the North Carolina public school league. 

7. Can NCHSAA 3-A Southwest Guilford HS repeat after winning it all last season? Southwest Guilford will have the tough task of replacing all-state guards Keyshaun and Kobe Langley who are now at UNC-Greensboro, Jayden Turner who is a freshman at Queens, and Joel Pettiford who is taking a prep year at Fork Union Military Academy. Head Coach Guy Shavers stepped down after the win in Chapel Hill last March. In short, this is no easy task for The Cowboys.

8. Can NCHSAA 2-A Farmville Central HS repeat after winning it all last season? Farmville returns all-state guard Justin Wright, a North Carolina Central recruit and NC State junior pledge Terquavion Smith. Head Coach Larry Willford is no stranger to cutting down the nets in March on the states’ biggest stage bringing home the hardware in 2016, their 5th overall title. Oh by the way, Farmville didn’t lose a game last season. 

9. Can NCHSAA 1-A Bishop McGuiness repeat after winning it all last season? Bishop McGuiness will look to repeat after their narrow win over Henderson Collegiate last year in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at The Dean E. Smith Center 55-54. Head Coach Josh Thompson returns Camron Caroway who scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in title game last year. A repeat will be difficult with junior Andrew Budzinski who was named the MVP of the title game after scoring 23 points out for the season tearing his ACL playing football.

10. The toughest Conference in the NCHSAA 4-A division this season will be the PAC 7. The favorite for the 4-A this year will have to be Raleigh (NC) Millbrook HS with New Mexico commit Nolan Dorsey, 2021 forwards Will Felton and Jake van der Heijden. Senior forward Sam Hood is a Division II prospect and sophomore Silas Demery is starting to attract college attention. Also in the PAC 7 is Broughton HS and Leesville Road who feature 2021 point guard Carter Whitt and 2021 forward Jalen McDonald. Should be some really heated games this season down towards Raleigh. 

11. The toughest conference in the NCHSAA 3-A division this season is the Piedmont Triad Conference with 3-A favorite Greensboro (NC) Ben L. Smith led by Murray State recruit Nic McMullen and 2020 wing Silas Mason is one of the top unsigned seniors in the state. SW Guilford HS won it all last season, Dudley HS advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs and return senior guard Darien Wynn. Mount Tabor HS coached by Andy Muse advanced to the third round of the playoffs and return senior guards Shaylen Woodberry and Jakob Moore. Parkland HS returns sophomore guard Camian Shell and are coached by former East Carolina player Travis Holcombe-Faye, who helped guide them to the second round last season. 

12. The toughest conference in the NCHSAA 2-A division this season is the Eastern Plains conference with defending champion Farmville Central, SW Edgecombe who feature Radford signee and HoopSeen standout guard Keishon Porter and Nash Central advanced to the 1st round of the playoffs last season and really started playing their best basketball at the end of the season. 

13. The toughest conference in the NCHSAA 1-A division this season is the Northwest conference. Perennial powers Bishop-McGuiness and Winston-Salem Prep are the thoroughbreds in the conference but East Surry HS advanced to the second round before bowing out to Winston-Salem Prep last season and North Stokes HS advanced to the second round. Winston-Salem Prep has won 5 state titles and Bishop McGuiness has two state titles. 

 

14. The best senior in the NCHSAA is Tristan Maxwell. The Georgia Tech commit will look to lead one of North Carolina’s most prestigious programs, North Mecklenburg HS to a state championship this season. 

15. The best senior in the NCISAA/indepedent league is Josh Hall of Moravian Prep. Google him if you don’t know or look at what we have wrote about the five-star. 

16. The best junior in the NCHSAA is Dontrez Styles. He is next up in a town of 20,000 people that has sent 7 players to the NBA over the last 50 years. Cedrick Waxwell, Brandon Ingram, Jerry Stackhouse, Reggie Bullock, Herbert Hill, Charles Shackleford and Tony Dawson. 

17. The best junior in the NCISAA/independent league is Ja’Dun Michael of The Burlington School. The 6-foot-5 guard played up this season with Team Loaded NC and recently picked up a Louisville offer. 

18. The best sophomore in the NCHSAA is Patrick Wessler of Matthews (NC) Butler HS. The 7-footer has a strong skillset and soft touch around the basket. 

19. The best sophomore in the NCISAA/independent league is Jaden Bradley of Concord (NC) Cannon. 

20. Returning this season from the twenty-five players selected to the HoopSeenNC All-State team in the NCHSAA 4-A division are zero.  

21. Returning this season from the twenty-five players selected to the HoopSeenNC All-State team from the NCHSAA 3-A division are zero. 

22. Returning this season from the twenty-five players selected to the HoopSeenNC All-State team from the NCHSAA 2-A division is Farmville Central’s Justin Wright. 

23. Returning this season from the twenty-five players selected to the HoopSeenNC All-State team from the NCHSAA 1-A division is First Flight HS sharpshooter Dylan Blake and Pender PG JaJuan Carr. 

24. Returning this season from the twenty-five players selected to the HoopSeenNC All-State team from the private school/independent level is Shakeel Moore, Josh Hall, Isaiah Todd, Carson McCorkle, and Camren Hayes. 

 

25. This season is looking like a year that North Carolina could put two players on the McDonald’s All-American game roster. Josh Hall and Isaiah Todd should both make the squad this year. This will be the 9th year a player from North Carolina has been selected this decade and the 4th time multiple players have been on the roster from North Carolina this decade. 

26. The one tournament in North Carolina over Christmas break to attend is The John Wall Holiday Invitational in Raleigh. Loaded. Check out this line-up.  The Patrick School (Hillside, New Jersey), Montverde (Florida) Academy, Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, North Carolina), Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix), Callaway High School (Jackson, Mississippi), Moravian Prep (Hickory, North Carolina), Grace Christian School (Raleigh, North Carolina), Millbrook High School (Raleigh, North Carolina) to name a few. 

27. The one tournament in the South Carolina over Christmas break to attend is The Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbia, South Carolina held at Richland Northeast (SC) High School. The field is loaded regionally with Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, North Carolina), Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, Greensboro (North Carolina) Day School, Prolific Prep (Napa, California), Cannon School (Concord, North Carolina), Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix)

28. You will want to be in Charlotte for the Charlotte Hoops Challenge at Myers Park the day after Thanksgiving. See some of the top programs in the Charlotte area and the state. This year, Independence, Davidson Day, United Faith, Butler, South Meck, Charlotte Latin, Charlotte Catholic, Berry Academy, Combine Academy, Cannon School, Ardrey Kell, Providence Day, Christ School and The Burlington School. 

29. You will not want to miss the Bojangles Bash held at Ridge View (SC) HS on December 12-14. Aspire Academy, Sumter, Huntington Prep, Keenan, Orangeville Prep, Ridge View, Moravian Prep, National Academy, Dorman, Oak Hill, Cardinal Newman, North Meck, and AC Flora are all participating. 

30. In the first weekend of December, you will want to be at Roebuck (SC) Dorman HS for The Farm Bureau Insurance Tip-Off. Defending SCHSL 5-A state champs Dorman, Wren, High Point Academy, North Augusta, Mauldin, Peachtree Ridge (GA), Union County, Greenville, Spartanburg, Chesnee, Travelers Rest, Lower Richland, Byrnes, Keenan, and Lugoff-Elgin. 

31. Be sure you don’t miss out on any of the tournaments over the holiday season and beyond in the HoopSeen coverage area, check out our master list

32. Be sure to follow @JustinByerly and @HoopSeenNC for the latest in North Carolina basketball news, recruiting, and content. 

 

33. The breakout senior in North Carolina this season will be 6-foot-11 center Jonas Aidoo of Durham (NC) Voyager Academy. His stat line in Voyager’s first game this week…..26 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals. Aidoo has some mid-major offers at this point but at 6-foot-11, he can be a guy that high-majors take a chance on in the spring signing period. 

 

34. The breakout juniors in North Carolina this season will be Eric van der Heijden of Raleigh (NC) Millbrook. With his chance to shine for one of North Carolina’s best teams, the 6-foot-7 forward will catch the eyes of college coaches. His ability to stretch the floor, his fluid game and his skillset will have mid-to-high college programs intrigued. He was a top performer at our HoopSeen North Carolina Fall Preview back in September. He is the younger brother of Bucknell freshman Jake van der Heijden. Also on the short list is 6-foot-5 guard Po’Boigh King out of Raleigh (NC) Word of God. King spent this past travel season with the RDC Lakers and impressed programs during fall workouts at Word of God and received offers from Arizona State and Ole Miss. 

 

35. The breakout sophomore in North Carolina this season will be 6-foot-8 forward Jeremy Gregory of Mecklenburg (NC) North HS. He spent some time on the HoopSeen platform with Team Charlotte during our Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. His is the younger brother of Appalachian State freshman Donovan Gregory and will thrive in Duane Lewis’ system at North Meck and compete for a state title.

36. To date, we have 32 players committed at the Division One level in North Carolina. The number is a little low for the state at this time last season. Let’s give some ink to the guys that have already chose their college and here is to catching up with and passing Georgia that has 41 players committed….We all know where the HoopState is.

 

Player Name

High School

College

Ahmil Flowers

Grimsley

High Point

Ambaka LeGregam 

Concord First Assembly

Presbyterian 

Brady O'Connell

Ravenscroft

Old Dominion

Cam Hayes

Greensboro Day

NC State

Carson McCorkle

Greensboro Day

Virginia

CJ Huntley

Davidson Day

App State

Chieck Traore 

Concord First Assembly

Youngstown State

Daniel Ransom

Vance

Western Carolina

Dean Reiber

NW Guilford

Rutgers

Djimon Bailey

Greenfield School

Wake Forest

Garrett Hein

Concord First Assembly

Furman

Georges Lefbevre

Cape Fear Academy

Vermont

Isaiah Todd 

Word of God 

Michigan 

Jackson Threadgill

Davidson Day

Charlotte

Jadyn Parker

West Brunswick

North Florida

Jaylon Gibson

Grace Christian

Wake Forest

Josh Banks

Olympic

VCU

Josh Massey

United Faith

Western Carolina

Justice Ajogbor

Christ School

Harvard

Justin Wright

Farmville Central

NCCU

Kaleb Scott

Holly Springs

Georgia State

Kalib Matthews

Henderson Collegiate

Queens

Kennedy Miles

Williams

Western Carolina

Myljael Poteat

Burlington School

Rice

Myles Hunter 

Carmel Christian 

Youngstown State

Nic McMullen

Smith

Murray State

Nick Farrar

Apex Friendship

NC State

Trayden Williams

North Meck

Robert Morris

Tristan Maxwell 

North Meck 

Georgia Tech 

Nolan Dorsey

Millbrook

New Mexico

Keishon Porter

SW Edgecombe

Radford 

Zavian McLean 

Village Christian 

Columbia 

 

37. The best freshman college basketball player from North Carolina this season will be Caleb Mill at Houston. 

38. The best sophomore college basketball player from North Carolina this season will be John Newman at Clemson.

39. The best junior college basketball player from North Carolina this season will be Jalen Harris at Arkansas. 

40. The best senior college basketball player from North Carolina this season will be Brandon Childress at Wake Forest. 

41. 28 players from North Carolina that played their high school basketball in the state are on NBA rosters this season. Kyran Bowman (Golden State), Coby White (Chicago), Harry Giles (Sacramento), Jerome Robinson (Los Angeles Clippers), Reggie Bullock (New York), Dennis Smith (New York), Kadeem Allen (New York), Kent Bazemore (Portland), De’Andre Bembry (Atlanta), Gary Clark (Houston), Theo Pinson (Brooklyn), Chris Clemons (Houston), Seth Curry (Portland), Stephen Curry (Golden State), Jacob Evans (Golden State), Devonte’ Graham (Charlotte), Montrezl Harrell (Los Angeles Clippers), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans), George King (Phoenix Suns), Caleb Martin (Charlotte), Cody Martin (Charlotte), Chris Paul (OK City), Rodney Purvis (Orlando), Ish Smith (Washington), PJ Tucker (Houston), John Wall (Washington), TJ Warren (Indiana), Hassan Whiteside (Portland), CJ Williams (Minnesota)

42. The class of 2020 prospect that has the best game for the next level is Josh Hall at Moravian Prep. 

43. The class of 2021 prospect that has the best game for the next level is Dontrez Styles at Kinston HS. 

44. The class of 2020 prospect that has the best game for the next level is Jaden Bradley at Cannon School.

45. The best team in Asheville is Christ School. 

46. The best team in Greensboro is Greensboro Day 

47. The best team in Charlotte is a toss-up between Independence and North Meck 

48. The best team in Fayetteville is Village Christian 

49. The best team in Raleigh is Millbrook

50. The best team in Winston-Salem is Quality Education Academy 

51. The best team in Wilmington is Cape Fear Academy 

52. The team with the most college level talent is Moravian Prep 

53. I think Henderson Collegiate will win the 1-A NCHSAA title. 

54. I think Farmville Central will win the 2-A NCHSAA title. 

55. I think Ben L. Smith will win the 3-A NCHSAA title. 

56. I think Millbrook will win the 4-A NCHSAA title. 

57. The best team this decade in the NCHSAA 1-A is Winston-Salem Prep, winning four of 10 state titles. 

58. The best team this decade in the NCHSAA 2-A is Kinston, winning five of 10 state titles. 

59. The best team this decade in the NCHSAA 3-A is Cox Mill, winning two of the 10 state titles. 

60. The best team this decade in the NCHSAA 4-A is West Charlotte, winning one state title in 2011 and advancing to the state title game the next season and the final four in 2013. 

61. I think The Burlington School will win the NCISAA 1-A title. 

62. I think Northside Christian will win the NCISAA 2-A title. 

63. I think Village Christian will win the NCISAA 3-A title

64. I think Greensboro Day will win the NCISAA 4-A title. 

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