Hough High School “Open Gym Report”

Phenom Hoops travelled to Cornelius, North Carolina to cover Hough High School as part of our “Open Gym Tour.” To put it mildly, it will be tough and challenging season for coaches at every level during the COVID pandemic. That being said, look to Hough to be in the upper tier of the I-Meck 4A conference. Last season, Coach Jason Grube led Hough to an impressive 19-10 record and finishing third in the conference behind NCHSAA 4A state champion North Mecklenburg and Vance High School. 

To start with, Coach Grube will lose two of top scorers from last season; seniors Nathan Chambers and Beau Maye who averaged 13.9 PPG and 13.1 PPG respectively. 6’4 junior Graham Worland will be looked upon to provide scoring and veteran leadership. Last year, Worland averaged 10.3 PPG. In addition, 6’4 senior Cal Riehl (7.4 PPG) and 6’4 senior Nick Shryock (6.1 PPG) In addition, we were also impressed with the potential of 6’3 junior Steven Bloodworth III and 6’3 sophomore Rashad McCormick who will provide additional athleticism.

Attention to Detail

It’s no secret that coach Jason Grube is one of the top basketball coaches in the state. He is well known for getting the most of the talent that he possesses. As the old saying goes, Coach Grube can get blood out of a turnip.” First of all, coach Grube runs a very disciple flex offense with some quick hitters and additional sets. While this may sound simplistic, we were equally impressed with the team’s overall body language and attention to detail, which speaks to the quality program that Coach Grube has developed. When the coach spoke to the team as a whole, every player gave him eye contact and listened intently. In addition, when the players were running “suicide” sprints, every player touched the line. There were no shortcuts. As coach Grube elegantly stated, “it’s line and time.” You have to touch the lines and make your time. This is the kind of disciple that can easily translate into life skills. 

Graham Worland 6’4 2022

Last season, Worland averaged 10.3 PPG as a sophomore. Look for big things from the talented junior. Worland has excellent size at the shooting guard position, has tremendous basketball IQ and has a nice feel for the game. At our Hoop State Fall League, we got a chance to watch him on several occasions. We stated, “Worland is one that just works hard on both ends of the floor. He plays multiple positions and is one of the primary scorers for this team, whether it is showing off this shooting stroke from the perimeter or attacking defenses.” Coach Grube stated, “what a baller, I love that kid! He’s gotten stronger and tougher and will be asked him to be a leader. In addition, Worland will have to guard the opposing team’s top players.”

Cal Riehl 6’4 2021

We have seen Riehl more on the travel ball side than high school. He’s a crafty and heady player that plays with a high basketball IQ. From our previous viewing, we stated the following. “Riehl rarely gets sped up and showcased a variety of dribble moves including a baseline spin move that worked very well for him. He’s a high motor player who is a great teammate and is willing to make the extra pass to get the best shot. Riehl is a contributor on both ends of the floor and will continue to be an impact player as he continues to work.” The lefty has the ability to knock down 3-pointers, but coach Grube stated, “Riehl has been a part of starting rotation for the past three years. He has gotten better and will also be asked to provide a leadership role. In addition, he has gotten more versatile and has become a legit inside/out scoring threat.”

Nick Shryock 6’4 2021

Shryock earned valuable minutes last season averaging 6.1 PPG. Look for Shryock, Riehl and Worland to be the “go to” trio for coach Grube. Shryock first captured out attention at our Hoop State Fall League. He may just be the team’s glue guy. He has good range on his shot and can play multiple positions on the floor with his frame. He has the ability to be a consistent 3-point shooter and has excellent form and touch. “Coach Grube stated, “Nick has been a three-year starter and will also be asked to provide senior leadership. 

Building for the future

Look for 6’3 junior Steven Bloodworth III and 6’3 sophomore Rashad McCormick to learn their roles as underclassmen, but expect them to become more valuable as the season progresses. Bloodworth sports a 6’9 wing span and the southpaw brings quick leaping ability and explosiveness. McCormick could develop into a strong defender with his quickness and athleticism.