1. Community School of Davidson has one formidable backcourt

2019’s Ryan Rynshaw & Brandon Ellington formed a dynamic backcourt duo at session three of Phenom Summer Jam.

Rynshaw is the off guard and his above the rim game will shock a lot of people initially, Rynshaw can jump out the gym we are talking serious bounce. Rynshaw also shot the ball well for the Spartans; Rynshaw has a fluid jumper on the catch, he moves well off screens and utilizes the entire floor, off the dribble Rynshaw was creative attacking the cup.

Ellington is the floor general for the Spartans; he was smart with the basketball and rarely committed turnovers, Ellington made some tough shots off the dribble and the pull up game looked polished. Ellington is a selfless leader on and off the floor, he posses a solid grasp on the balance of scoring and playmaking.

These two together along with a developing core should have the Spartans in the mix of things within the Pac 7 conference.

2. McMullen’s Emergence will help solidify Smith’s frontcourt

Smith lost their starting frontcourt from last season but the recent emergence of 2020 6’8 transfer Nick McMullen gives the eagles a major boost down low.

McMullen is a versatile forward on the offensive side; McMullen is an absolute rim breaker in the paint, McMullen can stretch the defense with his touch from deep, McMullen also showed confidence on the drive. It feels like McMullen improves with every game played, on defense McMullen is an active shot blocker. The arrival of the rising junior was an unexpected move from the perspective of Smith’s coaching staff. As you can imagine the program was thrilled to add a talent like McMullen and it seems his role within the Eagles offense is established.

McMullen truly enjoys the game and he plays extremely hard on both ends, whatever it takes to win McMullen will contribute. Recently McMullen has seen a spike on the recruitment trail and the live period could bring some offers.

3. Lincoln Charter will have a new look

No Kody Shubert, London England, or Jehlon Johnson, in the lineup this season.

Jackson Gabriel and Lavontae Knox remain the only starters from that 2017 state championship team. Gabriel is one of the most prolific scorers in the programs history, a big shot taker and maker.

Knox is a battle tested floor general who elevates his game according to the competition. On the drive Knox stays centered and low it’s hard to get him off balance, at the cup Knox embraces contact and finishes strong. These two have won a lot of games together and they will be interchangeable parts in the backcourt.

Both guards can play on or off ball, Knox’s added confidence from deep has allowed more flexibility. 2022 Daylen Pritchard looks ready to contribute minutes immediately, with his presence at point guard Knox and Gabriel will have even more space to operate. Pritchard has a nice handle; he’s strong with the basketball as a young guard, Pritchard shot the ball well from deep and he isn’t afraid to attack the lane.

The Eagles brought a guard heavy lineup so the verdict is still out on the LCS front court. Coach Gabriel and company are expecting a few more new faces in preparation for the regular season.


4. The Champs will look to reload

Prep graduated one of the most winningest senior classes of all time this past year.

The Phoenix return two starters from their recent state championships team like their 1A counterparts LCS. Rising seniors Chaz Gwyn and Zach Austin know what it takes to win a championship. Gwyn will be joined in the backcourt by impact transfer Stephen Minor and a bevy of underclassmen.

Gwyn and Minor are two proven guards at the varsity level, Gwyn is a combo guard capable of slotting in at either backcourt position. Gwyn is the best shooter on this team, but he also will be counted on to be a playmaker.

Minor joins Prep after spending two years at Atkins HS, he’s a potential major add for this backcourt on and off the court. Minor didn’t play this weekend due to an injury, but it’s obviously the rising junior is looking to establish a leadership role even from the sidelines. On the floor this coaching staff is excited for what Minor will bring; Minor is a scoring point guard, he’s aggressive attacking the cup and Minor is a confident shot maker.

Minor will offer another primary ball handler beside Gwyn that can facilitate and create offense. Defensively Minor could be the mouthpiece, this weekend he was constantly yelling out directions from the sideline. Communication is an overlooked skilled on the floor at times, Minor should help ease this transition.

There will be some growing pains with these youngsters, many of the perimeter players we saw this weekend haven’t played valuable varsity minutes. These guys will have to learn through experience.

Prep is another program expecting to add a few more pieces. LCS and Prep have won the past two 1A state titles, although both teams are replacing a ton of production we can expect them to be in the thick of things come postseason.

Quick Hitters

6’4 2019 Kelvin Johnson could be in for a productive senior year for West Forsyth. Johnson may have been the Titans most productive player on both ends over the weekend, Johnson was efficient from mid range, in the paint Johnson finished strong with either hand amongst the trees. The young man is all energy on both ends Johnson just gets after it.

6’5 2019 Ryan Ayers is another versatile wing for West Forsyth, Ayers can stretch the floor with his range or use his size down low. Ayers was money on the catch and shoot, Ayers is highly active coming off ball screens and he’s got a quick release. Ayers has a stocky build that allows him to body up down low on bigger forwards.

2020 5’9 Khalid Hinds could prove to be more than a game manager for Smith. The young floor general was aggressive penetrating the lane this weekend, Hinds gets deep in the paint and recognizes when to dish it. Hinds may be able to provide some firepower in the backcourt and ease pressure off Silas Mason and Nick McMullen, if he can continue to limit turnovers and make shots.

6’3 2019 Essih Aird was a shot maker this weekend and a bright spot in the Phoenix offense. Aird created for himself off the dribble and showed consistent touch from deep. Defensively Aird brought good energy he may be in store for a larger role this year.