Last night I had the opportunity to take the drive up I-85 North to Kernersville to check out Bishop McGuinness High School on their Senior Night as they hosted rival Mount Airy and it was everything was going the Villains way in this one! Let’s take a look at some of the standouts from last nights game.
6’2 2020 Jake Ledbetter: Bishop McGuinness (27 Points, 10/13 From the Field, 7/9 From Three)
Jake Ledbetter was absolutely unconscious in the 1st half in this one, knocking down shot after shot, and making defenders look absolutely silly in every which way. He does everything within the offense, never forcing up bad shots, just simply picking his spots, and letting it fly. He was incredibly efficient with his touches (27 Points on 13 shots with no Free Throws taken) and found a way to create for himself without the ball in his hands with his ability to move without it. He also played some point guard on the night, tallying 4 assists with only one turnover, making the right reads in the pick and roll, and never forcing the issue. He plays with a tame level of confidence, never trying to do too much, but always doing more than enough to put his team in a good position to come away with the win. His leadership is also a huge part of his package as an overall prospect, he’s extremely vocal with his guys and they all respect and listen to Ledbetter, he’s a natural leader that understands he needs his guys around him to buy in if they want to be successful. As Jake continues to develop physically and work on his defensive habits, he’ll become more of a can’t miss prospect than he already is. D1 coaches need to wake up before it’s too late!
6’6 2019 Cam Caroway: Bishop McGuinness (15 Points)
Caroway has always been a really intriguing prospect, but what he did last night as someone that can initiate offense is something I haven’t seen from him at this level. He was super effective on the glass and despite not totally being his normal self from the perimeter he was still productive scoring the ball. He was battling through an injury on his non-shooting hand, so that could provide some context as to why he didn’t shoot the ball at a high clip. He showed his ability to play above the rim with a high flying baseline lob over a defender that sent the crowd into a frenzy, as well as showing the ability to handle the ball in the pick and roll. Caroway is a can’t miss D3 level prospect and could even be a scholarship worthy guy at the right fit. As he continues to figure out his plans for next year, don’t be surprised if the right situation presents itself and Caroway ends up flourishing at the next level.
6’4 2022 Dawson McAlhany: Bishop McGuinness (6 Points)
McAlhany is yet another HoopState Freshman to watch with his physical gifts and ability to create for himself off the bounce. The 6’4 lefty is incredibly versatile with his ability to weave through defenders when attacking the rim. As he demands the ball more and gets his outside jumper more consistent, he should become an even more important piece for Bishop than he already is. He got his first in-game dunk late in the 4th quarter and the entire bench was going nuts, they are rallying around this kid, because they know that he’s a key part of their potential success in the playoffs.
6’4 2020 Andrew Budzinski: Bishop McGuinness (8 Points)
Budzinski was really effective for Bishop in this one, particularly with his energy on the glass. He’s an undersized post player that makes up for his lack of height with effort and athleticism, he almost threw down a dunk that brought the house down and should continue to build on his success this season with a big summer leading into his senior season.
6’1 2019 Mac McAlhany: Bishop McGuinness (4 Points)
Mac was really effective in the 1st half with his energy and toughness, using his athletic gifts to make hustle plays that kept Mount Airy off the scoreboard for the entire 2nd quarter. He’s a great on ball defender and knows his role within this team, bringing all of the contagious energy to this group.
If I’m an NCHSAA 1A School I want to avoid this team at all costs, they can heat up from the perimeter in a dangerous fashion while playing a brand of basketball that limits mistakes and puts their guys in the best situation to succeed. They also play as one unit, which gives them an edge over some talented teams that feature guys that are in it for themselves as opposed to the collective goal, but with all of that being said, I would call this team a fringe state title contender, with an ability to beat absolutely anybody, they play Winston-Salem Prep on the road on Friday so that should be a huge test for this group that’s peaking at the right time.