On the latest release of the remastered podcast Live With Brandon Blakney, Brandon discussed an array of topics happening throughout the hoops world.
Is Southwest Guilford the best in 3A?
The Piedmont Triad 3A conference has been FULL of talent since its formation several years ago, this season is no different as Southwest Guilford looks like the best public school in the state. They’re blowing teams out in impressive fashion and it’s tough because you never know who’s night it’s going to be.
In the same conference unsigned floor general Quest Aldridge leads a spirited Spartans team, he’s battle tested and Aldridge is a capable leader. Tabor city are playing their best basketball of the season currently, they have more than just Aldridge to rely on, the backcourt is full of shooters, Dillion Bullard and Jakob Moore make a formidable front court as well.
Parkland may have something to say come conference tournament time, when this team plays at max potential the Stangs have proven they can hang with the big dogs. 2021 Camian Shell leads this group, one of the most underrated floor generals in an NC class full of them. Shell is poised and has a feel for the game well beyond his years, this group depends on Shell a lot as a leader.
Omari Bolden another 2021 guard has taken a noticeable leap in year two, Bolden is more aggressive and confident than ever. Jordan Timmons and Esosa Igbingie give this group two reliable three and D guys on the perimeter. Timmons is a sniper from deep, but isn’t shy about utilizing his devastating speed to blow by defenders. Igbingie is more crafty than fast, but he’s a strong finisher at the rim, and can knock it down from deep.
Silas Mason and Nick McMullen are one formidable duo, Mason a versatile 6’7 point forward has the keys to the offense. Mason has accepted a much larger role with the Eagles in his junior season, he’s done well balancing a demanding scoring load, and also working to make guys around him better. The biggest knock on Mason last season was the shooting stroke, it’s noticeably more fluid this season.
McMullen in his first year with the program wasted little time carving out a role, McMullen has been a reliable option on the block and his shooting touch spaces the floor for this offense. McMullen has also anchored the paint defensively as a rim protector this season.
Josiah Shackleford of Word of God Joined to speak about recent improvement from hours in the lab, a very physical battle on the block with Nick McMullen, and Shackleford speaks about playing under head coach Brian Clifton.
Shackleford is big on Coach Clifton and his approach, the relationship and goals go deeper than basketball. Shackleford speaks on how Coach Clifton focuses on making the guys better men in life first and foremost.
The Carolina Wolves are here and Winston Salem’s ECBL team tips things off next month, the semi pro team recently had tryouts. Brandon was there to take in some of the action and get the scoop before official practiced kicked off.
Also High Point Christian Academy has the potential to make some noise in the playoffs, the Cougars have some talented pieces and a rowdy crowd behind them. Landon Sutton leads this group and the sharpshooting combo guard is a legitimate number one scoring option.
KJ Garrett is another talented lead guard in the 2021 NC Cycle who can really do it all. Forward Zach Shumate is currently in his bag offensively, Shumate is knocking shots down from all over the floor, his range really spaces the floor for these slashers.
Sayyid Dalton and Brycen Thomas bring an athletic dimension to this group. Both guys can get to the bucket and finish through contact, both are also capable shot makers. When these five were on the court this offense ran like a fine tooled machine, with five willing scorers all in at the same time the Cougars are tough to guard!