After a lot of stressors throughout the last twelve to fourteen months, the grassroots basketball landscape has finally returned to normalcy. The shoe-circuits and high school LIVE periods were restored for the betterment of these young prospects who are simply fighting for an equal opportunity to advance to the collegiate ranks. Although this presents Division I programs with the chance to start attending events, most non-D1s have already been allowed to travel over the last year or so. So, with the NCHSAA and NCISAA LIVE periods quickly approaching, we figured it would be beneficial to take a closer look at the expected talent on display. This article will look at the Jaguars of Farmville Central…

Schedule:

6/18: FCHS v. Spotswood (VA)

6/18: FCHS v. Leesville Road

6/19: FCHS v. Wakefield

6/19: FCHS v. Cardinal Gibbons

Key Returners:

6’0 ’22 Neeko Taylor

6’2 ’22 Derrick Cox Jr.

6’4 ’23 Jah Short

5’10 ’23 Jayden Pitt

6’2 ’24 Alex Moye

Key Departures:

6’7 ’21 Leontae Moye

6’2 ’21 Terquavion Smith

Outlook:

Every team in high school sports has to deal with roster turnover, whether through transfers or kids simply graduating and advancing onto college. However, arguably no team in North Carolina will lose more production from two individual players than Farmville Central suffering the departures of Smith and Moye. The duo combined for 40% of the Jaguars’ total scoring and 33% of their total rebounding. Smith earned pretty much every possible POY award for the state while standing out as a clear leader en route to claiming back-to-back NCHSAA championships. Meanwhile, Moye was easily among the most underrated players across the entire roster—specifically through his motor, defensive ability, and willingness to do the dirty work. Both guys will be major losses for this group, but Coach Larry Williford might have enough to keep the ship afloat.

The obvious candidate to take a step forward and erupt within a leadership role is Short, who was already their second-leading scorer as a sophomore. Given his experience on multiple state championship rosters, one should expect the long, smart, athletic guard to take a major step forward. Between his physical tools, overall skillset, and expected jump in production, folks should expect to see various Division I programs getting involved over the coming months to join his lone ECU offer. Those who have watched closely should already know about his pure dominance with Garner Road, so the uptick shouldn’t come as a surprise. Meanwhile, another summer of repetitions and playing experience should pay dividends for guys like Cox and Moye. Both guys tend to do their fair share of the dirty work and naturally find ways to contribute within the flow of the action. Cox is long, athletic, and understands how to make his presence felt defensively and in transition. On the other hand, the young Moye plays bigger than his size would imply and simply shows a desire to do whatever necessary to provide his team with an edge. Rounding out their core grouping, the backcourt duo of Pitt and Taylor should cause definite problems for opponents. Pitt is a smart, rugged point guard with a tight handle, sharp vision, and a reliable penetration sense. He’s also a reliable defender and quality decision-maker with the ball in his hands. Add in Taylor’s terrific perimeter shooting, creation skills, and overall change-of-pace, and this roster will still be a brutal matchup throughout the state. Although obvious, college coaches should be quite invested with the Jaguars.