The high school basketball landscape is in constant flux, whether from players transferring, prep schools emerging, or something in between. These common situations have made it extremely difficult for most programs, as the roster turnover is greater than ever before. However, North Meck has been a sheer model of consistency since the turn of the millennium. Coach Duane Lewis should be credited with a fair share of their overall success, since he’s managed various types of talents while being the captain of this ship for so long. After going 30-1 and receiving national-level praise, will they be able to return to full form–or perhaps even better than before?
Obviously the losses of Tristan Maxwell, Trayden Williams, and Shamann Artis are going to have an effect. However, those three guys are all being replaced with prospects who are more than capable of making up any lost ground. Despite playing JV for most of the last two seasons, Davion Cunningham has an odds-on chance to be the next star guard of this program. He’s starting to finally get some buzz surrounding his name, but guys like Tony Waters and Joshua McClary will also play major roles. Waters may have a calm demeanor but competes like very few; he’s a quality all-around player with a tough, rugged approach to the game. McClary should emerge as a surprise for most, seeing as his playing time was somewhat limited last season. Now, he should have ample opportunity to find success with this group.
Meanwhile, Jordan Crawford has firmly placed himself within the top 3-and-D prospects within the entire state. He’s another smart, well-rounded player that understands his identity extremely well. Marcus Farley found useful minutes as a sophomore and should only continue to expand his role throughout next season. He’s long and athletic, but has also highlighted a quality amount of skill and leadership over the last two weeks at our Phenom Queen City Showcase and Phenom Challenge. Additionally, Tristan Lexander is someone who should see his stock continually rise throughout the next calendar year. He’s already shown a high-level skillset and array of tools, and should have plenty of chances to prove himself to college coaches.
Given the plethora of guards and wings, Chris Ford should be a perfect complement to the rest of this roster. His ability to do a little bit of everything, toggle between roles, and maintain production will lead to next-level opportunities. Jeremy Gregory will be the lone interior presence but has steadily shown flashes of taking the next step in his progression. He has great hands and displays an effective presence around the basket, especially as a rebounder. Both guys already hold Division I offers, so it’ll be interesting to see how their respective recruitments unfold over the next twelve months.
While those eight are likely going to absorb most of the rotation minutes, there should still be the chance for Avery Borden, Donovan Hagler, and others who are progressing their way through the program to find playing time. It’s probably still too early to say with any certainty, but the Vikings look as likely as any team in the state to maintain their impressive amount of success.