On Wednesday, Phenom Hoops (Jeff Bendel, Tyler Lewis, and Colby Lewis) traveled out to Bishop McGuinness High School for the NC Spartans Media Day. The Spartans should be well-known as one of the better independent programs across the Carolinas, and their current group is no exception. Josh Thompson is the director, but Herb Liles, Kerry Graves, Curtis Patton, Ryan Haidinger, Michael Bowers, and Alex Bell each play integral roles as the head coaches for these groups. The practice session consisted of three 16U teams and three 17U teams, and each offered their own respective takeaways. We will take a closer look at them all, jumping into the Haidinger roster…

6'2 Will Gray (East Forsyth)

In all honesty, this Haidinger group might legitimately be the Spartans' most talented roster of the last five years'and Gray is an obvious reason as to why. We don't necessarily need to reiterate our personal likening for his game, but folks should expect him to be a clear leader on a game-to-game basis. Gray is a smart, tough point guard with very strong instincts as a drive-and-kick penetrator. He's able to effortlessly breakdown opponents, navigate through traffic, and locate the best available shot. Gray is a great all-around athlete with deceptive quickness and the ability to play through contact at the rim. Despite his fairly unorthodox shooting mechanics, he knocks down jumpers at a nice percentage from the perimeter. Though he's a terrific offensive player and overall floor general, Gray's premier defensive presence and sharp instincts make him quite unique. He forces turnovers at a seemingly nonstop rate, rebounds at a high volume for a guard, and understands how to unselfishly lead by example on both ends of the floor. Gray is already worthy of scholarships, and should be a priority for various programs throughout the upcoming summer. 

6'2 Jahreece Lynch (North Surry)

Over the last twelve months, Lynch's name has been circulated as much as any player across the greater Triad area. He's a noted football talent with a variety of Division I offers. However, Lynch should also have numerous suitors for his basketball ability. He's a natural leader with quality IQ, unselfishness, communication, and leadership on both ends of the floor. Lynch is a great all-around athlete with the blend of strength, toughness, and physicality to frequently cause problems for opponents. Lynch attacked the basket with ease, make correct reads, and displayed the ability to score from all levels. He's difficult to bother as a defender or rebounder, and can produce with or without the ball in his hands. Lynch is an adaptable piece with the tools and skillset to operate in various roles. 

6'2 Andrew Schrage (Bishop McGuinness)

Given our countless viewings of Schrage, his steady progression over the last twelve months should've been somewhat expected. He's a scrappy, fairly unselfish guard prospect with the ability to initiate the offense or play alongside another primary ball-handler. Schrage prefers to attack but can shoot the ball at a respectable percentage (despite his unorthodox mechanics). He's a solid passer and active defender with the ability to outwork opponents for extra opportunities. 

6'1 James McCreary (North Surry)

There are certain players who just stand out for their competitive steak, and McCreary fits that notion as well as anyone on the team. He's a tough, wiry combo-guard who typically works without the ball and applies scoring pressure from all three levels. McCreary plays hard, willingly does the dirty work, and can assert himself or create for others. He stands out as a natural gamer and useful piece on both ends of the floor.

6'3 Jordan Davis (East Surry)

In many ways, Davis stood out as a glue-guy for this squad. He's somewhat unassuming at first glance, but his natural feel and all-around production continually reaffirmed his value. Davis is comfortable finding opportunities in every possible context'regardless of situation or surrounding teammates. He's a quality shooter and passer with rebounding prowess and flashes of defensive versatility. Davis naturally affects the action on both ends of the floor.

5'9 Riggs Handy (Bishop McGuinness)

There is usually some decent discussion whenever discussing the best shooter in a given gym, but it's undoubtedly Handy in this scenario. We've seen the undersized, quick-trigger marksman so many times that his elite perimeter shooting is fairly common knowledge. That being said, opponents still seem to struggle with his on-court presence. Though he's a lethal three-point shooter, Handy's deep range and shifty movements without the ball make him somewhat of a nightmare for opponents. He's able to regularly get off (and convert) clean looks from extremely difficult angles and through copious amounts of defensive pressure. Handy will definitely be an x-factor. 

6'0 Caleb Ellison (Reagan)

If Handy is the best three-point shooter on the team, Ellison is definitely their most lethal midrange threat. He's a wiry, fairly well-rounded guard with feel, quickness, and useful creation skills'both for himself and others. Ellison offers a nice defensive presence, handles the ball as needed, and fills in the gaps on both ends of the floor. He's a solid athlete who makes unselfish passes and scores the ball with efficiency. 

6'6 Wyatt Harbaugh (Northwest Guilford)

Perhaps it's the large sample size or the natural blue-collar approach, but it's unclear how more folks don't absolutely love Harbaugh and everything he brings to the table. In an age focused on emphasizing the sexier offensive flash, Harbaugh stands out through his incredible motor, toughness, and willingness to make hustle plays. He's the only real 'big man' on the team, but it shouldn't be much of a problem. Harbaugh is a strong, active, physically imposing interior presence who plays bigger than his size would imply. He's quite bouncy, and will regularly catch opponents by surprise through his ability to soar around for finishes, rebounds, or blocked shots. Harbaugh is a great teammate and the type of player who simply outworks others to consistently produce. 

6'2 '24 Zackary Goodman (Caldwell Academy)

As the lone prospect in the Class of 2024, Goodman continues to stand out as an intriguing prospect. He's a wiry wing with length, athleticism, and a blossoming offensive skillset. Goodman can comfortably pass, shoot, handle the ball, and create for himself or others, but can also make an impact as a defender and rebounder. He does a nice job of making plays within the flow of the action, but can also expand his production as needed. Goodman should continue to steadily develop over the coming months.