By: Cooper Hart
On Monday afternoon, Phenom Hoops stopped by Father Price Gymnasium in Raleigh to check out the 2023-24 Crusaders. They are coming off a CAP-6 regular season title and return three of their top eight scorers.
6'1' '24 Ronny Turner
Turner is the clear leader for this group on and off the court. He plays a winning brand of basketball, always prioritizing the team, regardless of his personal accolades. He was the best defender in the gym, being a constant pest on the perimeter and contesting a surprising number of shots inside. He displayed versatility on the offensive end, able to fit seamlessly at either guard spot, a trait that the Crusaders will take full advantage of this season.
6'6' '24 Brendan Downes
Downes looked comfortable operating inside-out, knocking down jumpers consistently and displaying toughness around the basket. He was a solid interior defender that used his size and length to effect shots without fouling. He rebounded at a high rate on both ends as well. He has good upside and can be a name that various programs target down the line.
6'8' '25 Cash McSweeney
McSweeney shined all afternoon, shooting the ball at an extremely high clip while still bringing his usual interior dominance. His shot mechanics look much smoother and he's much more comfortable taking a wide array of attempts. He also has a wider range of mid-post moves that he can get to with relative ease. The two-way versatility and the improved scoring arsenal should make McSweeney as enticing a watch as any prospect in Raleigh this year.
5'11' '25 Damon Phillips
Phillips was an absolute sharpshooter all afternoon, looking comfortable both off the catch and off the bounce. He moves without the ball very well and has a knack for knowing where to be and when to be there. He did a solid job of attacking closeouts, able to finish at the rim or make the right pass with relative consistency.
5'10' '26 Will Migdal
Migdal was one of the sturdiest defenders in attendance, containing the ball at a high level. He slid his feet well and used his body to wall up to keep his man from getting to the paint. His ability to turn his matchup multiple times, leading to stalled offense, was impressive and should be an easy way for him to stay on the court this year. Offensively, he was consistently knocking down open threes and operated well as the lead guard. He limited turnovers and found advantages without doing too much.
6'3' '26 Brycen DuBose
DuBose was quietly impressive, showing off an improved outside game with a variety of jumpers and drives. He has a strong frame which he used to punish smaller matchups offensively while holding his own with bigger ones defensively. He looked comfortable in catch-and-shoot scenarios, showing off his improved shot mechanics. It will be interesting to see how he's used this year given his versatility and unique archetype.
6'2' '27 Ty Lange
Lange was the most impressive underclassman in attendance due to his size and skillset at his age. He looked incredibly comfortable operating on or off the ball against the mostly older competition. He wasn't physically overwhelmed like most freshmen are and he even was able to use his height/strength to his advantage against some of the older guards. His shooting mechanics look great, he scored at multiple levels, and his solid playmaking sense is something to keep an eye on as he develops.
5'9' '27 Walker Montague
Montague held his own despite being undersized in most matchups. He was (like his performances in the summer) incredibly comfortable getting to his spots and shooting with range, movement, and flow. He plays with a ton of confidence, evidenced by his fearlessness in taking tough shots and going right at bigger, stronger, and older competition. He was a solid creation threat, able to use his shooting gravity to leverage teammates open. Will be an exciting piece when looking towards the future of this program.
6'3' '24 Chet Yardley
6'2' '24 Jacob Wayand
6'1' '26 Aiden Smalls
6'3' '27 Griffin Cockerham
Other Names to Know
6'1' '24 Ryan Brannan
5'11' '26 Nicholas Ercolinco
5'8' '27 Ben Whitney