Phenom Open Gym: Central Cabarrus
Last season, Central Cabarrus finished with a 30-1 overall record losing to eventual NCHSAA 3A State Champion, West Charlotte, in the Western Regional Finals. With 93% of the scoring returning, Coach Jim Baker has plenty to be excited about and should be the pre-season favorite in the NCHSAA 3A West. Central Cabarrus plays an unorthodox style of basketball and does not possess much size. That being said, they ran through the competition, but loss to a red hot West Charlotte team. Central Cabarrus returns 6'1 senior Jaiden Thompson (19.8 PPG), 6'1 junior Chase Daniel (15.6 PPG), 6'0 Carson Daniel (14.3 PPG), 6'2 Gavin Bullock (10.8 PPG), and 6'0 senior Adreil Miller (7.0 PPG). For the season Central Cabarrus averaged 84.9 PPG, but more importantly averaged 22.5 assists per game and an impressive 20.1 steals per game. With a starting lineup with no one listed over 6'2 in height, Central Cabarrus may have fooled a lot of teams getting off the bus and in the lay-up line thinking they were not that intimidating. That being said, that would quickly change once the ball is tipped off to start the game.'
Give Coach Jim Baker tremendous credit. He has adapted this team's play to the makeup of his personnel. He has small, but super quick guards that will pick you up the entire 84 feet. They have 'quick rhythm' hands that are constantly jabbing at the ball handler. It's relentless pressure the entire game and the players feed off each other's hustle plays. They play extremely well as a team and are quick to make the extra pass. Just look at the 22.5 assists per game as a testament to their unselfish play. In addition, Coach Baker has strengthened his non-conference schedule and has a few key matchups early in the season. Central Cabarrus is play Lake Norman High School at the Phenom LakesGiving event Saturday, November 26th. This matchup should be two of the top teams in their perspective classification; Lake Norman (NCHSAA 4A) and Central Cabarrus (NCHSAA 3A). Then at the Anthony Morrow Shootout, Central Cabarrus is scheduled to play NCISAA 1A State Champion United Faith and NCISAA 2A power Gaston Day. These games should be an early season test for the Vikings of Central Cabarrus. Now, let's take a closer look at the key players for the upcoming season.
Daniel Duo (6'0 '24 Carson and 6'1 '24 Chase Daniel'
The Daniel twins (Chase and Carson) are simply what's good about high school basketball. They play with endless energy and are in possibility the best physical shape of any player in the state. They are the basketball version of the Energizer Bunny. They pick up opponents 84 feet and constantly harass the opposing team's ball handler into making mistakes, either by turning the ball over or making the errant pass. And if the constant ball pressure isn't enough, the twins have impeccable timing stepping into the passing lanes for deflections or steals. Their style of play and the full throttle approach to the game quickly allows them to become fan favorites. They are fun to watch and have a no nonsense business-like approach to the game. Both Carson and Chase have verbally committed to Catawba College.
6'1 '23 Jaiden Thompson
Thompson has excellent strength and is a strong, explosive 'off guard' that can score from all three levels. With his quick and explosive leaping ability, Thompson isn't bashful about 'throwing one down' for an impressive and crowd pleasing dunk. He has excellent shooting mechanics with deep range. In addition, Thompson was the leading rebounder averaging 5.9 rebounds per game.
6'2 '23 Gavin Bullock
Bullock is your blue-collar 'lunch pail' type of player. He has maximized his game with hard work, effort and a willingness to get better every outing. Bullock is the perfect complement to the backcourt trio of Carson and Chase Daniel and Jaiden Thompson. The foursome have a unique bond and chemistry that is difficult to emulate on the court.
6'0 '23 Adriel Miller
Miller is a two-sport star and was not at open gym due to football. That being said, Miller is the 'quiet player that gets often overlooked, but provides additional scoring and athleticism.
6'4 '25 Desmond Kent
Desmond should be the top newcomer to Coach Jim Baker's Viking. The slender, long and athletic wing impressed us with his leaping ability and overall skillset for a rising sophomore. Desmond also adds much needed height and length that should pay dividends, especially in the rebounding department.