Phenom Open Gym Tour “Pine Lake Prep”
Phenom Hoop Report travelled to Mooresville, North Carolina to cover open gym at Pine Lake Preparatory School. Head coach Tony Dunbar comes from Indiana and his deep roots to the Hoosier State is clearly etched in his coaching philosophy. Pine Lake Prep is a charter school and is aligned in the NCHSAA 1A division. Last season, Pine Lake finished with a 20-9 record and beat some quality 3A and 4A NCHSAA teams in Statesville and Lake Norman. The 2019-20 team will have come key returning players along with some fresh new faces as coach Dunbar will be challenged by the loss of Demarcus Johnson (19.5 PPG), Justin Workmen (11.1 PPG), Grant Wagner (9.7) and Derek Finizio (6.8 PPG) That being said, one thing is for certain, Pine Lake will be well coached and the players have completely bought in on the “team first” approach. We were impressed with the enthusiasm in the gym, the work ethic and the attention to detail demonstrated by the players. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the impact players for coach Tony Dunbar and Pine Lake Prep.
6’3 2020 Meelad Doroodchi
Meelad Doroodchi is one of the key returning starters from last year’s successful team and it was no secret that he was the team’s vocal leader during skill development and scrimmage. We were impressed with his overall leadership as Doroodchi set the tone throughout open gym. We’re talking about a highly skilled shooting guard that has a quick release and the ability to knock down 3-pointers with accuracy and consistency. In addition, Doroodchi is fundamentally sound, has a high basketball IQ and simply understands and enjoys the game. He has fun playing and is both energetic and enthusiastic. Last season, Doroodchi averaged 6.6 PPG, but look for him to be the team’s vocal leader as well as the scoring leader.
6’5 2021 Jacob Morgan
We’re seen Jacob Morgan countless times in travel ball setting, camps and with his high school team. Each setting, each venue, Jacob Morgan has been a model of consistency. That being said, we noticed early on that Morgan has put time in the weight room especially with his lower body. Morgan has gotten more athletic and bouncy and enjoyed getting out in transition and throwing down dunks. Morgan has good length and has a very fluid game. He is smart, smooth and skilled and will be asked to become a major scoring option and fill the void left by the departing seniors. In addition, Morgan is very crafty around the rim and will have the ability to score from variable spots on the floor.
5’8 2021 Trace Forest
Trace Forest will be the “straw that stirs the drink” for Pine Lake Prep. We’re talking about a pesky, ultra quick and highly energetic point guard that will be asked to be the team’s floor general. On the offensive side of the court, Forest will push the tempo as Pine Lake likes to get out and run the break and is very good at scoring off the secondary break as well. Forest has excellent ball handling skills along with good passing skills, but also have the ability to knock down open shots, especially from the 3-point line.
6’5 JT Harper
JT Harper didn’t play summer basketball and we didn’t get a chance to watch him play. That being said, we were really impressed with Harper’s overall play at open gym and will be a key and important member of the team. The southpaw is active on both ends of the court, rebounds well and gets his hands on so many loose balls. Harper has excellent basketball instincts and is extremely crafty in the paint. He has passer friendly hands, willing passer out of the post, and sports a nifty jump hook.
6’1 2023 Cole Callaway
It didn’t take long for the freshman shooter Cole Callaway to make his presence known. We have often stated shooters translate and Cole Callaway is in the conversation as one of the top shooters in the state for his class. He does a really good job of getting his feet and hands ready and required little room to let it fly from deep. Callaway has good shooting mechanics, form, extension and follow through and will provide coach Tony Dunbar another outstanding scoring threat from the perimeter.