AJ Smith Leading the Way at Hickory Grove Christian
Hickory Grove Christian is a relatively new look roster this season. They lost key contributors Jacori Owens (Combine Academy) and Regin Larson (Graduation/Pfeiffer) but Junior Guard AJ Smith is back and ready to take over. He’s an incredibly difficult player to contain when he’s in attack mode and his leadership ability will called upon this season. He has a growing offer list with the likes of Texas A&M and UNC Charlotte extending a scholarship to the young man that played his summer ball with Team Charlotte. He had 29 points in his first game today, attacking the basket and getting to the line at will.
Khalid Hinds is Ben L Smith’s Unsung Hero
When you’re looking at Ben L Smith’s roster the guys like Silas Mason and Nick McMullen stand out, but Khalid Hinds makes this team go. The crafty senior guard is in charge of running the offense and locking down the oppositions top perimeter player each and every game. He had a great summer with the Greensboro Warriors and appears to have picked up right where he left off. Scholarship coaches should be all over Hinds and this Smith roster this year as they’re loaded with talent and poised for a NCHSAA 3A title run.
Lake Norman Getting it Done by Committee
This Lake Norman roster doesn’t have a ton of big names but under first year coach Grant Hodges they have the necessary pieces to be one of the more competitive teams in the Charlotte area. 5’11 2021 Clay Hodges, 6’4 2022 Davis Wagner, and a few others look ready to lead the way for this squad this season. Hodges is a pest like defender with excellent instincts at both ends of the court. His shooting touch is a huge part of his game as well. Wagner is a smooth inside/outside scorer that bodes as a perfect compliment to Hodges and the rest of this roster.
Tate Johnson out, Drew Patterson in for Metrolina Christian
It was going to be difficult for Metrolina Christian to replicate the dynamic duo they had last year with Tate Johnson and Stephen Clark. They don’t necessarily have a true big man to replace Clark who’s now at the Citadel, but 6’2 2020 Drew Patterson should fill the void that Tate Johnson left quite nicely. Between Drew and 6’0 2021 Camden Johnson, this backcourt should be incredibly tough to contain on a night to night basis. Patterson is a true combo guard that is comfortable running the team or playing off the ball, expect a big year from him with college coaches taking notice.