It’s been stated before, but the high school basketball scene has transformed into something comparable to NBA free agency. On one hand, the kneejerk reaction is to pose an argument for why/how transferring or reclassifying could have a positive effect on said player. The other side of the token typically points to the lack of loyalty, structure, or overall negative effects that could potentially arise. However, the reality is somewhere in the middle. Public school coaches are never going to voluntarily offer up their players for private school programs to poach. There are various examples of players transferring from public schools to other public schools but it’s certainly uncommon. Despite being largely painted out as the villains in this comparison, private school coaches are expected to perform a job, which unfortunately requires them to seek out talent from all possible avenues. 

That being said, covering the greater Greensboro area (Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem) over the last four years has brought a lot of enjoyment. This upcoming season will likely be more unpredictable than ever before, as there will be an extremely unique collection of talent for public and private schools. This series will be ongoing and broken down into numerous parts, so be conscientious of that if your team doesn’t appear…

R.J. Reynolds

Last Season: 16-10 (Lost in NCHSAA First Round to Hough)

We’ve seen a lot of different methods and tactics across the high school scene, but R.J. Reynolds’ approach as a team is definitely unique. Unlike most winning programs, majority of their best players actually double as scholarship-worthy prospects on the gridiron. Last year, 85% of their production came from four players: Tyreik Leach, Caden Davis, Jaben Mars, and Tobias Johnson. For those wondering at home, that is fairly unprecedented at any level. Although they’re set to graduate Mars and Johnson, they’ll be fortunate enough to retain at least half of their core in Leach and Davis. Despite being undeniably reliable throughout his high school career, Leach has arguably become one of the most underappreciated players across the triad. He plays a smart yet gritty game and offers a strong amount of scoring with this group. Leach could be a college football player when it’s all said and done but also has the tools to succeed on the hardwood should he decide to take that route. In a similar boat, Davis was one of the most decorated athletes in the area last season. He starred on the football team and stood out as a well-rounded leader on the court. Davis’ has the IQ, size, and versatility to consistently cause problems for the opposition. He’s a quality scorer but doesn’t require a ton of shots to make his presence felt. That being said, Davis already holds a Division I offer for football and could feasibly blow up during the fall. Seeing as how only one non-senior (Ahmon Lumpkins) averaged more than ten minutes per game last season, this team is going to be in desperate need of guys to step up or emerge as contributors. They have the necessary pieces and coaching in place to remain relevant, especially with how much weaker the Triad landscape will be after graduating a lot of impressive prospects in the Class of 2020. It’s still pretty early in the process but a betting man should expect Leach and Davis to both enjoy another uptick in production.