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…
Last Season: 16-10 (Lost in NCHSAA First Round to Herford County)
Although there is an overwhelming amount of basketball talent within North Carolina, it feels like the high school landscape is constantly changing. Take Thomasville for example, a team that immediately lost all identity upon the departure of Cameron Whiteside—their best player in recent history by a landslide. Unlike many teams that would’ve just wallowed in mediocrity until their next star came along, they went out and hired one of the top assistant coaches on the market in Antonio Threadgill. Despite his success at Southwest Guilford, Threadgill was ready for the challenge of building his own program. It didn’t take long to notice his impact, taking a team that lost six seniors and 78% of their scoring from the prior season and keeping them afloat. Their young roster really fought to outperform expectations, and certainly succeeded by going 12-12 on the season. It might not seem like a historic achievement, but the amount of obvious progression and ability to lead a team with minimal playing experience speaks volumes to both the players hard work and Threadgill’s capabilities on the sideline. Even in asking him, Coach Threadgill will tell folks that getting his guys to defend and play consistently hard was the first step in the equation and everything else should into place. Tyree Barnes has been their shining star under the Threadgill regime, going from barely contributing to taking over as the offensive focal point for the last two seasons. He’s a long, wiry, athletic wing with the ability to get downhill and attack the basket basically whenever he desires. Barnes is an efficient scorer with solid instincts, defensive prowess, and a frame that should continue to add strength at the college level. Though Barnes is set to graduate, Malcolm Knight and Janhri Luckey should be able to maintain a productive backcourt. Knight is a tough, scrappy, high-motor guard with quickness and excellent anticipation on defense. Luckey has a chance to be the building block within this program for the foreseeable future, given his freshman campaign. He stands out as a mature, athletic floor general with IQ, vision, and the ability to properly and regularly set up others. Jabrii Carolina plays much bigger than his size would imply and does a phenomenal job of anchoring the paint on both ends of the floor. He’s strong, physical, and secures rebounds at a pretty nice rate. Additionally, Threadgill has guys like CJ Dickerson, Phillip Williams, Lymeake Washington, and John Gladden ready to take another step forward. There is definitely some uncertainty looming but optimism should be extremely high with Threadgill at the helm.