As the game has continued to evolve, folks have tended to get less enamored with size and exploiting mismatches through strength. For better or worse, he modern-day game is dominated by guards and looks likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. These guys have always been the primary creators but it seems like teams are content with initiating offense from other positions, especially with the ploy for more three-point shooting, That being said, no class in recent memory looks to be as talented from the guard position as this group of rising freshmen. This article will preview some noteworthy names, but is not a ranking nor reflection of rankings in any way…
6’0 Treymane Parker (Fayetteville/Team Felton)
It would be incredibly difficult not to see the obvious talent and upside that Parker possesses. Sure, he’s the most explosive athlete of this group, but it’s his polish and consistent attention to detail that makes him so special. Parker has such a high-level feel for the game, often picking opponents apart on both ends with sheer effortlessness. He’s a highlight-reel waiting to happen, but also checks all the boxes that make him a legitimate floor general. Parker has a smooth handle, excellent vision, strong rebounding instincts, and the ability to seemingly score from any spot on the floor. Even as a rising freshman, Parker will bring must-see entertainment to Fayetteville.
5’11 Robert Dillingham (Hickory/Team United)
At this point, everyone in the country probably knows about Dillingham and his pre-high school body of work. He’s one of the most exciting, electric guards in North Carolina through sharp, crafty ball-handling and the ability to create quality shots with relative ease. Dillingham might play below the rim for now, but remains a constant threat to score the ball upon crossing half-court. He’s arguably the most lethal scorer and shooter on this list, though a three-point contest between Green, Dillingham, and Holloway would be incredibly close. It’s only a matter of time, but Dillingham looks likely to rival Moravian Prep as the best show in Hickory.
6’2 London Johnson (Olympic/Team United)
There should be no debate, but Johnson is certainly the most high school-ready of anyone on this list. He possesses a fairly complete skillset and already has the tools, both physically and in terms of skill, to be a primary option within an efficient offense. Johnson is another big-time scorer that can easily work from all three levels, but typically looks to assert himself from inside-out. It’s tough to find anything worth disliking in Johnson’s game, especially given the way he pursues rebounds and makes intelligent decisions with the ball in his hands, which is a big part of what will make him an effective and immediate contributor at the high school level—even with Division I teammates in Josh Banks and Trevon Williams.
5’10 Aden “Biz” Holloway (Covenant Day/Team CP3)
Arguably the most popular prospect of this grouping, Holloway should also likely have the “greenest light” out of any freshman guard. He’s fairly crafty and has the ability to play as the main creator or alongside another primary ball-handler due to his blend of ball-handling and three-point shooting. Throughout the summer, Holloway was consistently regarded as one of the top performers against the stiffest competition across the country. He simply knows how to make plays with the ball in his hands and has the necessary scoring ability to really fill it up on offense. Holloway could be the most productive on this list, as he could have a chance to emerge as the undisputed leader sooner than later.
5’11 Jaylen Curry (Vance/Team CP3)
Although “electric” has been used multiple times in this article, Curry is a guy that truly epitomizes the word. He’s a candidate to bring the crowd to their feet on every single possession, whether through a creative pass, incredible ball-handling flair, or simply by his clear two-way intensity. Curry can really fill it up as a scorer; he’s a pretty reliable shooter, but is even more efficient when getting inside the arc and navigating his way through traffic. He’s super-competitive and displays excellent instincts when jumping passing lanes as a defender. Curry won’t have the ultimate green light on this team, but he will be a big part of the most exciting young backcourt in North Carolina.
5’10 Trey Green (Vance/Team Charlotte)
While Green should be as well-known as the aforementioned five, it still feels like he’s the most underrated of this group. Everyone seems to gravitate towards the Devon Dotson comparison, even though they are quite different players. Green does have similar toughness, but stands out the most with his phenomenal three-point shooting. He’s a very calm, patient point guard that truly looks to get his teammates involved whenever possible, but also understands how to seize every available scoring opportunity. Green is extremely smart and already possesses a high-level feel for the game, but will be forced to prove doubters wrong because of his size. He’ll be one to watch, as he could be poised for a special year.