As we’ve mentioned numerous times throughout the past month, player movement and roster turnover has become one of the most popular discussion points. Obviously, programs like Moravian Prep and Winston-Salem Christian (among many others) have already assembled their powerhouse squads, but not enough people seem to be talking about what Victory Christian is doing. Though they’ve had noteworthy names in the past, one would need to go back numerous years in order to find a squad that could rival their incoming group. The roster will have plenty of talent, but this article is going to place the most emphasis on two returners (Demar Anderson and Zach Stone) and three newcomers (Anthony Breland, Randi Ovalle, and Addison Archer)…
Despite being on the team last season, Demar Anderson should easily be as valuable as anyone to the projected success of this group. After coming off an ACL injury, he averaged 9.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 1.5 SPG for the incredibly balanced Kings. Those numbers might not seem eye-popping at first glance, but Anderson has more than proven himself during the summer season. Not only has he been a model of pure consistency in terms of high scoring totals, but he’s also doing so with noticeable efficiency from all levels. Furthermore, Anderson’s game takes a more traditional, fundamental approach compared to most, which is refreshing in a time when flashy dribble-moves and layups are glorified rather than dismissed. His creation skills mainly rely on straightforward intentions, accessing one and two-dribble pull-ups, utilizing backdoor cuts, making the right play in transition, and attacking the basket with poise. Anderson is not limited in his ball-handling, just efficient. Attention from college coaches has taken an uptick over the last few months, so expect to see scholarship-level programs continue vying for his services.
Also returning to this squad, Zach Stone is quietly one of the more underrated pieces within the state. He’s a long, wiry post prospect with touch, rim-protection skills, and the ability to space the floor. At 6-foot-10, the appeal should already be quite evident. However, Stone also moves really well for his size and possesses the perfect low-maintenance role to properly mesh with this collection of talent. Last season, he posted nightly averages of 7.4 PPG and 5.0 RPG while offering a steady, reliable presence on both ends of the floor. Stone’s adaptability should allow him to exploit mismatches and capitalize on opportunities within the flow of the team structure. He can effectively operate from the block, out of the high post, or beyond the arc for spot-up chances. Like Anderson, it might not necessarily be flashy but it will be effective. Stone is being monitored by various different programs, but offers are likely to start piling in over the next twelve months.
Though he’s the latest addition, Anthony Breland is arguably the most significance piece on this roster—specifically due to his abilities as a primary ball-handler. As a freshman, he was an obvious talent within one of the top programs across North Carolina. He earned the starting spot, looked extremely comfortable, and was the best player on the floor at times. After some ups and downs, Breland left and spent his last season at his original high school. Now, upon transferring to Victory Christian, there is new light being revealed for the combo guard. Breland is certainly known for his scoring ability, and rightfully so, as he’s shown a gifted offensive arsenal and overall understanding during the last few years. However, he definitely possesses the IQ, craftiness, and ability to be an exceptional playmaker, as he’s shown in various different settings. With Breland placed in the Class of 2022, there is still ample opportunity for him to shine in front of college coaches and ultimately get to the next level.
After relocating from California, Randi Ovalle has a chance to be the most coveted prospect on this roster. His offer sheet already far exceeds that of anyone on the roster, and it’s likely going to double in quantity over the next two seasons. In terms of talent, the appeal should be fairly obvious. Ovalle is a strong, fluid 6-foot-7 forward with tremendous skill, versatility, and inside-out ability. He shoots the ball at a high clip, utilizes his body to navigate through traffic, and possesses the craftiness to consistently create for himself off the dribble. Ovalle is a quality athlete with solid instincts as a defender and rebounder. He’s capable of making plays in transition, both with and without the ball, and finishes well through contact. His ability to play around the paint or along the perimeter makes him a matchup problem, essentially making him too skilled/agile for most opponents with size and too strong for most perimeter players. It’s not hard to see the attraction, which is why ten programs have already extended offers to the combo forward.
With the previous four prospects all residing in the Classes of 2021 and 2022, it’s only fitting that Addison Archer represents the Class of 2023. While the others may have more offers or reputation, Archer probably possesses the highest ceiling of anyone on this roster. Each stage of his progression has been more enticing than the last, from the Forest City Heat to the Asheville Game Changers to now—where he’s shown flashes of dominance with whoever he suits up for. After being much taller and more athletic than most of his peers up to this point, Archer has proven that he’s more than just a pogo-stick with rebounding and rim-protection instincts. Not only has he consistently added new wrinkles within his game, namely the development of his ball-handling and perimeter scoring ability, but he’s done so without diminishing what originally made him so phenomenal. Archer is still a quality athlete with great length, timing, and the ability to overwhelm his assignment on both ends of the floor. It’s still early, but expect a ton of Division I coaches to start getting involved over the foreseeable future.