By: Wake Co. Hoops
2021-22: 13-10 (6-4), 2nd in CAP 6, 1st Round of Playoffs (L to Pinecrest 64-78)
Josh Laney – 17ppg – Graduated – Playing at Cape Fear CC
Chris Brandon – 10ppg – Graduated
Isaiah Jacobs – 9ppg – Graduated – Playing Football at Barton College
Joe Mengesha – 4ppg – Graduated
Ethan Montague – 9ppg – Senior
Fisayo Adebimpe – 8ppg – Senior
Gift Moses – 6ppg – Junior
Darian Chamblee – 5ppg – Senior
Owen Pederson – 5ppg – Junior
Jason Okoro – 3ppg – Senior
Jamyr “Juice” Coleman – Freshman
Starters: Fisayo Adebimpe, Darian Chamblee, Ethan Montague, Owen Pederson, Gift Moses
Bench: Juice Coleman, Jay Okoro, Simba Debnam, Hunter Johnson
The Eagles finished last season with 2.25 Wins Over Average (WOA) which was good for 9th in Wake County, 18th in 4A East, and 37th in 4A overall. They return 36% of their points from last year, ranking in the county’s bottom five.
Coach Poobie Chapman is entering his 5th season at his alma mater. When he arrived, Enloe was coming off a 3-win season. Since then, they have steadily improved and had their best season in over a decade with last year’s 13-10 campaign. Coach Chapman has this team playing a physical and unselfish brand of basketball, a style that sets them up well to compete in every game they play.
The Eagles are led by their do-it-all senior, Fisayo Adebimpe. Fisayo embodies everything that the Enloe program is about. He’s a smart, aggressive, and talented leader who will be his team’s soul this season. I am a big fan of his IQ and his ability to get his teammates in the right spot. He can create the best shot for the team and for himself. It is clear to me that his teammates respect and trust him and they will be following his lead this season.
Ethan Montague will be Fisayo’s co-star this season. Ethan is a wiry and raw wing that is rapidly getting better. He is an elite defender given his size and instincts, and he can guard 1-4 very effectively. Ethan is a great finisher inside and is hard to stop going downhill. He is still raw with his handle and shooting mechanics, but even then, he is still one of the better shooters and handlers in the conference. Ethan is a legit all-conference talent and I’m confident he will make waves this season.
Outside of Fisayo and Ethan, the Eagles have one of the most connected core groups in the area. Gift Moses will be their inside presence, with Simba Debnam as his backup. Gift has an extremely high motor, and he really impacts the paint on both ends of the floor. How he competes against the other top bigs in the CAP 6 will be vital to this team’s success.
The Eagle’s backcourt depth comes in the form of Darian Chamblee, Juice Coleman, Jay Okoro, and Hunter Johnson. Darian is a solid off-guard who will likely be the starter beside Fisayo on day 1. He is a solid shooter and a capable secondary creator. I like his ability to guard on the perimeter as well. Juice is the youngest of the varsity group as he is only a freshman. Despite his age, Juice has a high IQ and excels at making more complex reads out of ball screens and in transition. He will have his fair share of growing pains towards the start of the season, as most young varsity guys do, but I would expect him to be a key and integral piece to this team come conference play. Both Jay and Hunter are rugged defenders that play within themselves on offense. They should provide much-needed depth as the season wears on the heavy usage guys.
Owen Pederson is the glue guy for this group. He is a swiss army knife type of player that doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. He is solid all around and especially excels as a defender. His size and athleticism allow him to guard on the perimeter and be a weak side rim protector. This also makes him a good rebounder. He does a little bit of everything on the court and fills the box score in every category. He will be the x-factor for this group as they push for a conference title and a deep playoff run.
Enloe was impressive in the HoopState League, finishing 4-2 with wins over multiple high-level public schools including Apex Friendship, Jordan, and Chatham Charter. These games were encouraging to me as they looked good together against teams that are projected to be near their level. They also played up to a very talented Millbrook team that we consider to be one of the best in the state.
The Eagles have conference championship aspirations and while I don’t know who will win the CAP 6, I wouldn’t advise anyone to bet against them. They have a great mixture of youth and experience and have a balanced roster with well-defined roles. I expect them to improve as the season goes and they will be a tough out for anyone come playoff time.