In our latest event at the Phenom New Year’s Bash out in Charlotte, Cardinal Gibbons was one of the teams that we were eager to check out and get our first look at, as we knew they had some interesting talent to check out. Despite going 1-2 at the event, they were competitive and really opened eyes throughout the event. From their showing, we walked away impressed and had a feeling that this could be a sneaky team to watch out for down the road, whether this year or in the coming seasons.

Here is why…

When you talk about the future of this program, you have to start with the two youngsters that play are key factors and leaders for this team. 2026 Aiden Smalls and 2026 Trey Jones are two very intriguing prospects who play at a high level and they should only continue their development in the coming years.

Smalls ultimately earned 1st-Team recognition with his consistent play at the event, showing that he can operate and be effective in a variety of ways and is one of the more underrated guards in his class for North Carolina. He should get talked about more with what he showed; his ability to confidently knock down shots from outside and get to his spots, his ability to be a strong creator and finisher at the basket, and his overall playmaking ability. He is a true competitor on the court along with his physical play. Jones has size at 6’6 and can be effective from multiple levels, creating and using his size to get to the basket but also popping out and knocking down shots. He helps bring a balanced attack to the court for this team.

Then you add in 2025 Cash McSweeney, a developing forward that can not only be a presence down low and on the boards but also is skilled enough to step out and stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting as a big.

These three still have this season and next year to all be together, and Cardinal Gibbons has a coaching staff that also believes in this group. This is why, this is a program that I would have a keen eye on in the future, as they could be looking to make more noise.

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