Each year, North Carolina's high school basketball landscape undergoes countless transfers, coaching changes, and general shifts in its structure. Although there's a healthy number of programs that seemingly win 25-30 games every season, far more teams go through struggles and fluctuations of success. Consider East Mecklenburg, for example. After the departures of their three leading-scorers, Jordon Nevill, Jonah Lawrence, and Thomas White, things should appear pretty bleak on paper. They lost over 75% of their scoring and rebounding. However, this is why the games are played rather than determined on paper.

Despite being a program not typically known for bringing in transfers, the addition of Bryson Heath should ultimately be a major difference-maker. Aside from their new lead guard, everyone else on the roster comes through internal development. Guys like Ahmari Hicks and Jordan Buzzard must each take big steps forward in order for this group to maintain its noteworthy status from last season. While it sounds like a large task, both players have shown a lot of ability over the recent months. Add in another year of growth from Braylen Bowman and numerous other pieces, and it'll be interesting to see how this group unfolds.

Sure, other programs in the Charlotte area will likely receive way more attention from the general masses but it doesn't really matter. Between their coaching, personnel, and hungry cast of pieces ready to prove themselves, East Mecklenburg will surprise a lot of opponents this season. Expect them to be a highly competitive group and firmly in the mix as a potential playoff sleeper.