Carmel Christian (NC) had arguably their best season in program history last year, finishing 24-4 en route to the NCISAA 2A State Championship. Head coach Joe Badgett will be looking to guide the Cougars to back-to-back state titles. They were nationally-ranked as the 2017-18 season closed, and they return with seven rotations players capable of playing at the Division 1 level - including two that have already committed. Their schedule will test themselves early and often, and we expect them to bring home results worthy of a national ranking.
The Cougars are loaded top to bottom. 6-foot-4 seniors Donovan Gregory (Appalachian State) and Marten Maide (Liberty) are standouts, and they’ll be counted on for a ton of production. Gregory is an explosive scorer and plus-rebounder for his size, while Maide, a native of Estonia in Europe, can score in bunches and triggers the Cougars’ top-notch defense. Gregory and Maide both figure to be ‘steals’ at the next level, and they’ll be at the top of most opponents’ scouting reports. Gregory and Maide should also have elite on-court chemistry, as both starred for Jeff McInnis’ Team Charlotte this spring and summer in the Under Armour Association.
Gregory and Maide will lead the way and will have one of the better supporting casts in the country. 6-foot-6 senior swingman DeAngelo Epps was a popular mid-major recruit before he committed to College of Charleston, and the Charlotte Country Day transfer should make an instant impact as he joins the Cougars. 6-foot-2 senior Myles Pierre is committed to Houston Baptist, and he’ll play big minutes in Badgett’s backcourt. Jonathan Murphy, a 5-foot-10 senior, is a captain along with Gregory and Pierre, and will be a key role player in the rotation. 6-foot-7 senior forward & UNC-Wilmington commit Jake Boggs adds nice depth, while juniors Ford Cooper and Myles Hunter are both budding Division 1 talent. Throw in 6-foot-6 freshman Jeremy “Big Jerm” Gregory - a budding high-major prospect - and there is plenty of reason to be excited about the Cougars chances in 2018-19.
The Cougars tip off their season as the hosts of Phenom Hoops’ first annual Carmel Christian Tip Off, and they’ll be doing it in style, as they’ll be debuting their brand new basketball facility. If they have one possible red flag, it would be their relative lack of size and bulk inside on the national level. Regardless, they’ll be favorites in just about every game they play, and will test themselves at December’s Emerald Coast 16 and Arby’s Classic. They have plenty of offense to compete with the nation’s best, but it’s their defense that is their calling card. The Cougars held eight of their opponents under 50 points in 2017-18, and it would be a good bet they repeat that success this winter.