Cox Mill won the N.C. 3A state championship last season led by a sophomore who would become the N.C. public school basketball coaches’ state player of the year.
With four starters back from that team, including junior Wendell Moore, it would have been a pretty easy call to install Cox Mill No. 1 in the Observer’s preseason Sweet 16. Cox Mill won the mythical Sweet 16 title last year.
But in addition to a team with Moore, a top 30 national recruit, and Caleb Stone-Carrawell, a 6-foot-7 junior and son of former Duke star Chris Carrawell, the Chargers have added a high-profile transfer. UNC signee Rechon Black, a 6-foot-8 guard who played at national power Montverde (Fla.) Academy last season, has returned to his hometown and enrolled at Cox Mill. He will join Moore, who’s also being recruited by the Tar Heels.
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All of a sudden, a very good high school team has become a great one. Cox Mill is showing up in some preseason national rankings.
“It’s a little different from years past when we would sneak up on people,” said Cox Mill coach Jody Barbee. “But with the year we had, and then you add Leaky (Black) to the mix, and there’s a lot of pressure on us.
“But I don’t want to dwell on winning the championship last year. That’s old news. I preach to the kids about what kind of legacy do you want to leave when you graduate. That starts this year.”
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To get a complete boys’ and girls’ preseason preview with schedules, team capsules and profiles visit charlotteobserver.com/sports/high-school
Charlotte Observer Preseason Sweet 16 Boys Basketball Poll
Cox Mill (3A)
Providence Day (IND)
North Mecklenburg (4A)
Cannon School (IND)
Charlotte Christian (IND)
Morganton Freedom (3A)
Kings Mountain (3A)
Lincoln Charter (1A)
Forest Hills (2A)
East Rutherford (2A)
Charlotte Catholic (3A)
East Lincoln (2A)