Utah isn't a state known for producing national-caliber high school basketball programs.
Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
is out to slam the door on that perception this winter, as it is the No. 6 team in the Preseason Xcellent 25 presented by the Army National Guard
"This is a season that we've been building toward for nine or 10 years," Knights head coach Quincy Lewis said.
Under Lewis, the program finished No. 24 in last season's final Xcellent 25 National Rankings
and in recent years has knocked off perennial powers from Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana and New York. The school has won seven state titles since opening its doors in 1997.
Leading the charge this year will be senior guard
, an explosive scorer that BYU fans hope will become the next Jimmer Fredette. Emery averaged 21.6 points per game and earned Junior All-American honors from MaxPreps
Emery will be joined in the backcourt by returning starters T.J. Haws
, Connor Toolson
and Talon Shumway
, a BYU football commit who battled injuries this year and specializes on the defensive end of the court.
Additional firepower arrives in the form of 6-foot-8 Eric Mika
, yet another future BYU Cougar who sat out in 2011-12 after transferring and served as the team manager.
Emery, Haws and Mika played together over the summer with Utah Reign and more than held their own against club teams comprised of stars from multiple schools.
"I think it helps that those guys have all been good friends for several years and all live within a mile or two of each other," Lewis said.Lone Peak's last five years
2011-12 – 22-5 (Quincy Lewis), Class 5A state champions
2010-11 – 24-1 (Quincy Lewis), Class 5A state champions
2009-10 – 17-6 (Quincy Lewis)
2008-09 – 22-3 (Quincy Lewis), Class 5A state runners-up
2007-08 – 23-2 (Quincy Lewis), Class 5A state champions