With yet another top prospect transferring to the international boarding school at Montverde Academy (Fla.)
, it's beginning to appear that the Kevin Boyle era could kick off with another national championship.
Boyle, however, said the key to the Eagles' success lies with how the team adjusts to his defense-focused approach to the game.
"We have talent. It's about getting guys to understand their roles. It's going in the right direction, but we're not there yet," said Boyle, a three-time national high school coach of the year. "When you get several guys who are really good scorers, there's an adjustment period. Guys need to learn how to set a good screen, how to take a charge and how to sacrifice for the sake of the team."
In March, Boyle replaced Kevin Sutton, who led Montverde to a 22-4 mark during the 2010-11 season. Sutton, who built Montverde into a national power during his eight seasons with the Eagles, now serves as an assistant at George Washington University.
Boyle comes to the Eagles from St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.). The coach spent 23 consecutive seasons at St. Patrick, where the 2010-11 team went 26-1 with a No. 2 national ranking. He said one challenge in moving from tradition-rich St. Patrick involves convincing players from different areas, including some from other countries, to bring the same energy to the game that his players possessed at St. Patrick.
"At St. Pat's, you knew that we would always put out an excellent defensive team. The challenge is getting the guys here at Montverde to believe that defense is what we need to win the big games," said Boyle, who boasts a 551-129 prep coaching record.
Boyle said the younger players at St. Patrick learned from the work ethic instilled in them by the upperclassmen.
"The guys knew what we demanded of them. I'm trying to bring that same energy level to this team, and it's not something you can achieve in two or three weeks," said Boyle.
Recently, Boyle got some help when highly regarded Kentucky prep star DeAngelo Russell
announced that he was transferring to Montverde.
Russell, a 6-foot-2 guard, started as a freshman last winter at Louisville Central High School, which went 15-10. He is considered one of the top national prospects from the Class of 2014. Russell will play this winter for the Eagles.
Russell joins a star-studded roster that includes senior guard Michael Frazier
, a University of Florida commit who transferred to Montverde in August from Tampa Plant, and 6-foot-8 Venezuelan power forward Anthony Cortesia
, who committed to Ole Miss in October. Boyle's son, Brendan, will be a sophomore for the Eagles this season. The coach said he envisions Brendan as a role player now and a key contributor during his junior and senior years.