No. 9 Whitney Young (Chicago)Head coach:
Tyrone Slaughter2012-13 record:
27-4, Class 4A sectional finalist, No. 10 in final Xcellent 25 national rankingsPlayers to watch: Erwin Henry
(6-1, Sr., G), Rodney Herenton Jr.
(6-1, So., G), Jahlil Okafor
(6-10, Sr., C), Miles Reynolds
(6-1, Sr., G, Saint Louis verbal commitment), Paul White
(6-8, Sr., F, Georgetown verbal commitment)Breaking down the Dolphins
Had L.J. Peak (who returned to his native South Carolina) and Joseph Toye (transfer to La Lumiere) returned to Whitney Young this season, the Dolphins would have been a legitimate preseason national No. 1 contender.
"We still have the same high expectations," Slaughter said. "The goal is always to win a state championship."
Slaughter still has plenty of talent in the fold, including arguably the nation's top big man in Okafor. He's won gold medals with USA Basketball and is the most celebrated player in program history (which is saying a lot at Whitney Young) but is still missing the hardware that would complete his high school career.
"The last piece of the puzzle for him is becoming a state champion," Slaughter said.
Okafor was a second team All-American pick as a junior and helped the Dolphins hold the No. 1 national ranking for several weeks last winter. He won't be overwhelmed by the pressure of going out on top, according to Slaughter.
"There's a tendency to define players based on championships, but he's never been impacted by that kind of talk," Slaughter said. "He goes about his business, never is too big on himself, just steady as you go. He plays the game, lives his life and has a great family situation that I think has helped insulate him from a lot of the trappings of basketball stardom."Stepping up
White has always been an intriguing prospect at nearly 6-9 with the ability to play on the wing. But he developed into a prime time player as a junior at Whitney Young and carried his play over to the summer.
The Georgetown pledge is the No. 87 overall prospect in the 2014 class according to 247Sports.com and had offers from programs like Arizona, Connecticut, Florida and Ohio State.Key dates
Dec. 7 – vs. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
at Chicago Elite Classic
Dec. 12 – at Apple Valley (Minn.)
Dec. 18-23 – City of Palms Classic
Dec. 27-30 – Les Schwab Invitational
Jan. 4 – vs. Prime Prep (Dallas)
at Cancer Research Classic
Jan. 11 – vs. White Station (Memphis, Tenn.)
at Penny Hardaway Hoopfest
Feb. 1 – vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
at Nike Extravaganza