A 10-loss team a year ago cracking the national preseason Top 10?
If still-precocious Whitney Young (Chicago)
can navigate a brutal schedule, it's not out of the question that head coach Tyrone Slaughter's squad could end the reign of intracity rival and preseason national No. 1 Simeon.
There is a big reason for optimism in the form of 6-foot-10, 270-pound junior center Jahlil Okafor
. The Dolphin center is regarded as the top 2014 prospect in the country by MaxPreps and earned MVP honors at the FIBA U17 World Championship over the summer while leading the United States to a gold medal.
"He has an insatiable appetite to be the best," Slaughter said. "Full lions don't hunt – he's never full. He understands what it takes to be very good."
Okafor posted 21.9 points and 12.3 points per game as a sophomore and Slaughter believes he will be surrounded with more talent and more importantly, more experienced talent.
"We started three sophomores last year and that team lost to a very good Shabazz Muhammad team (Bishop Gorman) twice, the No. 1 team in the country twice (Simeon). We beat Prestonwood Christian and went to double overtime with Lone Peak," Slaughter said. "I think we are where we need to be with this group and we feel good about our kids."
The Dolphin head coach expects big things out of 6-8 junior Paul White
, a versatile forward who is drawing increased college attention after making major strides in recent months.
Junior wing L.J. Peak
was a huge offseason addition for the program. Peak led Gaffney to a state title in South Carolina last year and earned Sophomore All-American status from MaxPreps
, posting 17.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.Whitney Young's last five years
2011-12 – 16-10 (Tyrone Slaughter)
2010-11 – 20-10 (Tyrone Slaughter)
2009-10 – 23-7 (Tyrone Slaughter), Class 4A state runner-up
2008-09 – 25-9 (Tyrone Slaughter), Class 4A state champions
2007-08 – 25-5 (Tyrone Slaughter)