The 2013-14 season will mark the fifth for the Huntington St. Joseph Prep (W. Va.)
program. The newly named Fighting Irish have won nearly 90 percent of their games and are on the verge of producing a second NBA Draft pick and likely No. 1 overall in Andrew Wiggins.
The key to Prep's success? Good recruiting. Scratch that, incredible
It may be a taboo word in the high school realm, but that's what Huntington St. Joseph Prep does and coach Rob Fulford isn't apologizing for it.
After bidding adieu to Wiggins last spring, Fulford reeled in four Top 50 seniors to keep the Fighting Irish at a high level.
"It's tough to say we will be better without Andrew Wiggins, but we are a lot deeper," Fulford said. "We have nine guys that will start games."
– who signed with Gonzaga last week – is one of the nation's top point guards. He joined the program from Colorado, where he put up 25.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game last season at Regis Jesuit (Aurora). Despite the gaudy scoring totals, he is viewed as a master distributor.
Fellow elite 2014 prospects Angel Delgado
(Seton Hall), Jalen Lindsey
(Providence signee) and JaQuan Lyle
will likely see the majority of minutes at the wing and forward spots. Each is coming off a big junior year.
The Fighting Irish are also positioning themselves nicely for next season with a strong junior class. Canada native Montaque Gill-Ceasar
is the team's top returner while 6-foot-9 Thomas Bryant
and 6-10, 290-pound Levi Cook
bring a heavy dose of size.
According to Fulford, Cook in particular could be a handful for opponents.
"If they (officials) allow him to post up the way he has been in workouts, he's a problem," Fulford said. "He's very physical and has great hands and great feet. He's been the biggest surprise so far."
Cook is a West Virginia native who committed to the home state Mountaineers as a freshman. He joined the program over the summer from Glen Daniel, an unincorporated community about two hours south of Huntington.
The mix of talent is working so far this season for Huntington St. Joseph Prep. The Fighting Irish are out to a 5-0 record and averaging nearly 105 points per game.View gallery of Huntington St. Joseph Prep preseason photo shoot
Huntington St. Joseph Prep last four years:
2012-13 (Rob Fulford) – 30-3, No. 5 final Academy Top 10 national ranking
2011-12 (Rob Fulford) – 28-2, No. 3 final Academy Top 10 national ranking
2010-11 (Rob Fulford) – 25-3
2009-10 (Rob Fulford) – 27-5