MSG Varsity will visit the top boys basketball teams in New York City during the preseason and unveil our preseason power rankings each day leading up to the start of the season. Today we look at No. 3 Bishop Loughlin.
Mike Williams was sick in bed with a 103-degree fever when his Bishop Loughlin teammate Khadeen Carrington signed his National Letter of Intent to Seton Hall a few weeks ago.
Williams was disappointed to not be there for his friend. But things wasn’t so bad a few days late when Carrington was on hand with his teammates, coaches and family to see the senior sign his letter to Rutgers.
“It hurt me the most because junior year we promised to sign together. He said it was ok and to make this signing best as possible,” Williams said.
With that piece of business taken care of, the focus shifts according to Williams for the only mission at hand. A veteran Bishop Loughlin squad has plenty of motivation to win the CHSAA AA Intersectional championship that has eluded them in the past few years.
“He [Carrington} said once after we sign our letters, that was go tot focus on nothing else on a winning a championship and the federation championship,” Williams said. “That’s our goal this year.”
A good argument can be made that Williams, a 6-1 guard, and the 6-foot 4 Carrington can be the best backcourt in the city.
The point production and leadership on the floor from the backcourt duo must be supplied for the Lions to return to the CHSAA title game. Carrington spoke of the sadness he felt last March at Fordham University seeing Christ the King hoist the title in a 78-63 victory over this team.
“We took the pain from last year and we switched it to this year. From my freshman year I’ve been taking lumps and that team moved up my sophomore year,” Carrington said. “We have been taking lumps so now this is our time.”
Experience won’t be an issue with eight seniors returning says Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez. The Lions have enough depth to play a half court or a motion offense, while also concentrating on playing solid defense. Those are the ideals Gonzalez wants his team to accomplish.
“All I’m doing is making sure to prepare them as best as I could. That’s all they are talking about it. They feel this is their year. We got to work very hard at it to get it done,” Gonzalez said.
Khalik Howe could elevate into the starting lineup as the senior point guard to help replacing Jordan Nanton, the team’s floor genera last year. The point guard duties will also be shared with Williams, and Carrington bringing the ball up the floor.
A big contributor this season will be Javian Delacruz, a 6-foot-4 forward that is athletic and versatile enough to play a number of positions. Gonzalez think his senior as the skills to attract more interest from Division I college programs.
The six-foot 8- inch AJ Vernon starts at center for the second straight year. His role will be to battle against the top centers in the CHSAA like Luis Santos From St. Raymond and Christ the King’s Adonis Delarosa.
Issac Bodon will come off the bench to provide some points. Gonzalez will give time to Darius James a senior who came on last season as a good defender and a mid-range shooter. Keith Williams is an athletic 6-foot-5 freshman is also battling for playing time.
Mike Williams has accomplished plenty in high school career, but nothing will be sweeter than returning to Fordham University this March and raise the trophy in triumph.
“That was heartbreaking to get there, to see it. We felt we had it and then we let it slip away,” Williams said. “Worst feeling in the world and we told ourselves that it will never happen again.”