2019-2020 High School Men’s Basketball Preview – Queen’s Grant Stallions

Queen's Grant Stallions. (Ed Berti)
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Head Coach – Walter Wright

1. How does the team look for the upcoming 2019-20 season?

Queens Grant Varsity Basketball Team is looking forward to a very successful 2019-20 season. The team will be led by 2 returning All-Conference seniors in Jeremiah Murphy and L.B. Boyette, as they chase the PAC 7 Conference title and another bid to the State Playoffs. Having lost 3 seniors from last year’s team who are all playing college basketball, the Stallions are looking to Murphy and Boyette to lead the team on and off the court. Josh Williams will be the floor general for a team full of length and speed. Newcomer and 6’8” senior center Jayden Bilal will control the paint. The team looks very good defensively with its length and tenacity. Under new head coach Walter Wright, the Stallions are also installing a new offensive game plan with multiple options.

2. How would you rank the team in the PAC 7 Conference?

The PAC 7 Conference is probably the most competitive 1A Conference top to bottom in North Carolina with quality teams like Community School of Davidson, Pine Lake Prep, Union Academy, Mountain Island Charter School and Langtree. After we tied for second place last year in the conference, the Stallions are looking again to compete for the conference title.

3. What are your realistic expectations this season?

Our realistic expectations for the season are to compete for the conference championship and make a much deeper run in the State playoffs, after last year’s first round loss. The 3 seniors and sophomore point guard Josh Williams provide a great nucleus for this team to make a deep run in the State playoffs this year.

4. Who are your starting 5 as of today?

Josh Williams a 5’10” sophomore, Jeremiah Wooten, 6’4” junior,  Jeremiah Murphy, 6’5” senior, L.B. Boyette – 6’3” senior and Jayden Bilal, 6’8” Senior.

5. What are your team strengths?

This year, we will again be tremendous on defense with exceptional quickness and length. The Stallions intend to make it very difficult for other teams to score, much like the Queen’s Grant teams of the past. We hope to cause havoc and numerous turnovers on defense.

6. What areas will need improvement?

The Stallions are installing a new offensive system that will create many scoring opportunities and the Stallions need to convert those opportunities on the offensive end of the floor.

7. How is your bench strength? Who do you expect to make a contribution off the bench?

Off the bench, Queen’s Grant will count on major contributions from junior Darius Smith, sophomore Corey Martin and sophomore Elijah Rector. Darius is a defensive ball hawk and full of energy that will bring a lift to the team throughout the season. Elijah Rector and Corey Martin are very steady players who can shoot the ball very well.

8. What are the most important character building qualities to teach your players?

The coaching staff is instilling in this year’s squad the need to sacrifice for each other and to play for each other every minute. This not only applies on the court, but off the court as well. By making “winning plays” which may not include scoring, our team will be much better off and have much more success. We truly want our kids to play basketball and do life the right way, and we are instilling in them to use encouraging words with each other, the coaching staff and those around them on a daily basis. Also, we want them to make the most of their friendships with their teammates and be there for each other.

9. Each team is different, how can you motivate your players on this team?

This team seems to relish hard work and the grind that it takes to excel. Our kids are motivated to rectify last year’s late season stumble and perform at a high level all throughout the season. They have a very strong focus to win the PAC 7 title this year and make a further run in the State playoffs.

10. How could you improve teamwork and the attitudes of each player?

Our kids have really great attitudes this year and are showing it through their hard work in practice. We plan to do off the court activities together involving community service, as well as the daily riggers of practice team building. The attitudes of our players are often self-driven, but we will focus this year on using encouraging words and real actions to motivate the whole team. If we are able to keep our energy levels high and attitudes positive, we should have an excellent season.

In summary, Queen’s Grant will have its traditional hard nose defense making it difficult for opponents to shoot, while installing a new offensive system that will create more opportunities for more players each trip down the floor. Coach Walter Wright and the Queen’s Grant Stallions are looking forward to a tremendous season.

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