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Providence Day No. 1 in Observer Sweet 16 boys’ basketball poll

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

More Information

  • Preseason Sweet 16 boys basketball poll
  • Providence Day No. 1 in Observer Sweet 16 boys’ basketball poll
  • Providence Day No. 1 in Observer Sweet 16 boys’ basketball poll
  • Providence Day No. 1 in Observer Sweet 16 boys’ basketball poll
  • More winter sports previews
  • Observer Preseason Boys Basketball Sweet 16

    Rk. Team (Class) 2012-13 Rec. Comment
    1Providence Day (IND)25-7State quarterfinalist returns bulk of team, including Davidson recruit Jordan Watkins
    2Hough (4A)23-6Four starters back including 6-11 Tucker Thompson, 6-8 Luke Maye, from N.C. 4A quarterfinalist
    3Independence (4A)24-6Four starters back plus two new 6-9 posts, Dario Lazic and Christian Taylor
    4West Charlotte (4A)25-4Without Kennedy Meeks, Lions don’t have size they’ve had, but they have superior guard play
    5Hunter Huss (2A)25-4Regional finalist in 3A last season drops down in class and returns three starters
    6Shelby (2A)27-4Lost in back-to-back regional finals. Shelby is deep this year, led by Clemson recruit Gabe DeVoe.
    7Lake Norman (4A)12-13Four starters return for a team that has size and experience.
    8.Olympic (4A)30-0Reigning N.C. 4A champs suffered heavy graduation losses, but have star in PG CJ Jackson
    9Butler (4A)NAAdded two Division I guards in Giovanni Mack and Matthew Fisher-Davis.
    10Rock Hill South Pointe (4A)22-2Three starters back, including high scoring guard Tyreece Brice
    11Concord (3A)24-3High scoring guard Connor Burchfield leads a deep, experienced team.
    12Ardrey Kell (4A)23-6Southwestern 4A player of the Steven Santa Ana is back for his junior year.
    13North Rowan (2A)27-4N.C. 1A regional semifinalist moves up in class this season
    14Freedom (3A)21-6Four starters return, including three double-figure scorers.
    15East Rutherford (2A)NARegional power lost to Shelby in second round of 2A playoffs last season.
    16Statesville (3A)24-4Lost to Oxford Webb 73-70 in overtime in the N.C. 3A state finals last season

    Also receiving consideration: Myers Park (4A, 12-15); North Mecklenburg (4A, 10-15); Monroe (1A, 23-5); Weddington (3A, 17-11)

    Note: to be eligible for inclusion in the poll, a school must offer football and basketball and not allow students to repeat a grade after starting high school and continue to maintain his or her eligibility.



Providence Day boys’ basketball coach Brian Field has been at the school for 14 years. He thinks this season’s team, which begins the season ranked No. 1 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, are the most talented group the school has assembled in that time.

“This is the third year we’ve had the bulk of this team together,” Field said. “They took their lumps when most of them were freshmen and sophomores. Last year, we had a nice run, but the guys feel like this is our chance. They play well together and they’re really a family unit. Everything they do, they do together.”

The Chargers were 25-7 last season and made the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A quarterfinals.

This season, Field really thinks his team can make a run at the NCISAAstate championship. No Mecklenburg County team has done that since 2004, when Charlotte Latin beat Arden Christ School 86-76.

Field is high on this group because he has eight players receiving college attention, including Davidson signee Jordan Watkins, a 6-foot-1 point guard, who shot more than 40 percent from 3-point range last season.

The Chargers also have size. Isaac Johnson is 6-7. Matthew Lee and Josh Howard are 6-5. And sophomore Grant Williams, who got an offer from Mercer before he played a high school game, is 6-7.

Field said his team has looked very good after spending the fall working with Accelerate Basketball, a Fort Mill company that has trained NBA athletes Stephen Curry and Antawn Jamison.

“Our first 11 practices and our first four scrimmages have been good too,” Field said. “All that hard work has carried over.”

Field said he thinks the biggest obstacle his team has to overcome is staying focused.

“We have to stay together,” he said. “One of the things we talked about is that every season has its ups and downs, and there will be nights when the ball doesn’t bounce our way or you get a bad break. When that happens, we have to stay together and not let anything internally break apart our chemistry. We talked a lot about how to handle adversity and remain positive and stay together. Our guys are taking it to heart, which is why we think we can have a really good year.”

Wertz: 704-612-9716. Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
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