Photo by John Napalan/Art O’Neill
The Bruins feel like last season was a down year because of the unprecedented success in 2017 when they won more than 20 games for the first time in a decade. Wilson finished fourth in the Moore League and lost in the first round of the CIFSS Division 2A playoffs.
“Although we still made it to the playoffs, I felt we could’ve accomplished much more especially throughout the regular season,” Wilson fourth-year coach James Boykin said. “I expect us to have a chance to make some noise this year.”
The Bruins will rely heavily on their seniors this year with guards Johnathan Chan and Jason Allen and forwards Jackson Barnhill and Sebastian Hochmuth leading the way. Senior shooting guard Jason Sam will also play a key role offensively.
“This team is more business like,” Chan said. “Everybody understands their role, and if we stay healthy we’re going to be really good.”
Barnhill, the 6’7” 200-pound sharp shooter, led Wilson is scoring last year by using his range offensively. However, he’s been dealing with a leg injury that’s kept him sidelined recently. Boykin said last week he hopes to have Barnhill back and fully healthy soon.
“With this group I have a captains by committee,” Boykin said. “They all have been working hard this offseason and look to lead this group of young men this year. We have a good balance of seniors and underclassmen that have been growing together as a unit.”
Boykin said that sophomore Nico Colchico and freshman Tommy Brascia will contribute valuable minutes as well. Colchico is a very smart player with good feel of the game, and Brescia has good size and athleticism to go with his impressive work ethic.
“Our style this year will be more up and down,” Chan said. “We’re trying to get it up the floor quickly, play fast offense and hard defense. That’s how we win our games.”
Chan added that the Bruins improvement under Boykin is mostly because of his communication skills.
“He’s a straight-forward kind of guy,” Chan said of his coach. “He doesn’t sugar coat anything and gives you the ‘why factor’ for what we’re doing and it’s easier to understand for the players, and it makes us want to follow him.”
Wilson finished under .500 last year, but had a few close league games that easily couldn’t gone the other way and put the Bruins in a second-place tie for the second consecutive year.
“Ultimately success for these guys are to continue to grow each game and to be consistent throughout the year,” Boykin said. “I know these guys continue to talk about building the program and changing the perception of Wilson basketball. They understand there is still work to do and have to bring it everyday.”