The Wilson Bruins are trying to get some solid footing before starting this spring season, and fifth-year coach James Boykin thinks this group can embrace his philosophy.
“These kids are awesome and there was a lot of energy when we got back into the gym,” Boykin said. “They were just thrilled to not have to run on the pavement that’s kind of slippery here at Wilson. They’re really buying into our philosophy and core values.”
That playing style is based on “playing off of two feet” in an effort to stay in command on both ends of the floor.
“We play a very fast-paced style so when you’re playing off of two feet it’s a lot easier to make good decisions,” senior point guard Ben Brown said. “When we’re playing a lot of teams that are more athletic and bigger than us, it’s a lot harder to make a split second decision off of one foot.”
Brown will be joined by two-sport athletes Dallas Cooper (football), Tommy O’Toole (baseball) and Nico Colchico (cross country) in the starting lineup.
“They have been warriors,” Boykin said of his two-sport athletes. “Tommy will walk in from baseball practice, take his cleats off, put his shoes on and just go right away. Nico will run eight miles and then show up ready to go through stuff. We do a really good just as a school and different programs for these kids so they can get work in. I keep preaching to expect the unexpected and be appreciative of what you have.”
Destin Okafor is also going to be very important for the Bruins. Boykin said the junior is still learning the game but is the most athletic player on the team.
Sophomore Michael Kirley has grown into his 6’1” frame after playing as a freshman. He can do a lot of different things on the court with a versatile skill set and will play significant minutes.
“He’s not the tallest or the most athletic but he makes up for that with his high basketball IQ,” Boykin said. “He understands the angles on the court and competes.”
Wilson only won three league games last year, and hasn’t finished above .500 since going 22-7 in 2018 when the Bruins last won a CIF playoff game.