|James McNeal (Washington)|
The Washington Wildcats, owners of 3 of the last 4 league titles in the KCAL come into the 2014-2015 season as the favorites to do it again. They lose SHUKC POY nominee and All Star JT Bennett but return many weapons that will be a handful for any team to deal with.
James McNeal who was second team All SHUKC in 2014 returns for his senior campaign. He averaged 16.1 PPG for Washington last year. McNeal who has a small frame but a good ability to score the ball.
He will be flanked by another retuning starter in the back court Jamarcus Dawn. I don't follow the kids around to see how much work they are putting in but Dawn's workouts were being shared with me by Justin Richmond. I can tell you first hand that Richmond will have Dawn moving and cutting better. I am real excited to see if he is able to take his game to the next level. Bennett's graduation means a lot of lost points for the Wildcats and Dawn will be one players I expect to pick up the slack. Dawn will likely be the only underclassmen in the senior filled starting lineup for the Wildcats.
We don't know yet how Coach King will line up his starter but he will be able to feature 6'8 Trayvon Hards who was an All League performer in football this year. We will see if that work on the football field translates to more power on the basketball court. Getting back to King's decision, does he start William Jefferson along side Hards? Jefferson who they have listed at 6'7" was fun to watch last year off Washington's bench averaging 9 points, 7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Kalem Harrison also averaged 9 points a game last year. These three would make a very nice and athletic front line.
Washington has gone 36-3 the last 4 seasons in the KCAL and 2 of those losses were to the talented Sumner Academy teams and the Atchison Redmen last year. The Wildcats avenged that loss in a big way in the return match up but will enter this season with a good bit of confidence that they can make another run to Topeka.
The Wildcats open their season at Topeka West and then will participate in the Leavenworth tournament Dec 11th - 13th.