SPRINGFIELD, Mass — Phaquon Davis dribbled the ball down the court for Chino Hills. The Huskies were exchanging leads at the start of the fourth quarter at the 2018 HoopHall Classic, a position which, truthfully, they rarely found themselves in this time last year.
The 5’9 guard pounded the ball into the court once, twice, then rifled a pass to Will Pluma. The ball was then passed around the key in search of the ideal shot attempt before it was eventually sent into the hands of Chino Hills’ top recruit, Onyeka Okongwu.
The 5-star prospect in the class of 2019 posted up ESPN’s No. 2 prospect in the class of 2018, Zion Williamson. Okongwu dangled a hook shot over the powerfully-built Williamson to put the Huskies up 55-51 with seven and a half minutes left in the game.
This philosophy on offense was different and normal at the same time. Things were normal in the sense that the standard format of setting up a halfcourt offense was in play. The point guard facilitated an offense in which several smart and safe passes were made before finding, in the team’s mind, the best possible shot.
But to anyone who’d spent any time over the previous two seasons watching the Huskies throw the basketball up and down the court like a football, pull up for halfcourt shots as if they were layups, or sacrifice defense for offense, the traditional and methodical approach for the Huskies looked out of place.
But these aren’t your father’s Huskies. Or, rather, these aren’t Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo Ball’s father’s Huskies.
A NEW MAN AT THE TOP
When LaVar Ball unenrolled his youngest son, LaMelo, and sent him and his older brother, Chino Hills alumnus LiAngelo, to Lithuania to play professionally, an era of 40-foot jumpers, daily national headlines, and 130+ point outings night in and night out came to an end.