When 6-11, 200-pound Joakim Noah decided he would head to Lawrenceville last year, no one gave it much thought. He was more well-known at the time as the son of former pro tennis player Yannick Noah than for any of his exploits on the hardwood.
However, after a phenomenal summer which he parlayed his play into a commitment to Billy Donovan's Florida program, Lawrenceville coach Ron Kane will be getting one of the top players in the prep ranks.
But Kane will have much more to work with than just one go-to guy. Senior wing David Whitehurst, who recently committed to Penn, is a 6-3, 180-pound New Jersey native who could have went to nearly any Ivy League school he desired.
Kashif Sweet, a native of Austin, Texas who has a 3.3 GPA and a 1100 on the SAT, will start at point guard and is receiving attention from the likes of Rutgers, Fordham, Bucknell, Holy Cross and Army.
Sweet will likely team with 6-3, 180-pound junior Craig Moore in the backcourt, who along with Whitehurst, will be returning starters at Lawrenceville.
``Both Craig and David are combo guards," Kane said. "Moore might be a little more of a 1-2 where Whitehurst may be a little more of a 2-1. Both are very efficient in transition and both are three-point threats and clever with the ball. They play off each other real well."
Look for 6-7 senior forward Andrew Morrison, who was at Wildwood Catholic a year ago, to play a major role in this year's success and turn himself into an Ivy League-caliber player.
``He's a face-up four-man who shoots it very well," Kane added.
Junior Grant Wentworth (6-9) will also help up front while 6-5 junior swingman Jonathan Dixon should provide support off the bench.
Other players expected to make contributions off the bench include senior wings Zane Ramadan and Claude Perdue as well as athletic junior wing Rich Rodd and 6-foot senior floor leader Derrick Williams.